“By Honor Bound”
The scene in The Vigil is reminiscent of the two vigils of arms in the life of St. Ignatius Loyola.The first was when as a youth he entered the order of knighthood. The second occurred after his conversion at the mountain-top shrine of Our Lady at Montserrat. There, on the Feast of the Annunciation,“he decided to keep a vigil of arms one entire night, without sitting or lying down, but either standing or kneeling, before the altar of Our Lady of Montserrat, where he had resolved to lay aside his garments and to don the armor of Christ”. By placing his sword and armor at Our Lady’s feet, the Basque soldier Inigo de Loyola crossed the Rubicon that set him decisively on the journey that would transform him into the knight of a higher order, the chivalric St. Ignatius.
In his book, the Spiritual Exercises, he proposes that souls at midnight place themselves in the presence of Our Lady “asking her to get…from her Son and Lord the favour of being admitted under His [Christ’s] flag” in order to combat, without heeding the wounds, alongside the Eternal King for the eternal salvation of souls.
It is in this spirit that the Ignatian consecrates himself to the Heroic Heart of Jesus Christ in the presence of, and through the heart of, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Chivalry.
“Recognizing that I have freely asked to enter the ranks of the Order of Priesthood,
Fully knowing the sacrifices and hazards of the call of Jesus Christ,
I resolve steadfastly to uphold the nobility and honor of the sacred order
and of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Fully aware that the priest is obliged to fight on the front-lines of holiness by grace, self-conquest and learning,
I accept the fact that Holy Church and my people expect me
to pray more intensely and longer,
sacrifice like a soldier
and engage in spiritual combat ruggedly and without heeding the wounds as befits a leader of Christians.
Since I intend to be enterprising and innovative in cooperating with Christ in the salvation of souls, I will live a disciplined life.
Since the Church depends on my proficiency I will never put an end to my training in order to be tried and tested, achieve excellence, and thus bring the full range, depth and beauty of Catholic Truth to souls.
Never, by God’s grace, shall I fail Christ’s Church and my people.
I will lead by example. I will always keep myself in the highest state of spiritual combat fitness: mentally tough, physically healthy and morally upright.
I will answer for my actions and hold myself accountable to my Ignatian brothers. I will challenge them to integrity as I expect them to challenge me. And I will never leave any brother of the Society behind.
I will shoulder more than my share in evangelization and then some.
Valiantly and without compromise will I show the world the greatness of the Catholic Faith.
With daring and enterprise I shall put forth my strength to build up Christ’s Mystical Body
by my steadfast adherence to the Church’s Magisterium,
my loyalty to her Tradition,
my care with her ancient Liturgy,
rugged gentlemanliness of conduct and soldierly wearing of the uniform,
mindful of my responsibilities to the lay faithful and future generations of Ignatians.
Energetically will I confront the “Axis of Evil”: Satan, the world in its darkness, and primeval decadence within my own and others’ hearts.
By God’s grace and self-conquest, I shall not recoil from danger, hardship and bitter struggle, giving no rest to the sword of the spirit until I conquer on the field of battle of everyday living.
For surrender is not an Ignatian word.
Tenaciously will I display the intestinal fortitude to fight the Dictatorship of Relativism and its Culture of Death but above all to fight the Great Enemy, Sin, up to my final heartbeat.
Never shall I forget that I am heir to the great Ignatian heritage: to the long line of heroes who have battled and died building this legacy ‒ St. Ignatius of Antioch, defender of orthodoxy and orthopraxis; St. Ignatius Loyola, emulator of his namesake and chivalric knight of Christ; the missionaries St. Francis Xavier, the North American martyrs, and Mateo Ricci; the intellectual defenders of the Faith, St. Peter Canisius and St. Robert Bellarmine; St. Aloysius Gonzaga, witness to the bond between fiery mystic love of Christ and rugged asceticism.
I am a guardian of the standards set by them. When the going gets rough their heroic hearts, reflections of the Heroic Heart of the Crucified, will steady my resolve to struggle forward.
May I never quit. May adversity in the light of the Heroic Heart of Christ Crucified be my stimulus. If I fall, I will fight on my knees. And I will get up, again and again.
My word will be my bond. I firmly intend to stand firm and to defy the powers of darkness.
For the sake of my heroic Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, heart of my heart, life of my life: love for Love, life for Life, all for All!
So help me God through the prayer of the Queen of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and of all the Ignatian heroes of history. AMEN!“