Why Ignatian Intellectuals are Militant
Society is determined by its culture and culture is neither created nor developed by people who sit on the sidelines of history. Men who want to change the world; who have fire in their belly; who sacrifice themselves day and night to author the ideas they believe will improve the world ‒ these are the people who change history. A new culture is always the work of militant intellectuals. How could it be otherwise? A man convinced that his ideas will improve society will combat for what he believes in. Ideas have a degree of influence proportionate to the intensity with which their authors and propagators hold them. Ideologies are strong in proportion to the intensity of the intellectuals behind them.
Skim through the pages of history to see how militant intellectuals have changed the world – for better or for worse. How many people suffered, were murdered, and above all were exposed to the risk of damnation because of the horrors of Nazism and communism? And yet both owe a great deal to the errors of intellectuals who rarely left the libraries and study rooms where they composed their philosophies of Aryan racism, warped nationalism of the völkisch ideology of “blood and soil”, and dialectical materialism (Marxism). Not to mention, hovering in the background, the Hegelian vision of reality with its fantasy of evolutionism.
Ignatian intellectuals are therefore determined to be militants because they are lovers. Lovers are always militant: you cannot be in love without being a militant for a man is always militant about what he loves. His beloved he will defend and fight for, whether it his his fiancee, spouse, child, friend or patria, political movement, scientific discovery or historical truth. A man in love with God and desiring the eternal salvation of his fellow men loves militantly in order to effectively address the root causes of sin and its offshoot, suffering, which are often to be found at the level of ideas. He hates evil; indifference, cowardice, and compromise on principles. And because he hates evil, he hates ideas that breed evil. Not for no reason is Satan, Prince of Evil known as the “Father of Lies”. Untruths are never mere abstractions, remote from men’s souls. No: they affect him, his actions and his eternity. Not only the obvious evils such as anti-Semitism or other instances of racism; but also the heresies that destroy the integral truth divinely revealed by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Indeed, a Catholic must be militant! If he is not to incur the separation from Christ referred to in the Savior’s words “If you are neither hot nor cold I will spit you out of my mouth”, then he must, due to the hostility of Satan, the world and his fallen passions, take seriously the Master’s other words: “The violent take Heaven by storm”.
This is the ultimate reason why the Church for centuries has referred to its members still on earth as the “Church Militant”. Because they are Christian and Catholic, Ignatians must be sons of the Church Militant.
Moreover, as spiritual sons of St. Ignatius Loyola, the call to militancy is redoubled. In order to merit the name of “Ignatian” they must be intensely proactive, zealous, energetic defenders and propagators of the Catholic Faith. Motivated by a burning love for the honor of God and the salvation of souls, they focus their lives to achieve the highest possible academic preparation and dedicate themselves unreservedly to defending and spreading the truths of the Catholic Faith and Christian civilization, directly and through creative Catholic minorities.
It cannot be otherwise. What Pope Pius XII said to the members of the Society founded by the Basque knight regarding fidelity to the integral charism bequeathed by the founder must be said of every dimension constitutive of it.
Hence, Ignatian intellectuals live out their mission motivated by their leit-motif: Veritas Christi Urget Nos! The honor of God and the salvation of souls impells them.