The only originality the Society of Ignatians will glory in is the glory of being Catholic. Our reason for existing is solely, utterly, and exclusively our Catholic identity.
Catholic by which our identity first and foremost is to be members of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ which is to be found in the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Catholic because our mission is one and the same as that of the Church: to “go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” (Mt. 28:19). Hence, as Ignatians our mission is global: we are as much at home in Africa as in Asia, in Europe as in the Americas. We are not bound to any culture or civilization, whether of East or West, North or South, except in so far as it is Christ-centered. Our home is the world; our history is the Church’s; our race is the human race; our identity is of Christ.
Catholic in that we venerate all the true, the good and the beautiful in the bi-millennial tradition of the Church stretching back to the earliest days as witnessed by our devotion to St. Ignatius of Antioch; and, even before that, to our spiritual forefathers, the Jewish patriarchs, prophets and heroes, who made “straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Is 40:3).
Orders, movements and their founders fade into insignificance in the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, only Savior of mankind; and in that of His Mystical Body prolonging His salvific mission until His Second Coming. This is what matters and this is what will be at the center of the Society of Ignatians. It is to this ideal that Ignatians pledge their hearts and lifeblood: the unum necessarium [the one thing necessary]. Our only glory as Ignatians therefore is our aspiration to insert ourselves as one more link in the bi-millennial chain of the religious orders of the Church. Our only justification in requesting the Church’s blessing on this aspiration is our authentic Catholic identity and our willingness to spend ourselves for the salvation of souls on any continent.
As Ignatians we will love the Church as Christ’s Mystical Body, born from the Heart of the Crucified Savior, according to this supreme law:
“Let this be the supreme law of our love: to love the Spouse of Christ as Christ wished her to be and as He purchased her with His blood. Hence not only should we cherish the sacraments with which Holy Mother Church sustains our life, the solemn ceremonies she offers for our solace and our joy, the sacred chant and liturgy by which she lifts our souls up to heaven, but the sacramentals too, and all those exercises of piety which she uses to console the hearts of the faithful and gently to imbue them with the Spirit of Christ.” (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, n. 102).
And to empower and safeguard our love, as the first priority of our mission, we take orthodoxy in doctrine and authenticity in liturgy. For in dogma and liturgy lie the Truth of Christ, the way to the Love of Christ and union with the Most Holy Trinity. Hence, Veritas Christi Urget Nos! [The Truth of Christ Urges Us!]