According to one of the earliest Jesuits, Jerome Nadal, the origins of the Society of Jesus are found in the meditation on the two standards. In this meditation from Ignatius´ Spiritual Exercises, the retreatant is asked to pray for the grace to be able to discern where Christ is acting in the world and where the evil spirit is acting. As we know from our own experience, this discernment is harder than it first appears.
To say then that the Society of Jesus was born in this meditation is a daring and bold statement. Nadal is suggesting that our Ignatian charisma is found in our service and love of others in situations where we cannot easily see Jesus´ presence.
As we hear then Job´s complaint and the vindictive anger of James and John, let us pray for the grace to be in these challenging, human places in our lives.
—Christopher Staab, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Chicago-Detroit province. He is currently in his second year of theology studies at the Jesuit house of studies in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Chris previously taught at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Chicago IL.