5 Reasons Jesuit Teachings Apply To Your Life

5 Reasons Jesuit Teachings Apply To Your Life

How we can all apply Jesuit values to the modern world.

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Oh, the acclaimed Jesuits. The Catholic order renowned for their emphasis on education and their attention to social justice. Jesuits (or the Society of Jesus), however, also promote specific values that are applicable in the changing times we live in. After four years at a Jesuit high school, I took away these lessons from what I learned in the Jesuit tradition.

1. Discernment

It is so necessary for everyone - children, teens, and adults - to have a solid foundation for a decision-making process. Today, we are faced with more choices than ever and can become so caught up in the short-term results that we lose sight of important factors along the way. The Jesuit value of discernment aims to take into consideration each possibility and to truly reflect on each option as honestly as possible. This decision-making process of recognizing and reflecting is an essential step that not only advocates for Ignatian spirituality, but also for a healthier mindset.

2. Finding God in all things

Often, we become so lost in our media-centered world that we disregard the good that is all around us. In the United States, it is so divided that, many times, it is difficult to see any good in others who disagree with us, but it is so crucial to recognize the need for love in every community. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, we can take this value and use it to remind ourselves to always acknowledge this necessity. To even attempt to find God in all things can go a long way in solving issues that plague our society today.

3. Magis

"More." To be magis is to be above the status quo - which may be hard, especially for young people in the social media age we are in, however it is so heavily pushed in the Jesuit tradition because it is a call to not only be more, but to love more. It is so easy to find fault with others, but the Jesuit idea of magis pushes for us to look past our differences and reflect on our own need for love. We must keep in mind this mission to love more in all that we do.

4. Cura personalis

"Care for the Whole Person." In the society we live in, we often forget to keep in mind our need for health - and not just physical. We forget that our mental, emotional, and spiritual health are just as important. In our social media and political-focused society, it is important to remember that we must, first and foremost, take into consideration our personal health in mind, body, and spirit in order to fully engage in our world.

5. Men and women with and for others

Most, if not all, organized religions strive for this concept: serving the less fortunate. The way Jesuits differ in this ideal is that even though we are called to serve those who are less fortunate and give to those who need it, we are also called, at the same time, to stand with these people in their struggles. And while many religious orders present this common theme of solidarity, Jesuits make it a point that it is not enough to give to charity and look at "the poor" as people to throw money and volunteering time at, it is imperative that, by standing with these groups, we reflect on our own lives and how we can fix social structures to make life better for everyone.

"Go forth and set the world on fire." - St. Ignatius of Loyola

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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Christians Marched At A Pride Parade To Apologize To LGBT+ Folks, Restoring My Faith In Humanity

We can all take away pointers about acceptance, love, and equality from this congregation.

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The Church of Freedom in Christ Ministries stood in solidarity with the LGBT+ community of the Philippines at a recent pride parade in the city of Marikina, preaching messages of acceptance and understanding for the country's too often marginalized population. Attendees from the Church of Freedom were in opposition to their Christian counterparts who also took part in the parade; while they protested the celebration and gathering of LGBT+ folks, the Church of Freedom protested the widespread violation of human rights that the community often faces.

The vast majority of the Philippines island identifies as Christian - Roman Catholic, to be precise - allowing room for assumptions and stereotypes to be made. Often when we think of religion, of Christianity, and LGBT+ persons, we don't paint a picture of peace and tolerance. We think of the Westboro Baptists, discriminatory Bible verses, and excuses to deny people basic rights to happiness and personal autonomy.

This is what makes the Church of Freedom in Christ Ministries' action so commendable.

Church of Freedom in Christ Ministries members at Marikina Pridehttp://says.com/ph/kulture/this-church-rallies-at-...

According to Pastor Val Paminiano, followers of the Church of Freedom have "been attending local pride celebrations for about four years now," often wandering the grounds of the event in order to reach as many people as possible. He continues:

"We are apologizing for the way Christians have hurt the LGBT community, especially by using the Bible in condemning and judging them... God is not against anyone."

While many sects of Christianity, and organized religion in general, focus on the few verses regarding homosexuality and LGBT+ persons, they chose to focus on the many verses about love, acceptance, and understanding. They extended the love of their God to people they also believe to be God's children, and therefore, their equals. The Church of Freedom members chose to embrace and encourage instead of detest and adjudicate, transforming traditional thoughts about religion and sexuality.

In doing so, the Church has revitalized hope for thousands of people around the globe:

1. LGBTQ+ folks who struggle with being religious and/or religious folks who struggle with their sexual orientations or gender identities.

The Church's act has provided a common ground for those who fall between a cross roads of religion and the LGBT+ community, allowing them a positive example where it wasn't necessary to "choose." Religious people supporting LGBT+ people provides important representation and acceptance for queer, Christian folks, furthering individual pride in both aspects of one's identity.

2. Religious folks who aren't sure who or what to believe about specific topics.

A differing viewpoint from the common "norm" often presented about how one should act or what one should believe under any given circumstances allows the individual to think for themselves, to some extent. The Church proved to Christian folks of any sect that it isn't required to be against LGBT+ persons and their relationships in order to be a "real" Christian, nor is it necessary to dismiss it as a sin (if that's what you believe). Moreover, it's necessary to simply love without restriction, regardless of circumstances, if that's what you believe Christ would do.

3. Agnostic/atheist folks who aren't sure where they stand regarding organized religion.

I have heard plenty of people who are atheistic or agnostic who abhor organized religion, often due to the followers of said religion using it as a reason to hate, instead of love. Given this example, however, it is possible that the opinions of some of these people may be altered, just as Pastor Val Paminiano's was.

The Church of Freedom in Christ Ministries has set an incredible example for the past four years, gaining more traction with each passing pride celebration. The impact of the congregation has been felt worldwide, providing hope for thousands of people in both the LGBT+ community and religious communities, potentially sparking change for future generations of tolerance and acceptance.

I don't know about you, but my faith in humanity has been (at least partially) restored.

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