Page:EB1911 - Volume 17.djvu/98

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precepts to the individual soul. Its object is to convince a man of I sin, of justice and of judgment. The idea of the book is not original to Ignatius At Montserrato he had found in use a popular translation of the Exercitatorio de la 'vida spiritual (1500), written in Latin by Abbot Garcias de Cisneros (d. 1510), and divided into three ways or periods during which purity of soul, enlightenment and union are to be worked for; a fourth part is added on contemplation. This book evidently afforded the root idea of the Ignatian and more famous book. But the differences are great. While taking the title, the idea of division by periods and the subjects of most of the meditations from the older work, Ignatius skilfully adapted it to his own requirements. Above all the methods of the two are essentially different. The Benedictine work follows the old monastic tradition of the direct intercourse of the soul with God. Ignatius, with his military instinct and views of obedience, intervenes with a director who gives the exercises to the person who in turn receives them. If this introduction of the director is essential to the end for which Ignatius framed his Exercises, in it we also find dangers. A director, whose aim is only the personal advantage of the one who is receiving the exercises, will be the faithful interpreter of his founder's intentions: but in the case of one whose esprit de corps is unbalanced, the temporary and pecuniary advantage of the Society may be made of more importance than that of the exercitant. Another danger may come when minuteness of direction takes away the wholesome sense of responsibility. Apart from these abuses the Spiritual Exercises have proved their value over and over again, and have received the sincerest form of fiattery in countless imitations. The original parts of the book are principally to be found in the meditations, which are clearly Ignatian in conception as well as method. These are The Reign of Christ, wherein Christ as an earthly king calls his subjects to war: and Two Standards, one of Jesus Christ and the other of Lucifer. Besides these there are various additions to the series of meditations, which are mostly the practical results of the experiences which Ignatius went through in the early stages of his conversion. He gives various methods of prayer; methods of making an election; his series of rules for the discernment of spirits; rules for the distribution of alms and the treatment of scruples; tests of orthodoxy. These additions are skilfully worked into the series of meditations; so that when the exercitant by meditation has moved his soul to act, here are practical directions at hand. The exercises are divided into four series of meditations technically called “ weeks, " each of which may last as long as the director considers necessary to achieve the end for which each week is destined. But the whole period is generally concluded in the space of a month. The first week is the foundation, and has to do with the consideration of the end of man, sin, death, judgment and hell. Having purified the soul from sin and obtained a detestation thereof, the second week treats of the kingdom of Christ, and is meant to lead the soul to make an election of the service of God. The third and fourth weeks are intended to confirm the soul in the new way chosen, to teach how difficulties can be overcome, to infiame it with the love of God and to help it to persevere.

The Book of the Spiritual Exercises was not written at Manresa, although there is in that place an inscription testifying to the supposed fact. Ignatius was constantly adding to his work as his own personal experience increased, and as he watched the effects of his method on the souls of those to whom he gave the exercises. The latest critics, even those of the Society itself, give 1548 as the date when the book received its final touches; though Father Roothaan gives Rome, the 9th of July 1541, as the date at the end of the ancient MS. version. Ignatius wrote originally in Spanish, but the book was twice translated into Latin during his lifetime. The more elegant version (known as the common edition) differs but slightly from the Spanish. Francisco Borgia, while duke of Gandia, petitioned Paul III. to have the book examined and approved. The pope appointed censors for both translations, who found the work to be replete with piety and holiness, highly useful and wholesome. Paul III. on receiving this report confirmed it on the 31st of July 1548 b the breve Pastoralis of/icii cura. This book, which is rightly called tile spiritual arm of the Society, was the first book published by the Jesuits. The progress of the Society of Jesus in Loyolafs lifetime was rapid (see JESUITS). Having always had an attraction for a life of prayer and retirement, in 1547 he tried to resign the generalship, and again in 1550, but the fathers unanimously opposed the project. One of his last trials was to see in 1556 the election as pope of his old opponent Caraffa, who soon showed his intention of reforming certain points in the Society that Ignatius considered vital. But at this difficult crisis he never lost his peace of mind. He said: “ If this misfortune were to fall upon me, provided it happened without any fault of mine, even if the Society were to melt away like salt in water, I believe that a quarter of an hour's recollection in God would be sufficient to console me and to reestablish peace within me.” It is clear that Ignatius never dreamed of putting his Society before the church nor of identifying the two institutions.

In the beginning of 1 556 Ignatius grew very weak and resigned the active government to three fathers, Polanco, Madrid and Natal. Fever laid hold of him, and he died somewhat suddenly on the 31st of July 1 5 56, without receiving or asking for the lasl sacraments. He was beatified in 1609 by Paul V. and canonized in 1628 by Gregory XV. His body lies under the altar in the north transept of the Gesu in Rome.

His portrait is well known. The olive complexion, a face emaciated by austerities, the large forehead, the brilliant and small eyes, the high bald head tell their own tale. He was of medium height and carried himself so well that his lameness was hardly noticeable. His character was naturally impetuous and enthusiastic, but became marked with great self-control as he gradually brought his will under his reason. There was always that love of overcoming difficulty inherent in a chivalrous nature; and this also accounts for that desire of surpassing every one else that marked his early days. Whilst other Christians, following St Paul, were content to do all things for the glory of God, Ignatius set himself and his followers to strive after the greater glory. Learning by his own experience and errors, he wisely developed a sovereign prudence which nicely adjusted means to the end in view. He impressed on his followers the doctrine that in all things the end was to be considered. Never would Ignatius have countenanced so perverted an idea as that the end justified the means, for with his spiritual light and zeal for God's glory he saw clearly that means in themselves unjust were opposed to the very end he held in view. As a ruler he displayed the same common sense. Obedience he made one of his great instruments, yet he never intended it to be a galling yoke. His doctrine on the subject is found in the well-known letter to the Portuguese Jesuits in 1553, and if this be read carefully together with the Constitutions his meaning is clear. If he says that a subject is to allow himself to be moved and directed, under God, by a superior just as though he were a corpse or as a staff in the hands of an old man, he is also careful to say that the obedience is only due in all things “ wherein it cannot be defined (as it is said) that any kind of sin appears.” The way in which his teaching on obedience is practically carried out is the best corrective of the false ideas that have arisen from misconceptions of its nature. His high ideas on the subject made him a stern ruler. There are certain instances in his life which, taken by themselves, show a hardness in treating individuals who would not obey; but as a rule, he tempered his authority to the capacity of those with whom he had to deal. When he had to choose between the welfare of the Society and the feelings of an individual it was clear to which side the balance would fall.

There was in his character a peculiar mixture of conservatism and a keen sense of the requirements of the day. In intellectual matters he was not in advance of his day. The jesuit system of education, set forth in the Ratio studiorurn, owes nothing to him. While he did not reject any approved learning, he abhorred any intellectual culture that destroyed or lessened piety. He wished to secure uniformity in the judgment of the Society even in points left open and free by the church: “ Let us all think in the same way, let us all speak in the same manner if possible.” Bartole, the official biographer of Ignatius, says that he would not permit any innovation in the studies; and that, were he to live five hundred years, he would always repeat “ no novelties ” in theology, in philosophy or in logic-not even in grammar. The revival of learning had led many away from Christ; intellectual culture must be used as a means of. bringing them back. The new learning in religion had divided Christendom; the old learning of the faith, once delivered to the saints, was to reconcile them. 'I'his was the problem that faced Ignatius, and in his endeavour to effect a needed reformation in the individual and in society his work and the success that crowned it place him among the moral heroes of humanity. BIBLIOGRAPHY.-The Ignatian literature is very large. Fortunately we have in the Acta quaedam what is in effect the autobiography of the saint. This has been translated into English under the titlle of The testament of Ignatius Loyola, being sundry acts of our Father I gnalius, under Go, the Jirst founder of the Society of Jesus, taken down from the Saint's own lips by Luis Gonzales (London, 1900); and the