By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

To Be Magnanimous

The first published edition of this classic of...
The first published edition of this classic of Jesuit humanist pedagogy, Naples, 1598 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Magnanimity is generosity, greatness of soul, which means that in particular situations, the person reacts with great warmth and daring to the needs of others, needs too often ignored. Without this magnanimity, no one can really teach or really evangelize because you will never really touch the heart of the other. Magnanimity is being Don Quixote rather than the Grand Inquisitor.

That magnanimity is the opposite of the fake charm of the politician who is trying to manipulate you into giving him money or your vote or something else that he wants from you.

Magnanimity means having an outgoing and warm personality that is nevertheless integrated and balanced, that also knows how to be quiet and reserved when appropriate and never clownish or overbearing--and certainly never sarcastic. 

Magnanimity does not seek to be the center of attention but to place the real need of the other at the center of attention.

Pope Francis has it.

Watch the video from his talk to Jesuit school students at the Whispers in the Loggia blog (link) to see magnanimity in action--to observe and discern quickly what the audience requires and to react, to meet that need. Anyone who does not have that magnanimity, or is not committed to developing that magnanimity, has no business standing behind a pulpit or standing at the front of a classroom--or sitting where Peter sat.
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