The Pastoral Approach of Pierre Favre, SJ

Pierre FavrePope Francis declared the first Jesuit priest a saint in 2013. Pierre Favre is one of my favorite Jesuits–another guy who eschewed argumentation and theological fervor in favor of accompaniment, listening, and authentic friendship.

His companion Simon Rodrigues said of him:

(He is) endowed with charming grace in dealing with people, which up to now I must confess I have not seen in anyone else. Somehow he entered into friendship in such a way, bit by bit coming to influence others in such a manner, that his very way of living and gracious conversation powerfully drew to the love of God all those with whom he dealt.

When he was sent to German lands in the 1540’s to address the spread of Lutheranism, he found the situation among the German clergy (think bishops and priests of bling) so troubling, he addressed himself quietly and tenaciously with his brothers in Holy Orders.

It reminded me of what a friend long ago said about evangelization in a parish with poor liturgy: you have to be ready for the people you invite to Mass.

It also occurs to me this is essentially a great set of Ignatian virtues. One attends to personal reform and renewal. One listens carefully with the idea to influence over a lifetime, not a single issue. One attempts to reveal the love of God.

 

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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