In my work with students in Jesuit schools, as well as in my own life, I find that the concept of the magis (or “the more”) can be very dangerous. In mission-driven institutions, filled with highly-achieving, well-intentioned people, the magis often becomes about the greater glory of oneself, the team, the school, the fundraising campaign. Ignatian Spirituality, and the final lines of today’s first reading, remind us that all things are from, through, and for God, for God’s greater glory.
And yet, in the name of the magis, we do more and more, stretching ourselves, our students, and our colleagues thin. When we are spread thin, there is no room for depth. The magis, I’m learning, is less about doing “more” and more about going deeper.
Is it possible that some of my striving is more about the greater glory of myself than of God? In what ways might I be called to do less in order to go deeper?
—Lauren Hackman-Brooks is a Chaplain in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago – Health Sciences Division; she serves on the Board of Directors at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House and the Advisory Board of Jesuit Connections.