Monday, August 18, 2014

Spirituality: The Two Standards

The Two Standards of St. Ignatius Loyola from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola:

heartImagine the enemy seated himself in that great field of Babylon, as in a great chair of fire and smoke, in shape horrible and terrifying. Consider the discourse which he makes them, and how he tells them to cast out nets and chains; that they have first to tempt with a longing for riches - as he is accustomed to do in most cases - that people may more easily come to vain honor of the world, and then to vast pride. So that the first step shall be that of riches; the second, that of honor; the third, that of pride; and from these three steps he draws on to all the other vices.

So, on the contrary, one has to imagine as to the supreme and true Captain, who is Christ our Lord. He puts Himself in a great field of that region of Jerusalem, in lowly place, beautiful and attractive. Consider the discourse which Christ our Lord makes to all His servants and friends whom He sends on this expedition, recommending them to want to help all, by bringing them first to the highest spiritual poverty, and - if His Divine Majesty would be served and would want to choose them - no less to actual poverty; the second is to be of contumely and contempt; because from these two things humility follows. So that there are to be three steps; the first, poverty against riches; the second, contumely or contempt against worldly honor; the third, humility against pride. And from these three steps let them induce to all the other virtues.