As regular readers know, of late I've been reading through the letters of St. Ignatius for renewal and re-grounding. The letters are remarkable in their boldness and clarity, and in their capacity to jar one from spiritual complacency.
Each page teaches me once more about faith, detachment, discernment, and the high stakes of discipleship. Through the lens of faith, everything is different. Writing in 1532, Ignatius offered these words to Isabel Roser:
In your third letter you describe all the ill will, the underhand attacks and falsehoods that have been plaguing you from all sides. I am certainly not surprised by this, nor would I be if they were even worse. From the moment that anyone has deliberately chosen and is utterly resolved to engage themselves on behalf of God Our Lord’s glory, honour and service, they have declared war on the world and lifted their banner against this age. They are prepared to reject what is highly regarded, and to welcome what is low. They are willing to make no distinction between high and low, honour or dishonor, riches or poverty, affection or dislike, welcome or rejection, in a word, the glory of the world or all the insults of our age. In [the] future, no importance can be given to those affronts in this life that remain mere words and fail to hurt a hair of our heads. Insinuations, slurs and calumnies are painful or laughable in proportion to the desire we have for them; if our wish is to have absolute respect from, and glory among, our equals, then our roots cannot be very deep in God Our Lord, nor can we fail to suffer hurt when insults come our way.