Start with Why: Why be an Ignatian?

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The Glory of God, and as our only means to glorifying Him, the salvation of human souls, is the real business of life.”  (C. S. Lewis)

The why” of the candidate who crosses the threshold of the Society of Ignatians is one grounded on the answer to why a man should be a Catholic.

It is a decision made exclusively and absolutely because of the truths of the Catholic Faith. He is convinced that the Society of Ignatians exists and matters for the same reason that the Church exists and matters: to continue the work of the Lord Jesus Christ: the honor of God and the eternal salvation of souls! This is the ultimate bedrock on which a man must build his decision to become an Ignatian. This is the only ground on which to stand in a lifelong self-sacrifice.

Ignatians hold that, according to the salvific will of God, while the Church is absolutely necessary any religious order is only relatively – very relatively – necessary. Only if an order adheres totally to the purpose and mission of the Church, only if it contributes to fulfilling the Church’s mission, according to the Church’s mind, with total commitment to the Church’s truths, is it necessary.

So Ignatians don’t have our reasons for why we exist and for why we matter: we have the Church’s reasons and these flow from the final words of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ before His Ascension: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” (Mt 28: 19-20);  “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:16).

This was, this is, and this will be until the world’s last night the mission of the Church and the mission of any group that is really Catholic!

The Society of Ignatians lives out this mission by following in the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Ignatius of Antioch through combating  for God’s honor and man’s salvation.

But since to be for an ideal always means to be against its enemies, Ignatians resolve to face down whatever threatens the divine honor and the eternal well-being of souls: Dictatorship of Relativism, secularism, Culture of Death, anti-Catholic regimes but, above all and beyond all, the Axis of Evil, the ancient triple enemy of man.

Hence, standing shoulder to shoulder as a band of brothers, under the gaze of the Crucified Christ, Ignatians steel themselves for a lifetime of unyielding defense and spread of the one true religion of the Mystical Body of Christ by a tough, deep-going, and long-range equipping in order to ambitiously achieve the most possible ad majorem Dei gloriam.