There’s a very fine Jesuit priest who is a professor at Georgetown University, Fr. James Schall. In a recent column, he said this: “Tell me who you honor and I will tell you what you are.”
The reason for the question is the appalling decision by Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute to have HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as the speaker at their commencement. The president of Georgetown has stated that this platform is being given to the Secretary because of her “long and distinguished record of public service”.
Yes, you read that right. An allegedly Catholic university, giving a platform of honor to the current Administration’s point person to advance its anti-life agenda.
Let’s review some of the highlights of Secretary Sebelius’ “long and distinguished record”, for those at Georgetown who don’t have access to the Internet:
Georgetown loves to boast about how it is a university “in the Jesuit tradition”. At the heart of the Jesuit charism is the Spiritual Exercises of their founder, St. Ignatius Loyola. During the second week of the Exercises, those who are on the retreat receive a meditation on the Two Standards. This is a powerful expression of the very meaning of Christian discipleship.
The meditation asks bluntly — whose standard or flag will we follow, Christ’s or Satan’s?
Satan’s standard, of course, is the one that the world finds most attractive, because it superficially appeals to our fallen human nature. It offers us the desire for worldly possessions, power, honor, and a false view of freedom that is a disguise for immorality. In the end, though, it leads only to destruction.
Christ’s standard, on the other hand, is the one that the world finds unattractive, because it appeals to values that are exemplified by Our Lord himself, whom the world rejected. It offers us humility, poverty, sacrifice, and authentic freedom that involves willing adherence to God’s will. And in the end it leads to glory.
So here’s the question for the Georgetown administration — which standard have you chosen? As Fr. Schall said, “Tell me who you honor and I will tell you what you are.”