During his recent trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh Pope Francis had two long conversations with fellow Jesuits from a variety of countries - Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Australia and China.
The topics he touched on give a fascinating insight into his thinking and spirituality.
"I believe we cannot think of a mission – I say this not only as a Jesuit but as a Christian – without the mystery of the Incarnation. The mystery of the Incarnation illuminates our approach to reality and the world completely, all our closeness to people, to culture. Christian closeness is always incarnated. It is a closeness like that of the Word, who comes to be with us. I remind you of the synkatabasis, the being with ... The Jesuit is one who must always get closer, as the Word made flesh came close. To look, to listen without prejudices, but mystically. To look without fear and look mystically: this is fundamental for the way we look at reality.
Inculturation begins with this way of looking. Inculturation is not a fashion, no. It is the very essence of the Word which became flesh, took our culture, our language, our flesh, our life, and died. Inculturation is to take on board the culture of the people I am sent to".