Friday 9 February 2018

Pursuing the Magis

My old boss sent me a link to this article about why significance is more important than success. It seems to reflect the Ignatian ideals of both the Magis and being indifferent to the outcome of our undertakings.

The Magis, literally “the more”, is often confused with volume. That is, to do more things is better than to do fewer things. But that’s not what Ignatius meant by the phrase. He meant that there should be a depth, a substance, a significance to the things we do. And if they are filled with that kind of meaning, that is both the purpose and the reward of why we should do that action. It’s not about doing something because we become rich and famous doing it, it’s about doing something that both fulfils us as a person and in doing it, we become more fully ourselves.

Ignatius also speaks about indifference to outcomes. He doesn’t mean that we don’t care about how things turn out, he means that we should do everything to the fullest of our ability, but not use the outcomes as a measurement of who we are as people. In other words, we do the work and rely on God to take care of the rest.

Here’s this week’s reflection:

I shot this in Micronesia about five years ago. I was visiting a couple of former students who were doing a service year on the island of Chuuk. These two were working in a school on the island trying to help the local kids get the skills they needed to get in to the Jesuit school just up the hill. These two basically wrote an entire science curriculum for a very needy school. And implemented it. No headlines, no big pay check. Just life in one of the most isolated places I’ve ever visited. And the satisfaction of knowing that they made a difference. Are you seeking success, or significance in your life right now?

Fr Jack McLain SJ