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St. Ignatius of Loyola
Spanish theologian and founder of the Jesuits (Society of Jesus)
(1783-1859)



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Let me look at the foulness and ugliness of my body. Let me see myself as an ulcerous sore running with every horrible and disgusting poison.
-- Spiritual Exercises (1548), No. 58

The safest and most suitable form of penance seems to be that which causes pain in the flesh but does not penetrate to the bones, that is, which causes suffering but not sickness. So the best way seems to be to scourge oneself with thin cords which hurt superficially, rather than to use some other means which might produce serious internal injury.
-- Spiritual Exercises (1548), No. 86

The picture. A great plain, comprising the entire Jerusalem district, where is the supreme Commander-in-Chief of the forces of good, Christ our Lord: another plain near Babylon, where Lucifer is, at the head of the enemy.
-- Spiritual Exercises (1548), No. 138

Imagine that leader of all the enemy, in that great plain of Babylon, sitting on a sort of throne of smoking flame, a horrible and terrifying sight. Watch him calling together countless devils, to despatch them into different cities till the whole world is covered, forgetting no province or locality, no class or single individual.
-- Spiritual Exercises (1548), No. 140-141

The enemy is like a woman, weak in face of opposition, but correspondingly strong when not opposed. In a quarrel with a man, it is natural for a woman to lose heart and run away when he faces up to her; on the other hand, if the man begins to be afraid and to give ground, her rage, vindictiveness and fury overflow and know no limit.
-- Spiritual Exercises (1548), No. 325

We should always be prepared so as never to err to believe that what I see as white is black, if the hierarchic Church defines it thus.
-- Spiritual Exercises (1548), No. 365

Teach us, good Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labour and not to ask for any reward

Save that of knowing that we do Thy will.
-- "Prayer for Generosity" (1548)

Quotes about Ignatius of Loyola

Out of this crucible of trial, self-examination, and anguished yearning for peace and light there emerged in Iñigo de Loyola that balance of spirit and matter, of mind and body, of mystical contemplation and pragmatic action that has ever since been recognized as typically and specifically "Ignatian," as distinct from the spirituality of, say, St. Benedict or St. Dominic or St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila.
-- Malachi Martin, The Jesuits

Protestant success, at first amazingly rapid, was checked mainly as a resultant of Loyola's creation of the Jesuit order.
-- Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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