Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ignatius And His Lost Manuscript On The Holy Trinity

Ignatius of Loyola's face was covered with dirt, his hair matted, and his beard and nails of a fearful length, but his soul filled with inward satisfaction, he begged his bread from door to door, a spectacle of scorn and ridicule to all the inhabitants and children of Manreza. He persevered in this course,
notwithstanding the suggestions of the wily enemy of mankind, who wished to tempt him to the world again, 
until a report was circulated that he was a person of quality, and the feelings of the people were converted from scorn and ridicule to admiration and reverence, whereupon he retreated to a cave in the neighbourhood. The gloom of his new abode excited in him a lively, vigorous spirit of penance, in which he revelled with the utmost fervour, and without the least restraint.
He chastised his body four or five times a day with his iron chain, abstained from food until exhausted nature compelled him to refresh himself with a few roots, and instead of praying seven hours a day, he did nothing but pray from morning until night, and again, from night until morning, lamenting his transgressions, and praising the mercies of God. 
These excessive indulgences mightily impaired his health, and brought on a disease of the stomach, which at intervals afflicted him, until the time of his death : the spiritual joys which they had formerly brought him suddenly disappeared, he became melancholy, had thoughts of destroying himself, and then recollecting to have read of a hermit who, having fruitlessly petitioned for a favour from God, determined to eat nothing until his prayers were heard, he also resolved to do the same; he persevered for a week, and then at the command of his spiritual director left off fasting, His troubles ceased, and he now began to wax into a saint.
He had a vision of the mystery of the Holy Trinity, of which he spoke, although he could only just read and write, with so much light, and with such sublime expressions, that the most ignorant were instructed, 
and the most learned delighted. Nay, he wrote down his conceptions of this mystery, but we lament to say, that his manuscript was unfortunately lost.
Link (here) to the portion of the book entitled, The Retrospective Review

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Half-Saved Soul

Well versed himself in the dangers of the world, the confessor listened with feeling, and answered with wise words.
He showed Ignatius Loyola how Satan slips into the very act of conversion, and prompts the half-saved soul to spiritual pride; he pointed out the true life for the penitent to pursue, and the dangers he would need especially to guard against; he sketched for him the varying features of the Evil One, 
so that he might know them even when they came before him in the guise of an angel's countenance.
Link (here) to The Writing of James Handasyd Perkins

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Working For God

St. Ignatius declaring that if he had the choice between Heaven at once, or a longer life with all its uncertainty, he would choose the latter if he could thereby go on working for God.
Link (here)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Saint Ignatius On The Virtue Of Humility

Saint Magdalene de Pazzi, a Carmelite Nun, favored with frequent and authentic visions, being rapt in ecstasy on the 18th of December, 1594, beheld the Blessed Virgin placed between St. Ignatius and St. Angelo, a Carmelite and martyr. She led up these two Saints to the holy Magdalene, so that they might instruct her, the one in the virtue of humility, the other in that of poverty. St. Ignatius was the first who spoke, and Magdalene, as it always happened when in these raptures, repeated in a loud, though sometimes broken voice, the words which she heard, and which were as follows :— 
" I, Ignatius, am chosen by the Mother of thy Divine Spouse, to speak to thee upon humility. Listen then to my words. Humility, like the oil poured into a lamp, ought to fill the heart of those who enter upon a religious life; and as the oil occupies every part of the vase into which it is poured, so humility, which is the true knowledge of ourselves, ought to occupy all the powers of the human soul. And as the wick cannot burn unless impregnated with oil, so the soul cannot bear fruits of perfection and holiness, if we neglect for one moment to feed it with humility, which is the basis of all religious virtue. It is, besides, nothing else than the ever-present consciousness in the mind of its own nothingness, and the constant love of every thing which can tend to self-abasement. Thus, even whilst we enjoy the subjection in which we hold all the powers of our soul, far from attributing merit to ourselves, we must submit, with unshaken firmness, to all the humiliating trials necessary to be undergone, before we arrive at that perfect peace and order, the attainment of which is our sole object in assuming the religious habit. If those who direct the novices find in them a certain repugnance to renounce either their will or their judgment, they must reprove them severely for this, as for a serious fault; and at the same time show them how they glorify God by their submission, and the great fruits unto salvation which they will gather from humility. Let humility become the object of their love, of their desire, of their aspiration. Let this virtue shine in all their words, in all their actions, and let every word which is not impressed with humility be as much avoided in religion, as words of blasphemy in the world.
"The Superiors .should give such constant examples of humility, as to render all further proofs of their possessing that virtue unnecessary, when they reprimand or exhort their children. Let every Spouse of Christ hold herself in readiness to be transplanted either into the valleys or upon the mountains, every where ready to give forth precious fruits. Let them be in the edifice of spiritual perfection, like the stones employed in building the Temple of Solomon, where no sound of hammer was ever heard. And, should they resist whilst being fitted in to the places which they are destined to fill in the building, let them be silenced, partly by acts of love, and partly by severity. Or, if such humility is distasteful to them, place in their hands an image of their Crucified Spouse, and show them how they are to imitate Him. Let those who have the care of souls never cease to exercise them in humility, so long as the flesh and bones of their bodies hold together; for it is a ladder with many steps which we must always mount, and yet which will never raise us higher, because we must always ascend and descend it.

"The soul which has no humility can never rise above itself, for a thousand low passions, a thousand vain desires chain it to earth. As the Incarnate Word constituted his apostles fishers of men, so he has charged his Spouses to win over souls to Him. I have now spoken to thee enough upon humility; I leave thee to one who will instruct thee upon the true spirit of poverty."
Thus spake the Blessed Ignatius upon the great virtue of humility; and since the Mother of the Eternal Word thus chose him from amongst so many other humble Saints, who had formerly lived upon earth, and now enjoyed the presence of God in Heaven, to teach it to a holy servant of the Lord, this alone, according to the opinion of those capable of appreciating that virtue in all its perfection, is sufficient to prove to what a super-eminent degree of humility St. Ignatius had attained.
Link (here) to the History of the Life and Institute of Ignatius of Loyola

Monday, August 22, 2011


The Sovereign Pontiff, Clement XIII., by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Jan. 27, 1767, granted to all the faithful who, truly penitent, having confessed and communicated, upon the ten consecutive Sundays preceding the feast of S. Ignatius of Loyola, or upon any other ten consecutive Sundays during the year, exercise themselves in pious meditation, or vocal prayer, or any other work of Christian piety to the glory of God and in honor of the same saint, and visit some church of the Society cf Jesus:
A PLENARY Indulgence, on each of the Sundays.
In places where the said Society does not exist, the Sovereign Pontiff, Gregory XVI., by a rescript of the same S. Congr. of Indulgences, Dec. 10, 1841, granted that the faithful might gain these plenary indulgences by visiting their parish church and there praying for some space of time according to the intention of his Holiness.

O glorious patriarch, S. Ignatius, we humbly beseech thee to obtain for us from God, first, freedom from the greatest of all evils, which is sin, and then also from that fatal disease, cholera, which is one of the scourges by which God punishes the wickedness
of his people. Thy example has awakened in our hearts a lively desire to labor continually for the greater glory of God and the good of our neighbor. Obtain for us also from the loving Heart of Jesus, our Lord, that grace which is the crown of all others, final perseverance, and eternal beatitude. Amen.
His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Feb. 5, 1885, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, devoutly recite the above prayer:
An Indulgence Of Two Hundred Days, once a day.
Link (here) to the New Raccolta

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Persevering Courage To Follow Jesus

Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
"Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves."
The apostolate of souls has been carried on age after age by the faithful servants of the Lord.
One of these was Ignatius of Loyola, who, with little learning, for he was but a soldier, without any temporal means, for he had forsaken all things, went forth to raise in a new and special manner the standard of Jesus in the midst of His enemies.
Have I listened to his burning words
in vain? Have I refused to follow that standard?
"Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves."
These words were wonderfully illustrated by this great saint. He trained his followers, the Company of Jesus, to become wise and prudent, that they might gain souls; and humble and gentle as little children, that they might perfect their own lives, and become in all things like Him they preached.
Such was the saint himself, wise and prudent beyond measure, but rooted in humility and contempt of the world. Are you walking in that path?
.*'And you shall be brought before governors and before kings, for My sake."
And this was the glorious heritage St. Ignatius won for his "Company." Never during its whole history has persecution ceased.
Our Lord did not fear the hatred of men, neither did this great saint, who drank in so deeply the lessons of his Divine Master. And thus his order, the Company of Jesus, has remained faithful to its constitutions, its traditions, its spirit, because it is ever being purified by the fire of persecution.
Do not, then, be cowardly in God's service. Ask, by the intercession of St. Ignatius, for an intrepid heart and persevering courage to follow Jesus, despising the world.
Link (here)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Twenty-Nine Years Before

In 1585, Fernando Selma painted a portrait of Ignatius Loyola, from waxen casts taken from the dead body twenty-nine years before, 
and from the recollections of Father Bibadeneyra, the Hagiologist, which was reckoned the best representation ever made of the stern and melancholy countenance of the great first Jesuit. 
The fate of this interesting picture is not known; but it may have been the original of that striking portrait which hangs in the church of San Miguel, at Seville.
Link (here) to read the mentioned portion of the book entitled, Annals of the Artist of Spain

Considered Miraculous

What Loyola promised, he performed. 
Numbers of his emissaries were dispersed over Europe, Asia, and Africa, 
and their success in propagating the gospel was considered miraculous. 
Link (here)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Oh! How Loathsome Is The Earth To Me When I Lift Up My Eyes Toward Heaven!"

However great the desire of St. Ignatius of Loyola was to do good works on earth, yet he wished ardently to be dissolved and to be with Christ. He was often heard to say: "Oh! how loathsome is the earth to me when I lift up my eyes toward heaven!" One may safely say, that his longing for the vision of God accelerated his dissolution. He departed, as the Pontifical Bull expresses it, in admirable sanctity, and many miracles glorified his tomb. God honored him, as he had honored God.
Link (here) to read the rest Herman John Hueser's piece at Repertorium Oratoris Sacri

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Great Persons In That Day

Two things Ignatius of Loyola would not do: he would not mount the mule that stood ready caparisoned for him when it was time to take his leave; and he would not let himself be escorted home by servants bearing lighted torches before him, as was the custom with great persons in that day.
Link (here) to the book entitled Ignatius of Loyola and the early Jesuits, by Stewart Rose

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Christ Himself

Ignatius of Loyola spoke as founder of a work in which he was but an instrument, he spoke in the name of the Society which he was intending to establish. In this state of mind he entered into the chapel, and prayed with extraordinary fervour, and fell into an ecstasy.
He found himself enlightened and fortified by a vision which took place not on earth, but in Heaven, in which he saw Jesus Christ holding His Cross aloft, and saying, "I will be favourable to you at Rome.
God therefore signified to him the place to which he was to go, and assured him at the same time that he would succeed in founding the Society of Jesus, and that Christ Himself would be the true Head and Founder of it, 
Link (here) to the mentioned portion of the book entitled, The Life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Fr. Gennelli, S.J.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ignatius On The Treatment Of Sinners

"Treat sinners as a good mother treats 
her child when sick; she bestows on him many more caresses 
than when he is in good health"

Saint Ignatius of Loyola (here) 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Descended From The Roman Conqueror Of Spain

St. Ignatius of Loyola in arms
Ignatius was born in 1491, near Azpeitia in Guipuscoa, of an ancient line which on one side claimed descent from the Roman conqueror of Spain. In his youth he differed little from other young men of his rank. He followed the profession of arms, and devoted himself, after the fashion of his time, to the service of a noble lady. (Mr. Rose thinks that she was no less a personage than Germaine de Foix, the second wife of Ferdinand of Arragon). In 1521 he was serving with the garrison of Pamplona, the capital of Navarre, which was being held for Charles V. against the partisans of the D'Albret family (which Ferdinand had dispossessed), supported by secret help from the French king. The town was evacuated on the approach of the French, but the citadel still held out, and into this Ignatius retired. A few days afterwards the besiegers delivered an assault. In the course of the struggle Ignatius was wounded. Seldom has a cannon - ball been fired to more effect than that which put an end to the young Spaniard's soldiering on the Whit Monday of 1521—the same year, by the way, in which Luther made his famous declaration the Diet of Worms. Appropriately enough a basilica, which we have figured in this notice, marks the spot where this wound, so far-reaching in its effects, was inflicted. The conquerors treated the young knight with the greatest respect. He was conveyed to a lodging in the town, and when it was evident that he required more careful nursing than could there be supplied, he was taken to his home at the Castle of Loyola. He had not yet given up the world. When the surgeon told him that a painful operation, the sawing off a protruding bone, would be necessary to prevent permanent deformity, he insisted on its being performed.
Link (here) to read the portion of the mentioned work in the book entitled, The Portfolio

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Benedictine Monk John Chanones Confessor To Ignatius

There was, among the Benedictine monks of Montserrat, a man of eminent wisdom and sanctity. He was a Frenchman, called John Chanones; he was chief confessor to the pilgrims, and the tender care of Almighty God brought Ignatius to his side. To him Ignatius revealed his aspirations after a life of austerity. 
He confessed with the most edifying contrition, and he asked for rules for the guidance of his future conduct. The holy monk confirmed him in his designs, and did all that he required. In the evening, carrying his pilgrim's dress, he went out to find a poor man, to whom he could give his clothes, the rich and costly garments which he had determined never to wear any more. 
He found a poor man, and, taking off his clothes, bestowed them upon him; then, slipping on the sackcloth garment, and binding his girdle round him, he returned to the monastery. Entering the church, he recollected how the heroes in the romances he had read watched whole nights in their arms. The soldier of Christ would do this in the spirit of holiness. He remained in the church before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, sometimes standing and sometimes kneeling, devoting himself to Jesus and to her, and praying for grace and strength to serve them faithfully. Then he hung up his sword on a pillar by the altar, and so let the world go, and gave himself to God; and in these pious dispositions, early in the morning, he received holy communion.
Link (here) to the mentioned portion of the book, The Life of St. Ignatius of Loyola by Gertrude Parsons

Vigil In Arms

Ignatius was about to enter on a life of renunciation and penance, and, being a beginner, stood in need of preparation and armour. He therefore entered the chapel of Our Lady at Montserrat—it was on the 24th of March, the vigil of the Annunciation, 1522— and spent a whole night in keeping his spiritual "vigil in arms." Those who have most carefully collected his own statements affirm positively, on his authority, that he drew his inspirations from the old customs of chivalry, nay, that he was acting from recollection of the accounts of "Amadis" and other writings of the same kind. But his armour was no longer the same. He had hung up in the chapel his baldric, dagger and sword. His spiritual armour consisted of the clothes of a poor man, for which he had exchanged his own, a kind of gown of coarse cloth, shoes of esparto-grass, a rope girdle, a gourd, and a sort of wallet, destined to carry, together with his bread, the book which he had taken away from Loyola—probably the volume composed by himself of all sorts of extracts from pious works.
Link (here) to the mentioned portion of the book entitled, St. Ignatius of Loyola by Jesuit Fathers Henri Joly, George Tyrrell 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Two Skulls And Saint Ursula

Ignatius would not allow of any intercessors nor any controversy; still finally the man gave up his project. I never saw him angry except once. He was standing with his stick, for one leg was weak, when some one of the house came into the room and fell at his feet, begging pardon and mercy for some fault or other. 
The Padre bade him get up several times over, but he would not. Then I saw that he took it ill, that that person did not rise. Being put out, he turned and left the room, going into his camera
I was also there when two reverend religious brought in two skulls from the relics of Saint Ursula and 12,000 Virgins at Cologne. At another time came a present of confetti and wax. The wax was sent to the Sacristy, but the confetti, being well ornamented, he presented to the Cardinals.
Link (here) to the portion mentioned in the book, entitled Saint Ignatius of Loyola, by Fr. John Hungerford Pollen, S.J.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ignatius In His Own Hand

Ignatius of Loyola, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, to his well-beloved brothers in Jesus Christ, the Superiors and Members of the Society of Jesus, salutation in our Lord. As the true charity which obliges us to embrace the whole body of the Church in Jesus Christ its Head, 
requires us to apply more especially remedies to those portions of this same body which are suffering from dangerous sickness, we have thought it right that our Society should devote itself with particular attention, according to the feeble measure of our powers, to the succour of Germany and the northern nations whom the malady of heresy exposes to the greatest dangers. 
And although in other ways we discharge this duty, and many amongst us endeavour to give succour to these countries by our prayers and the holy sacrifice of the Mass, nevertheless, in order that this duty of charity to our neighbour may be exercised for a longer time and in a more extensive sphere, we give orders to all our brothers, both to those who are under our immediate rule, and those who are placed under the authority of Rectors and other Superiors appointed to govern, to say, if they are Priests, every month a Mass, and if they are not Priests, to recite prayers for the spiritual wants of Germany:
that the Lord may be pleased at last to have mercy upon that nation and the other lands which heresy has infected by its contagion, and to bring them back by His grace to the purity of the Catholic faith and true religion. 
And we wish that they should continue to do so, as long as the want of these countries shall remain. We wish also that wherever the Society is established, no province, though it were at the furthest extremities of the Indies, be exempt from this duty of charity.

Ignatius Loyola
Rome, July 25, 1553.

Link (here)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Dramatic First Meeting

Francis Xavier was at the zenith of his fame at the University of Paris, when, in the early spring of 1528, a poor Spanish scholar, leading an ass laden with some books and a scanty supply of raiment, travelstained and wearied by the long journey on foot from Salamanca, entered the French capital and sought the "Quartier Latin." No longer a young man, and bearing evident marks of privation and hardship, this stranger re-studied grammar among the small boys at the College Montaigu; a proceeding which excited no comment, as elderly men were often seen among the students, as is still the case in China at the present day. When he had completed his course of grammar, he began to study philosophy at Sainte-Barbe. This grave man, with a decided limp — the result of a wound received at the siege of Pampeluna — having been robbed of his small store of money, was glad to be lodged as a "poor scholar" in the hospice of St. James, the patron saint of Spain. He paid the necessary fees for his course out of alms collected in Belgium and London during the vacations. This poorly clad student was Ignatius de Loyola, who had been formerly a noble and brave soldier, and greatly distinguished for his devotion to king and country, and was even now meditating the foundation of the Society of Jesus. He could not have been long at the Paris University without hearing of and seeing his countryman, the brilliant Master of Arts, Francis Xavier, and one would think their first meeting must have been rather dramatic.
Link (here) to the book entitled, A Life of Saint Francis Xavier, S.J.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The First Disciple Of Ignatius Loyola: Blessed Peter Favre, S.J.

So it was to be. Peter Favre was ill at Barcelona before he could sail, and was urged to delay his voyage. But he had but one idea, that of obeying the order given him to present himself to the Pope. He sailed on June 21, and was at the gates of Rome in less than a month. 
It is said that Ignatius hesitated to allow him to come at that terribly dangerous season of the year, but the other fathers listened only to their own eagerness to see Favre once more, or, in the case of many of them, for the first time, and the prudence of the General was overruled. Favre had hardly been in Rome a week, enjoying the renewal of his long disused intercourse with the "father of his soul," 
when his illness returned with malignant force, and in a few days his recovery was despaired of. Full of joy at the thought of being with his God, he calmed and encouraged his weeping friends, and prepared himself once more for that last moment for which his whole life had been a preparation. He died in the arms of St . Ignatius, in the afternoon of August 1, the feast of St. Peter's Chains, which that year fell upon a Sunday. 
Favre's latest biographer tells us how a feeling of peace and joy came over the fathers at Rome almost at the moment of their great loss; how St. Ignatius, in announcing his death to the Society, left out the usual order that Masses should be celebrated for the repose of his soul, and spoke of him as an intercessor gained to the Society in heaven; how St. Francis Xavier in the Indies, on his first voyage after receiving the news of his death, invoked his assistance in a terrible tempest; and how St. Francis Borgia at Gandia, saw him at the moment of his death, in great glory, "saying great things concerning Christ's obedience and his own, expressing the greatest happiness at having died for obedience, and promising never to cease to pour forth supplications to God for the Church." 
Ignatius, in order to calm the grief of the fathers at Rome, communicated to them at this time the hitherto secret intention of Borgia to enter the Society. Favre was counted as a saint from the first, and we find the same opinion of him held by St. Francis de Sales in the generation after his own. His name has always been great among the children of the Society, and yet it is not to them that he owes his present position in their Calendar among the beatified servants of God. It was in his own country, at Villaret, among the rugged mountains of Savoy, where he had tended his sheep as a boy, and preached like a little apostle to the villagers on the Sundays and festivals, that religious veneration was paid to him, a chapel built on the spot on which he was born, Mass celebrated solemnly on the anniversary of his death, and a pilgrimage established in his honour. 
Link (here) to the portion of original essay at The Month and (here) to the beginning of the same essay.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Christ-study Was The Kernel Of Ignatian Spirituality

Some admire entire detachment from the world, some entire devotion to God's cause among men. Some think most of one virtue, some of another. There are many virtues, and eminence in any of them eventually means holiness in all. 
Still, some virtues are more fundamental than others and I do not think that any one will quarrel with me if, in this case, I take Christlikeness as the great virtue to be outlined. The imitation of Christ is a topic familiar to all, and everyone in his measure knows something, or even much, about the ideals which the word recalls. Moreover, in the case of Saint Ignatius of Loyola this standard is especially appropriate. 
For although he had a thousand bright facets in his character, the imitation of Christ was with him a master-passion. The Sacred Name is the greeting formula of every letter, it reappears in almost every paragraph written by him. Christ-study was the kernel of Ignatian spirituality, the imitation of Him was the motive of His follower's life. Ignatius's life, therefore, when studied in the light of this virtue, ought to appear natural and consistent, and its different parts ought to hang together and to make up a lively, veracious whole.
Link (here) to the mentioned portion of the book entitled, Saint Ignatius of Loyola: Imitator of Christ, by Fr. John Hungerford Pollen, S.J.

I Loved To See Him And To Hear Him Speak

Here are a few traits from the memoir to which Benedict Maroni, a sculptor, deposed in the process of beatification. When a lad he had heard of the twelve Fathers, like the twelve Apostles, who were founding a new order; and soon after, when they were setting up their first house, he was taken on as a handy man. He did carpentering, making benches, beds and the like.
Everything was very poor and unpretentious. He worked a great deal in Ignatius's own room. "I loved to see him and to hear him speak. Many came in to ask his blessing, going or coming from distant countries. He always remained so perfectly peaceful; never a vain word. Amongst other admonitions, he would say to me—'You, Benedetto, nothing is wanting to you excepting the blessing of heaven.' 
Once a neighbour wanted to run up a wall which would have cut off the light from the refectory. Ignatius would not allow of any intercessors nor any controversy; still finally the man gave up his project. I never saw him angry except once. He was standing with his stick, for one leg was weak, when some one of the house came into the room and fell at his feet, begging pardon and mercy for some fault or other. The Padre bade him get up several times over, but he would not. Then I saw that he took it ill, that that person did not rise. Being put out, he turned and left the room, going into his camera. I was also there when two reverend religious brought in two skulls from the relics of Saint Ursula and 12,000 Virgins at Cologne. At another time came a present of confetti and wax. The wax was sent to the Sacristy, but the confetti, being well ornamented, he presented to the Cardinals."
Link (here) to Saint Ignatius of Loyola: Imitator of Christ by Fr. John Hungerford Pollen, S.J.

Friday, August 5, 2011

He Won Over

Ignatius became intimate with Master Peter Faber and Master Francis Xavier, whom he won over to the service of God by means of the Spiritual Exercises.
Link (here)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Constitutions Of The Society Of Jesus, "The Finger of God Is Here"

When the Pope had heard and seen the papers presented by Loyola, he exclaimed,' The finger of God is here.' But he would not proceed as rapidly as Cardinal Contarini anticipated.
He desired three of his cardinals to examine the Constitutions; these were men of eminent learning and worth; but one of them was Bartolomeo Giudiccioni, of Lucca, whose opinion was entirely hostile to religious orders; 
and he would not even take patience to read the papers sent him; 'For,' said he, 'all orders become relaxed, and then do more harm to the Church than they did good in the beginning.' Giudiccioni was a redoubtable opponent, for he was an excellent theologian, a distinguished poet, possessing great abilities, and so highly venerated for his holy life, that when he died Paul III. exclaimed, 'My successor is dead.' His horror at the disorders into which many of the monks and nuns had fallen, made him desire, not reform, but suppression; he wished all orders abolished but four, which he would remodel and place under strict governance.
To allow a new order was, to his mind, an idea not deserving even to be discussed. He would not waste a thought on the scheme of Ignatius; and the weight of his judgment carried with it that of the two cardinals conjoined with him. Ignatius, not discouraged, had recourse to prayer —reminded the Saviour of His promise; 
then, in the name of himself and all his company, he vowed to the Lord that the sacrifice of the mass should be offered three thousand times in thanksgiving when the confirmation they prayed for was granted.
Link (here) to the mentioned portion of the book entitled Ignatius Loyola and the Early Jesuits

Ignatius Was Made To Run The Gauntlet

In the beginning of 1528 Ignatius Loyola had come to Paris, driving before him his faithful ass laden with his books. He had first begun his studies at the College Montaigu; but in 1529 he had taken up his residence in Ste. Barbe. 
His residence in this College is connected with an incident which is at once illustrative of his own spirit, and of the manners of the time. Loyola had come to Paris for the purpose of study; but he could not resist the temptation to make converts to his great mission. 
Among these converts was a Spaniard named Amador, a promising student in philosophy in Ste. Barbe. This Amador Loyola had transformed from a diligent student into a visionary as wild as himself, to the immense indignation of the university, and especially of his own countrymen. About the same time Loyola craved permission to attend Ste. Barbe as a student of philosophy. He was admitted on the express condition that he should make no attempt on the consciences of his fellows. Loyola kept his word as far as Amador was concerned, but he could not resist the temptation to communicate his visions to others. 
The regent thrice warned him of what would be the result, and at length made his complaint to the principal. Gouvea was furious, and gave orders that next day Loyola should be subjected to the most disgraceful punishment the College could inflict. This running of the gauntlet, known as la salle,was administered in the following manner. 
After dinner, when all the scholars were present, the masters, each with his ferule in his hand, ranged themselves in a double row. The delinquent, stripped to the waist, was then made to pass between them, receiving a blow across the shoulders from each. This was the ignominious punishment to which Loyola, then in his fortieth year, as a member of the College, was bound to submit.
Link (here) to to the mentioned portion of the book entitled, George Buchanan, humanist and reformer: a biography By Peter Hume Brown

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our Shameful Ingratitude

One of the fruits which we are taught by St. Ignatius to draw from the consideration of sin, which leads us naturally to reflect on the miserable use which we have made of so much grace, our shameful ingratitude, the petty, shabby, niggardly return which we have made to so much tenderness and generosity, the silly way in which we have managed our lives, the disgraceful and discreditable motives of self-love on which we have often acted, and the like. 
Again, a great part of that for which, under this head, the souls which stand before the judgment-seat of our Lord will have to feel such intense shame, will be the indulgence of shame itself as a motive of action, which may so often have induced them to be afraid of men, to yield to human respect, to fear not only those who can kill the body but those who could laugh at them, or make them unpopular, or put them to slight inconveniences, or the company in which they found themselves, rather than bear witness to the law or the truth of God in word or in action. 
Then, again, there are a number of reticences which are the result of self-love as well as of human respect, as when persons have made a mistake and do not like to acknowledge it, or are ignorant of what they have been supposed to know and will not say so, or have done some one wrong or been guilty of some rudeness and will not apologise, or have had credit given them which they do not deserve, and will not disclaim it. This is another class of the pettinesses which are the result of a false shame. 
Much more dangerous are those which prevent us from being perfectly open in confession, in cases where there may not be an absolute necessity for it, but when it would be much more ingenuous, and gain us much more light and grace from God, to speak, as in the confession of deliberate small sins to which we have an attachment, 
or again, when to acknowledge the truth about ourselves, our persons, our antecedents, our families, and the like, will bring on us some humiliation in the eyes of men.
Link (here) to read the mentioned text in the fantastic book entitled, The Prisoners of the King, by Fr.  Henry James Coleridge, S.J. 

Agnes Pascal

There was a chapel by the roadside, dedicated to the Holy Apostles. There he found a party of pilgrims returning from Montserrat. It consisted of a woman, whose name has come down to us as Agnes Pascal, three other women, and two young men. She immediately observed the superiority which hung about Ignatius; she observed, too, the marks of a higher nobility which appeared in his face and manner. She was sure that he was a different person from what his poverty pretended him to be, and she felt a pious devotion to him. Ignatius asked her a question about the nearest inn; Agnes replied that it was at Manreza, to which place she was returning, and she offered to provide for him, as far as she was able, if he would accompany her. Ignatius consented and followed humbly behind the slowly-moving party. Seeing he was lame, they offered him a horse, but he refused it. Manreza was a small insignificant town...............
If I have peeked your interest than go (here)

Mystically Minded Friends

John Byrom kept a diary, which has been published by the Chetham Society, and is one of the most delightful productions of the eighteenth century. In its self-restrained candour we can trace his spiritual development, and cannot fail to admire a self-portrait, quite unconsciously drawn, of a pure-hearted, reverent-minded Christian, fond of social intercourse and with a keen sense of humour (but shrinking instinctively from all that was coarse), humble, unselfish, and warm-hearted, conscientious but strikingly free from censoriousness, admirable in all domestic relations, capable of wholehearted hero-worship, above all, ardently devout. Many an entry records his intercourse with mystically minded friends and the study of mystical writings, such as Loyola's Exercises, Albert the Great's Paradise of the Soul, Thomas a Kempis, Fenelon, Norris of Bemerton, and Thomas Vaughan, whose book he cannot understand.
Link (here) to read the mentioned text of Percy Herbert Osmond in the book entitled The Mystical Poets of the English Church

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"If God Sends You Great Sufferings, It Is A Sign He Will Make You A Great Saint;"

Ignatius practised self-examination as strictly as he enjoined it. He once asked a Father, how often he had examined himself that day? The Father answered ' seven times.' 'Only seven times !' said Ignatius, and yet it was not much past noon. At mid-day and at night he made what he called 'particular examination,' which referred to some besetting fault. He kept a string, on which he tied a knot as often as he fell into this fault; it is said that he did this up to a few hours before his death. 
A Father asked him how to obtain perfect humility. 'This is the way,' said Ignatius; 'do exactly the opposite of what is done by men of the world—hate what they seek, and seek what they avoid.' Ignatius gave large instructions on this subject to novices; he impressed on them that 'humility is truth.' 
He had absorbed this, so to speak, so thoroughly into his mind, that he said he feared vainglory less than any other sin. But charity, the love of God, and of man, for God's sake, was his passion, that which engrossed his whole soul atid stamped his character. All his instructions ended with these words, many times repeated—' Love God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your will.' He said if he could go to hell without a sin of his own, he should suffer more from the evil tongues of the damned, blaspheming God, than from the torments of hell fires. And he thought that to endure affliction for Christ's sake was the greatest safety and the highest privilege that a Christian could desire. 
He said, 'If God sends you great sufferings, it is a sign He will make you a great saint; and if you wish Him to make you a great saint, pray that He may send you great sufferings.' 'All the honey which can be extracted from worldly pleasures is not so sweet as the gall and vinegar of Christ.'  
And he told Ribadeneira one day, with joy, that our Saviour had granted him a favour long asked, that the heritage of the Passion should never fail the Society.
Link (here) to read the original passage in the book, Ignatius Loyola and the early Jesuits

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.

How The Fires Touch And Burn The Souls

One of the scariest mentions of hell I've read was in the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola -- when I first decided to read the book, I came upon the fifth exercise for the first week, a meditation on hell ......

First Prelude. The first Prelude is the composition, which is here to see with the sight of the imagination the length, breadth and depth of Hell.
Second Prelude. The second, to ask for what I want: it will be here to ask for interior sense of the pain which the damned suffer, in order that, if, through my faults, I should forget the love of the Eternal Lord, at least the fear of the pains may help me not to come into sin.
First Point. The first Point will be to see with the sight of the imagination the great fires, and the souls as in bodies of fire.
Second Point. The second, to hear with the ears wailings, howlings, cries, blasphemies against Christ our Lord and against all His Saints.
Third Point. The third, to smell with the smell smoke, sulphur, dregs and putrid things.
Fourth Point. The fourth, to taste with the taste bitter things, like tears, sadness and the worm of conscience.
Fifth Point. The fifth, to touch with the touch; that is to say, how the fires touch and burn the souls.

Link (here) to read the full post at the blog entitled, Perspective

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Three Things He Most Desired,

Shortly before his death St. Ignatius thanked God that the three things he most desired, were accomplished.
These three things were, that the Society of Jesus should be confirmed by the Pope, that the book of the Spiritual Exercises should be approved by the Holy See, and that the Constitutions should be completed and observed in the whole Society. 
These three things are the work of St. Ignatius' life. He wrote the Exercises, he founded the Society, and he gave it its Constitutions. The motto under which his life was spent was Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. 
Link (here) to The Month

A Fervent Desire

Ignatius passed from that house to the one which we now occupy; but whilst he still inhabited the former, he collected together as many bedsteads as he could procure, and covered them with heaps of straw, so as to place the poor people there with as little discomfort as possible. 
Several of the Fathers served them, as they were accustomed to wait on the patients in the hospitals; washed their feet, performed the most menial offices in their service, and lavished every care and attention upon them; happy to think that in their persons they served Jesus Christ himself. 
Others went through the town to beg alms for the poor patients, and it pleased God that they should be abundantly aided by the charity of many pious souls; so that they succeeded in feeding and clothing in their own house alone, more than four hundred persons. So new and touching a sight soon attracted the attention of a multitude of people; but those who were led there merely by curiosity, were so much affected by the frank joyousness with which the Fathers busied themselves in serving these poor creatures, that many were seen divesting themselves even of part of their clothing, to cover the half naked poor. 
The report of these good works spread abroad, and the principal nobles in Rome, thinking it too humiliating for them, that men who possessed nothing were providing for the wants of the indigent, whilst they with all their wealth had contributed nothing to their support, began to send in assistance of every kind, which helped to maintain during the winter, and to support till the following harvest, nearly three thousand persons. 
Moreover, the alleviation of their physical sufferings was not the most precious advantage which they found in the house of Ignatius ; but rather the infinite profit which they obtained for their souls. 
As soon as they arrived there, they were exhorted to confession, and instructed in the Christian doctrine, whilst religious discourses were frequently addressed to them. At certain fixed hours they all repeated prayers, which not only helped to pass the time when they were assembled together, in a profitable manner, but which gave rise in many a heart, to a fervent desire of leading a more Christian life for the future.
Whether it were these charitable examples or the conviction of the innocence of the Fathers, now so authentically recognized, which had increased the general esteem and good will towards them, certain it is that many persons began to take pleasure in the kind of life which they led, and asked to be admitted amongst them.
Link (here) to read the portion of the book entitled The Life of St. Ignatius of Loyola by Jesuit Father Daniello Bartolli