Monday, August 30, 2010

St. Ignatius of Loyola, "Get Men To Follow Virtue And To Flee From Vice"

When you are explaining the " Exercises," and giving the reason of them, and in general when speaking in any conversation, do not think you are talking in private, but in public, so as to measure your words, and to say nothing you would not wish every one to know. In giving the " Exercises," make it a rule not to give more than the first week, except to very few who have to make choice of a state of life by the " rules of election." Do not allow them to bind themselves by vows, neither put them into very small rooms. Soften down the laws and prescriptions of the " Exercises " when needful, and especially for those who have to go through them in their entirety.
In the method of teaching Catechism to children suit yourselves to their age, so as sweetly to teach them the mysteries of our faith, and explain them according to the capacity and condition of your hearers. And commence these instructions by briefly exhorting those present to cause God by their prayers to be gracious to the holy Council. Every four days you will in turn visit the public hospitals at an hour which is not inconvenient to the sick, and besides hearing their confessions, try to console them and to assuage their sufferings, not merely by kind words, but with some little present, as far as you are able. And admonish them also to pray God for the Council which has been opened.
In every conversation you chance to have, spy out an occasion for that most important of all matters, to exhort people to repentance and to all other virtues, and ever keep before your eyes to seek the good, not of one only, but of the whole Christian world. So, as in discussions and arguments it is well to be brief; in order, however, to get men to follow virtue and to flee from vice, your speech should be long, and full of charity and kindness."
Link (here) to the portion of the book entitled, St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Early Jesuits. This is a portion of a letter from St. Ignatius to his brethren at the Council of Trent 


Maria said...

I just never tire of reading St. Ignatius...Thanks, Joseph.

Kelly said...

I just never tire of reading St. Ignatius...Thanks, Joseph.