Ignatian Spirituality

Author: Pinard de la Boullaye


Ignatius was indicted in eight trials and eight times acquitted before he was elected general on April 8, 1541. From that day until our own how many charges have been leveled against his teaching and his Order! And, by way of contrast, how many glowing tributes have been paid him especially by Sovereign Pontiffs! Without examining each of these accusations, without repeating each of these eulogies, we shall try to give a brief but faithful summary of his spirituality.

From what sources was it derived? By what exterior signs may it be recognized? Important point: what ideal does it propose? What role is reserved for special devotions? What importance is attached to zeal for souls ? These are the questions that we shall attempt to answer.


At the siege of Pampeluna, Ignatius, the leader of the resistance, was wounded in his leg (1521). During the long hours of his convalescence he read "The Golden Legend" of the Dominican James de Voragine and "The Great Life of Jesus Christ" by Rudolph the Carthusian, a tireless and often skillful compiler. In these books Ignatius discovered a new type of chivalry.

"Why", he asked himself, " why cannot I, too, in God's service and for His glory do what a Benedict, a Francis of Assisi, a Dominic have done? Sometimes, inspired by these generous thoughts, sometimes influenced by his earlier dreams of vain glory, he gradually learned to discern the contrary action of " the good and the evil spirit ", and he resolved to leave the world.

He made a retreat with the Benedictines of Montserrat. These religious introduced him to the "Ejercitatoria" of Cisneros, largely based on the doctrines of the Brothers of the Common Life, the typical spokesmen for the "devotio moderna." Shortly after at Manresa he discovered "the little Gerson", the "Imitation" of Thomas of Kempis. This was to remain his inseparable companion until his death. Here at Manresa he spent ten months, devoting seven hours of each day to prayer, and practicing to excess -- as he later recognized -- the most rigorous austerities. Almost immediately he was rewarded with abundant mystical favors.

Referring, in the third person, to the graces which were so lavishly showered on him in August 1522 and, it would seem, on one special day when praying on the banks of the river Cardoner, he dared to say:

"When this man recalls all the help God has given him in the whole course of his life until the close of his sixty-second year, even the sum total of all these graces does not seem to equal what was given him on this one occasion... from that moment he seemed to become an altogether different man and to have an altogether different spirit."

At this period, he added, "God treated this soul just as a schoolmaster treats a pupil".[1]

When it was time for him to leave Manresa, he possessed, according to those who knew him well, "the substance of his 'Exercises'"; note: only the substance. Until the end of his days he was to use the "Exercises" not "to convert" or "to conquer ", but according to his favorite expression "to help" souls.

Sometime between the 4th and the 22nd of September, 1523, he set out for Jerusalem to evangelize the Mohammedans. He was forbidden to remain in the Holy Land. So he returned to Spain. In the hope of becoming a priest he courageously began to study Latin, then moving from Barcelona to Alcala to Salamanca, he studied philosophy. No specific fault was found with him but, to put an end to his apostolic work, it was alleged that he was not qualified to handle delicate questions. So he left for Paris. There he received a degree as master of arts, completed various parts of his "Exercises" and came to a definitive agreement with several of his companions (1534).

Would they establish a religious order? After long deliberations they decided to do so. Ignatius was unanimously elected general and was then obliged to prepare the "Constitutions." He also prepared a new translation of the "Exercises "(1541). He continued to make minor changes in the "Exercises" until 1547 when he charged Father Andre des Freux (Frusius) to prepare a more elegant translation, "the vulgate", which was solemnly approved (with that of 1541) by Paul III in 1548

Meanwhile he consulted the rules of old religious orders, and received the reports of men whom he had asked to make similar investigations. Frequently aided by supernatural illuminations, which he soberly recorded, he sought for formula best suited to the needs of a new era. His age indeed was vastly different from the Medieval period. Renaissance humanism fostered arts and letters but among many learned men there was a tendency to paganism or religious indifference. The "alumbrados" or the "illuminati" of Spain brought mysticism into discredit and drew down upon themselves the rigors of the Inquisition. Doctrines taught by Luther and Calvin were to be found in one form or another almost everywhere: the radical corruption of human nature by original sin and the consequent impossibility of good works, salvation through faith alone, the right of private interpretation, etc. In the Church grave abuses had infiltrated. The need for a thorough reform of ideas and customs was patent. To this reform Ignatius contributed.

Before his death in 1556, he gave his sons the finished copy of the "Constitutions." It is easy to discover in this masterpiece, as in his "Exercises," certain debts to earlier authors; for example, the "perinde ac cadauer" seems to have been taken from Saint Francis--but he weighed, adapted, coordinated the whole with signal prudence.[2] Ignatius also left books of letters to his religious, and to souls he was directing an autobiography, a succinct summary of his life which he entrusted to Father Gonzalez de Camara, and some pages of his spiritual journal which he did not succeed in destroying.

If we want to form an exact idea of his spirituality we must consider some supplementary texts. His "Exercises" alone will certainly not suffice: they present a method, too concise in form, for a reader, however conscientious, to discover their wisdom and power. Nor did the saint ever intend them for the general public, he did not think that even his own religious, without prolonged experience, could interpret and use them correctly. In fact their only immediate objective was the supremely important question of the choice of a state of life (when a vocation was to be decided), or a reformation of conduct (if the choice of a vocation had been definitively made).

To this end, the "Exercises" marshal the dominant principles of Christian faith but only a limited application is made of these principles to different categories of the faithful. Quite different are the "Constitutions" and the "Letters." The "Autobiography" and the Spiritual Journal reveal the different sources of his doctrine: his reading, studies, hesitations, successive experiences and supernatural illuminations.


I. Precision of directives. The first impression given by these texts, at least by those that are the best known: the "Constitutions," the instructions given to certain religious charged with special missions, and the "Exercises," is their concise style and clarity. One cannot help but admire the firmness of thought which never faltered in expression. It must have been preceded by long and careful reflection. Some wonder that certain topics in the "Exercises" are handled with unexpected detail, for example the rules on penance (82-89), on eating (210-217), on the discernment of spirits (313-336), or different ways of making an election in four or six points (178-188),[3] methods of prayer with a regular distinction of preludes, considerations, colloquies, etc.

A few lines from the saint give a perfect explanation of why he chose this manner of publication. In 1536 he wrote to Sister Rejadell:

"You tell me that you find in yourself much ignorance and many forms of cowardice, etc. You conclude that this comes from the fact that you have been given much advice but little of it was definite. I agree with you. Rarely to be precise, means rarely to understand (the needs of souls), and still more rarely to help them.[4]

To look in the "Exercises" for this precision in the formulation of the special obligations of priests, religious, or different social classes is to look in vain. The reason is obvious. Had the saint tried to do this, he would have given altogether different proportions to his little book. Besides it would have been difficult for him to have met the needs of centuries other than his own. Wisely he preferred to limit himself to the clarification of a capital point--the title of his monograph expressly indicates this--"the regulation of one's life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment" (21) so that, as is stated a little further on, we may "see how we ought to prepare ourselves to arrive at perfection in whatever state or way of life God Our Lord may grant us to choose" (135). This last phrase, which is to be found in other places (155, 169, 180, 183) suffices to prove that the Exercises envisage something much more than a mere "conversion" from vice to virtue, or from carelessness to the strict observance of elementary duties.

Who is more bound than the priest, Christ's privileged one, to preserve himself from every inordinate affection?[5] Are men studying for the priesthood or those who have already been ordained, in need of "help" to decide the details of their resolutions? The director who assists them is prepared to render them this service, keeping in mind the variable conditions of the apostolate and drawing special inspiration from the "Constitutions."

2. Need for constant adaptation. This is, by way of contrast, a less prominent quality of Ignatian spirituality and one that is unexpected in an ardent soul once accustomed to command and now in search of the highest perfection.

Among the counsels that are to be found at the beginning of this little book are these words:

"The spiritual Exercises must be adapted to the condition of the one who is to engage in them, that is, to his age, education, and talent. Thus exercises that he could not easily bear or from which he would derive no profit, should not be given to one without education or with little natural ability.

Similarly, each one should be given those exercises that would be more helpful and profitable according to the degree of progress he wishes to attain."

Then follow directions for the treatment of exercitants with "little aptitude or little natural ability" (18), or for those who are educated or talented but who are weighed down with public or private affairs (19). A final word is devoted to those from whom much is to be expected for God's service.

To one who is more disengaged, and desirous of making as much progress as possible, all the "Spiritual Exercises" should be given in the same order in which they follow below (20).[6]

How many other adaptations are suggested! For example, the retreatant is invited after each exercise to consider how he has profited from the counsels given him, and to regulate future conduct accordingly. He is reminded that during the meditations he can and should pause and consider at leisure any consoling or strengthening thought or affection. He must not be concerned to follow strictly the plan made previously (76).

The director, far from trying to control the retreatant's decision should "permit the creature to deal directly with his Creator" (15). In fact only resolutions strongly motivated and freely undertaken promise perseverance, not resolutions imposed by the director nor those springing from the retreatant's enthusiasm which vanish often as straw in the fire.

Can we wonder that those who knew Ignatius well liked to recall a principle that he insisted on instilling in their minds:

"To want to lead all souls along the same path to perfection is perilous. To do so is to fail to understand how varied and manifold are the gifts of the Holy Spirit."

And this other rule: "Enter by another man's door so that you may lead him out by your own". That is to say: first, sympathize with what preoccupies him, interest yourself in his interests and in his trials so as to persuade him to give himself to God. Is this not what the Apostle did? "To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I became all things to all men, that I might save all" (1 Cor. 9: 22).

To be weak with the weak, at least in the beginning, does not mean to modify the teaching of the Gospel for these men and to give up all hope of ever asking them to be completely generous, even heroic, because a man need not be a great prelate to understand that Jesus, the Son of God, who delivered Himself to death for us has the right to expect us to repay love with love, life for life. This is why Saint Ignatius, although he reserves certain pages of his "Exercises" for learned men, wants the most lowly of the faithful even, in an abridged form of retreat intended to effect necessary conversions, to be introduced to this colloquy of the very first meditation:

"Imagine Christ our Lord present before you on the cross, and begin to speak with Him, asking how it is that though He is the Creator, He has stooped to become man, and to pass from eternal life to death here in time, that thus He might die for our sins.

I shall also reflect upon myself and ask: 'What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I to do for Christ?'" (53).

The Savior's Passion is the most eloquent sensible proof of divine love, the Crucifix is a book written in letters of blood. Saint Ignatius quite rightly believed that the Passion and the Crucifix can be understood by all men and can transform them into ardent servants of Jesus, into His saints.

In conclusion: do not the clarity of his directives and the variety of their application explain in part the fruits of salvation obtained by his personal apostolate and by his method?

Yes, in part. But we must also consider the most intimate part of his spirituality: the ideal it proposes and the means it employs so that it may become the dynamic of the whole life.


1. God's greater glory. For all schools of spirituality within the Catholic Church no one denies that the supreme goal of life is the perfection of a two-fold charity towards God and neighbor: "in his duobus mandatis universa Lex pendet et prophetae" (Matt. 22:34-40). There are, however, shades of difference to be detected in the way each one strives to attain this end.

The ideal with which Saint Ignatius wished to fire souls is well known. His order has taken this formula, "for God's greater glory, ad majorem Dei gloriam" for its motto. He referred to it constantly as well as another with which it may be equated: "ad majus Dei obsequium, for God's better service."

Is there need to point out its nobility? Here surely is the expression of the totally disinterested love which our Lord Himself proposed to us when He said: "In this way shall you pray: " Our Father, hallowed be Your Name (which means: may You and Your authority be respected), may Your kingdom come (this is the simple consequence of this respect)--may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". How enthusiastic is the love with which God is obeyed above by those to whom has been vouchsafed even the most fleeting contemplation of infinite Goodness and Beauty! Surely Jesus is offering us His own ideal (John 14: 4) when at the Last Supper, He summed up His whole life in these words:

"I have glorified Thee on earth; 'ego te clarificavi super terram;' I have accomplished the work that Thou hast given me to do; 'opus consummavi quod dedisti ut faciam" (John 1 7: 4).

"Mission accomplished" with a plenitude and a perfection for which the world has no equal.

Because it is most disinterested and most noble, this ideal is also most efficacious, that is to say, most suited to enkindle at least those souls to whom divine love has revealed its value. Eagerness for self-expansion or a longing for rewards could never spur them to the same generous and persevering efforts. In fact, however great be these personal profits, souls may frequently renounce further progress and greater merit because of the cost. When a passion for divine glory conquers a heart, how many of the faithful, learned as well as unlettered, on the contrary exclaim: "For God, there is nothing too beautiful! His glory, no matter what the price may be!"

It was this perfection of love Saint Ignatius envisaged. The title of his little book alone permits us to affirm this: "Spiritual Exercises which have as their purpose... the regulation of one's life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment (21). The goal indicated in these terms concerns only a first election but who, after once and for all has decided not to yield to even the slightest inordinate attachment, could afterward consider himself free to act in an inordinate way?

In the same spirit, the Saint seeks to create a lasting climate of thought by recommending that during the thirty days each meditation begin with this petition in which praise is synonymous with glory:

"Grant, O Lord, that all my intentions, all my actions, all my works may be directed solely and purely to the service and praise of Your Divine Majesty (cf. 46, etc.)."

Consider, too, the page which the Saint asks the retreatant to consider at the very beginning of the "Exercises." Its title indicates its importance: "First Principle and Foundation."

"Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God Our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.

The other things on the face of the earth are created for man to help him in attaining the end for which he was created.

Hence man is to make use of them in as far as they help him in the attainment of his end, and he must rid himself of them in as far as they prove a hindrance to him.

Therefore we must make ourselves indifferent (in what concerns the dispositions of our will, obviously our feelings are not within our control) to all created things, as far as we are allowed free choice and are not under any prohibition. Consequently, as far as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short one. The same holds for all other things.

Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created (23)."

It would be difficult to summarize in a more concise fashion what reason and faith require in the regulation of conduct. Means have value only in the measure that they serve. Before making any choice in this matter, it is therefore prudent-- Saint Ignatius uses the forceful word necessary--to maintain the will in strict equilibrium, in rigorous " indifference ". If certain means can truly serve, it is fitting that they be thoroughly exploited. Of course this is not necessary if a man's only objective is barely to escape a deserved damnation or to secure some slight and justifiable share of happiness, but can we ever have enough of the goods beyond the grave, of some part of the inheritance of God's own Son?[7] Does this love ask that me, so unworthy, should do more than this? What does it ask? It asks that we make up our minds "to choose solely what leads us most effectively to the end for which we were created", namely to procure God's greatest glory and this will result in our greatest happiness.

Love? The word is not even mentioned in this fundamental paragraph. Be it also observed: the word is not mentioned in the "Our Father." Nor is it to be found among the medieval theologians who seem to have inspired Ignatius when he added these lines to the first edition of the "Exercises" which was made in Paris. It is omitted because in the "Our Father," the words: " Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven " (and in the writings of the scholastics, the word: "to serve") are more precise and less subject to illusion than: "to love".

For the same reason the Contemplation to attain the love of God, which was also added later to the "Exercises" invites the retreatant to ask as the supreme grace that he "may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty" (233). As a matter of fact to seek in all things God's greatest glory and His best service, is this not the proof of a perfect love? Leisurely meditation on the "Foundation" can lead us very far.[8]

In this connection Father Leonard Cros wrote in 1876:

"I once happened to show an eighteen year old student the first lines of the "Exercises." The next morning the young man said to me in a rather surly way: " I am wasting my time here. I am going away. For the past hour all I have done is look at this piece of paper. But I know all that. It is in the catechism ". He was persuaded to reflect on the same text from 9 a. m. to 10 a. m., then with the same lack of success from 2 to 3 and from 5 to 6. That evening the student was radiant. "O, how beautiful this principle is!. . . I understand it now but I want to continue this meditation in the morning. . . The hour passed so quickly". For two more days he meditated on the rest of the text. Before the eighth day he had resolved to leave the world and give himself entirely to God.

Father Cros added: "This happened in 1851 and is, my friends, very close to my own story".[9]

Everything points to the fact that the "Exercises" are not meant to be read, but meditated or pondered. Directors of souls run the risk of missing an opportunity of winning souls who could give God signal service if they at once send retreatants back to work or study or favorite sports as soon as they declare themselves disappointed or fatigued by some slight effort of reflection.

It must be admitted, none the less, that the "Foundation" is very abstract. For this reason Saint Ignatius does not advise it to be given to the less well educated. Let us be more explicit: its logic is irreproachable, the principles it contains are basic not only to the rest of the "Exercises" but to the whole spirituality of the Society, but its appeal is chiefly to the intellect, it convinces without any emotion unless the director or the retreatants themselves evoke either the infinite perfections of the Creator or some of the gifts His goodness has inspired. This is quite legitimate. Yet, can considerations like this establish the soul in indifference and make possible the invariable choice of the most efficacious means? This is exceedingly doubtful. These ineffable perfections are too hard for us to represent to ourselves. Because of His very transcendence God risks remaining unknown. "The hidden God", "Deus absconditus"(Is. 45: 15). This is why His Providence presents to us the God made flesh, "Verbo caro factum"(John 1: 14). He has done more, the God covered with blood, wounded for our sins, "attritus propter scelera nostra"(Is. 5 3:5). Jesus has insisted on saying to us: "He who sees Me, sees also the Father" (John 14:9); in other words: "This goodness your senses perceive, which you can almost touch, it is Ours, Father, Son and Holy Ghost".

2. Union with Jesus. For these reasons another characteristic trait Ignatius strove to arouse in souls an ardent love for the Savior, a love not limited to His humanity alone, but--as can be seen in the text already cited -- a love for the Word Incarnate (53)- He devotes the last weeks of his "Exercises" to the contemplation of the Savior: the second week to the infancy and public ministry, the third to His Passion, the fourth to His risen life.

All spiritual writers, no doubt, point out at least the obligation of imitating the Savior. This must be: He claimed to be the model "par excellence," the Way (John 14: 6). In this the Jesuits have not failed. There are many publications that bear this out.

Beyond imitation, which is its preparation, comes union with the Savior. This may be desired and preached as a means of becoming transformed into His image and of advancing in true life, or as a means of succeeding in apostolic work, for example, since without Him we can do nothing (John 15: 6). It may also be longed for as a means of enjoying, if not mystic favors, or " graces of union ", at least the consolations His friendship brings (John 14: 21).[10]

All these intentions are praiseworthy but biased. Union with Jesus may finally be considered as a holocaust, the total gift of self which His supereminent dignity, His ineffable perfections and the love He has given us, have merited in every way.[11] To union of this nature Ignatius desired to lead the most generous souls.[12]

At the beginning of the second week in the contemplation of the Kingdom he suggests this consecration of themselves.

"Eternal Lord of all things, in the presence of Thy infinite goodness, and of Thy glorious mother, and of all the saints of Thy heavenly court, this is the offering of myself which I make with Thy favor and help. I protest that it is my earnest desire and my deliberate choice, provided only it is for Thy greater service and praise, to imitate Thee in bearing all wrongs and all abuse and all poverty, both actual and spiritual, should Thy most holy Majesty deign to choose and admit me to such a state and way of life (97-98).

Here we see that the motive of this resolution is neither to make spiritual progress, nor to hope to receive rewards but to procure the glory of Jesus and to give Him love.

At the end of the meditation on "The Two Standards" (or the contrast between the objectives and tactics of Satan and Our Savior), Ignatius encourages the retreatant to ask expressly to be allowed to share the trials which nature fears (147), then a few days later, to reflect on "The Three Degrees of Humility," which are really three degrees of love. The first consists in subjecting oneself to God, even at the cost of life, rather than to commit a mortal sin,--the second, at the same cost, requires the same subjection, rather than commit a venial sin,--the third, consists in desiring humiliations in this spirit:

"Whenever the praise and glory of God would be equally served, I desire and choose poverty with Christ poor, rather than riches, in order to imitate and be in reality more like Christ Our Lord; I choose insults with Christ loaded with them, rather than honors; I desire to be accounted as worthless and a fool for Christ, rather than to be esteemed as wise and prudent in this world. So Christ was treated before me (167)."

Here we see the enthusiastic love, the most pure love, which led the Apostle Thomas to cry out, when Jesus, despite the attitude of scribes and pharisees was firmly determined to go to Jerusalem: "Let us also go, that we may die with Him" (cf. John 11: 16). Or that inspired Peter at the Last Supper to protest with his companions: "Lord, with Thee I am ready to go both to prison and to death!" (cf. Luke 22: 33). In fact, when trying to prove to such a leader how totally He had won your love, how could you not share His lot?

Ignatius determined to arouse the same feelings in an "elite;" so he required that the more lively the repugnances and the greater the fears the more frequently must these protestations be renewed (157, 168, etc...). At the beginning of the third week, he writes again:

"I shall ask for what it is proper to ask in meditations on the Passion: sorrow with Christ in sorrow, anguish with Christ in anguish, tears and deep grief because of the great affliction Christ endures for me (203)."

Why this insistence ? Evidently because the soul longing to suffer for the Beloved will not refuse to accept painful suffering, should He in fact ask for this at the moment of "the election".

Again, why? Because, if Jesus deigns at this time to choose ardent apostles, priests, religious or laymen, they must necessarily endure contradictions and humiliations. "If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also" (John 15: 18-20). Since these distinguished servants have pleaded for sufferings as for so many favors, they will endure them with patience, even with joy. Nor will the prick of a pin put an end to their zeal!

Or course, Ignatius did not propose his third degree of humility to every retreatant. Far from insisting that all should ask for trials and humiliations, in some instances he discouraged such requests and he was satisfied if he was able to arouse the first sign of generosity, "the desire of the desire". Furthermore, let us repeat, the thought of repaying Him who has so suffered for us is so natural that to see Him in agony on the Cross, in the first exercise of the little book (53), or any other vivid memory of the Passion is enough to inspire even the most lowly of the faithful. Ignatius recommends that his religious, bound by vow to an apostolic life, must cherish this desire as a point of sovereign importance.[13]

In the fourth week of the "Exercises" he goes further. Naturally he does not forbid the retreatants to think of the happiness that the Savior's resurrection assures the righteous but he does suggest that they rejoice above all in Christ's incomparable glory and the joy that is His alone (221). To attain to this, is indeed to forget self and to realize with Saint Paul that "for me to live is Christ" (Phil. 1:21). Then Jesus cannot fail to keep His promise: "He who loves Me..., I will love him and manifest Myself to him"; (cf. John 15: 21), that is to say: "I shall show him how I for my part know how to love". Now, He is Love incarnate.

3. Effective Love. The glory of God, union with Jesus, ardent love, these are great words with which we may unconsciously deceive ourselves. Ignatius knew this all too well. So he tried to point out the true touchstones of devotion and love.

Our Lord Himself did so with unmistakable clarity. Did He not say: "For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother" (Matt. 12: so; cf. Luke 11: 27). "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me" (cf. John 4: 34). (It is your duty to say to Him)" Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (cf. Matt. 6: 10), etc.

Consequently Ignatius closes his most important letters with a formula like this: "I implore God to grant us all the grace to know His holy will and to accomplish it perfectly". During the second week of the "Exercises," at the beginning of each meditation, the retreatant is told to ask for "an intimate knowledge of Our Lord so that I may love Him more and follow Him more closely" (104, 113, etc.) and in the Contemplation to attain the love of God, he is told to ask for "an intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty" (233). Thus he places effective love above affective love which so often goes no further than sugary words or sterile ardors.[14]

In this contemplation, two preliminary remarks recall his teaching on the point. "The first is that love ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than in words" (230), above all by acts required by the faithful observance of general precepts and duties of our state. A mother of a family who multiplies her practices of devotion while she neglects the education of her children, or a pastor with some artistic talent who paints pictures instead of preparing sermons[15] and visiting parishioners--these two are following their own tastes, they love themselves more than they love the divine Master." The second is that love consists in a mutual sharing of goods, for example, the lover gives and shares with the beloved what he possesses, and vice versa" (231). True and perfect love demands the holocaust, the abandonment of tastes and personal preferences, the perfect renunciation of self.

This, too, Jesus has stated in the clearest terms: "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself... and follow Me" (cf. Matt. 16: 24). To become His disciple, a true disciple, it is necessary to become His friend, an intimate among intimates, if docility and imitation are carried as far as possible. (Luke 9: 23).

In the service of the Master of masters, of the eternal King, whatever we save for self, we lose; whatever we surrender, is ours forever. To follow Him like a true disciple, like Saint John, for example, to Calvary, is to give Him the proof of our affection that He wants. This means that we cease "to love in jest"[16] and we begin "seriously to love".

These are the motives on which Saint Ignatius insists. Where they prevail, renunciation ceases to be an austere and tiring attempt to go against our tastes, to mortify self either for the sake of our own perfection or in order to increase our merits. It becomes a constant desire to please the Friend par excellence, to contribute to the completion of His work, to fill up what is still lacking to His Passion (Col. 1: 24). Mortification and abnegation thus lose much of their bitterness. Instead they are a comfort and a necessity to how many saints!

In the same spirit the first spiritual authors of the Society speak with special love of "resignation", in the sense of abolishing self will. Their successors speak of conformity to the divine will, of abandonment and of this general rule: "Aim in all things to please God".[17]

Examples of two mystics whom they have directed among many others, will show what glory God receives from holocausts of this kind.

In 1635 Marie de l'Incarnation (Marie Guyart) wrote:

"I beg (the Lord) never to hear me merely because of my desires, (that is at my own insistence) because the greatest good that I could want is to want what He wants."

And later, after a fire had burned down her monastery:

"You have done this, my chaste Spouse. For this may You be blessed!... It is my pleasure that You are pleased in all that You have done.[18]

Jesus offered Margaret Mary the choice between two lives: one, the happiest life imaginable, the other poor, abject, crucified, filled with every possible mark of contempt. In each life He promised her the same graces: "O, my Lord", she answered, "Give me what You like best. Provided that You are pleased, I will be satisfied".[19]

And here is the resolution of her director, Blessed Claude de la Colombiere:

"What! not to belong wholly to God after His mercy to me! No matter what it costs, God must be pleased!"


This is the ideal of Saint Ignatius. Now we must see the ways by which he hoped to persuade souls to adopt it and make it their own.

Mysticism would be more than suspect, it must be admitted, did he count only on divine grace. Voluntarism would be doomed to failure, did he appeal exclusively to personal energy. Rationalism or intellectualism would be highly reprehensible did he imagine that much reflection and careful reasoning could alone suffice for the attainment of Christian perfection.

To express his spirituality in one or other of these exaggerated terms is to caricature it. But as a matter of fact his spirituality is a singularly judicious synthesis of reflection, recourse to grace and the courageous struggle against self.

In 1555 the saint wrote to Francis Borgia:

"I hold it an error to trust or put my hope exclusively in any system or method whatever it be. On the other hand I cannot consider it to be a safe mode of procedure to commit myself totally to God without seeking to help myself by making use of the resources He has given me. It seems to me in our Lord that I must use first one method then another, always keeping before my eyes His greater praise and glory. Nothing else."

Our Savior Himself, Ignatius confided to Peter Ribadeneira, taught him this.[20]

In fact, "So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the growth" (1 Cor. 3:7; Rom. 9:16). Every Christian, however gifted he may be, must have recourse to God as if the result depended on grace alone. On the other hand there is an adage of simple good sense; Heaven helps those who help themselves. The warmth of the sun's rays suffice to turn the sunflower and the heliotrope toward the sun but "docility to the Holy Spirit", basic though this rule is in Christian life, cannot be understood as a dispensation from either reflection or effort. Otherwise, apart from a miraculous intervention, how could souls avoid the aberrations of illuminism, indolence and stagnation? But let us be specific.

1. Prayer. a. Ordinary meditation.--In the "Exercises," at the beginning of each meditation recurs this formula: "ask for what I desire": "petere id quod volo." A most appropriate counsel. Wandering attention is usually the result of vagueness of purpose, so the retreatant is invited to choose with deliberation a definite objective, "id quod volo," "that which I desire"; while at the same time he recalls that he cannot himself procure what he needs but he must "petere," that is "ask" for it with all the humility and persistence of a beggar. As Saint Augustine says: "We are God's beggars". "Mendici Dei sumus." Before setting important affairs in order, the retreatant is to implore God "to deign to move my will, and to bring to my mind" what will contribute to His glory and to "the salvation of my soul" (179-180). Expressions such as these are closer to pietism than to voluntarism.

To form the soul to prayer the book of the "Exercises" offers six different methods. Thus the retreatant is free to choose according to the subject (whether it be abstract like the Sermon on the Mount, or more concrete like the scenes of the Passion), or according to his preferences, or his dispositions of the moment. It goes without saying that these methods may at times be combined in various ways. There is not the slightest suggestion that these alone are to be used.

It is expressly stated in the "Constitutions" that no rule for prayer is to be imposed upon trained religious "except what charity inspired by prudence may dictate", "discreta caritas" (6:3:1). Beginners, on the contrary, should ordinarily spend much time in reflection or meditation strictly so- called, because they need to attain a more ardent love and to acquire a deeper understanding of the mysteries of faith, the prerogatives and preferences of the Savior. If every Christian life is meant to be a testimony (Luke 24: 48; Acts 1:8; etc.), this is all the more true of the priestly ministry. The very tone of voice must in some way convey this message: "I know Him of whom I speak. I have seen Him. I love Him". Without assiduous mental prayer this is not possible.[21] About sixty years ago did not a rationalist critic write about a much praised preacher: "He preaches like a priest who does not pray"? Ignatius himself spoke extremely poor Italian but with such persuasive piety that confessors brought together especially for the purpose could never suffice to hear the avowals of all the penitents.

Devoting his Order to solid studies, to teaching and to the missions, and wishing to have a rule which could be applied without constant dispensations, the Saint, despite a very pronounced attraction for liturgical ceremonies resolved to petition for an exemption not only from choral obligation (which all diocesan priests enjoyed) but also from public processions and the regular direction of religious women. For the same reason he required only a half hour of daily mental prayer 22. But he never ceased to insist that superiors be all the more vigilant in the efforts to foster the spirit of prayer among their religious.

Father Polanco wrote in a letter that Saint Ignatius was to see:

"I notice that our Father prefers the careful seeking of God in all things, to prolonged prayer. (May the members of the Company) experience, if this be possible no less devotion in every kind of work of charity and obedience than in meditation itself. May they do nothing that is not for God's love and service."[23]

It was this intention "to seek God in all things", to act only in union with Him, to be as docile to His action as the tool in the hand of the worker, "instrumentum conjunctum," that the Saint called "divine familiarity".[24] In his "Constitutions" he recommends this familiarity with God to all the members (10:2) and so important is it in his eyes that he names it as the first characteristic to be looked for in the head or general of his Order (9: 2: 1). So manifest was his example on this point that, according to those who watched him daily at work, he was a contemplative even when fully occupied, a contemplative in action, "in actione contemplativus."[25]

To contemplate like this, that is to say, at any moment to recognize and admire God in the wonders of creation, in the marvels He brings about in the depths of souls, in all that recalls the infinity of His wisdom or the prodigalities of His love, and to lift one's heart to Him, were it even without set words, and trustingly to ask His help as from the best of fathers in all difficulties--surely this is not the result of merely closing one's eyes. Nor would more or less austere meditation make this possible. On the contrary all who saw Saint Ignatius were struck by the serenity that shone from his face. In truth, is it conceivable that the frequent remembrance of infinite goodness and beauty could beget sadness!

b. Extraordinary prayer.--As for mystical graces, Ignatius was unaware neither of their price, nor their conditions. He had before his eyes, so to speak, men like Xavier, Favre and Borgia. From several pages in his "Autobiography" and especially in his "Spiritual Journal" we learn how he himself profited from similar graces. Any one who knows how to read between the lines can see how he speaks of these graces in the "Exercises," for when he treats of "consolations " and " God's action ", he surely means according to the context, the least as well as the greatest of these graces. The reasons for his reserved manner of expression in this book are obvious. He knew from more than hearsay about the excesses of Spanish visionaries. Experience had taught him, he used to repeat, that ninety out of every hundred so-called mystics were the victims of illusions.[26] He also found them stubborn and increasingly difficult to govern.

So he believed that it was safer for a person to serve God with a disinterested love rather than to experience God. Instead of talking to all comers about graces of prayer, he thought it wiser for him to prepare souls for these graces, should Providence choose to send them, by inspiring souls with the most complete generosity in abnegation and mortification.[27]

In the books intended for beginners, such as those by Rodriguez and Sucquet (Saint John Berchman's master of novices), the same prudence is observed.[28] Instructors of the third year of probation, such as A. Le Gaudier and L. Lallemant, and authors writing on the spiritual life for a larger public, more freely exalt graces of prayer, yet they are always ready to recall the conditions on which these graces are usually given and this principle of Saint Ignatius that it is suitable to desire them not for the pleasures they procure but as a means of serving God more perfectly.[29]

There is no reason to hesitate to class among the best books written on these subjects, those of Fathers Alvarez de Paz, L. Dupont, Godinez, La Reguera, G. Druzbicki, and the more recent works of Fathers A. Poulain, R. de Maumigny, J. Seisdedos Sanz, J. Marechal, J. de Guibert. It must further be observed that during the controversies caused by quietism in the 17th century and the temporary discrediting of mystical ways, a number of Jesuits continued to defend them: C. Judde, for example, and J. Crasset, P. Champion, P. de Charlevoix, P. de Caussade, P. de Cloriviere, J.-B. Scaramelli. To sum up: thanks to the holy Founder's insistence on mortification and abnegation, many religious were favored with supernatural illuminations and graces of union, in the Company as well as in other Orders, not to speak of the souls these religious have directed.[30]

c. Participation in liturgical worship.--In his third rule For thinking with the Church, Saint Ignatius writes:

"We ought to praise the frequent hearing of Mass, the singing of hymns, psalmody, and long prayers whether in the church or outside; likewise, the hours arranged at fixed times for the whole Divine Office, for every kind of prayer, and for the canonical hours (355)."

But then why is there so much insistence on private prayer and mental prayer? If we find this reprehensible in Saint Ignatius and his sons, we must also condemn Jesus Himself. Did He not say: "When you pray, go into your room and closing your door, pray to your Father in secret" (Matt. 6:6).

"Let us not read too much into this text. It remains true that to recommend reflection and private prayer is something quite different from turning people away from the services of their parish church and belittling, however slightly, the holy liturgy. Rather does it provide us with the means of appreciating at full value the mysteries of faith and of increasing our affection for the ceremonies in which they are re-lived: " Today, Christ is born!" "Today, He has risen from the dead!" "Today, all glorious He has deigned to appear on the high mountain!" Would to God that priests and faithful were completely convinced of this!

In fact it is no way necessary to recite all the canonical hours in choir in order to draw from the breviary all the lessons it contains, nor to assist bodily at all the ceremonies of the liturgical cycle, to relive, month by month, the various periods of the Savior's life and to unite ourselves to His most intimate sentiments for His Father or for His Mystical Body.

On the contrary, it may be affirmed that without reflection and personal prayer--and this does not mean tension of mind, much searching of conscience and exclusive self-concern -- in other words: without mental prayer, there is great danger that the liturgy will become a routine and formalistic drama. Pius X is the last of a long line of saints to remind us of this.[31]

How many Masses have been celebrated immediately after ordination with an angelic fervor that does not fast or vanishes altogether. The liturgy commemorates sublime and most moving mysteries, but because the officiant-- to speak only of him -- cannot be guided exclusively by his personal devotion, he is rarely able during the services to deepen his understanding of them. The liturgy arouses heart-felt emotions but there is no leisure to express them. Mental prayer that more or less closely follows the cycle of feasts remedies this.

"The cell (i.e. the room with doors closed of the Gospel) is a holy place where the Master and His servant have frequent colloquies as friend speaks to friend... In the Church as in the cell, divine mysteries are performed. In the Church, visibly and in figures (by means of symbolic acts and in a sensible manner) the mysteries of Christian piety are sometimes dispensed. In the cell according to the same truth and in the same order as in heaven (although without all the majesty and purity, and without the security of eternity) takes place the reality of all the mysteries of our faith, without any interruption of time."

To sum it up in one sentence: in the cell the soul is united with the Master, the Friend, the divine Spouse.[32]

These lines are not written by a Jesuit but by a cistercian, William of Saint Thierry. Souls fond of mental prayer will appreciate their truth. Nor will they hesitate to subscribe to the praise paid the holy liturgy in the Encyclical, "Mediator Dei," nor to the reservations it contains.[33]

2. Efforts at self-conquest. Prayer in no way dispenses from efforts of amendment and advancement. So Saint Ignatius gives his work this title: "The Exercises" which have as their purpose the conquest of self (21). When he speaks of bodily mortification he says: "The more we do in this line, the better it is" (84, 85), yet he is always ready to admit that the right measure depends on the temperament, the occupations and the needs of the individual. Here, too, he recommends that we proceed tentatively. (89, 319).

He probably could have added: one who always fears to do too much rarely does enough. But he contents himself with saying:

Every one must keep in mind that in all that concerns the spiritual life his progress will be in proportion to his surrender of self-love and of his own will and interests (189).[34]

The author of the "Imitation" expresses himself in almost the same words: "You will make progress in the exact measure, 'tantum quantum' in which you do yourself violence "(1, 25, 3, 11).

Could Ignatius or the author of the "Imitation" speak in any other terms after Jesus' firm declaration (Luke 9: 23)? In fact whether it be a question of relations between friend and friend, between the loved one and the beloved, between the soul and God, will they ever be considered to be serious, or with greater reason perfect, unless there is this self- renunciation, this sacrifice of personal preferences for the sake of the one loved?

Without vigilance no amendment or freedom from failure is possible. So Ignatius recommends that a general examination of conscience be made at least once a day. He has also succeeded in popularizing the practice of the particular examen among the faithful and in religious orders. This is an examination, not exclusive but especially diligent, of one fault after another until these faults are practically corrected, beginning with the most glaring. When it is impossible to crush all our enemies at once, the best tactic is to attack and overcome them, as Corneille shows us that Horace did, one by one. But these constant returns on self! Would it not be more cheering and surer to concentrate on loving? This is clearly an illusion because it is precisely these faults that block the soul's progress in the ways of love. They make a true understanding of love impossible because increased purity of heart means a change in the vision of our ideal: as we live so shall we see.[35] The constant effort to watch over one's conduct, "to please" God more and more while familiarly begging His help, is a sure proof and a continual exercise of love.

3. Reflection. However undeniable may be these principles in the eyes of faith, their application to concrete cases is often perplexing. since God made us intelligent, thought Saint Ignatius, "we must help ourselves". So he invariably acted, setting down, when necessary, the reasons for and against, claiming help from "mediators", Jesus and Mary, deliberating anew, and praying until he could clearly see the means most suited to procure God's greater glory. This is precisely the method laid down in his Exercises on the subject of "the election" (176-189).

Let us say this more effectively: this is the reason why he edited with successive changes his celebrated book. How many guilty or mediocre lives would be transformed, were it only by a few moments of serious reflection from time to time on the last things or on the Savior's Passion, all the more by a series of wisely ordered meditations, like those of the Exercises?

Ignatius did not prescribe annual retreats for his religious but his successors did so after careful deliberation. Gradually the favorable results achieved by his method won the praises of the Sovereign Pontiffs from Paul III (1548), by the enlightened zeal of Philip Neri, Charles Borromeo, Francis of Sales, Vincent of Paul, John Eudes, Leonard of Port Maurice, Alphonsus Liguori, and so many others who were ready to extend its use, to adapt it as he had wished to different categories of the faithful. So that the Church eventually made an annual retreat obligatory at least for priests and religious. In 1922 Pius XI proclaimed Ignatius "heavenly patron of all spiritual exercises and consequently of all institutes, societies and organizations of this kind which consecrate their care and their devotedness to the work of retreats."[36]

Always concerned with making the best use of God's gifts, the holy Founder took for his motto: "To foresee what one ought to do, and to examine what one has just done is the surest way of learning how to do things well". As a matter of fact the possession of extraordinary powers is not the condition for success, in any field. How many geniuses are conspicuous for their excesses and their failures! The secret of success is to be found in these two words: preview and review. Foresee in time and in detail the obligations that must be met. After the attempt, examine the results and take the necessary measures to remedy blunders and errors one by one. Ignatius required the superiors of his Order to impose this practice. His successors have taken pains to require its observance.

Priests, directors of charitable organizations, militants of Catholic Action, are forced to observe this rule, the more numerous and the more demanding their responsibilities. How great a waste of time, strength, influence and money, fidelity to this rule would save them! If they neglect it: how great is the glory of which they deprive God!


Apart from the appeal to Jesus, as Son of God, Redeemer and Mediator between His heavenly Father and His adopted sons, we have said nothing so far of special devotions which can be considered as ancillary means of arousing our zeal in God's service and of maintaining our fervor. Such devotions do exist. They are so closely linked with fundamental dogmas and they are so elevated and so powerful that they are basic to all other devotions. We neglect them to our loss.

I. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of these devotions. It must be admitted that this is a sentimental devotion if it consists merely of tender glances and languid sighs at the sight of a flaming, thorn-crowned heart. But it becomes the most virile of devotions, once it inspires the soul, as it is meant to do, to offer our Savior, by effective renunciations, love in return for love and to repair as far as this is possible for the ingratitude and outrages with which He has been and still is overwhelmed. Understood in this way, this devotion is correctly said to be " the essence of Christianity ", and the best suited to carry generous souls to the ultimate heights of devotedness, while at the same time it can aid effectively in the conversion of the worst renegades because it keeps before our eyes the symbol of a tenderness and a mercy beyond human imagining.

Since Jesus had told Margaret Mary that she was to unite the Company to the Order of the visitation for the spread of this devotion--which had for a long time been practiced in the Church -- the Jesuits could not fail to respond as perfectly as possible to such desires. To glorify infinite mercy and love! Therefore, we must first deepen our own understanding of these ineffable mysteries! By meditating on them, by preaching about them, the soul necessarily grows in confidence and love, and is enabled to meet trials stoutly and with joy.!

Could there be a more attractive or a more enviable duty? We know what the Jesuits of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries did to acquit themselves of this mission: Margaret Mary's director, Claude de la Colombiere, Fathers F. Froment, J. Croiset, J. de Gallifet, B. de Hoyos, P. de Calatayud, A. Muzzarelli, to cite only a few names. Their brethren of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have followed their example.[37]

How many priests and religious in ever increasing numbers strive, too, to make known and loved, "the Love that is not loved", to borrow the words of Madeleine of Pazzi. In their work they must rejoice, first for the honor that is given to their Divine Master and then for the sake of sinners, because at Paray He promised that His servants would be rewarded with "power to touch the most hardened of hearts".

2. Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament came long before devotion to the Sacred Heart. It was its forerunner, we may say. Is not the Eucharist the prodigy of prodigies, the last degree of abasement and familiarity that the Son of God could choose, the most expressive symbol and efficacious means that He could give us of the communication He wishes to make to us of His own life? (John 6: 52-58)

Frequent communion, alas, was in those days neglected. Ignatius tried to restore this practice to honor.

He wrote to his compatriots of Azpeitia:

"In the early age of the Church every one--men and women-- received the Blessed Sacrament every day... A little later devotion grew cold, Holy Communion was received once a week... After a while it was only on the three principal feasts of the year... At last so great was our coldness and our misery that Communion was received only once a year! It seems that we are Christian only in name... Let us in some way restore the holy customs of our forefathers. If there are many ways in which we cannot do this, at least let us try to do what we can: let us go to Confession and to Communion every month. If anyone wants to do more-- and more is surely possible--he will be acting according (to the wishes) of our Lord and Creator."[38]

The Saint counseled very fervent souls to receive the Eucharist more often. His sons did likewise, with the prudence made necessary by the prejudice of those days. Let us give at least one example. In the monastery of Avila where Teresa was received in 1535, the one hundred and fifty Carmelites were allowed to receive Communion six times a year, at the most once a month. Only eight years later, thanks to her Dominican confessor, Father Vincent Varron, she could approach the Holy Table twice a month. In 1554, the first Jesuit she met ordered her to communicate frequently, if not every day.[39]

Priests have, over the common of the faithful, the incomparable advantage of consecrating the Eucharistic Bread, "ut sumant," which they take in order to be the first to benefit so that they may give to others, "ut dent ceteris"... Theirs is the privilege of giving themselves to God--what comfort for their piety if they have understood what He rightly expects-- the only homage strictly worthy of Him: the infinity of adoration and of love, of gratitude and expiation. His Mass was for the Founder of the Company the cause of such devotion (and at times of such favors) as we see from his "Spiritual Journal" that he was incapable of saying Mass in half an hour, which was the time he prescribed for his religious. Exhausted through these emotions, he was forced at times to renounce going to the altar.

Of the devotion of men like Xavier, Borgia, Francis Regis, Francis Hieronimo, Peter Claver, and so many of their brethren we cannot speak at length. The Company's Menology describes the enviable zeal with which a great number of Jesuits glorified Jesus in the host and the intimacy they enjoyed with Him. As a matter of fact, in the tabernacle is the Brother, the divine Friend, the only One who can more than compensate for the affective satisfactions His minister has renounced; who can receive the confidence of sufferings and secrets which often cannot be communicated to others without danger or without sin; and who can help him to endure isolation which is particularly painful, either in the midst of pagan peoples or in once Christian areas. He whose heart Jesus has truly conquered becomes capable of enduring like Him, for Him, with His presence and intimate help even the most unjust competition and the worst ingratitude. Ready to give love to all, he no longer feels any need of begging for love as alms from creatures, "I will most gladly spend myself and be spent for your souls; even though, loving you more, I be loved less" (2 Cor. 12:15). Such a one was Saint Ignatius, such a one he dreamed that each of his sons might become.[40]

3. Devotion to Our Lady. Saint John Eudes who died in 1680 was an ardent promoter of the worship of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He believed he could say: "Among all the Religious Orders there is none that serves and honors the Queen of Heaven more zealously or more ardently than the Jesuits".[41]

At least, from its beginnings until our day, the Company has never wished to yield in this respect to anyone.

Not to understand that Mary was prepared for her sublime role by the Holy Spirit, that she was full of grace and was consequently the ideal mother, who was loved by Jesus, the ideal Son, more than any other creature has been or will be loved, that it is therefore impossible to please the Savior if one neglects even slightly this Mother privileged among all privileged souls--would this not be to draw down upon one's self the reproach recalled by Saint Ignatius to the faithful who were sufficiently thoughtless to question the statement that on Easter morning He appeared first to His Mother (299): "Are you also even yet without understanding?" (Matt. 15:16).

Saint Alphonsus Liguori used to say: "Without devotion to the Blessed Virgin, it is morally impossible for a priest to be truly good".[42]Why? The answer seems to be that such a priest would deprive himself of graces that Mary's all-powerful intercession alone might have obtained for him. Again, why? No doubt because he needs to experience the affection of this incomparable Mother so that he can endure isolation, so that he can persevere when the apparent sterility of his efforts would lead to discouragement. It is fitting to add that it also seems that there would be something incomplete about his mind and heart. At least Saint Ignatius thought so, as we have just seen.

In his eyes to be Christ's knight was also to be Mary's knight. It was with a vigil of arms before her statue in the chapel of Montserrat that he began his new life. It was on the feast of the Assumption in Paris in 1534 that he and his Companions pronounced their first vows. Fragments of his "Spiritual Journal" show us that he made constant appeal to these two mediators, Christ and His Mother, while he was writing his "Constitutions" (1544). He initiates souls to this same practice in his "Exercises." Without imposing it as an invariable rule he invites the retreatant to address, in the colloquies that conclude each meditation, first our Lady, then Jesus, and through Jesus to turn to the Eternal Father (199). Did he borrow this practice from Saint Bernard?[43] Idle question. Both men were Mary's clients and pupils of the same master: the Holy Spirit.

4. Other devotions. Because of the supernatural lights he received at Manresa, Ignatius also had a very real devotion for the Blessed Trinity. However, he was careful not to impose it on others to the same extent. His intimate friend who shared a room with him in Paris, Blessed Peter Favre, took great pleasure in honoring the angels. Ignatius always respected this "attrait."

He would have respected any other on the simple condition that the soul's first devotion was what Bourdaloue called "a devotion to duty". In other words, Ignatius made sure that the personal "attrait" led or helped the soul to keep the commandments of God and the duties of one's state before all else. We have already pointed out his principle: It is a most dangerous error to want to lead all souls to perfection along the same path.[44]

To priests, to religious of other orders, to the faithful of every class, the Jesuits can only say: Be what you ought to be in order to correspond with your personal vocation. You can follow "attraits" with perfect security if you always keep in mind the Joannine equation, perfect obedience equals perfect love. "He who keeps his word, in him the love of God is truly perfected" (1 John 2:5).


After or rather along with the duty of loving God, no duty is more frequently taught in the Gospel than that of loving one's neighbor. It is, moreover, impossible for a Christian to love the Creator with a true love without including in this love all those in whom he discovers God's image, who are called, like himself, to the dignity of adopted sons and for whom without exception (1 Tim. 2: 4) the Common Father has gone so far as to deliver His only Son to the tortures and ignominies of the Passion: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son" (John 3: 16).

As soon as Ignatius was converted he began "to help souls". After his stay at Manresa he tried to win them to Christ's service by the two basic meditations (no doubt these were polished later): "The Call of the Eternal King (or Kingdom)"(91-98) or "The Two Standards" (136-147). He showed them the Prince of Darkness who scatters his emissaries "throughout the whole world, so that no province, no place, no state of life, no individual is overlooked" (141).

As a priest he would be better armed for the combat. So, aged thirty, he set about learning the elements of Latin with children (1524). His first companions left. He attracted others. In 1539 they decided to found an order. Its purpose according to the "Summary of the Constitutions" which is presented to candidates is:

"not only to apply one's self to one's own salvation and to perfection with the help of divine grace but to employ all one's strength, 'impense,' for the salvation and perfection of one's neighbor."[45]

The neighbor was the whole world to the Saint. "Go", he used to say to religious whom he was sending far away: "Go, set the whole world on fire". To the ambassador of the King of Portugal who was trying to take from Ignatius six of his companions for the Indies, he wrote in 1540: "If you take six from the ten which we now are, how many will you leave for the rest of the world?" To the students of Coimbra he said in 1547: "You must extend your charity to all men... believing each one to be worth the life and blood he cost Jesus Christ."[46]

With horizons so limitless, Ignatius could not assign any exclusive task to his Company. Other saints could do this opportunely and meritoriously. For example they could dedicate their congregation to the ransom of captives, or to the education of youth, or to the care of the sick. In his thought, and in that of the friends who had chosen him to be their head, the Company was to be a body of free men whom the Vicar of Christ could use as he pleased, according to the changing needs of the Church. His professed even took the vow of accepting without any excuses, without even asking for expense money for their trip, any mission Rome might entrust to them (Const. 7, 1, 1-3)

In other cases, without prejudice to the rights judiciously reserved to Bishops, it is the duty of superiors to regulate the works or "ministries" of their subordinates. Their care must be to seek always the most efficacious program, the most universal good, "because the more universal the good, the more divine it is" (Const., 7, 2, D, E).

As for inferiors, is it hard to define what this exacts of them by way of total devotedness to God's glory and the salvation of souls?

It is clear that they are far from realizing this ideal if they allow preoccupations of human glory or of self-love to dominate them or if they even entertain such thoughts, since Saint Paul in the midst of his passion declared himself to be happy provided that his Master was better known and better served.[47] They are far from this ideal if they remain attached to their own will, or if they refuse to submit themselves to the directives of the hierarchy, or if they obey only to avoid reprimands and sanctions.

From apostles and from the most disinterested and the most completely devoted militants, perfect obedience can require painful sacrifices, even very great suffering. At times such men may have to endure extreme sufferings because they are not authorized to execute projects or reforms they believe necessary. In the same way during the two world wars, how many heroic soldiers, of high rank and low, suffered because they could not attack the enemy where, when, and how, they were sure of victory according to conditions in their sector! How many men, disappointed if not discouraged, have criticized their great leaders and have repeated: "These men do not understand".

Their confusion resulted from their attachment to their own ideas. That their criticism is often unjustified no one can deny. This is frequently the result when over-all view, experience, and prudence do not match personal bravery. But Saint Ignatius reminds such men that a military maneuver can succeed only if there be unity of mind between head and members. Now it is easy to understand whether the head should obey the members or the members the head.[48]

Christ is the head of the Mystical Body. He speaks through the voice of those who represent Him. If their decisions seem "incomprehensible", there is still the obligation--except in the case of manifest sin--to obey our superiors as we would obey Him. Thanks be to God, how many generous souls do this joyously!

In 1548, the holy Founder was considering the foundation of a college in Sicily. He asked about thirty of his religious to recollect themselves, to pray and then to let him know in a few days their attitude of soul. Peter Canisius, who was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1975, declared that he would surrender himself completely to his superior's wish.

Thirty-five other answers, practically identical, accompanied this one.

Who cannot understand the price of holocausts as perfect as these? And if we recall the dogma of the communion of saints, what graces of every kind do they not purchase? The preacher who absolves hardened sinners or the missionary who baptizes pagans may be tempted to attribute these apostolic successes to their own action. In reality, usually they are, for the most part, due to sacrifices consummated in secret.

Was it not with this conviction that Theresa of Lisieux hid herself in the cloister to win souls by denying herself the consolation of reconciling them herself to God? And the Church has proclaimed this girl of twenty-four years to be the equal of the apostle who exhausted himself going about India and the Far East; and named her the principal patron of the missions!

Ignatius took care not to make Canisius a cook, a gardener, or any kind of professor. He strove to bring him to the total gift of self but was, at the same time, ingenious in discovering aptitudes and attractions. On these grounds he made his assignments, believing that they would be carried out with more energy, perseverance and fruit.

Although he desired that obedience might become the favorite virtue and distinctive mark of his religious, with equal prudence, he recognized their right to present objections, after the requisite prayer and reflection. In fact a good son can always manifest his difficulties to his father; in certain cases he may even be obliged by charity to do so. And the father may be led in this way to modify his decisions. If the superior, rightly or wrongly, pays no attention, then, as we have explained, neither the inferior (provided he renounces himself), nor souls, nor God's cause will suffer in any way. Every apostle, priest or layman, stopped by authority in the execution of projects which seem to him to be rich in promise, can find here, not an invitation to renew his grief or to yield to sharp criticism, but a most helpful, supernatural consolation.

The Company consecrates much of its activity -- not to speak of missions in pagan lands,[49] nor parish missions, an important work that the Church requires at fixed intervals-- to universities, seminaries, secondary schools, scientific publications of exegesis, theology, philosophy, sociology... The defense of sound ideas and the Christian faith, the religious and social formation of clerics and youth have had, and continue to have an increasing importance. At times other urgent tasks or specific needs may claim its support. Jesuits are now taking part in the apostolate of the priest-workers, just as they have provided and still provide chaplains for fairs, prisoners, labor-camps, lepers.[50] The Holy Spirit never fails, at such times. to inspire very plainly defined vocations which Superiors are happy to respect.

In our days, for very good reasons, the evangelization of like by like is advocated. The Marian congregations introduced in 1563 were an anticipated form of this evangelization: congregations of students, magistrates, workers, servants.[51] Except for local deviations, their programs remain unchanged. How many priests, religious, missionaries and saints they have given to the Church!

To arouse and sustain zeal for souls is also the objective of the Apostolate of Prayer.[52]This confraternity was founded in 1844 and today counts some thirty-five million associates. This is the morning offering to which they are bound:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Thy Sacred Heart, in union with the holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all our associates, and in particular for (the intention of the month).

Thirty five million is a relatively small number! Happily the Jesuits are far from being the only ones who are trying to teach souls to pray and to suffer in union with Jesus, for the salvation of the world!

Among the most efficacious of all means to this end, and one that stands in a class by itself, is the work of retreats. It seems that few preachers are satisfied with this single theme:

"I have only one soul to save, And I wish to preserve it from the fires of hell!

In September 1874, Msgr. d'Hulst wrote these words about retreats based on the "Spiritual Exercises:"

"Just twenty years ago I first became acquainted with these retreats. Since then, how much I owe to them for myself and my ministry with others."

Later in 1895, he said:

"I suddenly remembered all the great works that the disciples of Saint Ignatius have accomplished in the world, especially the great missionaries in Japan and America, the fearless confessors, the innumerable martyrs. How did they prepare themselves for all that was before them? They did just what I am doing at this moment: they made the "Exercises;" they were filled with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, with the desire of following Him and with absolute confidence in His grace. They needed no other initiation. Thus armed... they went everywhere and everywhere they found themselves prepared to conquer."[53]

From another apostle, Albert de Mun, the founder of "Cercles ouvriers" comes this forthright testimony:

"Only those who have had this experience know the value of three days given to reflection and loyal self-examination. I dare to affirm that there is no stronger or more salutary preparation for private or political life, for family duties or social functions, for statesmen or the ordinary man."[54]

If this be true of three day retreats, what must be said of the revelation of Christ and the apostolic zeal that are the fruit of eight or ten days, and especially of retreats of "the first degree" "in which all the Spiritual Exercises are given in the same order in which they follow below" (20)?

There is also this general report given in answer to the 1944 inquiry of the Cardinals and Archbishops of France:

"The Assembly desires that in addition to the pastoral retreat, priests be at liberty to make a more prolonged retreat of eight or ten days in greater silence, as His Holiness Pope Pius XI asks in his Encyclical, 'Mens Nostra.' The Bishops therefore are informed that the request has come from certain dioceses that such a retreat be made obligatory at regular intervals (perhaps every five or ten years). The Assembly also strongly recommends the "sacerdotal month", commonly called "the third year."[55]

For similar reasons, it has long been the custom of the religious of the Company to make in strict silence a first retreat of thirty days, at the beginning of their novitiate, a second at the close of their period of formation before their final vows. Jesuits consider these retreats to be among the greatest graces of their lives.


To affirm that one saint or another practiced the most profound humility, the most rigorous renunciation, the most absolute devotedness is surely not to claim that he alone attained this level of virtue. At the close of this study, in the light of this remark, we believe we can formulate certain conclusions.

Combining freely the suggestions of the founders of Religious Orders and the most competent spiritual writers,[56] the spirituality of Saint Ignatius proposes the most generous love of God to souls of good will, that is, to those seeking perfection "in whatever state or manner of life He leads them to choose" (155).[57] This is the purest love because it is the most disinterested: it is an unceasing search for "His greatest glory". Love like this is least subject to illusions since it seeks "His better service". Thus it leads to most exact obedience in "following" and in closely "imitating" the Divine Redeemer. It maintains the rule of reason and of faith, especially when we must make decisions or "elections". It is guided by the rules of orthodoxy and there "fosters the right attitude of mind we ought to have in the church militant" "For Thinking with the Church," "Sentire cum Ecclesia"(352-370). It inculcates a love that is in every respect most peaceable and attractive because Christian life becomes "familiarity" with God, a companionship, an intimacy with the most wonder- working of leaders and most affectionate of friends: Our Brother, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We have said that this is a most attractive love. Let us add that this is true despite the sacrifices that this love requires, on condition that these requirements are never considered apart from the appealing power of the Person of Jesus. This power must be examined and carefully considered and a more and more perfect response must be made to His invitations.[58]

This spirituality which is very exact in its basic directives-- especially in all that concerns reverence for the divine will-- was formulated at a time when the principles of paganizing humanism and protestantism were rampant, principles whose destructive force is still strong in modern society. It was a just protest against the too frequent illusions that wished to be recognized as divine illuminations and supernatural experiences.

The glory God desires, the greatest divine glory hymned so marvelously by the heavens (Ps. 18:2) and for which they win no merit, is the holocaust realized by free agents. Before the divine preferences are known, "indifference" keeps these souls completely expendable (23, 169, 179). This is the abandonment which is so well expressed by the "Suscipe" of "The contemplation to attain love of God" (239). As soon as God's good pleasure is manifest, there follows the most perfect execution of the duties it imposes.

This is a spirituality of perfect love born of joy. Love and joy are inseparable. Psychology explains this. The one who loves finds contentment in pleasing Him who is loved and can enjoy ineffable consolations even here below. The great spiritual writers of the Company call this a kind of "paradise."[59] Experience proves they are right. Saint Paul said "I super- abound with joy in the midst of my tribulations" (2 Cor. 7: 4), and Saint Ignatius, after describing the eight trials in which he had been the defendant, was able to write:

"Not for all the power and riches under heaven would I give up all that I have just related. I even desire that worse things should befall me for God's greater glory."[60]

This same note is sounded in the biographies of many Jesuits. How can we wonder at this after our Savior's solemn pledge:

"Amen I say to you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, ...or mother, or father, ...for my sake and for the gospel's sake, who shall not receive now in the present time a hundred-fold as much... along with persecutions... (Mark 10:29-30; cf. John 14:21, 27; 15:10-11, etc).

It is easy to see that Ignatian spirituality can be of use even to members of contemplative Orders. Among the mystics who have expressed their gratitude, let us cite at least Louis of Blois, Philip Neri, Teresa of Avila, Madeleine of Pazzi, Margaret Mary, Marie de l'Incarnation, Madeleine Sophie Barat.

However, it is especially adapted to the needs of souls who under one form or another are consecrated to the direct apostolate, in a word to "men of action."[61] How many of these institutions have drawn their inspiration from Ignatian spirituality since the sixteenth century. It awakens in generous hearts a passion for the "Eternal King" and focuses their powers on the Father's glory (91-98). It fosters and increases this through the regular practice of mental prayer. Shortening, when it seems best, the length of this important exercise, the soul is shown how to transform exterior work into a form of contemplation that is unfettered, expansive, and in some way continuous.

By means of prayer and examinations of conscience, "considerations" and "examens of foresight" souls are saved from imperceptible deviations, hasty enthusiasms, and all the risks these entail. By retreats, made as far as possible at regular intervals, the soul is given an opportunity for self- appraisal, and if there be need, for change and a new start.

With God's help, Ignatian spirituality has formed priests and laymen into admirable militants fired with an ardent spirit of conquest. It has also formed saints. It can continue to do so[62] in leading them, through love of Jesus, with the help of His Blessed Mother, to overcome themselves, to spend themselves gaily, each in his own way, so that the Father's will may be accomplished in the fullest measure possible on earth with the same enthusiasm as in heaven. "Sicut in caelo et in terra" (Matt. 6: 10).


1. E. THIBAUT, "Le recit du Pelerin," Autobiography of Saint Ignatius, Bruges, 1924, n. 30-31. For the history of this document, consult, ibid. pp. 9-11, and especially M. H. (Monumenta Historiae S.J.), "Fontes Narrativi de S. Ignatio," I, Rome, 1941, pp. 323-352. "Obras completas de S. Ignatio," Madrid, 1952, Introd., pp. 1-22; text, pp. 23-111.

2. The phrase "perinde ac cadaver" is to be found in "Vita S. Francisci," c. 6, n. 4 (Opera omnia Quaracchi, 8, pp. 520-521).

3. These figures refer to the numeration of Exercises; cf. "The Spiritual Exercises," LOUIS J. PUHL Westminster, Md., 1951. Quoted with permission of the Newman Press.

4. "Quien poco determina poco entiende y menos ayuda. Epistolae et instructiones S. Ignatii," Madrid, 1903, I, p. 108. PERE DUDON, "Lettres spirituelles de S. Ignace," Paris, 1933, p.52.

5. The religious not raised to the priesthood is bound to seek perfection in virtue of his vows; the priest, too, must strive for the same high goal because he comes much closer to the holy mysteries and shares more intimately in the Savior's mission and powers; II, Il, 184, 8. Pius X, "Haerent animo," "Acta Sanctae Sedis," 1908, 61, pp. 557-64. Pius Xl, "Ad Catholici sacerdotii fastigium," "Acta Apostolicae Sedis," 1936, 28, pp. 23 ff.

6 This is the origin of the distinction that has been made in the Company since the beginning between "first degree retreats" based without change on the spiritual level and method of the "Exercises" and abridged retreats of "the second" or even "the third degree". Similar adaptations are to be found in books of meditation.

7. "But if we are sons, we are heirs also: heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ...." (cf. Rom., 8:17).

8. In retreats where there is opportunity for personal reflection, laymen are often heard to say: "I now see things in an entirely different light." It will be admitted that a retreat may lead, if not to the vow, at least to the constant search for what is "most perfect." Cf. "L'amour de Dieu dans les Exercises", "Recherche de science religieuse," 1952, 40, pp. 387-407.

9. J. E. LABORDE, "Le Pere L. Cros," Toulouse, 1921, 3, pp. 41-45.

10. "Imitation" 2:7, "Of the love of Jesus above all things;" 8, "Of familiar friendship with Jesus."

11. "Imitation" 2:11, n. 2-4; 12, n. 8-15.

12. It is not correct to say that the ideas of the Jesuits on the Word Incarnate were influenced by Cardinal de BERULLE. Cf. F. CAVALLERA, "Revue d'ascetique et mystique, 1928, 9, pp. 74-76. A POTTIER, "Le Pere L. Lallemant et les grands spirituels de son temps," 3 vols. Paris, 1927-29, 3, pp. 13-48.

13. "Summary of the Constitutions," rule 11. "The Directory" published in 1599 by Claude Aquaviva, third general of the Order, reads: "Meditation on the Passion ought to be the soul's ordinary nourishment." 35:1. The reason is obvious.

14. The term "effective love" may designate either perfect or imperfect love which consists of dispositions of the will, "affectus;" or it may designate love which expresses itself in affectionate sentiments without ever being capable of serious renunciations, "effectus." Whence arises many misunderstandings. It is indeed true that God judges us according to our intentions ("He sees the heart", 1 Kgs. 16:7), but this enables Him to discern the heart's dynamics (velleity or total gift); so that in every case we can be sure that He will give to us according to our works (Apocl. 3:23). We, who are so inclined to deceive ourselves, ought to judge ourselves by results, that is by our acts. Furthermore it is evident that effective love requires no external work. Of this, the desolate but resigned "fiat" of Gethsemani is the proof. "Not My Will but Thine be done" (Luke, 22:42). In fact there is no truer or more substantial devotion than we experience in those hours when, without feeling any of love's sweetness or ardor (sensible devotion), our acts are those of our Savior: resignation, conformity to God's will, perfect obedience despite nature's active repugnance. SUAREZ, "De oratione," II, 8, n 112. ALVAREZ DE PAZ, "De vita spiritualis," III, I, 9. A. LE-GAUDIER, "De la perfection de la vie spirituelle," Bizeul tr., I Brussels, 1908, pp. 170-175. J. DE GUIBER, "Lecons de theologie spirituelle," Toulouse, 1943, pp. 149-154.

15. There was a discussion in a rectory about the difficulty of preaching. "O no," said a curate, "when I enter the pulpit I often have no idea what I am going to say." To which the pastor replied: "Yes, dear friend; but when you leave the pulpit they often do not know what you have said." The easiest way to improvise is to use "cliches."

16. "I have not loved thee in jest.' Christ's words to Blessed Angela of Foligno.

17. And of the third degree of humility.

18. Dom A. JAMET, "Marie de l'Incarnation," 4 vols. Paris-Quebec, 1929- 1949, 3, p. 55; 2, p. 435.

19. MARGARET MARIE. Cf. the offering of the "Suscipe" in the "Contemplation to attain Divine Love" (234).

20. M. H., "Epistolae S. Ignatii," 9, p. 626. Cf. M. H., "Scripta de S. Ignatio," I, p. 391, n. 108; p. 401, n. 38.

21. We are using the word in the broadest sense of personal prayer, of conversation with God. Prayer thus understood is essential to all the faithful who wish to advance in the spiritual life, it is all the more necessary for priests. The Church as a matter of fact makes it a strict obligation daily incumbent upon them, "quotidie orationi mentali per aliquod tempus incumbant" (Canon 125; cf. 595, 1367), while she requires them to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice only several times a year, "pluries per annum" (Canon 805).

22. In 1581 an hour's daily mental prayer was definitely determined upon.

23. M. H., "Epistolae S. Ignatii," 3, p. 502, p. 510. PERE DUDON, "S. Ignace, Lettres spirituelles," Paris, 1933, p. 186; cf. pp. 182-183.

24. Saint Pius X made use of this same expression, "instrumentum" in his exhortation to the Catholic clergy: "They are not so much men as instruments which God uses for the salvation of souls... One thing alone unites men to God: holiness of life and customs." "Acta Sancta Sedis," 1908, 41, p. 564.

25. M. H., "Epistolae P. H. Nadal," 4, p. 651.

26. Those who have read the study of Dr. Lhermitte, "Mystiques et faux mystiques," Paris, 1952, will not be surprised by this statement. The learned author moreover, observes that illusion is something quite different from conscious pretense; nor is perversity, by any means, always present.

On this subject of illusions and the signs by which they may be recognized, see A. Poulain, "Graces of Interior Prayer," Herder, 1922, Chapters 21-23, pp. 320-399.

27. St. Teresa wrote in reference to Father Pradanos, S. J. : He explained, she said, "that I needed to return to my prayer: I was not working upon a good foundation, nor had I begun to understand the nature of mortification... He told me that my daily prayer should be based upon one of the incidents of the Passion... My should began to grow notably better. "Life of Saint Teresa of Jesus", p. 152, Sheed and Ward, London, 1944. On the contemplation of the Humanity of Jesus, C. 22, pp. 131-136. Cf. "The Way of Perfection," "Six Maisons," pp. 265-323.

28. See especially on "perfect and sublime" prayer the pages of RODRIGUEZ which are so often incorrectly interpreted: "The Practice of Christian Perfection," 5, 4-6, Paris, 1886; and our "Spiritualite Ignatienne," pp. 205-214.

29. Letter of FRANCIS DE BORGIA, in D. DUDON S. J., "S. Ignace, Lettres spirituelles," pp. 167-168; cf. our "S. Ignace, directeur d'ames," pp. 80- 81 (M. H. S. "Ignatii epistulae," 2, pp. 236-237).

30. M. VAN DER SANDT, (Sandacus), "Jubilum Societaties Jesu saeculare, ob theologicam Mysticam in eadem excultam et illustratam," Cologne, 1640, edit. H. WATRIGANT with studies and bibliographies, Enghien (Belgium), 1922, --L. DE GRANDMAISON, "La tradition mystique de la Compagnie, Etudes," 1921, 166, pp. 129-156. M. MESCHLER, "Aszese und Mystik," 4th Edition, Fribourg, 1922, 4, PP. 148-179.

31. "Exhortatio od clerum Catholicum," "Acta Sanctae Sedis," 1908, 41, pp. 565-569.

32. "Ad Frates de Monte Dei," I, 4, 11; PL, 184: 314. William surely is far from thinking that the sacred rites are solely evocative pious symbols. The sacraments are of themselves efficacious, "ex opere operato," but their fruit is proportionate to the dispositions of each soul. Recollection, life of prayer assure the most favorable dispositions and without any interruption prolong the exploitation of the graces received. It is very likely that Ignatius knew this "Golden Letter" which was then attributed to Saint Bernard. Without seeking to establish any dependence, it will be noted that he uses exactly the same words to describe the colloquy: "The colloquy is made by speaking exactly as one friend speaks to another or as a servant speaks to a master." "Colloquium fit proprie loquendo sicut amicus loquitur ad amicum, vel servus ad dominuum suum" (54). It is indeed the same heart to heart relationship that he desires.

33. "Acta Ap. Sedis," 1947, 39, p. 385.

34. For souls who are called to perfection he has a far more exacting counsel: "Each one must work with all the application of which he is capable to attain, according to God ("in Domino," therefore guided by discretion, i.e. "discreta carita"), the most perfect self-abnegation and constant mortification in all things as far as this is possible." "General Examen," 4-46. In the same tenor are the words Thomas of Kempis places on the lips of our Savior: "My son, to have all you must give all and belong to yourself in nothing". (3, 27, 1; 37, 5; 4, 8, 2). This is the common doctrine of all great mystics and masters of asceticism.

35. "Experience religieuse," VACANT, "Dictionnaire de Theologie," 1913, 5, 1838-1840.

36. "Constitution Summoram Pontificum," "Acta Apostolicae Sedis", 1922, 15, pp. 420-422l Cf. Encyclical "Mens nostra," ibid., 1929, 21, pp. 689-706. A. VALENSIN, "Les Exercises Spirituelles, Testes pontificaux annotes," Paris, 1935.

37. For details consult J. V. BAINVEL, "Devotion to the Sacred Heart," N.Y., 1924. A HAMON, "Histoire de la devotion au Sacre-Coeur," 5 vols., Paris, 1907-1940, vol. 1, "Vie de Marguerite Marie." Also see the official letter of R. P. ROOTHAAN, "De cultu SS. Cordis Jesu, Opera Spiritualis," Ed. DE JONGE, Rome, 1936, I, pp. 413-425; "Lettres Choisies des PP. Generaux," I Lyons, 1878; 2, pp. 152-173.

38. P. DUDON, "S. Ignace: Lettres spirituelles," p. 78 (M. H., "S. Ignatii epistulae," I, p. 164). To justify these directives the Saint asked the learned Father Salmeron, one of his earliest companions, to prepare the first historical investigation on this subject. FAther Christopher de Madrid was later to edit his findings, and FAther Dudon has translated them, "Pour la communion frequente et quotidienne," Paris, 1910. Cf. "Etudes," 1909, 120, pp. 25-38.

39. L. CROS, "Etudes," 1908, 115, P. 760; CF. PP. 752-765.

40. "Let them seek God in all," he asks of them, "stripping themselves of love for all created things so as to direct all their affections toward the Creator, loving Him in all creatures and all creatures in Him, according to His most holy will." "Constitutions," 3, 1, 26.

41. A. DRIVE, "Marie et la Compagnie de Jesus," Paris, 1913, 7, pp. 257- 270. John Etudes was a member of the Congregation of Our Lady at the Jesuit college at Caen (D. BOULAY, "Vie du Venerable Jean Eudes," 4 vols., Paris, 1905-1908, I, 3, PP. 55-58). GRIGNON DE MONTFORT, too, was a member at the college at Rennes. (A. LAVEILLE, L. M. "Gr. de Montfort," Paris, 1907, 2, pp. 24-26). Laveille has made extensive use of "La Triple Couronne" of Father POIRE (republished by the Benedictines of Solesmes, 3 vols., Le Mans, 1948). "La Bibliotheca mariana" (S.J.) published at Paris in 1885 by FAther C. SOMMERVOGEL contained 2207 numbers.

42. "Selva," 2, 2nd instruction, "Works," A. C. PELTIER, ed., Paris, 1879, 12, p. 351.

43. PL., 183, 444.

44. "Sentences choisies," n. 8, in our "S. Ignace, directeur d'ames," p. 301.

45. "Examen general," (text to be submitted to candidates to the Company), 1, 2.

46. P. DUDON, "S. Ignace: lettres spirituelles," p. 143, Cf. pp. 130-146 (M.H., "S. Ignatii epistulae" I, pp. 495-510.)

47. "Provided only that in every way.... Christ is being proclaimed; in this I rejoice, yes and I shall rejoice" (Phil., 1:18).

48. In his celebrated "Letter on Obedience" of March 26, 1553. M. H., "S. Ignatii epistulae," 4, pp. 669-681. P. DUDON, "S. Ignace, Lettres spirituelles," pp. 206-223. Cf. our "S. Ignace, directeur d'ames," pp. 194- 209.

49. Prior to the expulsion of missionaries from China, the Company consecrated some 2500 priests to this work. Comparative statistics: "Documentation catholique," 1951, 48, p. 442. "Ami du clerge," 1951, 61, 218.

50. J. LETOURNEULX, "Le P. Haguenin," national chaplain of fairs, Paris, 1950. A. BELANGER, "Les jesuites et les humbles, ibid.," 1901. P. MURY, "Les jesuites a Cayenne," Strasbourg, 1895. See the general table of "Menologe de la Compagnie de Jesus," EL. DE GUILLERMY (14 vols., Paris, 1867-1904): chaplains in prisons, pp. 525-526; Jesuits who died as the result of care given to the plague-stricken, pp. 503-510. On the multiple works founded in Rome by Ignatius, Orphan Asylum, Catechumenate for Jews, Refuge of Saint Martha for prostitutes, etc., P. TACCHI VENTURI, "Storia della Comp. di Gesu," Rome, 1910-1922, I, pp. 624-676; 2 pp. 178-181. "If by the work of an entire life", he answered the Fathers who were trying to persuade him to conserve his strength, "I were to succeed in convincing only one of these poor women not to offend the divine Majesty, were it merely for the period of a few hours, I would consider myself more than sufficiently paid." X DE FRANCIOSI, "L'Esprit de S. Ignace," Paris, 1952, p. 33.

51. E. VILLARET, "Les Congregations mariales," Paris, 1947, I, pp. 217-287. PIUS XII, Constitution "Bis saeculari," "Acta Apostolicae Sedis," 1948, 15, pp. 393-402. Letter to Very Reverend Father General, ibid., 17, pp. 437-440 ("Messager du Sacre-Coeur," 1950, 90, pp. 281-283).

52. H. RAMIERE, "L'Apostoalat de la priere," Toulouse, n. d., C. PARRA, "Le Pere H. Ramiere," ibid., 1934.

53. CARD. BAUDRILLART, "Vie de Mgr. D'Hulst," Paris, 1914, 2, 33, pp. 554- 555, 562-563.

54. A. DE MUN, "Ma vocation sociale," Paris, n. d., p. 166. Pius XI came to the conclusion that the spread of the retreat movement would bring about the world's regeneration. "Mens nostra," "Acta Apostolicae Sedis," 1929, 21, p. 703. This Encyclical is a true treatise on retreats. Pius XI acknowledged what he believed he owed to the "Exercises." Ibid., p. 691.

55. MGR. GUERRY, "Le clerge diocesain en face de sa mission actuelle," 12- 13.

56. J. JANSSEN, the eminent historian summarizes and puts in order all the discoveries made in earlier centuries. "So extraordinary has been its influence on souls that no other ascetical writing can be compared to it": "L'Allemagne et la Reforme," E. PARIS, tr., Paris, 1895, 4, 3, 1, pp. 402- 406.

57. "Examen general," 1, 2; "Constitutions," 7, 5.

58. It must be carefully noted that Ignatius offers his meditations on the Gospels only as "an introduction and method for better and more complete meditation later on" (162).

59. ALVAREZ DE PAZ, A. RODRIGUEZ, J. CRASSET, J. NOVET, J. RIGOULEC, J. B. SAINT-JURE, J. J. SURIN and many others use equivalent terms.

60 P. DUDON, "S. Ignace: Lettres spirituelles," pp. 96-98.

61. F. CHARMOT, "La doctrine spirituelle des hommes d'action," Paris, 1938.

62. His Holiness Pope Pius XII said significantly to the seminarians who were celebrating the fourth centenary of the Germanica and its fifty martyrs: "As far as its ascetical doctrine is concerned, we might believe that Saint Ignatius wrote (his little book) for our time.... If you have entered the school of the "Exercises," Your priestly action will be what the priesthood is meant to be: the backbone of Catholic life, whether it be an apostolate without the shedding of blood or whether it be a bloody apostolate" "Acta Ap. Sedis," 1952, 34, p. 828.