The five Priorities of a Jesuite Priest

I found this article in a german online newsletter „blue print“ and interesting enough to write about it. The five priorities should not apply only to monks or priest. Instead we all can learn from it and make it a habit in our own life.

1.SLEEP: yes sleep. everyone would thinks when we talk about priorities of Jesuite priests we talk about praying or meditaion.

No, not prayer, not worship, not work – sleep provides the basis for a successful life. The human being suffers unceasingly without enough sleep. He is more violent, noticeably more irritated, and more easily suppressed. The whole day feels more stressful without sufficient sleep. Spiritual work leads to sleep better results, also the prayer in the sense of the Jesuit needed for its execution a waking spirit. All the work of the day is easier to get out of hand, and we have greater strength to defy crises.

Therefore, as a human being, you should get enough sleep. This is also true, perhaps even especially, for people who are responsible for leadership.

2.BODY: No body hostility of the church. We already find the human body ranked second in the list of priorities. Rightly so: A sufficiently moving body that is fed with healthy food is crucial for daily life as well as for prayer and meditation. Rest and activity should be balanced in a balanced relationship.


Finally, we come to prayer. Although – the order of priorities so far is quite logical: only a sleepy and healthy body can sink undisturbed in prayer. But what does the priority „prayer“ stand for?

The dictum „The shortest meaning of religion is interruption“ comes from the Catholic theologian Johann Metz. What is meant is the exposure of everyday life, everyday activities. For Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, prayer was the most important quarter hour of his day. He saw it, among other things, as a conscience research. Whoever failed to do so, „do not deserve lunch.“

Almost all of the many different recommendations on prayer can be read, one by one, as a guide to contemplative mental exercises for atheists or other believers, by exchanging the word „prayer“ with „meditation“. In particular the factors „regularity, seriousness and impact on everyday life“ are found in the suggestions of all meditation counselors and teachers.


The man – the hearth. Loneliness is to be as harmful to health as smoking cigarettes. The interaction, the harmonious togetherness or just the time together with other people make life more enjoyable for many of us to a high degree. Similar to priority number three, many clergy advise people to take full notice of their fellow human beings. It does not depend on the length of the common time, but on its intensity in the sense of mutual awareness.

Particularly valuable are many of those times, which are spent without purpose and planing.

Even if this priority is classified by the Jesuit as the last (!), The element belongs to a fulfilled life. (Quite apart from the fact that for some of us the work for obtaining a financial basis for the necessary expenditure of the daily life is essential :-).) Place five on the priorities list also means that for the profession not the sleep, the body, intellectual gathering and human relations should be neglected.

Work must not lead to mental disorders or to the formation of moral misconduct. Full presence in doing is also considered an ideal here. The activity fulfills the individual service to the community.

The Jesuit and philosopher Michael Bordt, in his book „What counts in crises“, does not expect the work to be a „fulfillment of life“ because it is unable to grant it.


What is your thought about it. Would love to hear from you. Write your comments below.

Light and Love,



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