by Pinard De La Boullaye
Ignatius was indicted in eight trials and eight times acquitted before he
was elected general on April 8, 1541. From that day until our own how many
charges have been leveled against his teaching and his Order! And, by way
of contrast, how many glowing tributes have been paid him especially by
Sovereign Pontiffs! Without examining each of these accusations, without
repeating each of these eulogies, we shall try to give a brief but faithful
summary of his spirituality.
From what sources was it derived? By what exterior signs may it be
recognized? Important point: what ideal does it propose? What role is
reserved for special devotions? What importance is attached to zeal for
souls ? These are the questions that we shall attempt to answer.
I. THE SOURCES
At the siege of Pampeluna, Ignatius, the leader of the resistance, was
wounded in his leg (1521). During the long hours of his convalescence he
read "The Golden Legend" of the Dominican James de Voragine and "The Great
Life of Jesus Christ" by Rudolph the Carthusian, a tireless and often
skillful compiler. In these books Ignatius discovered a new type of
"Why", he asked himself, " why cannot I, too, in God's service and for His
glory do what a Benedict, a Francis of Assisi, a Dominic have done?
Sometimes, inspired by these generous thoughts, sometimes influenced by his
earlier dreams of vain glory, he gradually learned to discern the contrary
action of " the good and the evil spirit ", and he resolved to leave the
He made a retreat with the Benedictines of Montserrat. These religious
introduced him to the "Ejercitatoria" of Cisneros, largely based on the
doctrines of the Brothers of the Common Life, the typical spokesmen for the
"devotio moderna." Shortly after at Manresa he discovered "the little
Gerson", the "Imitation" of Thomas of Kempis. This was to remain his
inseparable companion until his death. Here at Manresa he spent ten months,
devoting seven hours of each day to prayer, and practicing to excess -- as
he later recognized -- the most rigorous austerities. Almost immediately he
was rewarded with abundant mystical favors.
Referring, in the third person, to the graces which were so lavishly
showered on him in August 1522 and, it would seem, on one special day when
praying on the banks of the river Cardoner, he dared to say:
"When this man recalls all the help God has given him in the whole course
of his life until the close of his sixty-second year, even the sum total of
all these graces does not seem to equal what was given him on this one
occasion... from that moment he seemed to become an altogether different
man and to have an altogether different spirit."
At this period, he added, "God treated this soul just as a schoolmaster
treats a pupil".
When it was time for him to leave Manresa, he possessed, according to those
who knew him well, "the substance of his 'Exercises'"; note: only the
substance. Until the end of his days he was to use the "Exercises" not "to
convert" or "to conquer ", but according to his favorite expression "to
Sometime between the 4th and the 22nd of September, 1523, he set out for
Jerusalem to evangelize the Mohammedans. He was forbidden to remain in the
Holy Land. So he returned to Spain. In the hope of becoming a priest he
courageously began to study Latin, then moving from Barcelona to Alcala to
Salamanca, he studied philosophy. No specific fault was found with him but,
to put an end to his apostolic work, it was alleged that he was not
qualified to handle delicate questions. So he left for Paris. There he
received a degree as master of arts, completed various parts of his
"Exercises" and came to a definitive agreement with several of his
Would they establish a religious order? After long deliberations they
decided to do so. Ignatius was unanimously elected general and was then
obliged to prepare the "Constitutions." He also prepared a new translation
of the "Exercises "(1541). He continued to make minor changes in the
"Exercises" until 1547 when he charged Father Andre des Freux (Frusius) to
prepare a more elegant translation, "the vulgate", which was solemnly
approved (with that of 1541) by Paul III in 1548
Meanwhile he consulted the rules of old religious orders, and received the
reports of men whom he had asked to make similar investigations. Frequently
aided by supernatural illuminations, which he soberly recorded, he sought
for formula best suited to the needs of a new era. His age indeed was
vastly different from the Medieval period. Renaissance humanism fostered
arts and letters but among many learned men there was a tendency to
paganism or religious indifference. The "alumbrados" or the "illuminati" of
Spain brought mysticism into discredit and drew down upon themselves the
rigors of the Inquisition. Doctrines taught by Luther and Calvin were to be
found in one form or another almost everywhere: the radical corruption of
human nature by original sin and the consequent impossibility of good
works, salvation through faith alone, the right of private interpretation,
etc. In the Church grave abuses had infiltrated. The need for a thorough
reform of ideas and customs was patent. To this reform Ignatius
Before his death in 1556, he gave his sons the finished copy of the
"Constitutions." It is easy to discover in this masterpiece, as in his
"Exercises," certain debts to earlier authors; for example, the "perinde ac
cadauer" seems to have been taken from Saint Francis--but he weighed,
adapted, coordinated the whole with signal prudence. Ignatius also left
books of letters to his religious, and to souls he was directing an
autobiography, a succinct summary of his life which he entrusted to Father
Gonzalez de Camara, and some pages of his spiritual journal which he did
not succeed in destroying.
If we want to form an exact idea of his spirituality we must consider some
supplementary texts. His "Exercises" alone will certainly not suffice: they
present a method, too concise in form, for a reader, however conscientious,
to discover their wisdom and power. Nor did the saint ever intend them for
the general public, he did not think that even his own religious, without
prolonged experience, could interpret and use them correctly. In fact their
only immediate objective was the supremely important question of the choice
of a state of life (when a vocation was to be decided), or a reformation of
conduct (if the choice of a vocation had been definitively made).
To this end, the "Exercises" marshal the dominant principles of Christian
faith but only a limited application is made of these principles to
different categories of the faithful. Quite different are the
"Constitutions" and the "Letters." The "Autobiography" and the Spiritual
Journal reveal the different sources of his doctrine: his reading, studies,
hesitations, successive experiences and supernatural illuminations.
II. EXTERIOR CHARACTER
I. Precision of directives. The first impression given by these texts, at
least by those that are the best known: the "Constitutions," the
instructions given to certain religious charged with special missions, and
the "Exercises," is their concise style and clarity. One cannot help but
admire the firmness of thought which never faltered in expression. It must
have been preceded by long and careful reflection. Some wonder that certain
topics in the "Exercises" are handled with unexpected detail, for example
the rules on penance (82-89), on eating (210-217), on the discernment of
spirits (313-336), or different ways of making an election in four or six
points (178-188), methods of prayer with a regular distinction of
preludes, considerations, colloquies, etc.
A few lines from the saint give a perfect explanation of why he chose this
manner of publication. In 1536 he wrote to Sister Rejadell:
"You tell me that you find in yourself much ignorance and many forms of
cowardice, etc. You conclude that this comes from the fact that you have
been given much advice but little of it was definite. I agree with you.
Rarely to be precise, means rarely to understand (the needs of souls), and
still more rarely to help them.
To look in the "Exercises" for this precision in the formulation of the
special obligations of priests, religious, or different social classes is
to look in vain. The reason is obvious. Had the saint tried to do this, he
would have given altogether different proportions to his little book.
Besides it would have been difficult for him to have met the needs of
centuries other than his own. Wisely he preferred to limit himself to the
clarification of a capital point--the title of his monograph expressly
indicates this--"the regulation of one's life in such a way that no
decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment" (21) so
that, as is stated a little further on, we may "see how we ought to prepare
ourselves to arrive at perfection in whatever state or way of life God Our
Lord may grant us to choose" (135). This last phrase, which is to be found
in other places (155, 169, 180, 183) suffices to prove that the Exercises
envisage something much more than a mere "conversion" from vice to virtue,
or from carelessness to the strict observance of elementary duties.
Who is more bound than the priest, Christ's privileged one, to preserve
himself from every inordinate affection? Are men studying for the
priesthood or those who have already been ordained, in need of "help" to
decide the details of their resolutions? The director who assists them is
prepared to render them this service, keeping in mind the variable
conditions of the apostolate and drawing special inspiration from the
2. Need for constant adaptation. This is, by way of contrast, a less
prominent quality of Ignatian spirituality and one that is unexpected in an
ardent soul once accustomed to command and now in search of the highest
Among the counsels that are to be found at the beginning of this little
book are these words:
"The spiritual Exercises must be adapted to the condition of the one who is
to engage in them, that is, to his age, education, and talent. Thus
exercises that he could not easily bear or from which he would derive no
profit, should not be given to one without education or with little natural
Similarly, each one should be given those exercises that would be more
helpful and profitable according to the degree of progress he wishes to
Then follow directions for the treatment of exercitants with "little
aptitude or little natural ability" (18), or for those who are educated or
talented but who are weighed down with public or private affairs (19). A
final word is devoted to those from whom much is to be expected for God's
To one who is more disengaged, and desirous of making as much progress as
possible, all the "Spiritual Exercises" should be given in the same order
in which they follow below (20).
How many other adaptations are suggested! For example, the retreatant is
invited after each exercise to consider how he has profited from the
counsels given him, and to regulate future conduct accordingly. He is
reminded that during the meditations he can and should pause and consider
at leisure any consoling or strengthening thought or affection. He must not
be concerned to follow strictly the plan made previously (76).
The director, far from trying to control the retreatant's decision should
"permit the creature to deal directly with his Creator" (15). In fact only
resolutions strongly motivated and freely undertaken promise perseverance,
not resolutions imposed by the director nor those springing from the
retreatant's enthusiasm which vanish often as straw in the fire.
Can we wonder that those who knew Ignatius well liked to recall a principle
that he insisted on instilling in their minds:
"To want to lead all souls along the same path to perfection is perilous.
To do so is to fail to understand how varied and manifold are the gifts of
the Holy Spirit."
And this other rule: "Enter by another man's door so that you may lead him
out by your own". That is to say: first, sympathize with what preoccupies
him, interest yourself in his interests and in his trials so as to persuade
him to give himself to God. Is this not what the Apostle did? "To the weak
I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I became all things to all men,
that I might save all" (1 Cor. 9: 22).
To be weak with the weak, at least in the beginning, does not mean to
modify the teaching of the Gospel for these men and to give up all hope of
ever asking them to be completely generous, even heroic, because a man need
not be a great prelate to understand that Jesus, the Son of God, who
delivered Himself to death for us has the right to expect us to repay love
with love, life for life. This is why Saint Ignatius, although he reserves
certain pages of his "Exercises" for learned men, wants the most lowly of
the faithful even, in an abridged form of retreat intended to effect
necessary conversions, to be introduced to this colloquy of the very first
"Imagine Christ our Lord present before you on the cross, and begin to
speak with Him, asking how it is that though He is the Creator, He has
stooped to become man, and to pass from eternal life to death here in time,
that thus He might die for our sins.
I shall also reflect upon myself and ask: 'What have I done for Christ?
What am I doing for Christ? What ought I to do for Christ?'" (53).
The Savior's Passion is the most eloquent sensible proof of divine love,
the Crucifix is a book written in letters of blood. Saint Ignatius quite
rightly believed that the Passion and the Crucifix can be understood by all
men and can transform them into ardent servants of Jesus, into His saints.
In conclusion: do not the clarity of his directives and the variety of
their application explain in part the fruits of salvation obtained by his
personal apostolate and by his method?
Yes, in part. But we must also consider the most intimate part of his
spirituality: the ideal it proposes and the means it employs so that it may
become the dynamic of the whole life.
III. THE IGNATIAN IDEAL
1. God's greater glory. For all schools of spirituality within the Catholic
Church no one denies that the supreme goal of life is the perfection of a
two-fold charity towards God and neighbor: "in his duobus mandatis universa
Lex pendet et prophetae" (Matt. 22:34-40). There are, however, shades of
difference to be detected in the way each one strives to attain this end.
The ideal with which Saint Ignatius wished to fire souls is well known. His
order has taken this formula, "for God's greater glory, ad majorem Dei
gloriam" for its motto. He referred to it constantly as well as another
with which it may be equated: "ad majus Dei obsequium, for God's better
Is there need to point out its nobility? Here surely is the expression of
the totally disinterested love which our Lord Himself proposed to us when
He said: "In this way shall you pray: " Our Father, hallowed be Your Name
(which means: may You and Your authority be respected), may Your kingdom
come (this is the simple consequence of this respect)--may Your will be
done on earth as it is in heaven". How enthusiastic is the love with which
God is obeyed above by those to whom has been vouchsafed even the most
fleeting contemplation of infinite Goodness and Beauty! Surely Jesus is
offering us His own ideal (John 14: 4) when at the Last Supper, He summed
up His whole life in these words:
"I have glorified Thee on earth; 'ego te clarificavi super terram;' I have
accomplished the work that Thou hast given me to do; 'opus consummavi quod
dedisti ut faciam" (John 1 7: 4).
"Mission accomplished" with a plenitude and a perfection for which the
world has no equal.
Because it is most disinterested and most noble, this ideal is also most
efficacious, that is to say, most suited to enkindle at least those souls
to whom divine love has revealed its value. Eagerness for self-expansion or
a longing for rewards could never spur them to the same generous and
persevering efforts. In fact, however great be these personal profits,
souls may frequently renounce further progress and greater merit because of
the cost. When a passion for divine glory conquers a heart, how many of the
faithful, learned as well as unlettered, on the contrary exclaim: "For God,
there is nothing too beautiful! His glory, no matter what the price may
It was this perfection of love Saint Ignatius envisaged. The title of his
little book alone permits us to affirm this: "Spiritual Exercises which
have as their purpose... the regulation of one's life in such a way that no
decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment (21). The
goal indicated in these terms concerns only a first election but who, after
once and for all has decided not to yield to even the slightest inordinate
attachment, could afterward consider himself free to act in an inordinate
In the same spirit, the Saint seeks to create a lasting climate of thought
by recommending that during the thirty days each meditation begin with this
petition in which praise is synonymous with glory:
"Grant, O Lord, that all my intentions, all my actions, all my works may be
directed solely and purely to the service and praise of Your Divine Majesty
(cf. 46, etc.)."
Consider, too, the page which the Saint asks the retreatant to consider at
the very beginning of the "Exercises." Its title indicates its importance:
"First Principle and Foundation."
"Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God Our Lord, and by this
means to save his soul.
The other things on the face of the earth are created for man to help him
in attaining the end for which he was created.
Hence man is to make use of them in as far as they help him in the
attainment of his end, and he must rid himself of them in as far as they
prove a hindrance to him.
Therefore we must make ourselves indifferent (in what concerns the
dispositions of our will, obviously our feelings are not within our
control) to all created things, as far as we are allowed free choice and
are not under any prohibition. Consequently, as far as we are concerned, we
should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor,
a long life to a short one. The same holds for all other things.
Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for
which we are created (23)."
It would be difficult to summarize in a more concise fashion what reason
and faith require in the regulation of conduct. Means have value only in
the measure that they serve. Before making any choice in this matter, it is
therefore prudent-- Saint Ignatius uses the forceful word necessary--to
maintain the will in strict equilibrium, in rigorous " indifference ". If
certain means can truly serve, it is fitting that they be thoroughly
exploited. Of course this is not necessary if a man's only objective is
barely to escape a deserved damnation or to secure some slight and
justifiable share of happiness, but can we ever have enough of the goods
beyond the grave, of some part of the inheritance of God's own Son? Does
this love ask that me, so unworthy, should do more than this? What does it
ask? It asks that we make up our minds "to choose solely what leads us most
effectively to the end for which we were created", namely to procure God's
greatest glory and this will result in our greatest happiness.
Love? The word is not even mentioned in this fundamental paragraph. Be it
also observed: the word is not mentioned in the "Our Father." Nor is it to
be found among the medieval theologians who seem to have inspired Ignatius
when he added these lines to the first edition of the "Exercises" which was
made in Paris. It is omitted because in the "Our Father," the words: " Thy
will be done on earth as it is in heaven " (and in the writings of the
scholastics, the word: "to serve") are more precise and less subject to
illusion than: "to love".
For the same reason the Contemplation to attain the love of God, which was
also added later to the "Exercises" invites the retreatant to ask as the
supreme grace that he "may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty"
(233). As a matter of fact to seek in all things God's greatest glory and
His best service, is this not the proof of a perfect love? Leisurely
meditation on the "Foundation" can lead us very far.
In this connection Father Leonard Cros wrote in 1876:
"I once happened to show an eighteen year old student the first lines of
the "Exercises." The next morning the young man said to me in a rather
surly way: " I am wasting my time here. I am going away. For the past hour
all I have done is look at this piece of paper. But I know all that. It is
in the catechism ". He was persuaded to reflect on the same text from 9 a.
m. to 10 a. m., then with the same lack of success from 2 to 3 and from 5
to 6. That evening the student was radiant. "O, how beautiful this
principle is!. . . I understand it now but I want to continue this
meditation in the morning. . . The hour passed so quickly". For two more
days he meditated on the rest of the text. Before the eighth day he had
resolved to leave the world and give himself entirely to God.
Father Cros added: "This happened in 1851 and is, my friends, very close to
my own story".
Everything points to the fact that the "Exercises" are not meant to be
read, but meditated or pondered. Directors of souls run the risk of missing
an opportunity of winning souls who could give God signal service if they
at once send retreatants back to work or study or favorite sports as soon
as they declare themselves disappointed or fatigued by some slight effort
It must be admitted, none the less, that the "Foundation" is very abstract.
For this reason Saint Ignatius does not advise it to be given to the less
well educated. Let us be more explicit: its logic is irreproachable, the
principles it contains are basic not only to the rest of the "Exercises"
but to the whole spirituality of the Society, but its appeal is chiefly to
the intellect, it convinces without any emotion unless the director or the
retreatants themselves evoke either the infinite perfections of the Creator
or some of the gifts His goodness has inspired. This is quite legitimate.
Yet, can considerations like this establish the soul in indifference and
make possible the invariable choice of the most efficacious means? This is
exceedingly doubtful. These ineffable perfections are too hard for us to
represent to ourselves. Because of His very transcendence God risks
remaining unknown. "The hidden God", "Deus absconditus"(Is. 45: 15). This
is why His Providence presents to us the God made flesh, "Verbo caro
factum"(John 1: 14). He has done more, the God covered with blood, wounded
for our sins, "attritus propter scelera nostra"(Is. 5 3:5). Jesus has
insisted on saying to us: "He who sees Me, sees also the Father" (John
14:9); in other words: "This goodness your senses perceive, which you can
almost touch, it is Ours, Father, Son and Holy Ghost".
2. Union with Jesus. For these reasons another characteristic trait
Ignatius strove to arouse in souls an ardent love for the Savior, a love
not limited to His humanity alone, but--as can be seen in the text already
cited -- a love for the Word Incarnate (53)- He devotes the last weeks of
his "Exercises" to the contemplation of the Savior: the second week to the
infancy and public ministry, the third to His Passion, the fourth to His
All spiritual writers, no doubt, point out at least the obligation of
imitating the Savior. This must be: He claimed to be the model "par
excellence," the Way (John 14: 6). In this the Jesuits have not failed.
There are many publications that bear this out.
Beyond imitation, which is its preparation, comes union with the Savior.
This may be desired and preached as a means of becoming transformed into
His image and of advancing in true life, or as a means of succeeding in
apostolic work, for example, since without Him we can do nothing (John 15:
6). It may also be longed for as a means of enjoying, if not mystic favors,
or " graces of union ", at least the consolations His friendship brings
(John 14: 21).
All these intentions are praiseworthy but biased. Union with Jesus may
finally be considered as a holocaust, the total gift of self which His
supereminent dignity, His ineffable perfections and the love He has given
us, have merited in every way. To union of this nature Ignatius desired
to lead the most generous souls.
At the beginning of the second week in the contemplation of the Kingdom he
suggests this consecration of themselves.
"Eternal Lord of all things, in the presence of Thy infinite goodness, and
of Thy glorious mother, and of all the saints of Thy heavenly court, this
is the offering of myself which I make with Thy favor and help. I protest
that it is my earnest desire and my deliberate choice, provided only it is
for Thy greater service and praise, to imitate Thee in bearing all wrongs
and all abuse and all poverty, both actual and spiritual, should Thy most
holy Majesty deign to choose and admit me to such a state and way of life
Here we see that the motive of this resolution is neither to make spiritual
progress, nor to hope to receive rewards but to procure the glory of Jesus
and to give Him love.
At the end of the meditation on "The Two Standards" (or the contrast
between the objectives and tactics of Satan and Our Savior), Ignatius
encourages the retreatant to ask expressly to be allowed to share the
trials which nature fears (147), then a few days later, to reflect on "The
Three Degrees of Humility," which are really three degrees of love. The
first consists in subjecting oneself to God, even at the cost of life,
rather than to commit a mortal sin,--the second, at the same cost, requires
the same subjection, rather than commit a venial sin,--the third, consists
in desiring humiliations in this spirit:
"Whenever the praise and glory of God would be equally served, I desire and
choose poverty with Christ poor, rather than riches, in order to imitate
and be in reality more like Christ Our Lord; I choose insults with Christ
loaded with them, rather than honors; I desire to be accounted as worthless
and a fool for Christ, rather than to be esteemed as wise and prudent in
this world. So Christ was treated before me (167)."
Here we see the enthusiastic love, the most pure love, which led the
Apostle Thomas to cry out, when Jesus, despite the attitude of scribes and
pharisees was firmly determined to go to Jerusalem: "Let us also go, that
we may die with Him" (cf. John 11: 16). Or that inspired Peter at the Last
Supper to protest with his companions: "Lord, with Thee I am ready to go
both to prison and to death!" (cf. Luke 22: 33). In fact, when trying to
prove to such a leader how totally He had won your love, how could you not
share His lot?
Ignatius determined to arouse the same feelings in an "elite;" so he
required that the more lively the repugnances and the greater the fears the
more frequently must these protestations be renewed (157, 168, etc...). At
the beginning of the third week, he writes again:
"I shall ask for what it is proper to ask in meditations on the Passion:
sorrow with Christ in sorrow, anguish with Christ in anguish, tears and
deep grief because of the great affliction Christ endures for me (203)."
Why this insistence ? Evidently because the soul longing to suffer for the
Beloved will not refuse to accept painful suffering, should He in fact ask
for this at the moment of "the election".
Again, why? Because, if Jesus deigns at this time to choose ardent
apostles, priests, religious or laymen, they must necessarily endure
contradictions and humiliations. "If they have persecuted me, they will
persecute you also" (John 15: 18-20). Since these distinguished servants
have pleaded for sufferings as for so many favors, they will endure them
with patience, even with joy. Nor will the prick of a pin put an end to
Or course, Ignatius did not propose his third degree of humility to every
retreatant. Far from insisting that all should ask for trials and
humiliations, in some instances he discouraged such requests and he was
satisfied if he was able to arouse the first sign of generosity, "the
desire of the desire". Furthermore, let us repeat, the thought of repaying
Him who has so suffered for us is so natural that to see Him in agony on
the Cross, in the first exercise of the little book (53), or any other
vivid memory of the Passion is enough to inspire even the most lowly of the
faithful. Ignatius recommends that his religious, bound by vow to an
apostolic life, must cherish this desire as a point of sovereign
In the fourth week of the "Exercises" he goes further. Naturally he does
not forbid the retreatants to think of the happiness that the Savior's
resurrection assures the righteous but he does suggest that they rejoice
above all in Christ's incomparable glory and the joy that is His alone
(221). To attain to this, is indeed to forget self and to realize with
Saint Paul that "for me to live is Christ" (Phil. 1:21). Then Jesus cannot
fail to keep His promise: "He who loves Me..., I will love him and manifest
Myself to him"; (cf. John 15: 21), that is to say: "I shall show him how I
for my part know how to love". Now, He is Love incarnate.
3. Effective Love. The glory of God, union with Jesus, ardent love, these
are great words with which we may unconsciously deceive ourselves. Ignatius
knew this all too well. So he tried to point out the true touchstones of
devotion and love.
Our Lord Himself did so with unmistakable clarity. Did He not say: "For
whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, he is My brother and sister
and mother" (Matt. 12: so; cf. Luke 11: 27). "My food is to do the will of
Him who sent Me" (cf. John 4: 34). (It is your duty to say to Him)" Thy
will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (cf. Matt. 6: 10), etc.
Consequently Ignatius closes his most important letters with a formula like
this: "I implore God to grant us all the grace to know His holy will and to
accomplish it perfectly". During the second week of the "Exercises," at the
beginning of each meditation, the retreatant is told to ask for "an
intimate knowledge of Our Lord so that I may love Him more and follow Him
more closely" (104, 113, etc.) and in the Contemplation to attain the love
of God, he is told to ask for "an intimate knowledge of the many blessings
received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and
serve the Divine Majesty" (233). Thus he places effective love above
affective love which so often goes no further than sugary words or sterile
In this contemplation, two preliminary remarks recall his teaching on the
point. "The first is that love ought to manifest itself in deeds rather
than in words" (230), above all by acts required by the faithful observance
of general precepts and duties of our state. A mother of a family who
multiplies her practices of devotion while she neglects the education of
her children, or a pastor with some artistic talent who paints pictures
instead of preparing sermons and visiting parishioners--these two are
following their own tastes, they love themselves more than they love the
divine Master." The second is that love consists in a mutual sharing of
goods, for example, the lover gives and shares with the beloved what he
possesses, and vice versa" (231). True and perfect love demands the
holocaust, the abandonment of tastes and personal preferences, the perfect
renunciation of self.
This, too, Jesus has stated in the clearest terms: "If anyone wishes to
come after Me, let him deny himself... and follow Me" (cf. Matt. 16: 24).
To become His disciple, a true disciple, it is necessary to become His
friend, an intimate among intimates, if docility and imitation are carried
as far as possible. (Luke 9: 23).
In the service of the Master of masters, of the eternal King, whatever we
save for self, we lose; whatever we surrender, is ours forever. To follow
Him like a true disciple, like Saint John, for example, to Calvary, is to
give Him the proof of our affection that He wants. This means that we cease
"to love in jest" and we begin "seriously to love".
These are the motives on which Saint Ignatius insists. Where they prevail,
renunciation ceases to be an austere and tiring attempt to go against our
tastes, to mortify self either for the sake of our own perfection or in
order to increase our merits. It becomes a constant desire to please the
Friend par excellence, to contribute to the completion of His work, to fill
up what is still lacking to His Passion (Col. 1: 24). Mortification and
abnegation thus lose much of their bitterness. Instead they are a comfort
and a necessity to how many saints!
In the same spirit the first spiritual authors of the Society speak with
special love of "resignation", in the sense of abolishing self will. Their
successors speak of conformity to the divine will, of abandonment and of
this general rule: "Aim in all things to please God".
Examples of two mystics whom they have directed among many others, will
show what glory God receives from holocausts of this kind.
In 1635 Marie de l'Incarnation (Marie Guyart) wrote:
"I beg (the Lord) never to hear me merely because of my desires, (that is
at my own insistence) because the greatest good that I could want is to
want what He wants."
And later, after a fire had burned down her monastery:
"You have done this, my chaste Spouse. For this may You be blessed!... It
is my pleasure that You are pleased in all that You have done.
Jesus offered Margaret Mary the choice between two lives: one, the happiest
life imaginable, the other poor, abject, crucified, filled with every
possible mark of contempt. In each life He promised her the same graces:
"O, my Lord", she answered, "Give me what You like best. Provided that You
are pleased, I will be satisfied".
And here is the resolution of her director, Blessed Claude de la
"What! not to belong wholly to God after His mercy to me! No matter what it
costs, God must be pleased!"
IV. ESSENTIAL PRACTICES
This is the ideal of Saint Ignatius. Now we must see the ways by which he
hoped to persuade souls to adopt it and make it their own.
Mysticism would be more than suspect, it must be admitted, did he count
only on divine grace. Voluntarism would be doomed to failure, did he appeal
exclusively to personal energy. Rationalism or intellectualism would be
highly reprehensible did he imagine that much reflection and careful
reasoning could alone suffice for the attainment of Christian perfection.
To express his spirituality in one or other of these exaggerated terms is
to caricature it. But as a matter of fact his spirituality is a singularly
judicious synthesis of reflection, recourse to grace and the courageous
struggle against self.
In 1555 the saint wrote to Francis Borgia:
"I hold it an error to trust or put my hope exclusively in any system or
method whatever it be. On the other hand I cannot consider it to be a safe
mode of procedure to commit myself totally to God without seeking to help
myself by making use of the resources He has given me. It seems to me in
our Lord that I must use first one method then another, always keeping
before my eyes His greater praise and glory. Nothing else."
Our Savior Himself, Ignatius confided to Peter Ribadeneira, taught him
In fact, "So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but
God who gives the growth" (1 Cor. 3:7; Rom. 9:16). Every Christian, however
gifted he may be, must have recourse to God as if the result depended on
grace alone. On the other hand there is an adage of simple good sense;
Heaven helps those who help themselves. The warmth of the sun's rays
suffice to turn the sunflower and the heliotrope toward the sun but
"docility to the Holy Spirit", basic though this rule is in Christian life,
cannot be understood as a dispensation from either reflection or effort.
Otherwise, apart from a miraculous intervention, how could souls avoid the
aberrations of illuminism, indolence and stagnation? But let us be
1. Prayer. a. Ordinary meditation.--In the "Exercises," at the beginning of
each meditation recurs this formula: "ask for what I desire": "petere id
quod volo." A most appropriate counsel. Wandering attention is usually the
result of vagueness of purpose, so the retreatant is invited to choose with
deliberation a definite objective, "id quod volo," "that which I desire";
while at the same time he recalls that he cannot himself procure what he
needs but he must "petere," that is "ask" for it with all the humility and
persistence of a beggar. As Saint Augustine says: "We are God's beggars".
"Mendici Dei sumus." Before setting important affairs in order, the
retreatant is to implore God "to deign to move my will, and to bring to my
mind" what will contribute to His glory and to "the salvation of my soul"
(179-180). Expressions such as these are closer to pietism than to
To form the soul to prayer the book of the "Exercises" offers six different
methods. Thus the retreatant is free to choose according to the subject
(whether it be abstract like the Sermon on the Mount, or more concrete like
the scenes of the Passion), or according to his preferences, or his
dispositions of the moment. It goes without saying that these methods may
at times be combined in various ways. There is not the slightest suggestion
that these alone are to be used.
It is expressly stated in the "Constitutions" that no rule for prayer is to
be imposed upon trained religious "except what charity inspired by prudence
may dictate", "discreta caritas" (6:3:1). Beginners, on the contrary,
should ordinarily spend much time in reflection or meditation strictly so-
called, because they need to attain a more ardent love and to acquire a
deeper understanding of the mysteries of faith, the prerogatives and
preferences of the Savior. If every Christian life is meant to be a
testimony (Luke 24: 48; Acts 1:8; etc.), this is all the more true of the
priestly ministry. The very tone of voice must in some way convey this
message: "I know Him of whom I speak. I have seen Him. I love Him". Without
assiduous mental prayer this is not possible. About sixty years ago did
not a rationalist critic write about a much praised preacher: "He preaches
like a priest who does not pray"? Ignatius himself spoke extremely poor
Italian but with such persuasive piety that confessors brought together
especially for the purpose could never suffice to hear the avowals of all
Devoting his Order to solid studies, to teaching and to the missions, and
wishing to have a rule which could be applied without constant
dispensations, the Saint, despite a very pronounced attraction for
liturgical ceremonies resolved to petition for an exemption not only from
choral obligation (which all diocesan priests enjoyed) but also from public
processions and the regular direction of religious women. For the same
reason he required only a half hour of daily mental prayer 22. But he never
ceased to insist that superiors be all the more vigilant in the efforts to
foster the spirit of prayer among their religious.
Father Polanco wrote in a letter that Saint Ignatius was to see:
"I notice that our Father prefers the careful seeking of God in all things,
to prolonged prayer. (May the members of the Company) experience, if this
be possible no less devotion in every kind of work of charity and obedience
than in meditation itself. May they do nothing that is not for God's love
It was this intention "to seek God in all things", to act only in union
with Him, to be as docile to His action as the tool in the hand of the
worker, "instrumentum conjunctum," that the Saint called "divine
familiarity". In his "Constitutions" he recommends this familiarity with
God to all the members (10:2) and so important is it in his eyes that he
names it as the first characteristic to be looked for in the head or
general of his Order (9: 2: 1). So manifest was his example on this point
that, according to those who watched him daily at work, he was a
contemplative even when fully occupied, a contemplative in action, "in
To contemplate like this, that is to say, at any moment to recognize and
admire God in the wonders of creation, in the marvels He brings about in
the depths of souls, in all that recalls the infinity of His wisdom or the
prodigalities of His love, and to lift one's heart to Him, were it even
without set words, and trustingly to ask His help as from the best of
fathers in all difficulties--surely this is not the result of merely
closing one's eyes. Nor would more or less austere meditation make this
possible. On the contrary all who saw Saint Ignatius were struck by the
serenity that shone from his face. In truth, is it conceivable that the
frequent remembrance of infinite goodness and beauty could beget sadness!
b. Extraordinary prayer.--As for mystical graces, Ignatius was unaware
neither of their price, nor their conditions. He had before his eyes, so to
speak, men like Xavier, Favre and Borgia. From several pages in his
"Autobiography" and especially in his "Spiritual Journal" we learn how he
himself profited from similar graces. Any one who knows how to read between
the lines can see how he speaks of these graces in the "Exercises," for
when he treats of "consolations " and " God's action ", he surely means
according to the context, the least as well as the greatest of these
graces. The reasons for his reserved manner of expression in this book are
obvious. He knew from more than hearsay about the excesses of Spanish
visionaries. Experience had taught him, he used to repeat, that ninety out
of every hundred so-called mystics were the victims of illusions. He also
found them stubborn and increasingly difficult to govern.
So he believed that it was safer for a person to serve God with a
disinterested love rather than to experience God. Instead of talking to all
comers about graces of prayer, he thought it wiser for him to prepare souls
for these graces, should Providence choose to send them, by inspiring souls
with the most complete generosity in abnegation and mortification.
In the books intended for beginners, such as those by Rodriguez and Sucquet
(Saint John Berchman's master of novices), the same prudence is observed.
Instructors of the third year of probation, such as A. Le Gaudier and L.
Lallemant, and authors writing on the spiritual life for a larger public,
more freely exalt graces of prayer, yet they are always ready to recall the
conditions on which these graces are usually given and this principle of
Saint Ignatius that it is suitable to desire them not for the pleasures
they procure but as a means of serving God more perfectly.
There is no reason to hesitate to class among the best books written on
these subjects, those of Fathers Alvarez de Paz, L. Dupont, Godinez, La
Reguera, G. Druzbicki, and the more recent works of Fathers A. Poulain, R.
de Maumigny, J. Seisdedos Sanz, J. Marechal, J. de Guibert. It must further
be observed that during the controversies caused by quietism in the 17th
century and the temporary discrediting of mystical ways, a number of
Jesuits continued to defend them: C. Judde, for example, and J. Crasset, P.
Champion, P. de Charlevoix, P. de Caussade, P. de Cloriviere, J.-B.
Scaramelli. To sum up: thanks to the holy Founder's insistence on
mortification and abnegation, many religious were favored with supernatural
illuminations and graces of union, in the Company as well as in other
Orders, not to speak of the souls these religious have directed.
c. Participation in liturgical worship.--In his third rule For thinking
with the Church, Saint Ignatius writes:
"We ought to praise the frequent hearing of Mass, the singing of hymns,
psalmody, and long prayers whether in the church or outside; likewise, the
hours arranged at fixed times for the whole Divine Office, for every kind
of prayer, and for the canonical hours (355)."
But then why is there so much insistence on private prayer and mental
prayer? If we find this reprehensible in Saint Ignatius and his sons, we
must also condemn Jesus Himself. Did He not say: "When you pray, go into
your room and closing your door, pray to your Father in secret" (Matt.
"Let us not read too much into this text. It remains true that to recommend
reflection and private prayer is something quite different from turning
people away from the services of their parish church and belittling,
however slightly, the holy liturgy. Rather does it provide us with the
means of appreciating at full value the mysteries of faith and of
increasing our affection for the ceremonies in which they are re-lived: "
Today, Christ is born!" "Today, He has risen from the dead!" "Today, all
glorious He has deigned to appear on the high mountain!" Would to God that
priests and faithful were completely convinced of this!
In fact it is no way necessary to recite all the canonical hours in choir
in order to draw from the breviary all the lessons it contains, nor to
assist bodily at all the ceremonies of the liturgical cycle, to relive,
month by month, the various periods of the Savior's life and to unite
ourselves to His most intimate sentiments for His Father or for His
On the contrary, it may be affirmed that without reflection and personal
prayer--and this does not mean tension of mind, much searching of
conscience and exclusive self-concern -- in other words: without mental
prayer, there is great danger that the liturgy will become a routine and
formalistic drama. Pius X is the last of a long line of saints to remind us
How many Masses have been celebrated immediately after ordination with an
angelic fervor that does not fast or vanishes altogether. The liturgy
commemorates sublime and most moving mysteries, but because the officiant--
to speak only of him -- cannot be guided exclusively by his personal
devotion, he is rarely able during the services to deepen his understanding
of them. The liturgy arouses heart-felt emotions but there is no leisure to
express them. Mental prayer that more or less closely follows the cycle of
feasts remedies this.
"The cell (i.e. the room with doors closed of the Gospel) is a holy place
where the Master and His servant have frequent colloquies as friend speaks
to friend... In the Church as in the cell, divine mysteries are performed.
In the Church, visibly and in figures (by means of symbolic acts and in a
sensible manner) the mysteries of Christian piety are sometimes dispensed.
In the cell according to the same truth and in the same order as in heaven
(although without all the majesty and purity, and without the security of
eternity) takes place the reality of all the mysteries of our faith,
without any interruption of time."
To sum it up in one sentence: in the cell the soul is united with the
Master, the Friend, the divine Spouse.
These lines are not written by a Jesuit but by a cistercian, William of
Saint Thierry. Souls fond of mental prayer will appreciate their truth. Nor
will they hesitate to subscribe to the praise paid the holy liturgy in the
Encyclical, "Mediator Dei," nor to the reservations it contains.
2. Efforts at self-conquest. Prayer in no way dispenses from efforts of
amendment and advancement. So Saint Ignatius gives his work this title:
"The Exercises" which have as their purpose the conquest of self (21). When
he speaks of bodily mortification he says: "The more we do in this line,
the better it is" (84, 85), yet he is always ready to admit that the right
measure depends on the temperament, the occupations and the needs of the
individual. Here, too, he recommends that we proceed tentatively. (89,
He probably could have added: one who always fears to do too much rarely
does enough. But he contents himself with saying:
Every one must keep in mind that in all that concerns the spiritual life
his progress will be in proportion to his surrender of self-love and of his
own will and interests (189).
The author of the "Imitation" expresses himself in almost the same words:
"You will make progress in the exact measure, 'tantum quantum' in which you
do yourself violence "(1, 25, 3, 11).
Could Ignatius or the author of the "Imitation" speak in any other terms
after Jesus' firm declaration (Luke 9: 23)? In fact whether it be a
question of relations between friend and friend, between the loved one and
the beloved, between the soul and God, will they ever be considered to be
serious, or with greater reason perfect, unless there is this self-
renunciation, this sacrifice of personal preferences for the sake of the
Without vigilance no amendment or freedom from failure is possible. So
Ignatius recommends that a general examination of conscience be made at
least once a day. He has also succeeded in popularizing the practice of the
particular examen among the faithful and in religious orders. This is an
examination, not exclusive but especially diligent, of one fault after
another until these faults are practically corrected, beginning with the
most glaring. When it is impossible to crush all our enemies at once, the
best tactic is to attack and overcome them, as Corneille shows us that
Horace did, one by one. But these constant returns on self! Would it not be
more cheering and surer to concentrate on loving? This is clearly an
illusion because it is precisely these faults that block the soul's
progress in the ways of love. They make a true understanding of love
impossible because increased purity of heart means a change in the vision
of our ideal: as we live so shall we see. The constant effort to watch
over one's conduct, "to please" God more and more while familiarly begging
His help, is a sure proof and a continual exercise of love.
3. Reflection. However undeniable may be these principles in the eyes of
faith, their application to concrete cases is often perplexing. since God
made us intelligent, thought Saint Ignatius, "we must help ourselves". So
he invariably acted, setting down, when necessary, the reasons for and
against, claiming help from "mediators", Jesus and Mary, deliberating anew,
and praying until he could clearly see the means most suited to procure
God's greater glory. This is precisely the method laid down in his
Exercises on the subject of "the election" (176-189).
Let us say this more effectively: this is the reason why he edited with
successive changes his celebrated book. How many guilty or mediocre lives
would be transformed, were it only by a few moments of serious reflection
from time to time on the last things or on the Savior's Passion, all the
more by a series of wisely ordered meditations, like those of the
Ignatius did not prescribe annual retreats for his religious but his
successors did so after careful deliberation. Gradually the favorable
results achieved by his method won the praises of the Sovereign Pontiffs
from Paul III (1548), by the enlightened zeal of Philip Neri, Charles
Borromeo, Francis of Sales, Vincent of Paul, John Eudes, Leonard of Port
Maurice, Alphonsus Liguori, and so many others who were ready to extend its
use, to adapt it as he had wished to different categories of the faithful.
So that the Church eventually made an annual retreat obligatory at least
for priests and religious. In 1922 Pius XI proclaimed Ignatius "heavenly
patron of all spiritual exercises and consequently of all institutes,
societies and organizations of this kind which consecrate their care and
their devotedness to the work of retreats."
Always concerned with making the best use of God's gifts, the holy Founder
took for his motto: "To foresee what one ought to do, and to examine what
one has just done is the surest way of learning how to do things well". As
a matter of fact the possession of extraordinary powers is not the
condition for success, in any field. How many geniuses are conspicuous for
their excesses and their failures! The secret of success is to be found in
these two words: preview and review. Foresee in time and in detail the
obligations that must be met. After the attempt, examine the results and
take the necessary measures to remedy blunders and errors one by one.
Ignatius required the superiors of his Order to impose this practice. His
successors have taken pains to require its observance.
Priests, directors of charitable organizations, militants of Catholic
Action, are forced to observe this rule, the more numerous and the more
demanding their responsibilities. How great a waste of time, strength,
influence and money, fidelity to this rule would save them! If they neglect
it: how great is the glory of which they deprive God!
Apart from the appeal to Jesus, as Son of God, Redeemer and Mediator
between His heavenly Father and His adopted sons, we have said nothing so
far of special devotions which can be considered as ancillary means of
arousing our zeal in God's service and of maintaining our fervor. Such
devotions do exist. They are so closely linked with fundamental dogmas and
they are so elevated and so powerful that they are basic to all other
devotions. We neglect them to our loss.
I. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of these devotions. It must be
admitted that this is a sentimental devotion if it consists merely of
tender glances and languid sighs at the sight of a flaming, thorn-crowned
heart. But it becomes the most virile of devotions, once it inspires the
soul, as it is meant to do, to offer our Savior, by effective
renunciations, love in return for love and to repair as far as this is
possible for the ingratitude and outrages with which He has been and still
is overwhelmed. Understood in this way, this devotion is correctly said to
be " the essence of Christianity ", and the best suited to carry generous
souls to the ultimate heights of devotedness, while at the same time it can
aid effectively in the conversion of the worst renegades because it keeps
before our eyes the symbol of a tenderness and a mercy beyond human
Since Jesus had told Margaret Mary that she was to unite the Company to the
Order of the visitation for the spread of this devotion--which had for a
long time been practiced in the Church -- the Jesuits could not fail to
respond as perfectly as possible to such desires. To glorify infinite mercy
and love! Therefore, we must first deepen our own understanding of these
ineffable mysteries! By meditating on them, by preaching about them, the
soul necessarily grows in confidence and love, and is enabled to meet
trials stoutly and with joy.!
Could there be a more attractive or a more enviable duty? We know what the
Jesuits of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries did to acquit
themselves of this mission: Margaret Mary's director, Claude de la
Colombiere, Fathers F. Froment, J. Croiset, J. de Gallifet, B. de Hoyos, P.
de Calatayud, A. Muzzarelli, to cite only a few names. Their brethren of
the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have followed their example.
How many priests and religious in ever increasing numbers strive, too, to
make known and loved, "the Love that is not loved", to borrow the words of
Madeleine of Pazzi. In their work they must rejoice, first for the honor
that is given to their Divine Master and then for the sake of sinners,
because at Paray He promised that His servants would be rewarded with
"power to touch the most hardened of hearts".
2. Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament came long before devotion to the
Sacred Heart. It was its forerunner, we may say. Is not the Eucharist the
prodigy of prodigies, the last degree of abasement and familiarity that the
Son of God could choose, the most expressive symbol and efficacious means
that He could give us of the communication He wishes to make to us of His
own life? (John 6: 52-58)
Frequent communion, alas, was in those days neglected. Ignatius tried to
restore this practice to honor.
He wrote to his compatriots of Azpeitia:
"In the early age of the Church every one--men and women-- received the
Blessed Sacrament every day... A little later devotion grew cold, Holy
Communion was received once a week... After a while it was only on the
three principal feasts of the year... At last so great was our coldness and
our misery that Communion was received only once a year! It seems that we
are Christian only in name... Let us in some way restore the holy customs
of our forefathers. If there are many ways in which we cannot do this, at
least let us try to do what we can: let us go to Confession and to
Communion every month. If anyone wants to do more-- and more is surely
possible--he will be acting according (to the wishes) of our Lord and
The Saint counseled very fervent souls to receive the Eucharist more often.
His sons did likewise, with the prudence made necessary by the prejudice of
those days. Let us give at least one example. In the monastery of Avila
where Teresa was received in 1535, the one hundred and fifty Carmelites
were allowed to receive Communion six times a year, at the most once a
month. Only eight years later, thanks to her Dominican confessor, Father
Vincent Varron, she could approach the Holy Table twice a month. In 1554,
the first Jesuit she met ordered her to communicate frequently, if not
Priests have, over the common of the faithful, the incomparable advantage
of consecrating the Eucharistic Bread, "ut sumant," which they take in
order to be the first to benefit so that they may give to others, "ut dent
ceteris"... Theirs is the privilege of giving themselves to God--what
comfort for their piety if they have understood what He rightly expects--
the only homage strictly worthy of Him: the infinity of adoration and of
love, of gratitude and expiation. His Mass was for the Founder of the
Company the cause of such devotion (and at times of such favors) as we see
from his "Spiritual Journal" that he was incapable of saying Mass in half
an hour, which was the time he prescribed for his religious. Exhausted
through these emotions, he was forced at times to renounce going to the
Of the devotion of men like Xavier, Borgia, Francis Regis, Francis
Hieronimo, Peter Claver, and so many of their brethren we cannot speak at
length. The Company's Menology describes the enviable zeal with which a
great number of Jesuits glorified Jesus in the host and the intimacy they
enjoyed with Him. As a matter of fact, in the tabernacle is the Brother,
the divine Friend, the only One who can more than compensate for the
affective satisfactions His minister has renounced; who can receive the
confidence of sufferings and secrets which often cannot be communicated to
others without danger or without sin; and who can help him to endure
isolation which is particularly painful, either in the midst of pagan
peoples or in once Christian areas. He whose heart Jesus has truly
conquered becomes capable of enduring like Him, for Him, with His presence
and intimate help even the most unjust competition and the worst
ingratitude. Ready to give love to all, he no longer feels any need of
begging for love as alms from creatures, "I will most gladly spend myself
and be spent for your souls; even though, loving you more, I be loved less"
(2 Cor. 12:15). Such a one was Saint Ignatius, such a one he dreamed that
each of his sons might become.
3. Devotion to Our Lady. Saint John Eudes who died in 1680 was an ardent
promoter of the worship of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He believed
he could say: "Among all the Religious Orders there is none that serves and
honors the Queen of Heaven more zealously or more ardently than the
At least, from its beginnings until our day, the Company has never wished
to yield in this respect to anyone.
Not to understand that Mary was prepared for her sublime role by the Holy
Spirit, that she was full of grace and was consequently the ideal mother,
who was loved by Jesus, the ideal Son, more than any other creature has
been or will be loved, that it is therefore impossible to please the Savior
if one neglects even slightly this Mother privileged among all privileged
souls--would this not be to draw down upon one's self the reproach recalled
by Saint Ignatius to the faithful who were sufficiently thoughtless to
question the statement that on Easter morning He appeared first to His
Mother (299): "Are you also even yet without understanding?" (Matt. 15:16).
Saint Alphonsus Liguori used to say: "Without devotion to the Blessed
Virgin, it is morally impossible for a priest to be truly good".Why? The
answer seems to be that such a priest would deprive himself of graces that
Mary's all-powerful intercession alone might have obtained for him. Again,
why? No doubt because he needs to experience the affection of this
incomparable Mother so that he can endure isolation, so that he can
persevere when the apparent sterility of his efforts would lead to
discouragement. It is fitting to add that it also seems that there would be
something incomplete about his mind and heart. At least Saint Ignatius
thought so, as we have just seen.
In his eyes to be Christ's knight was also to be Mary's knight. It was with
a vigil of arms before her statue in the chapel of Montserrat that he began
his new life. It was on the feast of the Assumption in Paris in 1534 that
he and his Companions pronounced their first vows. Fragments of his
"Spiritual Journal" show us that he made constant appeal to these two
mediators, Christ and His Mother, while he was writing his "Constitutions"
(1544). He initiates souls to this same practice in his "Exercises."
Without imposing it as an invariable rule he invites the retreatant to
address, in the colloquies that conclude each meditation, first our Lady,
then Jesus, and through Jesus to turn to the Eternal Father (199). Did he
borrow this practice from Saint Bernard? Idle question. Both men were
Mary's clients and pupils of the same master: the Holy Spirit.
4. Other devotions. Because of the supernatural lights he received at
Manresa, Ignatius also had a very real devotion for the Blessed Trinity.
However, he was careful not to impose it on others to the same extent. His
intimate friend who shared a room with him in Paris, Blessed Peter Favre,
took great pleasure in honoring the angels. Ignatius always respected this
He would have respected any other on the simple condition that the soul's
first devotion was what Bourdaloue called "a devotion to duty". In other
words, Ignatius made sure that the personal "attrait" led or helped the
soul to keep the commandments of God and the duties of one's state before
all else. We have already pointed out his principle: It is a most dangerous
error to want to lead all souls to perfection along the same path.
To priests, to religious of other orders, to the faithful of every class,
the Jesuits can only say: Be what you ought to be in order to correspond
with your personal vocation. You can follow "attraits" with perfect
security if you always keep in mind the Joannine equation, perfect
obedience equals perfect love. "He who keeps his word, in him the love of
God is truly perfected" (1 John 2:5).
VI. ZEAL FOR SOULS
After or rather along with the duty of loving God, no duty is more
frequently taught in the Gospel than that of loving one's neighbor. It is,
moreover, impossible for a Christian to love the Creator with a true love
without including in this love all those in whom he discovers God's image,
who are called, like himself, to the dignity of adopted sons and for whom
without exception (1 Tim. 2: 4) the Common Father has gone so far as to
deliver His only Son to the tortures and ignominies of the Passion: "For
God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son" (John 3: 16).
As soon as Ignatius was converted he began "to help souls". After his stay
at Manresa he tried to win them to Christ's service by the two basic
meditations (no doubt these were polished later): "The Call of the Eternal
King (or Kingdom)"(91-98) or "The Two Standards" (136-147). He showed them
the Prince of Darkness who scatters his emissaries "throughout the whole
world, so that no province, no place, no state of life, no individual is
As a priest he would be better armed for the combat. So, aged thirty, he
set about learning the elements of Latin with children (1524). His first
companions left. He attracted others. In 1539 they decided to found an
order. Its purpose according to the "Summary of the Constitutions" which is
presented to candidates is:
"not only to apply one's self to one's own salvation and to perfection with
the help of divine grace but to employ all one's strength, 'impense,' for
the salvation and perfection of one's neighbor."
The neighbor was the whole world to the Saint. "Go", he used to say to
religious whom he was sending far away: "Go, set the whole world on fire".
To the ambassador of the King of Portugal who was trying to take from
Ignatius six of his companions for the Indies, he wrote in 1540: "If you
take six from the ten which we now are, how many will you leave for the
rest of the world?" To the students of Coimbra he said in 1547: "You must
extend your charity to all men... believing each one to be worth the life
and blood he cost Jesus Christ."
With horizons so limitless, Ignatius could not assign any exclusive task to
his Company. Other saints could do this opportunely and meritoriously. For
example they could dedicate their congregation to the ransom of captives,
or to the education of youth, or to the care of the sick. In his thought,
and in that of the friends who had chosen him to be their head, the Company
was to be a body of free men whom the Vicar of Christ could use as he
pleased, according to the changing needs of the Church. His professed even
took the vow of accepting without any excuses, without even asking for
expense money for their trip, any mission Rome might entrust to them
(Const. 7, 1, 1-3)
In other cases, without prejudice to the rights judiciously reserved to
Bishops, it is the duty of superiors to regulate the works or "ministries"
of their subordinates. Their care must be to seek always the most
efficacious program, the most universal good, "because the more universal
the good, the more divine it is" (Const., 7, 2, D, E).
As for inferiors, is it hard to define what this exacts of them by way of
total devotedness to God's glory and the salvation of souls?
It is clear that they are far from realizing this ideal if they allow
preoccupations of human glory or of self-love to dominate them or if they
even entertain such thoughts, since Saint Paul in the midst of his passion
declared himself to be happy provided that his Master was better known and
better served. They are far from this ideal if they remain attached to
their own will, or if they refuse to submit themselves to the directives of
the hierarchy, or if they obey only to avoid reprimands and sanctions.
From apostles and from the most disinterested and the most completely
devoted militants, perfect obedience can require painful sacrifices, even
very great suffering. At times such men may have to endure extreme
sufferings because they are not authorized to execute projects or reforms
they believe necessary. In the same way during the two world wars, how many
heroic soldiers, of high rank and low, suffered because they could not
attack the enemy where, when, and how, they were sure of victory according
to conditions in their sector! How many men, disappointed if not
discouraged, have criticized their great leaders and have repeated: "These
men do not understand".
Their confusion resulted from their attachment to their own ideas. That
their criticism is often unjustified no one can deny. This is frequently
the result when over-all view, experience, and prudence do not match
personal bravery. But Saint Ignatius reminds such men that a military
maneuver can succeed only if there be unity of mind between head and
members. Now it is easy to understand whether the head should obey the
members or the members the head.
Christ is the head of the Mystical Body. He speaks through the voice of
those who represent Him. If their decisions seem "incomprehensible", there
is still the obligation--except in the case of manifest sin--to obey our
superiors as we would obey Him. Thanks be to God, how many generous souls
do this joyously!
In 1548, the holy Founder was considering the foundation of a college in
Sicily. He asked about thirty of his religious to recollect themselves, to
pray and then to let him know in a few days their attitude of soul. Peter
Canisius, who was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1975, declared that
he would surrender himself completely to his superior's wish.
Thirty-five other answers, practically identical, accompanied this one.
Who cannot understand the price of holocausts as perfect as these? And if
we recall the dogma of the communion of saints, what graces of every kind
do they not purchase? The preacher who absolves hardened sinners or the
missionary who baptizes pagans may be tempted to attribute these apostolic
successes to their own action. In reality, usually they are, for the most
part, due to sacrifices consummated in secret.
Was it not with this conviction that Theresa of Lisieux hid herself in the
cloister to win souls by denying herself the consolation of reconciling
them herself to God? And the Church has proclaimed this girl of twenty-four
years to be the equal of the apostle who exhausted himself going about
India and the Far East; and named her the principal patron of the missions!
Ignatius took care not to make Canisius a cook, a gardener, or any kind of
professor. He strove to bring him to the total gift of self but was, at the
same time, ingenious in discovering aptitudes and attractions. On these
grounds he made his assignments, believing that they would be carried out
with more energy, perseverance and fruit.
Although he desired that obedience might become the favorite virtue and
distinctive mark of his religious, with equal prudence, he recognized their
right to present objections, after the requisite prayer and reflection. In
fact a good son can always manifest his difficulties to his father; in
certain cases he may even be obliged by charity to do so. And the father
may be led in this way to modify his decisions. If the superior, rightly or
wrongly, pays no attention, then, as we have explained, neither the
inferior (provided he renounces himself), nor souls, nor God's cause will
suffer in any way. Every apostle, priest or layman, stopped by authority in
the execution of projects which seem to him to be rich in promise, can find
here, not an invitation to renew his grief or to yield to sharp criticism,
but a most helpful, supernatural consolation.
The Company consecrates much of its activity -- not to speak of missions in
pagan lands, nor parish missions, an important work that the Church
requires at fixed intervals-- to universities, seminaries, secondary
schools, scientific publications of exegesis, theology, philosophy,
sociology... The defense of sound ideas and the Christian faith, the
religious and social formation of clerics and youth have had, and continue
to have an increasing importance. At times other urgent tasks or specific
needs may claim its support. Jesuits are now taking part in the apostolate
of the priest-workers, just as they have provided and still provide
chaplains for fairs, prisoners, labor-camps, lepers. The Holy Spirit
never fails, at such times. to inspire very plainly defined vocations which
Superiors are happy to respect.
In our days, for very good reasons, the evangelization of like by like is
advocated. The Marian congregations introduced in 1563 were an anticipated
form of this evangelization: congregations of students, magistrates,
workers, servants. Except for local deviations, their programs remain
unchanged. How many priests, religious, missionaries and saints they have
given to the Church!
To arouse and sustain zeal for souls is also the objective of the
Apostolate of Prayer.This confraternity was founded in 1844 and today
counts some thirty-five million associates. This is the morning offering to
which they are bound:
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee my prayers,
works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Thy Sacred
Heart, in union with the holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all our associates, and in
particular for (the intention of the month).
Thirty five million is a relatively small number! Happily the Jesuits are
far from being the only ones who are trying to teach souls to pray and to
suffer in union with Jesus, for the salvation of the world!
Among the most efficacious of all means to this end, and one that stands in
a class by itself, is the work of retreats. It seems that few preachers are
satisfied with this single theme:
"I have only one soul to save, And I wish to preserve it from the fires of
In September 1874, Msgr. d'Hulst wrote these words about retreats based on
the "Spiritual Exercises:"
"Just twenty years ago I first became acquainted with these retreats. Since
then, how much I owe to them for myself and my ministry with others."
Later in 1895, he said:
"I suddenly remembered all the great works that the disciples of Saint
Ignatius have accomplished in the world, especially the great missionaries
in Japan and America, the fearless confessors, the innumerable martyrs. How
did they prepare themselves for all that was before them? They did just
what I am doing at this moment: they made the "Exercises;" they were filled
with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, with the desire of following Him and with
absolute confidence in His grace. They needed no other initiation. Thus
armed... they went everywhere and everywhere they found themselves prepared
From another apostle, Albert de Mun, the founder of "Cercles ouvriers"
comes this forthright testimony:
"Only those who have had this experience know the value of three days given
to reflection and loyal self-examination. I dare to affirm that there is no
stronger or more salutary preparation for private or political life, for
family duties or social functions, for statesmen or the ordinary man."
If this be true of three day retreats, what must be said of the revelation
of Christ and the apostolic zeal that are the fruit of eight or ten days,
and especially of retreats of "the first degree" "in which all the
Spiritual Exercises are given in the same order in which they follow below"
There is also this general report given in answer to the 1944 inquiry of
the Cardinals and Archbishops of France:
"The Assembly desires that in addition to the pastoral retreat, priests be
at liberty to make a more prolonged retreat of eight or ten days in greater
silence, as His Holiness Pope Pius XI asks in his Encyclical, 'Mens
Nostra.' The Bishops therefore are informed that the request has come from
certain dioceses that such a retreat be made obligatory at regular
intervals (perhaps every five or ten years). The Assembly also strongly
recommends the "sacerdotal month", commonly called "the third year."
For similar reasons, it has long been the custom of the religious of the
Company to make in strict silence a first retreat of thirty days, at the
beginning of their novitiate, a second at the close of their period of
formation before their final vows. Jesuits consider these retreats to be
among the greatest graces of their lives.
To affirm that one saint or another practiced the most profound humility,
the most rigorous renunciation, the most absolute devotedness is surely not
to claim that he alone attained this level of virtue. At the close of this
study, in the light of this remark, we believe we can formulate certain
Combining freely the suggestions of the founders of Religious Orders and
the most competent spiritual writers, the spirituality of Saint Ignatius
proposes the most generous love of God to souls of good will, that is, to
those seeking perfection "in whatever state or manner of life He leads them
to choose" (155). This is the purest love because it is the most
disinterested: it is an unceasing search for "His greatest glory". Love
like this is least subject to illusions since it seeks "His better
service". Thus it leads to most exact obedience in "following" and in
closely "imitating" the Divine Redeemer. It maintains the rule of reason
and of faith, especially when we must make decisions or "elections". It is
guided by the rules of orthodoxy and there "fosters the right attitude of
mind we ought to have in the church militant" "For Thinking with the
Church," "Sentire cum Ecclesia"(352-370). It inculcates a love that is in
every respect most peaceable and attractive because Christian life becomes
"familiarity" with God, a companionship, an intimacy with the most wonder-
working of leaders and most affectionate of friends: Our Brother, the Lord
We have said that this is a most attractive love. Let us add that this is
true despite the sacrifices that this love requires, on condition that
these requirements are never considered apart from the appealing power of
the Person of Jesus. This power must be examined and carefully considered
and a more and more perfect response must be made to His invitations.
This spirituality which is very exact in its basic directives-- especially
in all that concerns reverence for the divine will-- was formulated at a
time when the principles of paganizing humanism and protestantism were
rampant, principles whose destructive force is still strong in modern
society. It was a just protest against the too frequent illusions that
wished to be recognized as divine illuminations and supernatural
The glory God desires, the greatest divine glory hymned so marvelously by
the heavens (Ps. 18:2) and for which they win no merit, is the holocaust
realized by free agents. Before the divine preferences are known,
"indifference" keeps these souls completely expendable (23, 169, 179). This
is the abandonment which is so well expressed by the "Suscipe" of "The
contemplation to attain love of God" (239). As soon as God's good pleasure
is manifest, there follows the most perfect execution of the duties it
This is a spirituality of perfect love born of joy. Love and joy are
inseparable. Psychology explains this. The one who loves finds contentment
in pleasing Him who is loved and can enjoy ineffable consolations even here
below. The great spiritual writers of the Company call this a kind of
"paradise." Experience proves they are right. Saint Paul said "I super-
abound with joy in the midst of my tribulations" (2 Cor. 7: 4), and Saint
Ignatius, after describing the eight trials in which he had been the
defendant, was able to write:
"Not for all the power and riches under heaven would I give up all that I
have just related. I even desire that worse things should befall me for
God's greater glory."
This same note is sounded in the biographies of many Jesuits. How can we
wonder at this after our Savior's solemn pledge:
"Amen I say to you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, ...or
mother, or father, ...for my sake and for the gospel's sake, who shall not
receive now in the present time a hundred-fold as much... along with
persecutions... (Mark 10:29-30; cf. John 14:21, 27; 15:10-11, etc).
It is easy to see that Ignatian spirituality can be of use even to members
of contemplative Orders. Among the mystics who have expressed their
gratitude, let us cite at least Louis of Blois, Philip Neri, Teresa of
Avila, Madeleine of Pazzi, Margaret Mary, Marie de l'Incarnation, Madeleine
However, it is especially adapted to the needs of souls who under one form
or another are consecrated to the direct apostolate, in a word to "men of
action." How many of these institutions have drawn their inspiration from
Ignatian spirituality since the sixteenth century. It awakens in generous
hearts a passion for the "Eternal King" and focuses their powers on the
Father's glory (91-98). It fosters and increases this through the regular
practice of mental prayer. Shortening, when it seems best, the length of
this important exercise, the soul is shown how to transform exterior work
into a form of contemplation that is unfettered, expansive, and in some way
By means of prayer and examinations of conscience, "considerations" and
"examens of foresight" souls are saved from imperceptible deviations, hasty
enthusiasms, and all the risks these entail. By retreats, made as far as
possible at regular intervals, the soul is given an opportunity for self-
appraisal, and if there be need, for change and a new start.
With God's help, Ignatian spirituality has formed priests and laymen into
admirable militants fired with an ardent spirit of conquest. It has also
formed saints. It can continue to do so in leading them, through love of
Jesus, with the help of His Blessed Mother, to overcome themselves, to
spend themselves gaily, each in his own way, so that the Father's will may
be accomplished in the fullest measure possible on earth with the same
enthusiasm as in heaven. "Sicut in caelo et in terra" (Matt. 6: 10).
1. E. THIBAUT, "Le recit du Pelerin," Autobiography of Saint Ignatius,
Bruges, 1924, n. 30-31. For the history of this document, consult, ibid.
pp. 9-11, and especially M. H. (Monumenta Historiae S.J.), "Fontes
Narrativi de S. Ignatio," I, Rome, 1941, pp. 323-352. "Obras completas de
S. Ignatio," Madrid, 1952, Introd., pp. 1-22; text, pp. 23-111.
2. The phrase "perinde ac cadaver" is to be found in "Vita S. Francisci,"
c. 6, n. 4 (Opera omnia Quaracchi, 8, pp. 520-521).
3. These figures refer to the numeration of Exercises; cf. "The Spiritual
Exercises," LOUIS J. PUHL Westminster, Md., 1951. Quoted with permission of
the Newman Press.
4. "Quien poco determina poco entiende y menos ayuda. Epistolae et
instructiones S. Ignatii," Madrid, 1903, I, p. 108. PERE DUDON, "Lettres
spirituelles de S. Ignace," Paris, 1933, p.52.
5. The religious not raised to the priesthood is bound to seek perfection
in virtue of his vows; the priest, too, must strive for the same high goal
because he comes much closer to the holy mysteries and shares more
intimately in the Savior's mission and powers; II, Il, 184, 8. Pius X,
"Haerent animo," "Acta Sanctae Sedis," 1908, 61, pp. 557-64. Pius Xl, "Ad
Catholici sacerdotii fastigium," "Acta Apostolicae Sedis," 1936, 28, pp. 23
6 This is the origin of the distinction that has been made in the Company
since the beginning between "first degree retreats" based without change on
the spiritual level and method of the "Exercises" and abridged retreats of
"the second" or even "the third degree". Similar adaptations are to be
found in books of meditation.
7. "But if we are sons, we are heirs also: heirs indeed of God and joint
heirs with Christ...." (cf. Rom., 8:17).
8. In retreats where there is opportunity for personal reflection, laymen
are often heard to say: "I now see things in an entirely different light."
It will be admitted that a retreat may lead, if not to the vow, at least to
the constant search for what is "most perfect." Cf. "L'amour de Dieu dans
les Exercises", "Recherche de science religieuse," 1952, 40, pp. 387-407.
9. J. E. LABORDE, "Le Pere L. Cros," Toulouse, 1921, 3, pp. 41-45.
10. "Imitation" 2:7, "Of the love of Jesus above all things;" 8, "Of
familiar friendship with Jesus."
11. "Imitation" 2:11, n. 2-4; 12, n. 8-15.
12. It is not correct to say that the ideas of the Jesuits on the Word
Incarnate were influenced by Cardinal de BERULLE. Cf. F. CAVALLERA, "Revue
d'ascetique et mystique, 1928, 9, pp. 74-76. A POTTIER, "Le Pere L.
Lallemant et les grands spirituels de son temps," 3 vols. Paris, 1927-29,
3, pp. 13-48.
13. "Summary of the Constitutions," rule 11. "The Directory" published in
1599 by Claude Aquaviva, third general of the Order, reads: "Meditation on
the Passion ought to be the soul's ordinary nourishment." 35:1. The reason
14. The term "effective love" may designate either perfect or imperfect
love which consists of dispositions of the will, "affectus;" or it may
designate love which expresses itself in affectionate sentiments without
ever being capable of serious renunciations, "effectus." Whence arises many
misunderstandings. It is indeed true that God judges us according to our
intentions ("He sees the heart", 1 Kgs. 16:7), but this enables Him to
discern the heart's dynamics (velleity or total gift); so that in every
case we can be sure that He will give to us according to our works (Apocl.
3:23). We, who are so inclined to deceive ourselves, ought to judge
ourselves by results, that is by our acts. Furthermore it is evident that
effective love requires no external work. Of this, the desolate but
resigned "fiat" of Gethsemani is the proof. "Not My Will but Thine be done"
(Luke, 22:42). In fact there is no truer or more substantial devotion than
we experience in those hours when, without feeling any of love's sweetness
or ardor (sensible devotion), our acts are those of our Savior:
resignation, conformity to God's will, perfect obedience despite nature's
active repugnance. SUAREZ, "De oratione," II, 8, n 112. ALVAREZ DE PAZ, "De
vita spiritualis," III, I, 9. A. LE-GAUDIER, "De la perfection de la vie
spirituelle," Bizeul tr., I Brussels, 1908, pp. 170-175. J. DE GUIBER,
"Lecons de theologie spirituelle," Toulouse, 1943, pp. 149-154.
15. There was a discussion in a rectory about the difficulty of preaching.
"O no," said a curate, "when I enter the pulpit I often have no idea what I
am going to say." To which the pastor replied: "Yes, dear friend; but when
you leave the pulpit they often do not know what you have said." The
easiest way to improvise is to use "cliches."
16. "I have not loved thee in jest.' Christ's words to Blessed Angela of
17. And of the third degree of humility.
18. Dom A. JAMET, "Marie de l'Incarnation," 4 vols. Paris-Quebec, 1929-
1949, 3, p. 55; 2, p. 435.
19. MARGARET MARIE. Cf. the offering of the "Suscipe" in the "Contemplation
to attain Divine Love" (234).
20. M. H., "Epistolae S. Ignatii," 9, p. 626. Cf. M. H., "Scripta de S.
Ignatio," I, p. 391, n. 108; p. 401, n. 38.
21. We are using the word in the broadest sense of personal prayer, of
conversation with God. Prayer thus understood is essential to all the
faithful who wish to advance in the spiritual life, it is all the more
necessary for priests. The Church as a matter of fact makes it a strict
obligation daily incumbent upon them, "quotidie orationi mentali per
aliquod tempus incumbant" (Canon 125; cf. 595, 1367), while she requires
them to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice only several times a year, "pluries
per annum" (Canon 805).
22. In 1581 an hour's daily mental prayer was definitely determined upon.
23. M. H., "Epistolae S. Ignatii," 3, p. 502, p. 510. PERE DUDON, "S.
Ignace, Lettres spirituelles," Paris, 1933, p. 186; cf. pp. 182-183.
24. Saint Pius X made use of this same expression, "instrumentum" in his
exhortation to the Catholic clergy: "They are not so much men as
instruments which God uses for the salvation of souls... One thing alone
unites men to God: holiness of life and customs." "Acta Sancta Sedis,"
1908, 41, p. 564.
25. M. H., "Epistolae P. H. Nadal," 4, p. 651.
26. Those who have read the study of Dr. Lhermitte, "Mystiques et faux
mystiques," Paris, 1952, will not be surprised by this statement. The
learned author moreover, observes that illusion is something quite
different from conscious pretense; nor is perversity, by any means, always
On this subject of illusions and the signs by which they may be recognized,
see A. Poulain, "Graces of Interior Prayer," Herder, 1922, Chapters 21-23,
27. St. Teresa wrote in reference to Father Pradanos, S. J. : He explained,
she said, "that I needed to return to my prayer: I was not working upon a
good foundation, nor had I begun to understand the nature of
mortification... He told me that my daily prayer should be based upon one
of the incidents of the Passion... My should began to grow notably better.
"Life of Saint Teresa of Jesus", p. 152, Sheed and Ward, London, 1944. On
the contemplation of the Humanity of Jesus, C. 22, pp. 131-136. Cf. "The
Way of Perfection," "Six Maisons," pp. 265-323.
28. See especially on "perfect and sublime" prayer the pages of RODRIGUEZ
which are so often incorrectly interpreted: "The Practice of Christian
Perfection," 5, 4-6, Paris, 1886; and our "Spiritualite Ignatienne," pp.
29. Letter of FRANCIS DE BORGIA, in D. DUDON S. J., "S. Ignace, Lettres
spirituelles," pp. 167-168; cf. our "S. Ignace, directeur d'ames," pp. 80-
81 (M. H. S. "Ignatii epistulae," 2, pp. 236-237).
30. M. VAN DER SANDT, (Sandacus), "Jubilum Societaties Jesu saeculare, ob
theologicam Mysticam in eadem excultam et illustratam," Cologne, 1640,
edit. H. WATRIGANT with studies and bibliographies, Enghien (Belgium),
1922, --L. DE GRANDMAISON, "La tradition mystique de la Compagnie, Etudes,"
1921, 166, pp. 129-156. M. MESCHLER, "Aszese und Mystik," 4th Edition,
Fribourg, 1922, 4, PP. 148-179.
31. "Exhortatio od clerum Catholicum," "Acta Sanctae Sedis," 1908, 41, pp.
32. "Ad Frates de Monte Dei," I, 4, 11; PL, 184: 314. William surely is far
from thinking that the sacred rites are solely evocative pious symbols. The
sacraments are of themselves efficacious, "ex opere operato," but their
fruit is proportionate to the dispositions of each soul. Recollection, life
of prayer assure the most favorable dispositions and without any
interruption prolong the exploitation of the graces received. It is very
likely that Ignatius knew this "Golden Letter" which was then attributed to
Saint Bernard. Without seeking to establish any dependence, it will be
noted that he uses exactly the same words to describe the colloquy: "The
colloquy is made by speaking exactly as one friend speaks to another or as
a servant speaks to a master." "Colloquium fit proprie loquendo sicut
amicus loquitur ad amicum, vel servus ad dominuum suum" (54). It is indeed
the same heart to heart relationship that he desires.
33. "Acta Ap. Sedis," 1947, 39, p. 385.
34. For souls who are called to perfection he has a far more exacting
counsel: "Each one must work with all the application of which he is
capable to attain, according to God ("in Domino," therefore guided by
discretion, i.e. "discreta carita"), the most perfect self-abnegation and
constant mortification in all things as far as this is possible." "General
Examen," 4-46. In the same tenor are the words Thomas of Kempis places on
the lips of our Savior: "My son, to have all you must give all and belong
to yourself in nothing". (3, 27, 1; 37, 5; 4, 8, 2). This is the common
doctrine of all great mystics and masters of asceticism.
35. "Experience religieuse," VACANT, "Dictionnaire de Theologie," 1913, 5,
36. "Constitution Summoram Pontificum," "Acta Apostolicae Sedis", 1922, 15,
pp. 420-422l Cf. Encyclical "Mens nostra," ibid., 1929, 21, pp. 689-706. A.
VALENSIN, "Les Exercises Spirituelles, Testes pontificaux annotes," Paris,
37. For details consult J. V. BAINVEL, "Devotion to the Sacred Heart,"
N.Y., 1924. A HAMON, "Histoire de la devotion au Sacre-Coeur," 5 vols.,
Paris, 1907-1940, vol. 1, "Vie de Marguerite Marie." Also see the official
letter of R. P. ROOTHAAN, "De cultu SS. Cordis Jesu, Opera Spiritualis,"
Ed. DE JONGE, Rome, 1936, I, pp. 413-425; "Lettres Choisies des PP.
Generaux," I Lyons, 1878; 2, pp. 152-173.
38. P. DUDON, "S. Ignace: Lettres spirituelles," p. 78 (M. H., "S. Ignatii
epistulae," I, p. 164). To justify these directives the Saint asked the
learned Father Salmeron, one of his earliest companions, to prepare the
first historical investigation on this subject. FAther Christopher de
Madrid was later to edit his findings, and FAther Dudon has translated
them, "Pour la communion frequente et quotidienne," Paris, 1910. Cf.
"Etudes," 1909, 120, pp. 25-38.
39. L. CROS, "Etudes," 1908, 115, P. 760; CF. PP. 752-765.
40. "Let them seek God in all," he asks of them, "stripping themselves of
love for all created things so as to direct all their affections toward the
Creator, loving Him in all creatures and all creatures in Him, according to
His most holy will." "Constitutions," 3, 1, 26.
41. A. DRIVE, "Marie et la Compagnie de Jesus," Paris, 1913, 7, pp. 257-
270. John Etudes was a member of the Congregation of Our Lady at the Jesuit
college at Caen (D. BOULAY, "Vie du Venerable Jean Eudes," 4 vols., Paris,
1905-1908, I, 3, PP. 55-58). GRIGNON DE MONTFORT, too, was a member at the
college at Rennes. (A. LAVEILLE, L. M. "Gr. de Montfort," Paris, 1907, 2,
pp. 24-26). Laveille has made extensive use of "La Triple Couronne" of
Father POIRE (republished by the Benedictines of Solesmes, 3 vols., Le
Mans, 1948). "La Bibliotheca mariana" (S.J.) published at Paris in 1885 by
FAther C. SOMMERVOGEL contained 2207 numbers.
42. "Selva," 2, 2nd instruction, "Works," A. C. PELTIER, ed., Paris, 1879,
12, p. 351.
43. PL., 183, 444.
44. "Sentences choisies," n. 8, in our "S. Ignace, directeur d'ames," p.
45. "Examen general," (text to be submitted to candidates to the Company),
46. P. DUDON, "S. Ignace: lettres spirituelles," p. 143, Cf. pp. 130-146
(M.H., "S. Ignatii epistulae" I, pp. 495-510.)
47. "Provided only that in every way.... Christ is being proclaimed; in
this I rejoice, yes and I shall rejoice" (Phil., 1:18).
48. In his celebrated "Letter on Obedience" of March 26, 1553. M. H., "S.
Ignatii epistulae," 4, pp. 669-681. P. DUDON, "S. Ignace, Lettres
spirituelles," pp. 206-223. Cf. our "S. Ignace, directeur d'ames," pp. 194-
49. Prior to the expulsion of missionaries from China, the Company
consecrated some 2500 priests to this work. Comparative statistics:
"Documentation catholique," 1951, 48, p. 442. "Ami du clerge," 1951, 61,
50. J. LETOURNEULX, "Le P. Haguenin," national chaplain of fairs, Paris,
1950. A. BELANGER, "Les jesuites et les humbles, ibid.," 1901. P. MURY,
"Les jesuites a Cayenne," Strasbourg, 1895. See the general table of
"Menologe de la Compagnie de Jesus," EL. DE GUILLERMY (14 vols., Paris,
1867-1904): chaplains in prisons, pp. 525-526; Jesuits who died as the
result of care given to the plague-stricken, pp. 503-510. On the multiple
works founded in Rome by Ignatius, Orphan Asylum, Catechumenate for Jews,
Refuge of Saint Martha for prostitutes, etc., P. TACCHI VENTURI, "Storia
della Comp. di Gesu," Rome, 1910-1922, I, pp. 624-676; 2 pp. 178-181. "If
by the work of an entire life", he answered the Fathers who were trying to
persuade him to conserve his strength, "I were to succeed in convincing
only one of these poor women not to offend the divine Majesty, were it
merely for the period of a few hours, I would consider myself more than
sufficiently paid." X DE FRANCIOSI, "L'Esprit de S. Ignace," Paris, 1952,
51. E. VILLARET, "Les Congregations mariales," Paris, 1947, I, pp. 217-287.
PIUS XII, Constitution "Bis saeculari," "Acta Apostolicae Sedis," 1948, 15,
pp. 393-402. Letter to Very Reverend Father General, ibid., 17, pp. 437-440
("Messager du Sacre-Coeur," 1950, 90, pp. 281-283).
52. H. RAMIERE, "L'Apostoalat de la priere," Toulouse, n. d., C. PARRA, "Le
Pere H. Ramiere," ibid., 1934.
53. CARD. BAUDRILLART, "Vie de Mgr. D'Hulst," Paris, 1914, 2, 33, pp. 554-
54. A. DE MUN, "Ma vocation sociale," Paris, n. d., p. 166. Pius XI came to
the conclusion that the spread of the retreat movement would bring about
the world's regeneration. "Mens nostra," "Acta Apostolicae Sedis," 1929,
21, p. 703. This Encyclical is a true treatise on retreats. Pius XI
acknowledged what he believed he owed to the "Exercises." Ibid., p. 691.
55. MGR. GUERRY, "Le clerge diocesain en face de sa mission actuelle," 12-
56. J. JANSSEN, the eminent historian summarizes and puts in order all the
discoveries made in earlier centuries. "So extraordinary has been its
influence on souls that no other ascetical writing can be compared to it":
"L'Allemagne et la Reforme," E. PARIS, tr., Paris, 1895, 4, 3, 1, pp. 402-
57. "Examen general," 1, 2; "Constitutions," 7, 5.
58. It must be carefully noted that Ignatius offers his meditations on the
Gospels only as "an introduction and method for better and more complete
meditation later on" (162).
59. ALVAREZ DE PAZ, A. RODRIGUEZ, J. CRASSET, J. NOVET, J. RIGOULEC, J. B.
SAINT-JURE, J. J. SURIN and many others use equivalent terms.
60 P. DUDON, "S. Ignace: Lettres spirituelles," pp. 96-98.
61. F. CHARMOT, "La doctrine spirituelle des hommes d'action," Paris, 1938.
62. His Holiness Pope Pius XII said significantly to the seminarians who
were celebrating the fourth centenary of the Germanica and its fifty
martyrs: "As far as its ascetical doctrine is concerned, we might believe
that Saint Ignatius wrote (his little book) for our time.... If you have
entered the school of the "Exercises," Your priestly action will be what
the priesthood is meant to be: the backbone of Catholic life, whether it be
an apostolate without the shedding of blood or whether it be a bloody
apostolate" "Acta Ap. Sedis," 1952, 34, p. 828.