Ignatian intellectuals resolve to be intellectuals in order to promote the honor of God and the eternal salvation of souls by
- presenting to the masses of Catholics and non-Catholics the truth of the Faith by means of philosophy, theology, and in every other branch of science that in anyway will contribute to enlightening man’s mind and taking away the obstacles to his freedom to acquiesce to Truth.
- forming creative Catholic minorities of intellectuals, who will live integrally Catholic lives, propose conversion to the Catholic Faith to non-Catholics and begin the long march through the institutions to build a Catholic culture as the form of a Christ-centered Catholic civilization.
Why Ignatian Intellectuals?
Because we intend to carry out in this way the final instructions of the Savior of mankind. His words “Go, teach all nations” called and will ever call Catholics to a dynamic, relentless proactive approach 24/7, on all continents, to all cultures, and civilizations, aware that we are bringing men the Truth, the only Truth that will save men. Not our truth, His Truth.
The salvation of individual souls is bound up with the societies they live in. No man is an island: each individual’s soul is influenced either for good or evil by a myriad of factors in the society surrounding him. This myriad of factors is the culture of society i.e., the framework of society in its intellectual, political, economic, artistic dimensions. A culture is dependent on its matrix, its dominant idea which is either in conformity with or in nonconformity to the Catholic Faith and the Natural Law.
- Hence ideas are either for or against Truth, for or against Christ. In order to enable Truth to triumph, the importance of ideas must be recognized. Because ideas have consequences for souls, either beneficial or harmful. When ideas regarding the meaning of man’s life and the nature of society become influential or even dominant in a society they form a culture that is either pro-Christ or anti-Christ. No culture is neutral.
- Untruths about God and man’s destiny when they have gripped a society become social obstacles, conditioners of man’s intelligence and freedom, must be fought against.
- Thus the Ignatian is convinced that it is necessary to change society by changing the culture of society. “A good society is one in which it is easy to be good in” stated some sociologist. Likewise a Christian society is one in which the intellectual and institutional atmosphere support and encourage the individual Christian’s efforts to attain eternal salvation.
- Hence it must have a Christian culture, a social framework constituted by a Christ-centered culture whose matrix is the Catholic Faith and whose ideal is a Catholic civilization wherein men freely live out the Gospel.
Ignatian Intellectuals – for Ecclesia Militans
“The Church consists principally of two parts, the one called Church triumphant and the other the Ecclesia Militans…… it is called militant, because it wages eternal war with those implacable enemies, the world, the flesh and the devil.” (Catechism of the Council of Trent).
“One dare not forget. We belong to the Church militant ; and she is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights. No rank of the clergy is spared ; and the faithful—their number is legion—inspired by the valiant endurance of their shepherds and fathers in Christ, stand firm, ready to suffer and die, as the martyrs of old, for the one true Faith taught by Jesus Christ. Into that militia you seek to be admitted as leaders.” (Pope Pius XII 14 October 1953, at the opening of the North American College seminary in Rome)
“Christianity is a fighting religion” (C. S. Lewis)
“Today the word “Ecclesia Militans” is somewhat out of fashion, but in reality we can understand ever better that it is true, that it bears truth in itself. We see how evil wishes to dominate the world and that it is necessary to enter into battle with evil. We see how it does so in so many ways, bloody, with the different forms of violence, but also masked with goodness and precisely this way destroying the moral foundations of society.” (Pope Benedict XVI)
“Catholics are born for combat…To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth… such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God…This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good….” (Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae)