Monday, July 28, 2014

Spirituality: The Three Types of Persons

The Three Types of Persons from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola:

The Setting: Consider the three types of persons. Each one of them has taken in quite a few possessions - not always with the best of motives, and in fact sometimes quite selfishly. In general, each one is a good person, and each would serve God, even to the extent that if these possessions were to come in the way of salvation, each would like to be free of them.

The First Type keeps saying that he would like to stop being so dependent on all the things which he possesses and which seem to get in the way of his giving his life unreservedly to God. This type talks about the importance of saving his soul, but when death comes, he is too busy about his possessions to have taken any steps toward serving God.

The Second Type would like to be free of all attachments which get in the way of his relationship with God. But this type would rather work harder or fast or pray more - really do just about anything but face the problem which he feels holds him back in his relationship with God. He acts as if he is negotiating with God, trying to buy God off. So though this type may do many good things, he keeps running from the better and more honest way to face the issue.

The Third Type would like to be free of any attachment which gets in the way of God's call to further life. This one's whole effort is to be in balance, ready to move in any direction that the call from God may take him. Whatever seems better for the service and praise of God our Lord is his whole desire and choice. Meanwhile, this one strives to act in such a way that he seemingly is free of any attachments. He makes efforts neither to want to retain his possessions nor to want to give them away, unless the service and praise of God our Lord is the God-given motivation for his action. As a result, the graced desire to be better able to serve God our Lord is the cause of his accepting or letting go of anything.