Jesus the Game Changer | TBN

Jesus the Game Changer

Watch Jesus the Game Changer
October 24, 2019
26:34

The Jesuits

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Jesus the Game Changer

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  • I grew up in circles where people started talking about the beginning
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  • of modern missionary activity with William Carey, and William Carey was an estimable person
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  • who did an awful lot, but he was late on the scene.
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  • Francis Xavier dies in the early 1540's.
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  • He's already been to the western coast of India.
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  • He's been to southern India. He's been to Malaysia.
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  • He has overseen the really important conversion of Japanese.
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  • And he dies waiting to go into China.
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  • I want to tell you about the formation of a remarkable company.
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  • It was started by a small group of friends who met at university,
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  • and this was at a time of incredible change and disruption across society.
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  • These friends lacked connection or capital, and yet they started a company that would have a global footprint.
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  • There are now more than 16.000 people involved in over 100 countries.
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  • It took significant commitment and courage from this small group and their staff.
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  • The company was started in 1534.
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  • Their founder was Ignatius Loyola, and the name they chose was The Company of Jesus, that became known as the Jesuits.
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  • The 16th century was a period of global change.
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  • First, the world was expanding through exploration.
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  • Second, there was explosive growth of the Protestant church across Europe due to the Reformation.
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  • And third, the invention of the printing press created an information revolution.
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  • This was a period of great disruption.
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  • The impact of the early Jesuits such as Ignatius Loyola,
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  • Francis Xavier and Matteo Ricci continue to influence the church and the world today.
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  • We want to explore Ignatius Loyola, or Ignatius of Loyola.
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  • Give us his background as a young man.
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  • Ignatius Loyola grew up in the Basque region of northern Spain.
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  • Loyola was the family name, the crest, and it was a noble family.
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  • So as a noble man, he had noble pursuits. He dressed very fine.
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  • He liked the company of women. He liked the games of chivalry.
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  • So, I think he was typical of that generation.
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  • His idea is he's going to be a military hero and a ladies' man.
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  • I don't think he was a great soldier because he suffered a fairly bad wound,
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  • a cannonball went through a wall and hit him and fractured his leg.
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  • And that sort of brought an end to his military career.
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  • And that's really the cathartic moment in his life.
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  • He undergoes a profound conversion experience.
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  • And then, for longer than a decade goes through, what I would call,
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  • a kind of a journey of self-reinvention, self-discovery.
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  • He heals from that injury.
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  • But if you've ever seen pictures of 16th century Europe,
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  • particularly northern Spain, the attire, the legs were like leggings. They were very tight.
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  • Most men wouldn't wear those today, but they were very common then.
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  • So, the battle injury made his leg look disfigured.
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  • And he said, 'What woman would look at me with a leg like this?'
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  • So, he actually went to his doctor and said, 'Break it, and reset it, so it looks good'.
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  • With no anaesthesia, you can't imagine that, can you?
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  • No. There's an English author, Margaret Silf, who's written on Ignatius.
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  • And she says, 'He's the only saint who's had cosmetic surgery, who's had work done'.
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  • But yes, he did that because he wanted to maintain his look.
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  • And it was in that second rehabilitation, he was bored.
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  • And for some time, there's a literal journey.
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  • He makes a pilgrimage to a famous shrine near Barcelona, goes to the Holy Land.
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  • He became from really a man of chivalry to a homeless man.
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  • So, when you see homeless people on the street, imagine you go from dressing like a Wall Street banker to a homeless person.
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  • But that was his way because he felt the conversion called him to something like that.
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  • So, he went to a place called Manresa, more in the Catalonia area of Spain.
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  • And he spent over 30 days in a cave, begging for food and water.
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  • And it's there that he had this mystical experience called his spiritual exercises.
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  • Probably one of the greatest things he's written.
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  • He has some clarity about a couple of things.
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  • He knows that he wants to serve the Lord, and that's going to be the number one priority in his life.
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  • He wanted then to go, to pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
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  • And he went, but he was naive.
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  • He thought he had this profound conversion, he was going to go to Jerusalem and convert all Muslims.
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  • And the Franciscans said, they kind of put their arm around him, and they said,
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  • 'Go back to Europe', almost as if to say you're not ready for prime time.
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  • And so, after that, he came to the realization he had to learn more.
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  • He goes to university and he's really on fire to share the gospel.
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  • So, he gets together a band of brothers, you might say, who then are committed to going to the ends of the earth.
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  • So, this is a group that takes on the name the Jesuits.
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  • One thing I'll say for now is a lot of times when people start a company
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  • or a religious group, you start it to do a specific thing.
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  • Like, we're all believers and we really want to serve the poor, let's start a soup kitchen
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  • or let's start a school so we can help educate folks, or let's start a church.
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  • And they don't have any such clarity.
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  • Their mission, they describe colloquially as to help souls.
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  • There are about nine first companions.
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  • Some of the earliest companions, Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, the Frenchman Peter Faber.
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  • Faber was actually a priest, so they had already an ordained priest among their midst.
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  • Another Spaniard, Diego Laynez.
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  • So, these were some of the first group of nine who came together
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  • and realized that maybe there was something more than a fraternity or a friendship here.
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  • First, they decided to take religious vows and they did that in Paris.
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  • They went to Hill Montmartre.
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  • So, they went up there, the chapel of Saint Denis, and there on August 15th, they took their first vows.
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  • And I think Ignatius had his comeuppance because he really wanted to go back to the Holy Land.
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  • I think there was a part of him that wanted to say to the Franciscans, 'I'm ready now'.
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  • And so, the port to Jerusalem was Venice, so they went to Venice.
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  • But a number of factors, civil infractions, etc, prevented their journey.
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  • So, they were on the streets of Venice for a year and something significant happened.
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  • Ignatius said, 'We're not just going to sit here and wait.
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  • Let's go to the hospitals, let's go to the poor neighborhoods and let's minister to people'.
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  • So, in a sense, ministry found them despite what they were looking for.
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  • Chris, how did Christian faith became a part of your life?
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  • I was born into the Christian faith.
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  • My parents are both passed away now, but they're immigrants from Ireland.
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  • And so, I grew up as your classic, traditional, Catholic, ethnic Irish childhood in urban New York.
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  • Altar boy, singing in the choir, this kind of thing.
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  • And then I ended up going to a high school run by the Jesuits, which is a religious order of Catholic priests.
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  • And I admire what these guys are doing, I think this would be an attractive life for me, that I could do well.
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  • And so off I went to the seminary of the Jesuits.
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  • I grew up in a very Catholic family, my father of Polish descent, but a U.S. citizen,
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  • my mother from Italy and I studied at a Jesuit university.
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  • And it's there that I first met Jesuits.
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  • But at the age of 19, in my second year of university,
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  • I was invited to make the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, which had a deep impact on me.
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  • And then when I visited the Jesuit novitiate where Jesuits are formed, I said, 'I feel a call to this'.
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  • And so, I would say I started at the age of 21 by filling out an application and entering the order.
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  • And 35 years later, I think it's been a good fit.
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  • So I lasted seven years.
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  • Jesuits are famous within the Catholic Church for a very long formation.
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  • It takes a decade, you say, to form a Jesuit.
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  • Don't take this the wrong way, but what takes so long?
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  • Well, some say we're slow.
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  • I like to say we take a lot of time.
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  • So, there's two years of novitiate, which is really separating yourself from the world
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  • as you knew it and seeing if you can fit into religious life.
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  • After two years, then you take your vows and you live as a Jesuit.
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  • A lot of study, so two to three years of philosophy.
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  • I studied mostly philosophy, political theory.
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  • Teach for three years, which I did at the secondary school level.
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  • Then study theology, and that brings you to 10, you're ordained.
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  • And then there is studies in addition to that to, in a sense, prepare you for the specific work you might be doing.
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  • Was it difficult to leave?
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  • It was difficult, it was difficult to decide to decide.
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  • I began to become a little discontent.
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  • And, you know, I kind of pushed that off. In life, who's happy all the time?
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  • And at a certain point I said to myself, 'This is not normal, you've got to pray about this, you have to think about this'.
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  • And once I decided to decide, so to speak, it was clear to me almost right away what the issue was and what the decision was.
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  • Several things are really interesting about the early history of the Jesuits
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  • that all Christian people, Protestants, Pentecostals, everybody should be thinking about.
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  • The Jesuits and Catholics in general were far, far ahead of Protestants in missionary activity
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  • because of their dedication, but also because of the geopolitical situation.
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  • They are the key religious energy in the reforming Catholicism of the 16th century,
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  • which is aided and abetted by the major European powers at the time,
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  • particularly France, Portugal and Spain.
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  • France, Portugal and Spain are expanding their reach around the globe
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  • and they take with them their religious advisers, their ministers
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  • who are Catholic priests and sometimes members of the orders.
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  • And then, to me, the most remarkable thing about the early Jesuits and other Catholic missions
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  • is their willingness to go out beyond the protection of the European powers,
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  • and that advancing, that became eventually a model for other Christian missionary efforts.
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  • We see the Jesuits going to China, to Vietnam, to India,
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  • to the First Nations in Canada and North America, to Latin America.
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  • They also try to convert Protestants in Europe.
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  • They were actually a very effective conversionary force
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  • to re-convert Protestants to Catholicism after the Protestant Reformation.
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  • What did you then go on to do?
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  • Well, after I left the Jesuits, I did the logical thing that anybody would do.
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  • I went to work in investment banking at JP Morgan.
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  • I really didn't have a plan, I had a plan A, to be a priest.
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  • I hadn't really worked out a plan B or thought a lot about it.
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  • I was teaching economics. Jesuits have a vow of poverty.
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  • So, I had nothing. And probably my idea was, 'I'm in New York City, there's a lot of big banks
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  • they have training programs, I'll catch on in one of these places, hopefully.
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  • And once I have my feet under me, then I'll kind of decide what my life should be'.
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  • But then as it turned out, I was happy.
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  • And I ended up staying there for a number of years, 17 years actually.
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  • How did that come about?
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  • So, I worked at JP Morgan for altogether 17 years and was lucky enough to spend time in Japan, Singapore, London.
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  • So I had a wonderful career and I had decided that, I'd long had this idea of writing a book
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  • of some kind which would think the Jesuits from a leadership perspective.
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  • What are the values that we can explore there?
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  • As I looked at the Jesuits and their history and so on,
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  • I encapsulated part of their core values and culture and four ideas.
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  • One, the idea of being self-aware. You have to make some foundational investment
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  • in understanding your sense of purpose, your strengths, your weaknesses, your values,
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  • why you're on earth, how we should treat humans.
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  • This whole suite of things that add up to what I would call a self-aware person.
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  • When the Jesuits were starting, most religious orders are what we today would call monastic.
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  • Like in other words, the classic idea people have of monks in a monastery.
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  • They come together, they pray every day together multiple times each day, they rarely leave.
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  • And so, it's quite easy to imagine how they stayed recollected.
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  • But Ignatius had this idea that the Jesuits would instead be much more world immersed.
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  • I think Ignatius had a line, a maxim, that every Jesuit knows, 'The world is good'.
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  • So, many monasteries were built on a hill or in a valley to escape the world.
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  • Not that they were bad, it's like, 'We're going to go away from the world to pray for the world'.
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  • Ignatius said. 'No, go live in the world', and that, 'Everything in the world can be used for good'.
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  • So that's why Jesuits gravitate toward technology, everything,
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  • because they're not evil in and of themselves, they can lead to evil,
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  • but they can also lead to good. So, he loved the world.
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  • One of the secrets to their success was their intense spirituality.
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  • They had a spirituality that allowed them, as individuals,
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  • to survive in any different cultural context, because of their intense spiritual exercises.
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  • So, they didn't have to live in a monastery with other people to survive as Christians.
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  • A second value would be the idea of ingenuity.
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  • In other words, the world's going to keep changing, and while we have
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  • some beliefs and values that may never change, we also, away from those,
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  • need to be able to adapt to a changing world or we're never going to be successful, we're never going to lead well.
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  • In the era of ingenuity, is Matteo Ricci an example of that, and what he did as he went to China?
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  • Yes, I use him in the book as an exemplar of this idea of ingenuity.
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  • And that's usually the value that people in a secular business context have no trouble appreciating.
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  • I mean, the world is a maelstrom, and if you can't be adaptive, you're not going to survive.
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  • But I think to come to grips, as people who are believers, with, 'OK, what here are the non-negotiable's of my belief?
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  • And can I be free enough and adaptive enough to be able to distinguish between
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  • what can, and sometimes should, change in response to changing environments,
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  • and on the other hand, recognize and honor what I can't change?'
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  • He's a unique character, isn't he? And what he did in China was unique.
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  • He's really remarkable.
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  • He had an amazing capacity to learn and absorb the world around him.
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  • And so, he quickly assessed what was going on in China.
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  • And early on, he noticed that people who were religious figures were these Buddhist monks.
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  • And so, he adopted their dress and tried to look like them, act like them.
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  • What do you reckon motivated Ricci?
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  • He and this early group of Jesuit missionaries decided that in East Asia
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  • they were not going to just reproduce Christianity as they knew it in Europe.
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  • They were going to have to do something different.
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  • They were entering cultures that were extremely sophisticated and complex and had long histories.
  • 00:17:51.260 --> 00:17:56.110
  • So, they needed to find out, 'How has God already been active in working here?'
  • 00:17:58.150 --> 00:18:01.030
  • And so, Ricci, for instance, begins to use a name for God
  • 00:18:01.050 --> 00:18:04.050
  • that had been in Chinese texts for over two thousand years and says,
  • 00:18:04.070 --> 00:18:08.060
  • 'God has been here. You've known Him as Heaven or the Lord of Heaven, now let me tell you more about Him'.
  • 00:18:08.080 --> 00:18:13.010
  • They came with the black robes and then they realized, 'We look alien, we look foreign'.
  • 00:18:15.080 --> 00:18:18.260
  • So, they allowed the people to dress them.
  • 00:18:20.040 --> 00:18:21.200
  • So, the pictures of Matteo Ricci dressed in the splendor
  • 00:18:21.220 --> 00:18:25.230
  • of what one would have worn in the Forbidden City, in the court of the emperor,
  • 00:18:25.250 --> 00:18:29.280
  • because he knew that was part of inculturation, you have to embrace a culture as well as share your own.
  • 00:18:30.000 --> 00:18:34.230
  • That wasn't universally popular though, was it?
  • 00:18:36.030 --> 00:18:39.020
  • No, one of the things Ricci got into trouble for is something called the Chinese Rites controversies,
  • 00:18:39.040 --> 00:18:43.260
  • so the way the mass was celebrated. So, for example, they wouldn't have had grape wine,
  • 00:18:46.030 --> 00:18:48.130
  • they would have had rice wine, all sorts of things like that to say,
  • 00:18:48.150 --> 00:18:51.220
  • 'Can Catholicism be practiced differently in China than it is in Europe?'
  • 00:18:51.240 --> 00:18:56.190
  • And, you know, again, in an era of great conformity and regimented approach, 'No'.
  • 00:18:58.260 --> 00:19:01.260
  • And so, yes, missionaries always come with tension and conflict.
  • 00:19:03.120 --> 00:19:07.190
  • A third pillar, a third value I spoke about was the idea of heroism.
  • 00:19:12.120 --> 00:19:17.060
  • I didn't mean it in the sense of saving people in battlefields, rather that
  • 00:19:19.130 --> 00:19:22.200
  • fundamentally you'd live in such a way that you cared about something bigger than yourself.
  • 00:19:24.260 --> 00:19:28.250
  • Their going to the ends of the earth was actually heroic leadership.
  • 00:19:31.140 --> 00:19:35.000
  • Yes. I use the word heroism.
  • 00:19:35.020 --> 00:19:36.290
  • They use a phrase like, 'Magis', or, 'For God's greater glory'.
  • 00:19:37.010 --> 00:19:40.250
  • And if you want a biblical site, you might think of, remember the story of the pearl of great price?
  • 00:19:40.270 --> 00:19:45.190
  • You know, 'I'll sell everything else I have in order to go for that'.
  • 00:19:50.190 --> 00:19:54.150
  • That kind of spirit, that we want to be totally open to pursuing
  • 00:19:54.170 --> 00:19:59.150
  • what will be for God's greater glory here, and it's not going to bother me
  • 00:20:01.180 --> 00:20:04.030
  • to give up the ways we've been doing it before if we see something that's for the 'Magis'.
  • 00:20:04.050 --> 00:20:08.180
  • Even before the permission is granted, maybe it's because of the first organizing desire to preach
  • 00:20:11.060 --> 00:20:14.190
  • in and around Jerusalem, Jesuits are all on the move.
  • 00:20:19.150 --> 00:20:23.110
  • One of them is Francis Xavier.
  • 00:20:23.130 --> 00:20:25.210
  • By the time the Jesuits are officially approved as a missionary order,
  • 00:20:25.230 --> 00:20:29.190
  • as just an order in the Catholic Church, he is off the coast of India,
  • 00:20:29.210 --> 00:20:34.030
  • exploring what can be done to broadcast the message of Christ, as he understands it,
  • 00:20:34.050 --> 00:20:38.290
  • in the heat of the Catholic counter-reformation, the Catholic Reformation, what it's like in India.
  • 00:20:41.200 --> 00:20:46.000
  • There was only a few of them.
  • 00:20:47.210 --> 00:20:49.250
  • They were in a neighborhood in Rome and there was another Spaniard, Bobadilla,
  • 00:20:49.270 --> 00:20:54.040
  • who was supposed to go to the east, which would have been India.
  • 00:20:54.060 --> 00:20:58.030
  • Bobadilla got sick, and so the two good friends decided, 'No, I think Xavier should go'.
  • 00:20:58.050 --> 00:21:02.160
  • How long did it take to get there?
  • 00:21:02.180 --> 00:21:04.130
  • It easily would take months, if you were lucky enough to make it,
  • 00:21:04.150 --> 00:21:08.090
  • I mean, some years a third of voyagers would die in these voyages.
  • 00:21:08.110 --> 00:21:12.050
  • Imagine these ships in those days about the size of a train car.
  • 00:21:12.070 --> 00:21:17.020
  • No sense of, their navigation was primitive, they didn't understand both longitude and latitude.
  • 00:21:19.220 --> 00:21:22.270
  • So, they wouldn't have ever had a very specific idea of where the heck they were.
  • 00:21:25.040 --> 00:21:29.230
  • So this kind of fervor, of, 'Yes, I'm willing to sacrifice myself in this great holy adventure'.
  • 00:21:32.010 --> 00:21:34.270
  • One of the leaders of that next generation says, has the phrase that,
  • 00:21:39.020 --> 00:21:43.270
  • 'The ideal Jesuit is living with one foot raised', which is a really great phrase,
  • 00:21:46.040 --> 00:21:49.220
  • and everybody always loves that phrase, no matter if they're a Jesuit, in another religious tradition,
  • 00:21:49.240 --> 00:21:54.200
  • somebody who doesn't believe in anything but his work at JP Morgan,
  • 00:21:56.040 --> 00:21:59.070
  • because it really captures, I think, the spirit that we all want to bring to what we're doing.
  • 00:21:59.090 --> 00:22:04.020
  • Whether it's raising my family or working in a company or working in a church,
  • 00:22:06.040 --> 00:22:09.100
  • 'Can I have one foot raised?', meaning ready to go where the opportunity is now
  • 00:22:11.110 --> 00:22:14.280
  • and always on the lookout for where's the opportunity.
  • 00:22:16.140 --> 00:22:24.260
  • And it was a group of them that would have gone, and it would have been a long journey by sea to India,
  • 00:22:31.160 --> 00:22:36.080
  • because then there was no Suez Canal, there weren't the rites of passage we have now.
  • 00:22:38.140 --> 00:22:42.070
  • And there he shows up on the eastern banks of the Indian shore and brings the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • 00:22:44.290 --> 00:22:48.070
  • Finally, love. That we treat other people in a way that respects their values
  • 00:22:54.120 --> 00:22:59.070
  • and their human potential and tries to develop their potential.
  • 00:23:01.080 --> 00:23:05.020
  • The last of the four around love, that's kind of what you expect from a church, Christian faith organization.
  • 00:23:07.260 --> 00:23:11.070
  • What did love mean for them?
  • 00:23:12.230 --> 00:23:14.230
  • The way Ignatius articulates it is, he says a manager, in his words,
  • 00:23:14.250 --> 00:23:19.110
  • 'A superior should govern with greater love than fear'.
  • 00:23:25.000 --> 00:23:29.260
  • And, it's interesting to me some of the ideas I talk about, in a business perspective
  • 00:23:31.290 --> 00:23:35.070
  • people would have no trouble with, 'Well, of course, we need to be ingenious, we need to adapt'.
  • 00:23:37.230 --> 00:23:41.230
  • But the idea of loving people on the team, and even when I wrote those ideas,
  • 00:23:43.260 --> 00:23:47.110
  • I imagined people like on trading floors at JP Morgan and how they're going to make of this.
  • 00:23:49.070 --> 00:23:52.260
  • And, you know, interestingly enough, nobody has ever objected to that idea.
  • 00:23:54.280 --> 00:23:58.050
  • And I found it most validated in the toughest environments, weirdly enough.
  • 00:24:00.080 --> 00:24:03.090
  • In other words, a general in the U.S., retired now, that I really admire a lot, Eric Shinseki
  • 00:24:06.070 --> 00:24:11.050
  • one of his great lines was, 'You have to love those you lead,
  • 00:24:12.180 --> 00:24:14.250
  • before you can be an effective leader'. Really powerful idea.
  • 00:24:14.270 --> 00:24:18.230
  • Above all, it's this idea of, to me, it's this idea of, you know something, it's not all about me.
  • 00:24:22.220 --> 00:24:27.140
  • And even people who are very devout are subject to the same human viruses and snares that affect every human being.
  • 00:24:30.150 --> 00:24:35.070
  • In other words, we get caught up in my status, my ego, my greed, the way I want it,
  • 00:24:39.190 --> 00:24:44.130
  • the way I want to control things, my legacy, all this nonsense, and to me
  • 00:24:46.170 --> 00:24:48.190
  • when I talk about heroism, part of it is to be able to get over yourself, and say,
  • 00:24:48.210 --> 00:24:53.120
  • 'Okay, look, you say you're here for a purpose greater than self, and really, are you?'
  • 00:24:55.160 --> 00:24:59.270