Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Personal Writing

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Personal Writings, Joseph A. Munitiz and Philip Endean, Penguin Books, London, 1996.

Though the first Jesuits always acknowledged the initial inspiration of Ignatius in bringing them together, their earliest deliberation and decision-processes seem to have been corporate, with Ignatius as a kind of first among equals. It was the second generation of Jesuit leaders, notably Nadal, who stressed the image of Ignatius as solitary founder, not without resistance from some of their predecessors. (Introduction, 4)

Until the age of twenty-six he was a man given up to the vanities of the world, and his chief delight used to be in the exercise of arms, with a great and vain desire to gain honour. And so, being in a stronghold which the French were attacking, … And after the attack had lasted a good time, a shot hit him in one leg, completely shattering it for him; … And he was getting worse, without being able to eat, and had the other symptoms that are normally a signal of death. … But Our Lord was gradually giving him health… he was forced to be in bed. And because he was much given to reading worldly and false books, which they normally call ‘tales of chivalry’, he asked, once he was feeling well, that they give him some of these to pass the time. But in that house none of those books which he normally read could be found, and so they give him a life of Christ and a book of the lives of the saints in Spanish. … And here the desires to imitate the saints were occurring to him, … These desires were confirmed for him by a visitation as follows: being awake one night, he saw clearly a likeness of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus, at the sight of which, for an appreciable time, he received a very extraordinary consolation. He was left so sickened at his whole past life, and especially at matters of the flesh, that it seemed to him that there had been removed from his soul all the likenesses that he had previously painted in it. Thus, from that hour until August 1553, when this is being written, he never again had even the slightest complicity… (Reminiscences, 15-16)

So then, as he was going on his way [to Jerusalem] a Moor caught up with him, … as the two of them were going along in conversation, they came to talk about Our Lady. And the Moor was saying that he could well accept that the Virgin had conceived in the absence of a man, but he couldn’t believe in her having given birth while remaining a virgin, offering for this the natural reasons that were occurring to him. Despite the many arguments which the pilgrim gave him, he couldn’t dislodge this opinion. At that the Moor went ahead, with such great speed that he lost sight of him as he remained thinking about what had passed with the Moor. /
And at this there came upon him some impulses creating disturbance in his soul; it seemed to him he had not done his duty. And these caused him anger also against the Moor; it seemed to him he had done wrong in allowing that a Moor should say such things of Our Lady, and he was obliged to stand up for her honour. And thus there were coming upon him desires to go and find the Moor, and stab him for what he he’d said. /
Carrying on a long time with the conflict aroused by these desires, in the end he remained doubtful, not knowing what his duty was. The Moor, who had gone ahead, had told him that he was going to a place which was a little further along his own route, very near the main road, but the main road did not go through the place. So, having tired of analyzing what it would be good to do, and not finding anything definite on which to decide, he decided on this: namely, to let the mule go on a loose rein up to the point where the roads divided. And if the mule went along the town road, he would look for the Moor and stab him; and if it didn’t go towards the town but went along the main road, he’d leave him be. He acted in accord with this thought, and Our Lord willed that, though the town was little more than thirty or forty paces away, and the road leading to it very broad and very good, the mule took the main road, and left the one for the town behind. (Reminiscences 19)

While he was in this almshouse something happened to him, many times: in full daylight he would see clearly something in the air alongside him, which would give him much consolation, because it was very beautiful, enormously so. He couldn’t properly make out what it was an image of, but somehow it seemed to him that it had the shape of a serpent, and it had many things which shone like eyes, though they weren’t eyes. (21)

Once he was going in his devotion to a church, which was a little more than a mile from Manresa (I think it is called St Paul’s), and the way goes along by the river. Going along thus in his devotions, he sat down for a little with his face towards the river, which was running deep below. And as he was seated there, the eyes of his understanding began to be opened: not that he saw some vision, but understanding… One cannot set out the particular things he understood then, though they were many: … sixty-two years he has completed, he does not think, … that he has ever attained so much as on that single occasion. And this left him with the understanding enlightened in so great a way that it seemed to him as if he were a different person, and he had another mind, different from that which he had before. /
After this had lasted a good while, he went off to kneel at a cross which was nearby in order to give thanks to God. And there appeared to him there a vision which had often been appearing and which he had never recognized: i.e. that thing mentioned above which seemed very beautiful to him, with many eyes. But being in front of the cross he could well see that that thing of such beauty didn’t have its normal colour, and he recognized very clearly, with strong backing from his will, that it was the devil. And in this form later the devil had a habit of appearing to him, often and for a long time, and he, by way of contempt, would cast it aside with a staff he used to carry in his hand. (27)

The reluctance shown by Ignatius to any wide dissemination of his text is easily understandable when one accepts that it was always through the spoken word that he introduced people to the Exercises. Somebody is required to ‘give’ the exercises, and only persons who have experienced the process that these exercises set in motion can do this. (Introduction to the Exercises, 281)

The process itself is no great mystery, as the very first Annotation (Exx. I.) makes clear: a person wants to dispose him/herself before God, so that the inner heart can face God with honesty. (281)

Ignatius prepared these notes so that somebody could instruct somebody else in the steps of the process, and would have some warning of the sorts of reaction that may occur—from outright rejection to wild enthusiasm (both equally dangerous). The idea is to bring the retreatant gently into a state where prayer before God can be undertaken while at the same time one looks honestly at the failings or drawbacks which hinder that prayer. … And frequently it is the shock of this self-questioning that arouses great personal emotions, doubts, joy and pain. Usually somebody is then needed to help one cope with the test. (282)

Annotation 4. The exercises that follow are made up of four Weeks, corresponding to the four parts into which these Exercises are divided: namely, the First is the consideration and contemplation of sins; the Second is the life of Christ Our Lord up to, and including, Palm Sunday; the Third, the Passion of Christ Our Lord; the Fourth, the Resurrection and Ascension, with the three ways of praying. However this does not mean that each Week necessarily lasts for six or eight days, for in the First Week some may happen to be slower … some may be more rapid than others, … But the Exercises should be completed in about thirty days. (283-4)

Annotation 7. If the one giving the Exercises sees that the one receiving them is desolate and tempted, it is important not to be hard or curt with that person, but gentle and kind. Let the director give the exercitant courage and strength for the future, and lay open before that person the cunning tricks of the enemy of human nature, … (284)

Annotation 9. … First Week. If it is a person with no previous experience of spiritual things, and who is tempted crudely and obviously, … such as fatigues, shame and fear inspired by worldly honour, etc, the director should not talk to that person about the Second Week rules for various spirits, … as they deal with questions too delicate and too elevated to be understood. (285)

Annotation 10. When the giver of the Exercises sees that the receiver is being assailed and tempted under the appearance of good, that is the time to speak to such a person about the Second Week rules… (285)

Annotation 13. It should also be noted that whereas in time of consolation it is easy and undemanding to remain in contemplation for the full hour, in time of desolation it is very difficult to last out. Consequently, in order to go against desolation and overcome temptations the exercitant must always stay on a little more than the full hour, so that one gets used not only to standing up to the adversary, but even to overthrowing him. (285)

Annotation 15. …Outside the Exercises it can indeed be lawful and meritorious for us to move all who seem suitable to choose continence, virginity, religious life and every form of evangelical perfection, but during these Spiritual Exercises it is more opportune and much better that the Creator and Lord communicate Himself to the faithful soul… Hence the giver of the Exercises should not be swayed or show a preference for one side rather than the other, but remaining in the middle like the pointer of a balance, should leave the Creator to work directly with the creature, and the creature with the Creator and Lord. (286)

Annotation 16. …if a person were bent on seeking to obtain an appointment or benefice, nor for the honour and glory of God Our Lord, nor for the spiritual good of souls, but for one’s own advancement and temporal interests. One must then set one’s heart on what is contrary to this, insisting upon it in prayers and other spiritual exercises, asking God Our Lord for the contrary, namely, not to want that appointment or benefice or anything else, unless the Divine Majesty gives a right direction to one’s desires and changes the first attachment. (286)

Annotation 19. When a person is taken up with public affairs or necessary business, and is someone who is educated or intelligent, such a person can set aside an hour and a half a day for the Exercises. (287)

The human person is created to praise, reverence and serve God Our Lord, and by so doing to save his or her soul. The other things on the face of the earth are created for human being in order to help them pursue the end for which they are created. It follows from this that one must use other created things in so far as they help towards one’s end, and free oneself from them in so far as they are obstacles to one’s end. (First Week, 289)

…in the morning immediately on rising: the exercitant makes a firm resolve to take great care to avoid the particular sin or defect that he or she wants to correct and reform. … after the mid-day meal, when one asks God Our Lord for what one wants, i.e. grace to remember how often one has fallen into the particular sin or defect, and to reform in the future. Then the exercitant makes the FIRST EXAMEN: it consists of demanding of oneself an account of the particular point proposed for correction and reform, running over each hour or each period of time, beginning from the hour of rising, … after supper, when the SECOND EXAMEN will be made the same way, … (290)

Each time one falls into the particular sin or defect, one should put a hand to the breast in sorrow for having fallen. This can be done even in the presence of many people without their noticing. (290)

The second day should be compared with the first, … One week should be compared with another. (290)

I presuppose that there are three sorts of thought processes in me, one sort which are properly mine and arise simply from my free will and choice, and two other sorts which come from outside, one from the good spirit and the other from the bad. (291)

One sins venially when the same thought of committing a mortal sin somes and one gives ear to it, dwelling on it a little or taking some sensual enjoyment form it, or when there is some negligence in rejecting this thought.
There are two ways of sinning mortally. The first is when one consents to a sinful thought in order to put one’s consent into immediate action, or to act on it if one could. The second way of sinning mortally is when that sin is actually committed, and this is more serious for three reasons—(i) because more time is spent, (ii) because there is more intensity, (iii) because greater harm is done both to others and to oneself. (291)

One should not speak ‘idle words’, by which I understand those of no profit to either myself or to others, and those not directed ot that end. Consequently to speak about anything that benefits or seeks to benefit my own soul or my neighbour’s, or that is for the good of the body or for temporal welfare, is never idle. Nor is it idel even to speak of things that do not belong to one’s state of life, e.g. if a religious speaks about wars or trade. Rather in all these cases there is merit in speaking to a well-ordered purpose, and sin in ill-directed or aimless talk. (292)

One should say nothing to defame another or to spread gossip, because if I make known a mortal sin which is not public knowledge, I sin mortally, and if the sin is venial, I sin venially, (293-3)

One should take as subject-matter the Ten Commandments, the precepts of the Church and the recommendations of superiors; any action done against any of these three is a greater or smaller sin depending on the greater or lesser importance of the matter. … there can be no little sin in inciting other to act or acting oneself against the religious exhortations and recommendations of those in authority. (293)

WAY OF MAKING THE GENERAL EXAMEN containing five points.
Point 1: to give thanks to God for the benefits received.
Point 2: to ask for grace to know one’s sins and reject them.
Point 3: to ask an account of one’s soul from the hour of rising to one present examen, hour by hour, or from one period to another, first about thoughts, then about words and finally about deeds, following the order given in the particular examen. [Exx. 25].
Point 4: to ask God Our Lord for pardon for sins.
Point 5: to determine to do better with His grace, ending with an Our Father. (293)

PRAYER. The preparatory prayer is to ask God Our Lord for grace that all my intentions, actions and operations may be directed purely to the service and praise of His Divine Majesty.
PREAMBLE I. This is the composition, seeing the place. It should be noted here that for contemplation or meditation about visible things, e.g. a contemplation about Christ Our Lord who is visible, the ‘composition’ consists in seeing through the gaze of the imagination the material place where the object I want to contemplate is situated. By ‘material place’ I mean e.g. a temple or a mountain where Jesus Christ or Our Lady is to be found, according to what I want to contemplate. Where the object is invisible, as in the case in the present instance dealing with sins, the composition will be to see with the gaze of the imagination and to consider that my soul is imprisoned in this body which will one day disintegrate, and my whole composite self as if exiled in this valley among brute beasts. When I say ‘my whole composite self’, I mean body and soul together. (295)

Preamble 2. This is to ask God for what I want and desire. The request must be adapted to the matter under consideration, so e.g. in contemplating the Resurrection one asks for joy with Christ joyful, but in contemplating the Passion one asks for grief, tears and suffering with the suffering Christ. Here I will ask for personal shame and confusion as I see how many have been damned on account of a single mortal sin, and how many times I deserved to be damned for ever on account of my numerous sins. (295)

Bring the memory to bear on the first sin, which was that of the angels, then apply the intellectual to the same event, in order to reason over it, and then the will, so that by seeking to recall and to comprehend all this, I may feel all the more shame, … (295)

Point 2. In the same way bring the three powers to bear on the case of the sin of Adam and Eve, (295)

Point 3, Do the same for the third sin, the particular one of any individual who has gone to hell for a single mortal sin, … (296)

Colloquy. Imagining Christ Our Lord before me on the cross, make a colloquy asking how it came about that the Creator made Himself man, and from eternal life came to temporal death, and thus to die for my sins. Then, turning to myself I shall ask, what have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I to do for Christ? Finally, seeing Him in that state hanging on the cross, talk over whatever comes to mind. /
A colloquy, properly so-called, means speaking as one friend speaks with another, or a servant with a master, at times asking for some favour, at other times accusing oneself of something badly done, or telling the other about one’s concerns and asking for advice about them. (296)

The Second Exercise. … Point 1. This is the record of my sins, i.e. I recall to my memory all the sins of my life, looking from year to year or form one period of time to another, and for this three things are helpful: (i) to see the place and house where I lived, (ii) the relations I have had with others, (iii) the occupation in which I have spent my life.
Point 2. I weigh up my sins, …
Point 3. I look at who I am, diminishing myself by means of comparisons: … I look at myself as though I were an ulcer or an abscess, the source of many sins and evils, and of great infection. (297)

The Third Exercise. Repetition of the First and Second Exercises, making three colloquies. (297)

The Fourth Exercise. Recapitulation of the Third Exercise. (298)

The Fifth Exercise. Meditation on Hell. Containing—after the preparatory prayer and the two preambles—five points and a colloquy. … Point 1. This will be to look with the eyes of the imagination at the great fires and at the souls appearing to be in burning bodies. Point 2. To hear with one’s ears and wailings, howls, cries, blasphemies against Christ Our Lord and against all the saints. Point 3. To smell with the sense of smell the smoke, the burning sulphur, the cesspit and the rotting matter. Point 4. To taste with the sense of taste bitter things, such as tears, sadness and the pangs of conscience. Point 5. To feel with the sense of touch, i.e. how those in hell are licked around and burned by the fires. Colloquy. As I make a colloquy with Christ Our Lord, I should recall to my memory the persons who are in hell, … (299)

The first exercise will be made at midnight, the second on rising in the morning, the third before or after mass, as long as it is made before lunch, the fourth at the time of vespers, the fifth an hour before supper. (299)

…arousing myself to confusion for my many sins by using comparisons, such as that of a knight coming before his king and all the court, full of shame and confusion on account of offences committed against he lord from whom in the past he has had many gifts and favours. Similarly for the Second Exercise, I see myself as a great sinner in chains, that is to say, as about to appear, bound, before the supreme and eternal Judge, recalling how chained prisoners appears for the death penalty before a judge here on earth. It is with thoughts like these, or others adapted to the subject matter under consideration, that I should dress myself. (300)

Second Week. The Call of the Earthly King Will Help Us to Contemplate the Life of the Eternal King. … This is the composition, seeing the place, and here it will be to see with the eyes of the imagination synagogues, towns and villages where Christ Our Lord went preaching. (303)

Point 1. I put before me a human king chosen by the hand of God Our Lord, to whom all Christian leaders and their followers give their homage and obedience. Point 2. I watch how this kind speaks to all his own saying: ‘My will is to conquer all the land of the infidels! (303)

Note 2. For the Second Week, as well as for the future, it is very helpful to read from time to time from the Imitation of Christ, or from the Gospels, or lives of saints. (304)

First Day: First Contemplation. On the Incarnation. … recall the narrative of the subject to be contemplated, in this case how the three Divine Persons were looking at all the flatness or roundness of the whole world filled with people, and how the decision was taken in Their eternity, as They saw them all going down into hell, that the second Person would become human to save the human race. (305)

Preamble 2. The composition, seeing the place, which here will be to see the great extent of the round earth with its many different races; then, in the same way, see the particular house of Our Lady and its rooms in the town of Nazareth in the province of Galilee. (305)

Second Contemplation. On the Nativity. Preamble I. The narrative here will be how Our Lady, almost nine months pregnant (as we may devoutly think of her) and seated on a donkey, with Jospeh and a servant girl, taking with them an ox, set out from Nazareth and Bethlehem to pay the tribute which Caesar had imposed on all those lands [Exx.264]. Preamble 2. Composition, seeing the place. Here it will be to see with the eyes of the imagination the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem, considering the length and breadth of it, whether it is a flat road or goes through valleys or over hills; and similarly to look at the place or grotto of the Nativity, to see how big or small it was, how low or high, and what was in it. (306)

Point I. This is to see the people, i.e. Our Lady, and Joseph, and the servant girl, and the child Jesus after his birth. Making myself into a poor and unworthy little servant, I watch them, and contemplate them, and serve them in their needs as if I were present, with all possible submission and reverence; and afterwards I reflects with in myself to derive some profit. Point 2. I watch, and notice and contemplate what they are saying, and then reflect within myself to derive some profit. Point 3. I watch and consider what they are doing, e.g. their travel and efforts, so that Christ comes to be born in extreme poverty and, after so many labours, after hunger, thirst, heat and cold, outrages and affronts, he dies on the cross, and all of this for me; then I reflect within myself to derive some spiritual profit. (307)

Fourth Day. … Point 1. This point is to imagine the leader of all the enemy powers as if he were enthroned in that great plain of Babylon, upon something like a throne of fire and smoke, a horrible and fearsome figure. Point 2. To consider how he calls up innumerable demons, and how he then disperses them, some to one city and others to another, thus covering the entire world, omitting no region, no place, no state of life, nor any individual. Point 3. To consider the address he makes to them, ordering them to lay traps for people and to bind them with chains. They are to tempt them first to crave after riches (the enemy’s usual tactic), so that they might come more readily to the empty honours of the world, and in the end to unbounded pride. Therefore the first step is riches, the second, honour, and the third, pride; form these three steps the enemy leads people on to every other vice. (311)

…looking only at what I have been created for, viz. the praise of God Our Lord and the salvation of my soul, … I must not make the end fit the means, but subordinate the means to the end. But what happens in fact is that many first of all choose marriage, which is a means, and secondly the service of God in married life, although this service of God is the end; … So in the case of priesthood, marriage etc., … one should represent and try to lead a good life within the state one chosen. It does not look as if such an election is a divine vocation, since it is disordered and biased. (317)

Third Week. Rules for the future ordering of one’s life as regards eating. Rule I. There is less to be gained in restraint from eating bread, since bread is not a food about which the appetite is usually as uncontrolled, … (325)

Rule 5. While eating one should imagine that one is seeing Christ Our Lord eating with His apostles, considering the way He drinks, the way He looks, and the way He talks, and then try to imitate Him; thus the higher part of the mind is taken up with considering Our Lord, and the lower with feeding the body, … Rule 6. At other times, when eating, one can think over the lives of the saints, or some religious contemplation, or some spiritual matter that has to be undertaken; … Rule 7. Above all, one should take care not to become wholeheartedly engrossed in what one is eating, and not to be carried away by one’s appetite at meals; instead one should be in control of oneself, both in the manner of eating and in the quantity eaten. (326)

Fourth Week. Re Addition 7. One can take advantage of the light and of the pleasures of the seasons, e.g. refreshing coolness in the summer, in the winter of the sunshine or the warmth of a fire, in so far as one seems likely to be helped by these things to rejoice in the Creator and Redeemer. (328)

Additional Material. … I consider and think over the First Commandment: how have I kept it? How have I failed to keep it? I stay with this as a rule for the time it takes to say three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys. (331)

On the Five Bodily Senses. … Should one wish to imitate Christ Our Lord in the use of the senses, one should commend oneself to His Divine Majesty in the preparatory prayer, then after considering with each sense say a Hail Mary or an Our Father. And if one wishes to imitate Our Lady in the use of the senses, one should commend oneself to her in the preparatory prayer, so that she may obtain that grace from her Son and Lord, then after considering each sense, say a Hail Mary. (332)

Way 2 of Praying. Consists in contemplating the meaning of each word of a prayer. … Keeping one’s eyes closed or fixed on the one spot, without allowing the gaze to wander, one says the word ‘Father’, staying with this word for as long as one finds meanings, comparisons, relish and consolation in considerations related to it. One should do this for each word of the Our Father, or for another prayer that one may wish to take for praying in this way. (332) … One should spend an hour on the whole of the Our Father, … If the person contemplating the Our Father finds in one or two words rich matter for reflection, and much relish and consolation, that person should not be anxious to go further, … (332)

WAY 3 OF PRAYING by rhythm. … The third Way of praying consists in praying mentally with each breath or respiration, by saying one word of the Our Father or of any other prayer being said, so that only a single word is pronounced between one breath and the next. In the interval between each breath, attention is especially paid to the meaning of that word, or to the person to whom one is praying, or to one’s own lowliness, or to the distance between the other’s greatness and one’s own lowliness; … (333)

Rule 1. With people who go from one mortal sin to another it is the usual practice of the enemy to hold out to them apparent pleasures; so he makes them imagine sensual satisfaction and gratifications, in order to retain and reinforce them in their vices and sins. With people of this kind, the good spirit uses the opposite procedure, causing pricks of conscience and feelings of remorse by means of the power of rational moral judgment. (348)

Rule 4. On spiritual desolation. ‘Desolation’ is the name I give to everything contrary to what is in Rule 3, e.g. darkness and disturbance in the soul, attraction towards what is low and of the earth, anxiety arising form various agitations and temptations. All this tends to a lack of confidence in which the soul is without hope and without love; one finds oneself thoroughly lazy, lukewarm, sad, and as though cut off from one’s Creator and Lord. … Rule 5. In time of desolation one should never make any change, but stand firm and constant in the resolutions and decision by which one was guided on the day before the desolation, or in the decision one had reached during the preceding time of consolation. For, just as in consolation it is more the good spirit who guides and counsels us, so in desolation it is the bad spirit, and by following his counsels we can never find the right way. … Rule 7. Anyone in desolation must consider how Our Lord has placed them in a trial period, (349)

Rule 9. There are three principal reasons for our being in desolation: (i) because we are lukewarm, lazy or careless in our commitment to the spiritual life, and so spiritual consolation goes away because of our faults; (ii) to test our quality and to show how far we will go in God’s service and praise, even without generous recompense in the form of consolations and overflowing graces; (iii) to give us true information and understanding, so that we may perceive through experience that we cannot ourselves arouse or sustain overflowing devotion, intense love, tears or any other spiritual consolation, but that everything is a gracious gift form God Our Lord. (350)

Rule 12. The behaviour of the enemy resembles that of a woman in a quarrel with a man, for she is weak before strength, but strong when allowed her will. (350)

Rule 13. The enemy also behaves as a false lover behaves towards a woman. Such a man wants to remain hidden and now be discovered; in using dishonest talk to try to seduce the daughter of a good father, or the wife of a good husband, he wants his words and inducements kept secret; on the other hand he is greatly put out when the daughter reveals his deceitful words and corrupt intentions to her father… (351)

Rule 14. Likewise, he behaves like a military leader setting about the conquest and seizure of the object of his desire. For the commander of an army, after setting up his camp and inspecting the fortifications and defenses of a castle, attacks it at its weakest point; (351)

Rules to be observed in the ministry of alms-giving… Firstly, the love that moves me and makes me give the alms has to descend from above, from the love of God Our Lord; so I must first of all feel within myself that the love, greater or lesser, which I have for these people is for God’s sake, … Rule 5. When one feels a preference and attachment for the people to whom one wants to give alms, one should stop and carefully ponder the four rules just given, using them to examine and test one’s attachment; one should not give the alms until one has god rid of and rejected one’s disordered attachment, in keeping with these rules. (354)

Note 4. The enemy observes closely whether a person is of coarse or sensitive conscience: sensitive conscience he tries to sensitize still further, to the point of excess, in order the more easily to cause trouble and confusion. For instance, he may see that a person consent neither to mortal nor to venial sin, nor anything that looks like deliberate sin at all, and in such a case, unable to make such a person fall into anything that seems to be sin, he endeavours to make that person see sin where there is no sin, as in some word or passing thought. But if the conscience is coarse the enemy tries to make it even more coarse. For example, if up to now a person took no notice of venial sins, he will try to make that person take little notice of mortal sins,… (355)

Note 5. The person who wishes to progress in the spiritual life must always go contrario modo [in the opposite direction] to that of the enemy; i.e. if the enemy is out to make the conscience coarser, one should seek to become more sensitive, and likewise if the enemy tries to refine the conscience to an extreme degree, one should seek to establish a position in the just mean, so as to become completely tranquil. (356)

Rules to follow in view of the true attitude of mind that we ought to maintain [as members] within the Church militant. / Rule 1. Laying aside all our own judgments, we ought to keep our minds open and ready to obey in everything the true bride of Christ Our Lord, our holy mother, the hierarchical Church. (356)

Rule 6. We should praise the cult of the saints, venerating their relics and praying to the saints themselves, praising also the stations, pilgrimages, indulges, jubilees, dispensations and the lighting of candles in churches. … Rule 8. We should praise the decoration and architecture of churches, also statues, which should be venerated according to what they represent. … Rule 10. We should be more inclined to approve and praise the decrees and regulations o those in authority, and their conduct as well; for although some of these things do not or did not in the past deserve approval, more grumbling and scandal than profit would be aroused by speaking against them, either in public sermons or in conversations in front of simple people. In that way people would become hostile towards authority, either temporal or spiritual. But just as harm can be done by speaking ill to simple people about those in authority in their absence, so it can do good to speak of their unworthy behaviour to the actual people who can bring about a remedy. (357)

Rule 13. To maintain a right in al things we must always maintain that the white I see, I shall believe to be black, if the hierarchical Church so stipulates; (358)

Rule 14. Even granting as perfectly true that no one can be saved without being predestined, and without having faith and grace, nevertheless much caution is needed in the way in which we discuss and propagate these matters. (358)

Rule 15. We must not make a habit of talking much about predestination, but if sometimes mention is made of it one way or another, our language should be such that simple people are not led into error, as sometimes happens with them saying, ‘It is already decided whether I am to be saved or damned, so whether I do good or evil can change nothing;’ paralysed by this notion, they neglect the works that lead to the salvation and spiritual progress of their souls. (358)


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