Prayerful Thoughts: Passages 26 - 50
~ 26 ~
To make progress in the practice of virtue, it is of great advantage to have a friend, whom you yourself have chosen, to advise you of your faults [AS 782, no. 561].
~ 27 ~
Although we are obliged to avoid all that is evil, still we must be especially on our guard against that to which our nature is most inclined, for it is precisely from that source that our ruin will come if we do not exercise vigilant care over ourselves [AS 782, no. 561].
~ 28 ~
When charity and courtesy are superficial, then it is neither charity nor courtesy but deceit and vanity [Bart. 2:261].
~ 29 ~
In our dealings with others, we ought to speak little but listen much, and when we do speak our few words should be spoken as if the whole world were listening and not just one individual [Bart. 2:254].
~ 30 ~
I desire for you the joy and full consolation of soul that I desire for myself, and I sympathize with you in your trials. . .but I consider this a very special gift of God our Lord for He is providing you with an occasion to practice patience, as well as faith and hope in Him [Ep. 6:161].
~ 31 ~
Many holy men, though they may be endowed with little natural talent, preach by good and virtuous example rather than words, and accomplish much more than those who preach eloquent sermons [Bart. 2:270].
~ 32 ~
Never call notice to the defects of others, but be always ready to excuse them; on the other hand, be most prompt to accuse yourself of your own defects [Ep. 12:679].
~ 33 ~
God inspires His chosen ones not only with a desire for heaven, but also with a dislike for earth [Ep. 6:224].
~ 34 ~
We should praise all the laws of the Church, keeping our minds ever ready to seek reasons to defend them and not to oppose them [Spir. Exer., "Rules for Thinking with the Church"].
~ 35 ~
I must remind you to frequent the sacraments, to read spiritual books, and to pray with as much recollection as you possibly can. Every day set aside some time so that the soul will not be without its food and, thus, you will not be induced to complain like the one who said "My heart has withered because I have forgotten to eat my bread" (Psalm 102:4) [Ep. 6:524].
~ 36 ~
If you endeavor to resign yourself into the hands of Christ our Lord by totally conforming your own will to His. . .I do not doubt that your trials, for the most part, will come to an end, and that you will grow stronger, not only better to endure them but to view them as unimportant matters [Ep. 6:161-162].
~ 37 ~
To avoid condemning the actions of our neighbors, we must appeal to their intentions, which are oftentimes innocent, though their actions do appear guilty [Bart. 2:269].
~ 38 ~
If God sends you much suffering, it is a sure sign that He wishes to make you a great saint. If you desire to be a saint, then also desire to suffer much [Bart. 2:257].
~ 39 ~
If there be any way of avoiding trials and affliction of mind in this world, it is by forcing ourselves into complete conformity with God's will. If God has full possession of our heart, then we will never lose Him without our willing it [Ep. 6:224].
~ 40 ~
The love that impels me to give alms should come from on high, that is, from the love of God our Lord, so that the greater or the lesser love I have for these individuals is for the sake of God [Spir. Exer., "Rules for Almsgiving"].
~ 41 ~
When I serve those who are servants of my Lord, I realize that I am at the same time serving the Lord of all [Ep. 2:317].
~ 42 ~
True confession of sins requires three elements, namely, contrition in the heart, confession on the lips, and satisfaction in deeds [Ep. 12:666].
~ 43 ~
Satisfying God is much more important than satisfying men. But it is not all that necessary to wear yourself out with fatigue; just put forth an honest effort and leave the rest to Him who can do whatever He pleases [Ep. 10:156].
~ 44 ~
Love is to be found much more in deeds than in words [Spir. Exer., "Contemplation for Obtaining Love"].
~ 45 ~
The more the soul detaches itself from outside interests and remains in solitude, the better fitted it is to seek and unite itself to its Creator and Lord [Spir. Exer., "Annotations" no. 20].
~ 46 ~
Bodily penances should not be excessive, but let prudence regulate your abstinence, night vigils, and other penitential actions, since these could bring injury to your health and hinder the greater good [Cons., part 3, chap. 2, no. 5].
~ 47 ~
Just as men of the world, who follow the spirit of the world, assiduously seek honor, fame, and a great name on earth—as the world teaches them—so those who are advancing in the spiritual life and who truly follow Christ should love and greatly desire the opposite [Gen. Exam., chap. 4, no. 44].
~ 48 ~
As long as God visits you with illness, accept it from His hand as a most precious gift coming from the wisest and most loving of fathers and physicians [Ep. 6:586].
~ 49 ~
I ask and implore you, by the love and reverence you have for God our Lord, to make every devout effort to honor, support and serve His only-begotten Son, Christ our Lord, in so great a work as the Blessed Sacrament, in which His Divine Majesty is present both in His divinity and His humanity, so wonderfully and so entirely, so powerfully and so infinitely, as He is present in heaven. . .I am firmly persuaded and I believe that by so acting you will make considerable spiritual progress [Ep. 1:163-164].
Abbreviations Used in Citations:
AS Ribadeneira, P. de, Vita altera S. Ignatii in Acta Sanctorum, July, vol. 7.
Bart. Bartoli, D., Histoire de Saint Ignace et de l'origine de la Compagnie de Jésus, 3rd ed., 2 v. (Brussels, 1852). Translation of the original Italian of 1650.
Cons. Constitutions of the Society of Jesus.
Ep. Monumenta Ignatiana: Epistolae et Instructiones, 12 v. (Madrid, 1903-1911).
Gen. Exam. General Examen.
Spir. Exer. Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.