The Traditional Liturgy, Spiritual Home of Countless Saints
Concretely, Ignatians have as the axis of their ethos and spirituality the immemorial, traditional liturgy (the “Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite”), including the traditional Divinum Officium. The North Star guiding him, day by day, is the sacred liturgy. Conscious that for almost 2,000 years it has brought to birth countless saints in the Church.
Ignatians have as the axis of their lifestyle and mission the immemorial, traditional liturgy (the “Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite”), including the traditional Divinum Officium, treasuring it as their birthright, and conscious that for almost 2,000 years it has invigorated countless saints.
Schooling the Spirit in the Sacred Traditional Liturgy
On the rugged pathways of the ancient liturgy, Ignatians know that they can ascend through the three ascetical-mystical stages of Christian sanctification (the Via Purgativa, Via Illuminativa, Via Unitiva) to the peaks of holiness wherein they will rejoice in the deepest possible union with the Most Holy Trinity.
As they ascend, they know that they travel on the same well-trodden ancient paths used by the saints during two thousand years, pathways revealed by the Most Holy Spirit as the greatest gift of Christ to His Mystical Body.
In the sacred traditional liturgy’s intellectually rich, multi-faceted dimensions, composed from the minds and hearts of countless great men and women of God through the millennia, the Ignatian is convinced that he has found what is vital to the creation of a Catholic soul for society. In it he finds the vivifying source for
- Depth and orthodoxy of doctrine. The traditional liturgy, both because it is intellectually complex, presenting all the deep and tough mysteries of God’s revelation without ambiguity, and because it is fiery, emotive, and appealing to the heart, urges the Ignatian to depth in his theological studies.
- The insistence of the traditional liturgy on the cosmic and perennial combat of the “Axis of Evil” against man’s soul empowers him to be alert and focused for spiritual combat.
- Deeply it inspires extra-liturgical prayer
- It inflames the desire for asceticism. For the Society of Ignatians, the liturgical and the ascetic are bonded together intimately and inseparably. Accordingly, we follow the laws of fasting and abstinence of the traditional liturgy.
- It instills urgency for action to fulfill the Ignatian mission to create creative minorities for the creation of a society with a Catholic culture. For the traditional liturgy vividly reveals the utter darkness of the reigning “Dictatorship of Relativism”, its “Culture of Death” that wreaks havoc in countless souls, and makes clear that no compromise with it is possible.
Ignatian Pedagogy for Liturgical Participation
To prepare each Ignatian’s soul to take full advantage of the riches of the Church’s tradition of prayer, the Society of Ignatians will carefully and thoroughly educate its sons in a knowledge and love of the Bible. Not only through technical knowledge but above all through lectio divina, the study of the Fathers of the Church, and with the aid of masters such as Dom Columba Marmion, O.S.B.(the “metaphysician of the liturgy”) and Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., who showed the modern world how ceaselessly relevant is the traditional monastic form of prayer.