Takashi Fukuda started Wycliffe Japan many years ago after reading an article about William Cameron Townsend, the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, in Reader’s Digest. He later worked in the Philippines, then returned to Japan and the Wycliffe Office, and most recently served as the WBTI Asia/Pacific Area Director. He has taken in a new role in the Wycliffe Global Alliance as Spiritual Ambassador.
Fukuda-san has been on a spiritual pilgrimage for years and writes regularly about his experiences and insights. My wife, Dallas, drew my attention to what he wrote today about Father Pedro Arrupe.
“Trust in the good Providence of the Lord with an optimistic heart.” Rev. Pedro Arrupe was said to be incorruptible optimist. When members of Society of Jesus (Jesuits) dropped to half and still many were leaving the Society, he was appointed as the top leader. Some of his associates said to him, ‘We need to do something to reverse the trend.’ Rev. Arrupe said, ‘When all members are out, I will switch off the light and leave the house.’ For him, what was important was not the preservation of a 500 years old Society but listening to God and discerning what He wanted the Society to be.”
I had never heard of Pedro Arrupe before. Interesting to read his profile on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedro_Arrupe
There is a reference to his living through and then working in the blast zone at Hiroshima which is probably a story that caught Takashi’s attention. Eight other Jesuits survived the blast!
A quick search with Google gives no clear indication that the quote he uses can be attributed to Arrupe, but apparently he was an incurable optimist. Later in life he had a stroke, and for 10 years suffered from paralysis and an inability to speak. This is a quote from that period:
“More than ever I find myself in the hands of God. This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth. But now there is a difference; the initiative is entirely with God. It is indeed a profound spiritual experience to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands.”
It is wonderfully reassuring to know we are in God’s hands. A source of great joy, peace and optimism.