Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wherein He Saw Christ Like The Sun

Carl Heinrich Bloch's Transfiguration


After this, I asked the pilgrim about the Exercises and Constitutions, that I might understand how he had written them. He replied that the Exercises had not been composed all at once, but that when he noticed anything profitable to himself he noted it down in any way which seemed likely to be of use to others, such as the method of examination of conscience by drawing lines and the like. 
In particular he declared that the method of election arose from that changeable state of mind he perceived in himself when he lay sick at Loyola of his broken leg. He told me he would answer my question about the Constitutions in the evening. He sent for me the same day before we had supped. 
At this time his countenance was as of a man abstracted from outward things beyond the common. He made a protestation which came nearly to this, that it showed with what simplicity and good intention he told these things, declaring that he knew for certain that he had exaggerated in nothing, and that, though he had often offended our Lord, yet he had never consented to mortal sin since he began to serve Him; yea, rather, his devotion and ease in finding God had continually increased up to this present, when it was greater than in all his life before; and now he could find God whensoever and as often as he would, and many visions were vouchsafed to him, the greater number like unto those before mentioned, wherein he saw Christ like the sun; and this came upon him often, tending to confirm him when he was speaking of matters of great moment.
Visions fell often to his lot when he celebrated the Sacrifice of the Mass, and again with exceeding frequency when he was fashioning the Constitutions. And this he could the more easily affirm for that he had written down daily what things were done in his soul, and he was even then looking out what he had written. 
Even as he spoke he showed me a moderately large bundle of papers collected out of his writings, and read me a good number of them. 
The greater part were visions confirming some of the Constitutions. In these he saw sometimes God the Father, sometimes the Trinity of Persons, sometimes the Most Blessed Mary, [now interceding, now approving. He spoke 'of two points in particular, in the determining whereof he had spent forty days, saying Mass daily, and with daily abundance of tears. 
The question was whether our church should have revenues, and whether the Society could make use of them. The method he observed in drawing up the Constitutions was to say Mass day by day, showing and offering to God each point whereof he treated, and praying about it. He offered his Mass and made his prayer always with tears. I wanted to read all those papers of the Constitutions, and besought him to let me have a short loan of them, but he would not.
Link (here) to The Testament of Ignatius Loyola: Being "Sundry Acts of Our Father Ignatius ... " By Saint Ignatius (of Loyola), Luis González de Cámara

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