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What do you know to be true?

This paper asks you to explain your spiritual autobiography –reflecting on “what you know to be true” integrated with the theological sources of knowledge and the readings we have been assigned so far. Remember, atheists and agnostics also have made spiritual decisions and metaphysical claims that impact their lives, and they reach their beliefs through similar sources to those who are religious. Whatever your current belief structure, even if in flux, please name it in your thesis and use the sources of knowledge to explain 

how you arrived there. When you cite sources, please do so in the basic in-text format (Source name, page). For example, this is how to write the first paper (Edwards, 2). You must cite at least 3 different course readings (lectures, notes, handouts are okay to cite but only in addition to the readings).  minimum 1250 max 1500 vocabularies


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A Spirituality for Real Life


HarperOne• An Imprint ofHarperCollinsPublishers

Fratribus carissimis in SocietateJesu

Grateful acknowledgments are made to the following sources for granting permission to use their material: The poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ., are used with the permission of the British Province of the Society of Jesus. Selections from A Pilgrim's Testament: The Memoirs ofSt. Ignatius Loyola, translated by Parmananda Divarkar, SJ.; The Spiritual Exercises: A Tramlation and Commentary, by George E. Ganss, SJ.; and One Jesuit's Spiritual Journey: Autobiographical Conversations with Jean-Claude Dietsch, by Pedro Arrupe, SJ., are used with the permission ofthe Institute of]esuit Sources. Selections from The Song ofthe Bird, by Anthony De Mello, SJ., and He Leadeth Me, by Walter Ciszek, SJ., are used with the permission of Random House, Inc. Selections from With Godin Russia, by Walter Ciszek, SJ., are used with the permission of America Press, Inc.

Frontispiece: "St. Ignatius at prayer amid the rooftops of Rome," by the Rev. William Hart McNichols.

THE JESUIT GUIDE TO (ALMOST) EVERYTHING: A SPIRITUALITY FOR REAL LIFE. Copyright © 2010 by James Martin, SJ. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information address HarperCollins Publishers, IO East 53rd Street, New York, NY I0022.

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HarperCollins®, II®, and HarperOne™ are trademarks of HarperCollins Publishers


Imprimi Potest: The Very Rev. Thomas]. Regan, SJ.

Library ofCongress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available upon request.

ISBN 978-0-06-143268-2

IO II 12 13 14 RRD(H) IO 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 l


More by Deeds Than by Words

Friendship and Love

SOME PEOPLE CLING TO the idea that being a member of a religious

order means you don't have to care about real-life human relation­

ships. The thinking goes like this: since we spend all of our time in

prayer, we never have to relate to any actual human beings and never

have to deal with any interpersonal problems. And we're thought to

be solitary types unconcerned with something as commonplace as


But overall, Jesuits have a lot of experience developing friend­

ships. First, as chaste men, we cannot enjoy the intimate sexual

relationships that married men and women can. So besides relying

on our friendship with God, our families, and our communities, we

count on the love ofclose friends, both men and women.

Second,Jesuits move around frequently, sent from job to job, and

place to place. Over the course of the past twenty years as a Jesuit,

I've lived in Boston, Jamaica, New York, Boston again, Chicago,

Nairobi, New York again, Boston again, and New York again. Each

move meant discovering and rediscovering friends. Despite stereo­

types people have about celibacy, Jesuits have to grow in the ability

to make and keep close friendships. And we value them greatly.

Single, divorced, and widowed people know about this. A single

friend of mine was once asked by her company to move far away.

Her manager said, "You're single. You don't have any kids. Moving



will be easy for you." But precisely since she didn't have a husband or

children as a built-in and portable support system, she didn't want

to leave, because she would be leaving her only supports behind-her

friends. They were her primary source oflove and affection.

Another stereotype is that we Jesuits don't know much about

human relationships since we're so "Christian." My brother-in-law

once said, "It must be nice to live in a place where no one argues."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Well," he said, "isn't it sort of illegal for Jesuits not to be nice to

one another?"

That sums up the common thinking about religious communities:

they're full ofholy people who always get along. To that I say, "Ha!"

So the third reason we have become proficient in friendship is

that living in a religious order means living with actual human beings

who have competing interests and strong opinions. Over time you

become adept at dealing with various kinds of personalities. Until

my brother-in-law got to know some real-life Jesuits, he remained

convinced of our superhuman goodness.


It reminded me of a story, perhaps apocryphal, about the American

Jesuits in the I86os who were planning a new theology school for

young Jesuits in rural Maryland, in a town called Woodstock. Huge

numbers ofmen were then entering seminaries and religious orders,

so the building would have to be vast.

The Jesuit provincial worked diligently with architects to draw

up plans for the complex, with hundreds of rooms for the Jesuit

priests, brothers, and scholastics (those in training); classrooms; an

immense dining room; and an ornate chapel. No detail was left out.

After poring over the blueprints, the provincial mailed the plans to

theJesuit headquarters in Rome.

A few months later the drawings were returned with a single

Latin phrase scrawled on the bottom of the blueprints: Suntne angeli?


More by Deeds Than by Words

Which means, "Are they angels?"

The architects had left out the bathrooms.

No, we are not angels. And that extends beyond our use of

bathrooms. We can be short-tempered, shortsighted, and just plain

short with one another. (As an aside, the architect quickly tacked on

two tall towers for the bathrooms. Years later, a visiting nun wrote

a poem that praised the Jesuits' doing their thinking "in the white

towers," which was probably true.)

Jesuit community is a great blessing. The men with whom I've

lived for the past twenty-one years are joyful, prayerful, and hard­

working-and so different from one another. As the saying goes,

"If you've met one Jesuit, you've met one Jesuit!" One friend is a

gerontologist who enjoys fly-fishing. Another is a prison chaplain

who keeps pet ferrets. Another is a former political consultant who

sings in piano bars. All enrich my life with their insights, inspire me

with their faith, and challenge me to become a better person. After

twenty-one years as a Jesuit, I couldn't imagine my life without my

Jesuit friends. Whenever I think ofJesus' promise to his disciples

that anyone who follows him will receive a "hundredfold" of what­

ever he has given up, I think ofmy Jesuit friends.

But community life can be a challenge. One Jesuit thinks we

aren't living simply enough. Another thinks we're living too simply.

One thinks that ifyou find someone's wet clothes in the community

washing machine, you should put them in the dryer. That's common

courtesy, he says. Another is angry when you do just that with his

clothes: "You've shrunk my cotton shirts!"

More seriously, as in any human environment, resentments creep

into communities, grudges intensify, and relationships become cold.

One friend joked that his friends used to speak of the "Ice House,"

the fictional Jesuit residence for the coldest men of the province.

"But we always debated," he said. "Who would be the superior? Who

was the coldest?"

The seventeenth-century Jesuit saint John Berchmans, who

died at age twenty-two, before finishing his Jesuit training, said,



Vita communis est mea maxima penitentia. Some Jesuits translate that

as "The common life is my greatest penance." That is, the common

life of all men and women is difficult enough. But most Jesuits be­

lieve it's more accurately translated as, "Life in community is my

greatest penance." (On the other hand, as Avery Cardinal Dulles

once remarked about Berchmans, "I wonder what the community

thought ofhim!")

Like any group-a family, a business, a parish-aJesuit commu­

nity can be the source of both joy and grief. Living peacefully with

others and maintaining healthy friendships requires a great deal of

love, patience, and wisdom.

But that's a challenge for everyone-not just Jesuits. All ofus are

called to live compassionately with one another and maintain healthy

friendships with love, patience, and wisdom. None ofus are angels.

So given our common desires for love and friendship, and our

common human shortcomings, what does the way of Ignatius and

the traditions of the Jesuits say about love, friendship, and human



The Spiritual Exercises begins with good advice. In what he calls his

Presupposition, Ignatius says that we "ought to be more eager to put a

good interpretation on a neighbor's statement than to condemn it."

Always give people the benefit of the doubt. What's more, says

Ignatius, if you're not sure what a person means, you should, says

Ignatius, "ask how the other means it." Ignatius placed that cru­

cial advice at the beginning of the Exercises to ensure that both

the spiritual director and the retreatant don't misunderstand each

other. Each presupposes that the other is trying to do his or her


This wisdom is applicable not simply for spiritual direction. It's

a key insight for healthy relationships within families, in the work­


More by Deeds Than by Words

place, and among friends. And while most people would agree with

it, in principle, we often do just the opposite. We expect others to

iudge us according to our intentions, but we judge others according to

their actions.

In other words, we say to ourselves, My intention was good. Why

ion't they see this.? But when it comes to other people, we often fail to

~ive them the benefit of the doubt. We say, "Look what they did!"

The Presupposition helps us remember the other person's inten­

:ion, which helps ground relationships in openness. You approach

~very interaction with an open mind and heart by presuming-even

.vhen it's hard to do so-that the other person is doing his or her best

md isn't out to get you.

The Presupposition also helps to release you from grudges and

:esentments. It makes it less likely that you will approach a thorny

:elationship in terms of a battle. Rather than steeling yourself for

mother confrontation with your enemy, which takes a great deal of

~nergy, you can relax.

Sometimes the other person is out to get you-for example, in

t contentious office environment. Few people are angeli. But that

ioesn't mean human interactions should be approached as battles.

[nstead ofpreparing for war, you can set aside your armor. This may

1elp the other person feel better able to deal withyou-because most

ikely you are part of the problem. The Presupposition steers you

tway from anger and so provides the other person with the emotional



space needed to meet you on more peaceful territory. It may even

invite him or her to change.

My mother once told me that at her local supermarket worked

a checkout clerk who had a "mean look and a grumpy disposition."

None of the other clerks liked her. My mother remembered some­

thing her own mother had told her, another version of the Presuppo­

sition: "Be kind to everyone, because you never know what problems

they have at home." So my mother decided to shower the grumpy

clerk with kindness and made it a point to talk with her whenever she

could. In time, the woman softened. "I discovered," said my mother,

"that her mother, whom she cared for, was ill and that she herself had

neck problems after a car accident." You never know what problems

people might have.

The Presupposition also helps you stay open to change, growth,

and forgiveness. Peter Favre, one ofthe first Jesuits, spent many years

interacting with the new Christian denominations ofhis age. In that

era Catholics and Protestants were intensely suspicious of one an­

other. For many Protestants, Catholics were "papists," Rome was

"Babylon," and the pope was the "Antichrist." For Catholics, Protes­

tants were simply heretics.

Favre adamantly refused to let those beliefs close his heart,

which was extraordinary for the time. "Remember," he wrote to a

Jesuit asking for advice, "ifwe want to be ofhelp to them, we must be

careful to regard them with love, to love them in deed and in truth,

and to banish from our souls anything that might lessen our love and

esteem for them." That is an astonishing comment in an era of bad


My favorite quote from Favre on the matter is even simpler:

"Take care, take care never to shut your heart against anyone."

Openness will not cure every relationship, but it can provide an

opening for change, and it certainly won't make things any worse.

The Presupposition can make healthy relationships healthier and

unhealthy relationships less unhealthy.

More by Deeds Than by Words


With his prodigious talent for friendship, Ignatius enjoyed close re­

lations with a large circle of friends. (That is one reason for his en­

thusiasm for writing letters.) Indeed, the earliest way that Ignatius

referred to the early Jesuits was not with phrases like "Defenders

of the Faith" or "Soldiers of Christ," but something simpler. He de­

scribed his little band as "Friends in the Lord."

Friendship was an essential part of his life. Two of his closest

friends were his college roommates, Peter Favre, from the Savoy

region of France, and Francisco de Javier, the Spaniard later known

as St. Francis Xavier.

The three met at the College Sainte-Barbe at the University

of Paris, then Europe's leading university, in 1529. By the time they

met Ignatius, Peter and Francis were already fast friends who shared

lodgings. The two had studied for the previous few years for their

master's degrees; both were excellent students. And both had heard

stories about Ignatius before meeting him: the former soldier was a

notorious figure on campus, known for his intense spiritual discipline

and habit ofbegging alms. At thirty-eight, Ignatius was much older

than Peter and Francis, who were both twenty-three at the time.

And Ignatius's path to the university was more circuitous. After his

soldiering career, his recuperation, and his conversion, he had spent

months in prayer trying to discern what to do with his life.

Ultimately, he decided that an education was required. So Ignatius

went to school, taking elementary grammar lessons with young boys

and, later, studying at the universities of Alcala and Salamanca. His

studies provide us with one of the more remarkable portraits of his

newfound humility: the once-proud soldier squeezed into a too-small

desk beside young boys in the classroom, making up for lost time.

Several years later, he enrolled at the University of Paris, where

he met Favre and Xavier. There, in Favre's words, the three shared

"the same room, the same table and the same purse."



Ignatius's commitment to a simple life impressed his new

friends. So did his spiritual acumen. For Favre, a man troubled all his

life by a "scrupulous" conscience, that is, an excessive self-criticism,

Ignatius was a literal godsend. "He gave me an understanding of my

conscience," wrote Favre. Ultimately, Ignatius led Peter through

the Spiritual Exercises, something that dramatically altered Favre's


This happened despite their very different backgrounds. And

here is one area where Ignatius and his friends highlight an insight

on relationships: friends need not be cut from the same cloth. The

friend with whom you have the least in common may be the most

helpful for your personal growth. Ignatius and Peter had, until they

met, led radically different lives. Peter came to Paris at age nineteen

after what his biographer called his "humble birth," having spent his

youth in the fields as a shepherd. Imbued with a simple piety toward

Mary, the saints, relics, processions, and shrines, and also angels,

Peter clung to the simple faith of his childhood. Ignatius, on the

other hand, had spent many years as a courtier and some of them as

a soldier, undergone a dramatic conversion, subjected himself to ex­

treme penances, and wandered to Rome and the Holy Land in pur­

suit ofhis goal of following God's will.

One friend had seen little ofthe world; the other much. One had

always found religion a source of solace; the other had proceeded to

God along a tortuous path.

Ultimately, Ignatius helped Peter to arrive at some important

decisions through the freedom offered in the Spiritual Exercises.

Peter's indecision before this moment sounds refreshingly modern,

much like the indecision of any college student today. He wrote

about it in his journals:

Before that-I mean before having settled on the course of

my life through the help given to me by God through Ifiigo­

1 was always very unsure ofmyself and blown about by many

More by Deeds Than by Words

winds: sometimes wishing to be married, sometimes to be

a doctor, sometimes a lawyer, sometimes a lecturer, some­

times a professor of theology, sometimes a cleric without a

degree-at times wishing to be a monk.

In time, Peter decided to join Ignatius on his new path, whose

ultimate destination was still unclear. Peter, sometimes called the

"Second Jesuit," was enthusiastic about the risky venture from the

start. "In the end," he writes, "we became one in desire and will and

one in a firm resolve to take up the life we lead today." His friend

changed his life. Later, Ignatius would say that Favre became the

most skilled ofall theJesuits in giving the Spiritual Exercises.

Ignatius would change the life of his other roommate, too.

Francisco de Jassu y Javier, born in 1506 in the castle ofJavier, was

an outstanding athlete and student. He began his studies in Paris at

the age ofnineteen. Every biographer describes Francis as a dashing

young man-with boundless ambition. "Don Francisco did not share

the humble ways ofFavre," wrote one.

Francis Xavier was far more resistant to change than Peter Favre

had been. Only after Peter left their lodgings to visit his family, when

Ignatius was alone with the proud Spaniard, was he able to slowly

break down Xavier's stubborn resistance. Legend has it that Igna­

tius quoted a line from the New Testament, "What does it profit

them if they gain the world, but lose or forfeit themselves?" As John

O'Malleywrites in The FirstJesuits, Francis's conversion was "as firm

as Favre's but more dramatic because his life to that point had shown

signs ofmore worldly ambitions."

It is impossible to read the journals and letters of these three

men-Ignatius the founder, Xavier the missionary, and Favre the

spiritual counselor-without noticing the differences in tempera­

ments and talents.

In later years Ignatius would become primarily an administrator,

guiding the Society ofJesus through its early days, spending much



of his time laboring over the Jesuit Constitutions. Xavier became

the globe-trotting missionary sending back letters crammed with

hair-raising adventures to thrill his brother Jesuits. (And the rest of

Europe, too; Xavier's letters were the equivalent of action-adventure

movies for Catholics ofthe time.) Favre, on the other hand, spent the

rest ofhis life as a spiritual counselor sent to spread the Catholic faith

during the Reformation. His work was more diplomatic, requiring

artful negotiation through the variety ofreligious wars at the time.

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Their letters reveal how different were these three personalities.

They also make it easy to see how much they loved one another. "I

shall never forget you," wrote Ignatius in one letter to Francis. And

when, during his travels, Xavier received letters from his friends, he

would carefully cut out their signatures and carried them "as a trea­

sure," in the words ofhis biographer Georg Schurhammer, SJ.

The varied accomplishments of Ignatius, Francis, and Peter

began with the commitment they made to God and to one another

in I534· In a chapel in the neighborhood of Montmartre in Paris,

the three men, along with four other new friends from the uni­

More by Deeds Than by Words

versity-Diego Lainez, Alfonso Salmeron, Simon Rodrigues, and

Nicolas Bobadilla-pronounced vows of poverty and chastity to­

gether. Together they offered themselves to God. (The other three

men who would round out the list of the "First Jesuits," Claude Jay,

Jean Codure, and Paschase Broet, would join after 1535.)

Even then, friendship was foremost in their minds. Lainez noted

that though they did not live in the same rooms, they would eat to­

gether whenever possible and have frequent friendly conversations,

cementing what one Jesuit writer called "the human bond ofunion."

In a superb article in the series Studies in the Spirituality ofJesuits,

titled "Friendship in Jesuit Life," Charles Shelton, the professor of

psychology, writes, "We might even speculate whether the early So­

cietywould have been viable ifthe early companions had not enjoyed

such a rich friendship."

The mode of friendship among the early Jesuits flowed from

Ignatius's "way of proceeding." For want of a better word, they did

not try to possess one another. In a sense, it was a form of poverty.

Their friendship was not self-centered, but other-directed, forever

seeking the good of the other. The clearest indication of this is the

willingness of Ignatius to ask Francis to leave his side and become

one of the church's great missionaries.

It almost didn't happen. The first man that Ignatius wanted to

send for the mission to "the Indies" fell ill. "Here is an undertaking for

you," said Ignatius. "Good," said Francis, "I am ready." Ignatius knew

that ifhe sent Francis away, he might never see his best friend again.

So did Francis. In a letter written from Lisbon, Portugal, Francis

wrote these poignant lines as he embarked. "We close by asking God

our Lord for the grace of seeing one another joined together in the

next life; for I do not know ifwe shall ever see each other in this….

Whoever will be the first to go to the other life and does not find

his brother whom he loves in the Lord, must ask Christ our Lord to

unite us all there."

During his travels, Francis would write Ignatius long letters, not

simply reporting on the new countries that he had explored and the


new peoples he was encountering, but expressing his continuing affec­

tion. Both missed each other, as good friends do. Both recognized the

possibility that one would die before seeing the other again.

"{You] write me of the great desires that you have to see me

before you leave this life," wrote Francis. "God knows the impres­

sion that these words ofgreat love made upon my soul and how many

tears they cost me every time I remember them." Legend has it that

Francis knelt down to read the letters he received from Ignatius.

Francis's premonitions were accurate. After years of grueling

travel that took him from Lisbon to India toJapan, Francis stepped

aboard a boat bound for China, his final destination. In September

I552, twelve years after he had bid farewell to Ignatius, he landed on

the island of Sancian, off the coast of China. After falling ill with a fever, he was confined to a hut on the island, tantalizingly close to his

ultimate goal. He died on December 3, and his body was first buried

on Sancian and then brought back to Goa, in India.

More by Deeds Than by Words

Several months afterward, and unaware ofhis best friend's death,

Ignatius, living in the Jesuit headquarters in Rome, wrote Francis

asking him to return home.


One important insight we can take from the friendships of the early

Jesuits-especially between Ignatius, Francis, and Peter-has to do

with the complex interplay between freedom and love.

Friendship is a blessing in any life. For believers it is also one ofthe

ways God communicates God's own friendship. But for friendship to

flourish, neither the friendship nor the friend can be seen as an object

to be possessed. One ofthe best gifts to give a friend is freedom.

This is a constant motif in the lives of the early Jesuits. A more

selfish Ignatius would have kept Francis in Rome, to keep him com­

pany and to give him support, rather than allowing his friend to

follow his heart. Shelton suggests in his article "Friendship in Jesuit

Life" that the early Jesuits found their friendships to be a "secure

base," a safe place that enabled them to enjoy their lives and complete

their work, rather than worry about the relationship too much.

What does this have to say to you? After all, you're not going

to lead a life remotely like those of Ignatius, Peter, or Francis. Still,

we can sometimes find ourselves wanting to possess, control, or ma­

nipulate our friends as well as our spouses or family members.

How many times have you wondered why your friends weren't

"better" friends? And how many times did being a "better" friend

mean meeting your needs? How often have you wondered why your

friends or family members don't support you more? How often have

you worried whether you were being a good friend? These are natural

feelings. Most of us also know the heartache of seeing friends move

away, or change, or grow less available to us.

So how were Ignatius, Francis, and Peter able to be such close

friends and be free at the same time?



Often I've had to remind myself that my friends do not exist

simply to support, comfort, or nourish me. A few years ago, one

of my best friends told me he was being sent to work in a parish in

Ghana, in West Africa.

Mattwas well prepared for his work in West Africa. Twice during

his Jesuit training he had spent time in Ghana, living in a remote

village with poor fishermen and their fam