Saturday, August 11, 2012

Spirituality: Rules for Making a Good Choice

In his Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius outlined two ways of making a good "election" or choice. These rules describe the second way.

First Rule:  The Love the moves and causes one to choose must come from above, that is, from the love of God, so that the one who is making the decision first feels the the greater or lesser attraction to the objects of choice is actually love for the Creator and Lord.

Second Rule: I should imagine a person whom I have never seen or known, and whom I would like to see practice all perfection. Then I should consider what I would tell that person to do and choose for the greater glory of God.... Then I will do the same, myself keeping the rule I have proposed for another.

Third Rule: This is to consider what procedure and norm of action I would wish to have followed in making the present election if I were at the moment of death....

Fourth Rule: I should picture and reflect on myself standing in the presence of my Judge on the last day, and consider what election in the present matter I would then wish to have made. I will now choose that rule of life that I would then wish to have observed, that on the day of judgment I may be filled with happiness and joy.

(Tetlow, Spiritual Exercises, pp. 60-61)