Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Internal and External Home

This piece was very interesting to read and I enjoyed it because it directly relates to our life at Loyola. This reading emphasizes our own home and the history behind the ideals we follow every day. The primary perspective of this piece is about instilling justice and faith within a university setting so that students and faculty can help those living in poverty and to share the love within God’s message. I found that this piece showed that home for Jesuit universities is both internal and external. Internally, those who attend and work at Jesuit universities seek faith within oneself, yet externally, they do everything they can to help others and follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
The service of faith and the promotion of justice are both important terms that this text brought up. I found that they were the main perspectives and the author used them as a basis for the argument. He expanded this perspective by showing examples of how both faith and justice appear within a Jesuit setting. The author made a point of explaining how he wants Catholics to interact with others on page 26. He says “the Congregation wanted our preaching and teaching not to proselytize, not to impose our religion on others, but rather to propose Jesus and his message of God’s Kingdom in a spirit of love to everyone.”(Kolvenbach, 26). The author’s placement of the words “impose” versus “propose” stuck out to me because they are within one sentence, but are two very different actions. To impose, one would be obliging or compelling another to spread the message of God, but by changing that action to propose, he is offering that Catholics should suggest and offer their beliefs and spirit of love to others. He is saying that spreading the ideals of Catholicism should not be forced if they are unwanted, but should be suggested and shown to all to help the world follow in the way of Jesus and find that internal sense of home.
The concept of proposing the message of God is evident throughout this piece as Kolvenbach discusses how both students and faculty actively work to promote justice through education, service in impoverished areas, and the general love of mankind. When discussing the ideals of a Jesuit university, Kolvenbach refers to the motto of educating for the “whole person”. He goes on to say that the whole person must have a “well-educated solidarity”. The term solidarity is extremely important in this quote because it emphasizes the harmony that one must feel within themselves through their education to help formulate their perspective of the real world. The quote following this explanation also stood out to me: “Solidarity is learned through ‘contact’ rather than through ‘concepts’” (34). This again shows that to create that internal home within oneself, they must work externally with others to gain that inner satisfaction.
Kolvenbach does an excellent job of showing the relationship between the internal and external forms of home within this piece by connecting it to the Jesuit ideals of a university. Despite the advancements in technology, especially within Silicon Valley, Kolvenbach emphasizes the importance of Jesuit universities and how they work to fulfill the mission of service and faith to help those in need.

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