Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ignatius And Keeping Out Of Hell

Ignatius, lived during a period when, perhaps surprisingly to some people, these same reformers who rejected the papacy denied human liberty. Did you know that? At the heart of the reformation, as it came to be euphemistically called, is the denial that man has a real human freedom with which he can either choose to serve or choose to reject God. 
Well then, who is saved? "Who?" the reformers will say, "That's easy. Those are saved whom God predestines. They get the grace; they cannot help being good. Sadly, you must add, and the evil of those who will be lost cannot help being bad." But no freedom. The cardinal heresy of the Western world is the denial of human freedom. 
Ignatius then, you would expect to stress man's free will. Of course we need divine help. We need divine light and strength, who doubts it? But we must want to cooperate and we are not coerced to do so. In Ignatius' vocabulary a saint is a person who wants to be a saint. It is both that simple and that awful. Hell is very real and it is no injustice, though it's a great mystery. Why not? 
Because God gave us a free will to either serve Him or reject Him. And if we want to, as every page of the Exercises brings out, we can be either just sufficiently cooperative with God's grace to keep out of hell – a big risk needless to say; you're taking a chance. 
Or you can give and give and give more and more. That's why there could be only one motto for St. Ignatius which he bequeathed to his sons: "for the greater glory of God." That comparative degree is at the heart of Ignatius' spirit. Not just for the glory of God or the great glory of God, but the greater. "My friend," he would tell us, "exert yourself; push a little harder; do more."

"More than what?"

"More than you're doing."

"But I'm doing all that I can."

"Try harder!"

That's Ignatius.

Link (here) to Saint Ignatius Loyola - Jesuit Saint  by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.


Volcano Vaporizer said...

James Alexander Thom, bestselling author of two magnificent historical novels, says about his modern novel, Staying Out of Hell.. Thanks to author.

Maria said...


www.mueblesensevilla.com said...

The guy is definitely right, and there's no question.