After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. Job said:“Let the day perish in which I was born, and the night that said, ‘A man-child is conceived.’
“Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Why were there knees to receive me, or breasts for me to suck? Now I would be lying down and quiet; I would be asleep; then I would be at rest with kings and counselors of the earth who rebuild ruins for themselves, or with princes who have gold, who fill their houses with silver. Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child, like an infant that never sees the light? There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
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.
O Lord, show Your mercy to me and gladden my heart. I am like the man on the way to Jericho who was overtaken by robbers, wounded and left for dead. O Good Samaritan, come to my aid. I am like the sheep that went astray. O Good Shepherd, seek me out and bring me home in accord with Your will. Let me dwell in Your house all the days of my life and praise You for ever and ever with those who are there. Amen.
—A Prayer of Saint Jerome for Christ’s MercyPlease share the Good Word with your friends!