An attitude of gratitude.
The Jesuit Examen, reflected upon at the end of each day, encourages us to find just that—an attitude of gratitude, regardless of our experiences during the day. In fact, sometimes we are just grateful a particular day is over. And that’s fine too. A rough day often makes it easier to feel gracious the next, simply by having our basic needs met. I think that’s especially how we have all felt these past few months. After such a difficult year with the pandemic, how grateful we now are to simply do what we once took for granted—going to church, visiting friends and family, eating out, even giving a simple hug!
Having an attitude of gratitude also means that we recognize hope—hope in all that God does for us and wants to do for us. For the Society of Jesus, hope can probably best be seen in our Jesuits in formation, those studying to be priests and brothers, as well as those recently ordained, embarking now on their journey to serve the Church and the people of God. On June 12, the USA East Province ordained four Jesuits to the priesthood. How grateful we were to celebrate with brother Jesuits, family and friends, all together, singing again and enjoying the full presence of each other. On August 14, having completed their first two years in our novitiate, five Jesuit novices pronounced their First Vows, fully committing themselves to the Society and to the Lord’s work as they continue in their formation.
Supporting these men spiritually, educationally, and financially is vital to their growth as Jesuits, and we are currently blessed to have nearly 50 Jesuits in formation. Please pray for these men who have vowed to give all of themselves to Christ through service to others. And be assured that their gratitude, as well as my own, for your support, fills our hearts.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Joseph M. O’Keefe, SJ