This is the time of year when others ask, “What have you given up for Lent?” We all did the math as Ash Wednesday approached: What can I give up that will hurt enough to be a penitential practice, but not hurt too much?
As some worry about the quality of their practice, another way to look at this might be to ask, “What more might we take on as our Lenten penance? What more can we do for Christ? What is the magis?”
A living example of the magis (“the more”) is clear to me each time I leave the province office. The work I do requires extensive travel, and while I am away, I trust the work of the province to the devoted Jesuits and laypeople responsible for growing and maintaining the ministries that came to life thanks to our generous friends and benefactors. Dedicated colleagues toil together behind the scenes to ensure that the work of the Society of Jesus continues uninterrupted.It is the lay and Jesuit partnership that is the focus of this issue of our magazine; the “invisible infrastructure” makes our work possible not only in the Midwest, but around the world. An example of the magis: Our office recently celebrated the retirement of longtime employee Kay Smolinski, whose 60-plus years of service spanned 10 provincials.