By Tanaka Cyril Mashiche SJ

Magis is a Latin word that means "more" or "greater" and is related to “ad majorem Dei gloriam” a Latin phrase meaning "for the greater glory of God", the motto of the Society of Jesus. 

Magis is a philosophy of doing more for Christ and for others. The phrase expresses aspiration and inspiration and relates to forming the ideal society centred on Jesus Christ.

We are called to the life of living our lives the magis way which translates to taking serious matters seriously. God created us to be a people of depth with the goal of living a virtuous life, displaying honesty, respect, courage, forgiveness and kindness. Magis also centres on responsibility and love, pointing out the opposite as sin.

 Catholics or Christians are people of standard or quality not substandard. We should not be content with the minimum for God but the best as he himself gave us the best from creation. Therefore, Christians are required not be comfortable with Sin as “hamartia”; “missing the mark.” (Not “abandoning the mark”). 

Magis or the way of excellence did not start with St Ignatius of Loyola, Jesus was the model of excellence and Ignatius was inspired by Christ himself. In the gospel we encounter Christ whose deeds were from love and out of love.

 Jesus urges us to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. ’Luke 10:27. The more you find and love God, the more you genuinely find and love yourself, and that’s the measure you have to offer to the neighbour. As Karl Marx says, “What we say about God is actually true about us”. 

Aiming towards a Super Meaning.

Matthew 25:31-45 “whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Here Christ wanted to give us a standard on which our lives should stand. Every individual should question the meaning and values of their lives and how that life is contributing to the growth of the community. Life of virtue or magis, is not limited to passing education but a positive and meaningful contribution to the lives of others. Christ asks us to be life giving to others not selfishness.

Acts 5:1-11. The story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5 v 1-11), shows us how these two choose to miss the mark and deceive God. Ananias and Sapphira are the perfect example of you and me, modern Catholics and Christians. Our actions are egoistic. Each one does what suits him/herself most, not taking into consideration others as Christ commanded in Matthew 25. We are Christians or Catholics of the day but at night we become something. Christ calls us to be authentic Christians under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We can never cheat God because he knows our hidden self, just like Ananias and Sapphira their deeds were exposed and Peter told both of them you cannot cheat the Holy Spirit. We should not lead substandard lives.


How do we then become magis people? The magic word is DISCERNMENT. Discernment is not about good & bad but GOOD and the GOODER! Our choice should always be for the greater good, the GREATER GLORY OF GOD. In this understanding, sin is choosing the lesser good when there is a better option. GOOD is usually the enemy of MORE: COMFORT ZONE & MEDIOCRITY. “GOOD” is our current “SIN.” How many of us choose the way of the devil than that of Christ knowingly? 

Our generation known as the “MILLENIALS” has certain lifestyle or habits that take us away from a life of depth in Christ these include PROCRASTINATION and addiction to: (apping, youtubing, idle surfing, musicking, clubbing, drunkenness etc). Matthew 25:14-30. Parable of Talents. You are a talent. Do you self-invest or you bury yourself? (that sounds like suicide; no wonder suicidal thoughts are common amongst millennials). This comes back to individual attitude towards life. FUNDAMENTAL OPTION: WHO DO I CHOOSE/DECIDE TO BE/BECOME? 


The current generation is regarded as the most educated in history. We are a generation characterised as confident, creative, sophisticated, open minded and intelligent. These tenets are God’s gift but procrastination, hedonism and exam oriented makes us to miss the mark because life becomes a competition or pleasure seeking endeavour at best. Magis is not perfectionism or being better than the next person. It requires an attitude of handling trials well, not always comparing oneself with the next person. The life of competition usually leads to unhappiness that we create for ourselves. This happiness comes by using others as a measure of one’s worth, forgetting the happiness that comes from Christ. We need to start orienting our lifestyles towards God and service in love.


Sin of angels (you are a messenger) Genesis 6. We are all messengers of God, delivering good news to all we meet, most of us spend our time gossiping which Pope Francis calls terrorism. So if you are not a messenger of good news within the community you may as well consider yourself a terrorist. Our whole space and reality are divine presence and we need to advance the message of God. We know that God is around, but we always choose the way of the evil one like fallen angels. This can be equated to someone who is married but cheats his or her spouse in front of them and in the same house. Things we know we’re doing wrong but we brush aside… where we know we can do better by challenging ourselves but we ignore the call, we are lazy to think, we procrastinate in reflection. What stops me from loving more, how can I love more? 

What does it take me to be a risen angel? For one to be a risen angel, St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises or retreat, suggests that one asks him/herself these fundamental questions: "What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? and What ought I to do for Christ?" The more intimately we come to know Christ, according to St. Ignatius, the more we love and closely we follow him. Be the best youth of your parish, be the best modern day Alois or Agnes, be the best version of Amai vehosi yedenga, be the best version of Moyo Musande kwazvo waYesu, be the best 21st century baba Josefa, be the best version of Anna and Joachim that Christ is proud of, if you are an altar server, serve mass the way Christ would be proud of. 

As Catholics and Christians we are expected to be the best version of Christ on earth as we receive his body and blood every Sunday so we should be imitators of the one who lives in us.






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