Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Liberty Of Mind

St. Ignatius of Loyola took much of his rules for spiritual life from the Fathers of the Desert, especially Serapion; the work of Cisneros, who had been Abbot of Monserrato, was certainly known to him, but there is no similarity to give any ground for the accusation of plagiarism. The ' Exercises' originated in Manresa, and were perfected by the experience of Ignatius when he began to teach. Whoever uses them must own that only Divine inspiration could have shown Ignatius such secrets of the human heart—such remedies, such stimulants, and such aids. At the beginning of the ' Spiritual Exercises' were placed some general instructions, translated by one of General the Fathers into Latin verse. We give them here from Mariani's prose:—
Do not argue with anyone, however much your inferior; and, although you are in the right, rather appear the vanquished than the victor. Try to obey blindly in all things, and willingly submit your own judgment, however superior it may be. Do not remark the faults of others, and cover them when they are seen; search into your own, and be pleased when they are made evident to the world. Whatever you do, say, or think, consider in the first place whether it be for your neighbor's good, and pleasing in the sight of God. Preserve always your liberty of mind; see that you lose it not by any- . Liberty of one's authority, nor by any event whatever. Do not lightly bind yourself in friendship with any man; examine first with judgment and discrimination. Always exorcise the mind or body in good actions. Be a fool in the opinion of man, and so you .will be wise before God. Keep these things in your mind day and night; and when you go to rest, protect yourself by prayer.
Link (here) to read the mentioned portion of the book entitled, Ignatius of Loyola and the early Jesuits by Stewart Rose.

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