Reflecting the Mind of the Vatican since 1850
Notes for an ‘Incomplete Thought’
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The highest form of thought is one that grows in openness and, in this sense, is unfinished or incomplete. Pope Francis said this in his interview with La Civiltà Cattolica: “The style of the Society is not shaped by discussion, but by discernment, which, of course, presupposes discussion as part of the process. The mystical dimension of discernment never defines its edges and does not complete the thought. The Jesuit must be a person whose thought is incomplete, in the sense of being engaged in open-ended thinking.”

What is incomplete thought? How can it be described? Pope Francis, speaking of the discernment he learned while reading Romano Guardini, says: “I learned this way of thinking from Romano Guardini. It was his style that captivated me, first of all in his book Il Signore (The Lord). Guardini showed me the importance of incomplete thought. He develops a thought to a certain point, but then invites you to stop to gain space in order to contemplate. He creates room for you to encounter the truth. A fruitful thought should always be unfinished in order to allow space for subsequent development. With Guardini I learned not to expect absolute certainties about everything, which is a symptom of an anxious spirit. His wisdom has allowed me to confront complex problems that cannot be resolved simply following norms, but using instead a kind of thinking that allows you to navigate conflicts without being trapped in them.”
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2022
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