“I felt for the first time that I was being entrusted with something, that’s all—there, in that empty cathedral, somewhere in France, that day when you ordered me to take up this burden. I was a man without honor. And suddenly I found it—one I never imagined would ever become mine—the honor of God. A frail, incomprehensible honor, vulnerable as a boy‑King fleeing from danger.” (St. Thomas Becket praying before Henry II’s men assassinated him, in Jean Anouilh, Becket or the Honor of God.)
Noblesse Oblige! To Honor God is to Live in Honor
As a Christian, whose body is the very Temple of the Most High, the Ignatian recognizes his dignity as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ by which he is intimately united to his Lord and Savior, and in, with, and through Him, to the Eternal Father as an adopted son and intimately united to the Most Holy Spirit.
With this utterly sublime and unsurpassable dignity he knows that he is called to answer with honor the vital question and the authoritative utterance spoken by God through His prophet some three thousand years ago:
“ ‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name’… ‘For I am a great king,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and my name is to be feared among the nations’.” (Malachi 1: 6,14)
The key principle for how to live as a man of God is therefore clear: “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31).
And to honor God is to live in honor.
Sensitive as a Chivalric Son to God’s Honor
The Ignatian, alert to his identity as an adopted son of the Eternal Father, an unmerited dignity owed to the precious blood of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and recognizing that he has a body that is the temple of the Holy Spirit, has the sensitivity of a son for all that touches the honor of his Father, the sensitivity of a friend for all that touches the honor of the Friend, the sensitivity of a lover for the Beloved.
Thus the Ignatian sets high ambitions in all his projects, living out his motto ‒ “Our utmost for His highest” ‒ “so that in everything God may receive the glory through Jesus Christ” ( 1 Peter 4:11) and so “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2: 10-11)
Thus, he is filled with a virile hatred for sin and for all that spreads sin.
Thus he detests all that is untruth, lies, and falsehoods, especially in what concerns the Mystical Body of Christ, notably heresy and moral corruption especially in the priesthood.
Thus he rejects all compromise with a world in opposition to God and His plan for man’s salvation.
His resolve is to stand for the divinely revealed truths of the one true religion, the Catholic Faith; to imbue his own soul and the souls of others ever more deeply with their life-giving sap; to fulfill his role in the creation of a Catholic culture and a Catholic civilization, well aware that he will not live to see it fulfilled.
For the rights of God he takes his place on the battlefield of history, making his own the words of the apostle: “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.” (Colossians 1: 24-26)
Thus, due to the divinely willed economy of salvation, intimately bonded to Christ and by the power of the supernatural life and divine merits, he is able to join his prayer, action and suffering to his Lord’s for the sake of the Mystical Body, the Church.
For the honor of God he will resolve to endure no matter what pain or loss.
His joy will be to see his own soul and the souls of others honoring God, the Queen of Heaven, the saints and the Church.
Nothing Catholic will be foreign to him.
To be gallant to God: all for All, life for Life, love for Love!