Maintaining a Simple Lifestyle
36. No Jesuit bishops or cardinals
Ignatius would probably have been incandescent at the thought of a Jesuit Pope! He wrote into the Jesuit Constitutions that Jesuits should not take on Church hierarchical dignities like bishop or cardinal.
He spent a good deal of time in Rome visiting the Pope, cardinals and important lay people like Madama, seeking their support to fend off requests for various Jesuits to be made a bishop.
Although he could see that good bishops were needed, he didn’t see Jesuits as fulfilling these roles.
He wanted the Jesuits to be renowned for their poverty and simplicity of life, something that was unlikely to be maintained if they took up roles as princes of the Church.
A thought to ponder
Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises considered that greed, was followed by a desire for honours which in turn led to the vice of pride. He considered that almost all that was wrong could be tracked down to these three things – greed, honour and pride.
To counter these dangers, Ignatius encouraged Jesuits to desire poverty, to be thought badly of and be humble.
Ideally it is good to be so self-confident that we don’t feel the need to seek the approval of others, and to be so free with what we own that we can be truly generous without a desire to receive back.
Do you wish to pray for the freedom of the children of God?
Scripture for the Day
As a way of praying today’s Scripture we suggest Imaginative Contemplation.
Luke 14: 7-14 NRSVACE
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honour, he told them a parable.
‘When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honour, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, “Give this person your place”, and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place.
But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher”; then you will be honoured in the presence of all who sit at the table with you.
For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’
He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid.
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’
Music for Today
Tell out my Soul words by Timothy Dudley-Smith music by Walter Greatorex
Purchase more Traditional Hymns (Vol 3 has Tell out my Soul)