By Thomas Creen, MJ • Phoenix, AZ

As part of its inheritance from the Cursillo Movement, Miles Jesu forms dynamic, Catholic leaders. And an essential part of being a leader is being positive, being hopeful, being optimistic. If someone wants to be a leader, he or she must be filled with hope; otherwise, no one will follow that person. Why is that so? Because we do not need others in order to fall into pessimism – every person with the gift of reason can get depressed all on his or her own. No one needs the help of a leader to be sad. We need leaders to lift us up and fill us with hope day after day.

Miles Jesu’s 50-year focus on being positive is just an echo of and a response to what Vatican II said in Gaudium et spes. The very title in Latin means “Joy and Hope!” And one line that really speaks to the connection between leadership and optimism is found at 31, 3: “The future of humanity is in the hands of those who are capable of providing the generations to come with reasons for life and optimism”. That has been the goal and the daily activity of Miles Jesu from the beginning – to give reasons for life and optimism, in perfect harmony with the vision of Vatican II.

It doesn’t take too much to be pessimistic and to constantly diagnose the main problems in the Church and the world. Just like it doesn’t take too much skill, training, or knowledge to diagnose obvious illnesses – “Hey, you’re spitting up blood. Not good!” or “Shouldn’t you be breathing right now?” Oh, but to stop the bleeding and start the breathing – now that takes skill and optimism. It takes leadership.

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