A Personal Reflection: Remembering the Jesuits in My Will.
I wrote my will many years ago; it was a relief. Sometimes though, you unexpectedly hear or see something which has an impact. A few years ago I saw a poster on a church noticeboard which read, ‘No Priests No Eucharist’! No image only; only that simple truth. I never forgot those words. I did not want a world without the Eucharist. Years later, in conversation with my parish priest, he mentioned that this year twelve priests would be retiring from our diocese. Recently, we had a sermon from a visiting priest on vocations to the priesthood. He spoke about seminary life and the costs involved in years of training for the priesthood. This was the first time I had ever heard about the financial aspect of training for the priesthood. I was particularly interested because I was reviewing my will.
I prayed for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Prayer and reflection deepened my appreciation of the profound truth of my Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith, the significance of the priesthood, the immensity of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the magnitude of the Holy Eucharist. I was drawn to the importance of the spiritual ‘bread of life’ and the urgency of feeding the soul. Previously, I had only considered charitable giving to feed the body.
My faith is my most precious possession. I want to hand it on, especially in our secular age when the spiritual dimension is largely ignored. Through prayer, reflection and research I discovered or rather re-discovered the Jesuits! I already knew of their epic achievements; their heroic testament to the faith in previous centuries.
It was joyful and inspiring for me to meet in person members of the Jesuit community at the Novitiate in Manresa House, Birmingham. I witnessed the Jesuit charism alive and dynamic in the twenty-first century. Meeting the next generation of Jesuits reaffirmed the decision I had made for my bequest to support the Jesuit Vocations Programme and the Training of Jesuit priests for future generations. It was empowering; a form of ‘active prayer’ for me. ‘There Will be priests; there Will be Eucharist!