First, it is well to remark two things: the first is that love ought to be put more in deeds than in words.
February 5, 2003 9:24 PM   Subscribe

First, it is well to remark two things: the first is that love ought to be put more in deeds than in words. The Spiritual exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. . We begin by quieting ourselves. Become aware of God's goodness, the gifts of life and love. Be thankful. Recall that without faith, the eye of love, the human world seems too evil for God to be good, for a good God to exist. There ya go, the bars up and now you cant touch it. Some pictorial help here.a preface here.Sound too obscure for you ?see here for their modern day application.
posted by sgt.serenity (15 comments total)
Oh and if this is a bit too much for you ,
there is a short course here.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:26 PM on February 5, 2003

A brief aside, an exciting look at the Catholic Encyclopedia's apodictic entry for Martin Luther. Two fun excerpts:

. The same day he pens the pathetic lines "I am old, decrepit, indolent, weary, cold, and now have the sight of but one eye" (De Wette, op. cit., V, 778). Nevertheless peace was not his.

. Even prescinding from his congenital heritage of inflammable irascibility and uncontrollable rage, besetting infirmities that grew deeper and more acute with age, his physical condition in itself would measurably account for his increasing irritation, passionate outbreaks, and hounding suspicions, which in his closing days became a problem more of pathological or psychopathic interest, than biographic or historical importance.

posted by four panels at 9:54 PM on February 5, 2003

thanks sarge, great post. i remember reading about catholic mediation in thomas merton's autobiography and thinking it sounded interesting, and then never bothered to follow up on it. I really like the idea behind it although I'd imagine it takes a ton of practice and mental discipline to do it effectively, especially in this age of short attention spans. Still, I think it would be interesting to try.
posted by boltman at 10:44 PM on February 5, 2003

above link takes 10 minutes.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:04 PM on February 5, 2003

sgt.serenity - I'm in your debt for the wonderfull pictures!


"The Contempaltion [sic] to gain Love":

posted by troutfishing at 5:21 AM on February 6, 2003

Sgt. Serenity, it's post like this that keep me coming to Metafilter. As an agonistic who benefited greatly from a 12-step program while in high school, I find these links fascinating and I look forward to spending more time with them when I'm off work.
posted by Holden at 6:06 AM on February 6, 2003

This is great!! I'm researching the Society of Jesus for a book I am teaching in one of my literature classes, and this is the perfect starting point, and also some great resources I can pass on to my students. Thanks Sarge!!
posted by archimago at 6:29 AM on February 6, 2003

sgt_serenity - I was just pontificating to my loving wife last night, at dinner, about the difference between Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism (she's Jewish, and a "Cohane" (sp?) to boot, of the top priestly lineage descended straight from the loins of Moses...God's chosen fer sure, anyway....) and,

I made the point that Islam and Christianity (sibling religions, really) have an awful lot to say about being good, they both lay out many great ideals, but they are both somewhat short on practical methods through which humans can ennoble their "baser" natures (instincts, I'd call 'em) and so be able to clear thet high bars set forth in Islamic or Christian scripture.

Islam has far more scripturally mandated practice (daily prayer, regular fasting, abstention from alcohol, etc.) than Chrisitianity and, while all religious traditions have esoteric "mystical" and ecstatic expression and traditions apart from the main institutional tendencies, Christianity - apart from it's (somewhat hidden) minority traditions - has historically (I would argue) been charactorized by a lack of practical method. The Catholic Church has managed to redress some of this "practice gap" in it's doctrines, but St. Ignatious was one of the rare few who felt the need to express this more explicitly.

In this way, I'm reminded of Buddhism, which is all about method. I wonder: is there a connection between this and the fact that (a truism here) there never has been a "Buddhist War" in the same way as Islam and Christianity have always had their Inquisitions, their Wars, their Jihads, their Crusades....
posted by troutfishing at 8:25 AM on February 6, 2003

nice to see the serious side of sgt.serenity! And your screen name takes on new meaning. A thoughtful post - thanks for sharing.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:05 AM on February 6, 2003

very interesting troutfishing.
there is of course baptism,confession and communion which are things that can only be grasped experientially rather than through the intellect and are therefore extremely hard to put into words.
You remind me of a Retreat i took part in at a local church based on the spiritual exercises.
The Jesuit priest said "well thanks very much for coming, as you all know the exercises are a very important part of ignatian spirituality and its a very special event as this is the first time these have been done in this church (always run by jesuits) in one hundred years."
The church is one hundred years old.
There probably is a link as well , you're lucky if anyone shakes your hand at mass never mind says hello to you and when the parishioners do engage you in conversation, it is to inform you that they have been there considerably longer than you .
I think there is an attempt being made to redress the balance though.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:49 AM on February 6, 2003

Excellent post.
posted by 111 at 11:16 AM on February 6, 2003

What a refreshing discussion of the spiritual and of religious practices! Thanks!

[heading back to the battle on fundamentalists with renewed vigor]
posted by nofundy at 11:38 AM on February 6, 2003

four panels: nice troll! But to feed you anyway: Luther was irrascible (and rabidly anti-Semitic). You're not implying that the Catholic church is beating up on an enemy now are you?
posted by turbodog at 2:43 PM on February 6, 2003

Here's a spiritual exercise for you, sgt--how about a working e-mail?

Jonathan Richman's going to be in Glasgow on March 19th.
posted by y2karl at 7:23 PM on February 6, 2003

that will be most spiritual y2 !
mm (
it works i tell ya!
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:59 AM on February 7, 2003

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