The graphic describes attitudes, ways of being, which those responsible for Jesuit schools seek to develop in the children entrusted to their care.

A few observations:

  • There is a depth to the graphic, layer upon layer, a delicious cake of virtues. It is also in the shape of a cross.
  • The image shows pairs of qualities – for example, attentive and discerning, generous and grateful. (Those who are ‘colour blind’ might find it difficult to distinguish some of the pairs! If so, try and work it out? Than share it with a friend and ask their view…) Which quality in each pair might come first? In each pair which quality is most dependent on the other?
  • Notice the small bird.
    One of the inspirations for the graphic is the parable of the Mustard Seed:

“What can we say the kingdom of God is like? It is like a mustard seed which, at the time of its sowing in the soil, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown, it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.”

Mark 4:30-32

  • Is the bird also a symbol of the Spirit? Or a reminder of our worth in the sight of God? And of the ever-present invitation to be and to become what God made us to be. And which God longs to see come to fulfilment.

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.

So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.

Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 10:24-33

There is much else to draw from the graphic image. Take it to prayer during the week…


Graphic © 2013 Jesuit Institute, London.