Thursday, September 1, 2011

Without Vices Or Frivolity

The outline of the once far-famed Institute of Ignatius of Loyola, than which nothing can be conceived better calculated 
to organize a powerful and effective body of men, with cultivated minds and subdued passions, possessing the gravity and decorum of the cloister without its sullenness and reserve, and the suavity and accomplishments of the world, without its vices or frivolity. 
That there were exceptions to this character is not to be doubted, but such exceptions were rare; and even in cases where vice had set her seal on the heart of the priest, she veiled herself under an exterior of decency and modesty : and where ambition had fired the imagination, its flames were shrouded within the temple of his own breast. But, if his example was less likely to offend, his designs were more difficult to penetrate, and his misconduct more difficult to detect; consequently dismission from the society was less likely to occur. 
The founder, however, as far as possible, provided against such an evil, by the scrupulousness and care with which the candidates for admission were examined ; and cautious indeed must have been the youth who could have so far veiled his natural disposition, as to suppress any indications of his illicit tendencies, if they really existed, during the whole period of his novitiate, in a place where there were numerous eyes upon him, sharpened by observation and experience in the knowledge of character, to watch and report them. 
These regulations display profound policy; but the wisdom of Ignatius is no where more conspicuous than in those provisions which he made for the education, not only of the novices, to which the attention of the society was for four or five years after its establishment chiefly confined, but of all such youths as chose to enter themselves in their colleges.
Link (here) to the portion of the book entitled The Retrospective Review

No comments: