Monday, March 18, 2013

Jesuits

   On the television I finally watched a  recording of the Old Pope leave upon his gleaming white helicopter. He will be the first Pope to retire in something like six hundred years. There was pomp, ceremony, starch and much ecclesiastical glamour.  The last Pope to retire was briefly imprisoned and the rumor is that he was later murdered.  Then during the advertising break which preceded a refreshingly civilized panel discussion, I watched some made up nonsense about a lotion which if placed upon the nubile and almost naked body of a female by a well muscled half naked male, the consequence will be bliss, happiness, drinkies that contain umbrellas, along with an exotic meal served by smiling island faces. There was some very uncoordinated dancing to extraordinarily dull music, which was followed by what I guessed must have been an early night because the sun was not quite set and no shortage of electricity, motor boats, and I think they are called ski-jets.  And I had to assume this conjoining couple had either failed to pack their wedding ring or had lost it while galloping across sand into the waves, where I at least hoped they might be eaten by shark.


    The new Pope I am told is a Jesuit.  Like most people I am mostly nervous around Jesuits.  These are not gentle Franciscan Priests with their pudding pies and ice cream and earthiness of preaching.  Jesuits tend to be well built and big boned, very opinionated, ruthless at the game of Rugby, fierce with the whip in a classroom, and they enjoy boxing.  They are hopeless at the long game of Cricket which says nothing soothing about their personality.  And yet, like most people I have a sort of admiration for Jesuits so long as their fists remain at a good distance from me. Their founder was a military man.  Wounded in battle, he spoke with Jesus while in the fevers of recovery.  His vows included chastity and poverty, as well as the understanding that, "if the Church shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black."  Rule thirteen, I believe it was called, and I have to suspect that this rule from their founder was most instrumental in shaping Pope Paul the third 's 1540 decision to grant "The Society of Jesus," or Jesuits, their Papal Bull or Letters Patent, or Legitimacy in the Eyes of God.

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