One rare and exceptional deed is worth far more than a thousand commonplace ones.
Be generous to the poor orphans and those in need. The man to whom our Lord has been liberal ought not to be stingy. We shall one day find in Heaven as much rest and joy as we ourselves have dispensed in this life.
It is a great delusion in those whose understanding has been darkened by self-love, to think that there is any obedience in the subject who tries to draw the superior to what he wishes.
If God has given you the world's goods in abundance, it is to help you gain those of Heaven and to be a good example of sound teaching to your sons, servants, and relatives.
The principal end both of my father and of myself in the conquest of India… has been the propagation of the holy Catholic faith.
Spiritual infirmities such as tepidity are caused, not only by chills but also by fevers, that is, by excessive zeal.
If I cannot add to my own low level of understanding, I could ill afford to try to raise that of others, seeing that it belongs to our Creator and Lord to give much or little.
He who aims at making an entire and perfect oblation of himself, in addition to his will, must offer his understanding, which is a further and the highest degree of obedience.
We should not have a petty regard for God's gifts, though we may and should despise our own imperfections.
When Ignatius understood that God did not wish him to remain at Jerusalem, he began to consider what he should do. The plan he approved and adopted was to enter upon a course of study in order to be better fitted to save souls.
It is one thing to be eloquent and charming in profane speech, and another when the one speaking as a religious.
True, I am in love with suffering, but I do not know if I deserve the honor.
The wellbeing of the head resounds throughout the whole body, and as are the Superiors, so, in turn, will their subjects be.
May it please Christ our Lord to grant us true humility and abnegation of will and judgment, so that we may deserve to begin to be His disciples.
Above all, remember that God looks for solid virtues in us, such as patience, humility, obedience, abnegation of your own will – that is, the good will to serve Him and our neighbor in Him. His providence allows us other devotions only insofar as He sees that they are useful to us.
Considering that the blessed life we so long for consists in an intimate and true love of God Our Creator and Lord, which binds and obliges us all to a sincere love.
Try to keep your soul always in peace and quiet, always ready for whatever our Lord may wish to work in you. It is certainly a higher virtue of the soul, and a greater grace, to be able to enjoy the Lord in different times and different places than in only one.
I have no doubt concerning that Supreme Goodness, who is so eager to share His blessings, or of that everlasting love which makes Him more eager to bestow perfection on us than we are to receive it.
For those who love, nothing is too difficult, especially when it is done for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We should love the body insofar as it is obedient and helpful to the soul, since the soul, with the body's help and service, is better disposed for the service and praise of our Creator and Lord.
Remember that the good angels do what they can to preserve men from sin and obtain God's honor. But they do not lose courage when men fail.
While studying at Barcelona, Ignatius was in doubt whether, after completing his studies, he should enter some Religious Order, or go from place to place, according to his custom. He decided to enter upon the religious life.
It is certain that, because the negligent do not struggle against self, they never achieve peace of soul or do so tardily, and never possess any virtue in its fullness, while the energetic and industrious make notable advances on both fronts.
I can love a person in this life only insofar as he tries to advance in the praise and service of God our Lord; for the man who loves anything for itself and not for the sake of God, does not love God with his whole heart.
It is not the soul alone that should be healthy; if the mind is healthy in a healthy body, all will be healthy and much better prepared to give God greater service.
Even in the angels there is the subordination of one hierarchy to another, and in the heavens, and all the bodies that are moved, the lowest by the highest and the highest in their turn unto the Supreme Mover of all.
Experience proves that in this life peace and satisfaction are had, not by the listless but by those who are fervent in God's service. And rightly so. For in their effort to overcome themselves and to rid themselves of self-love, they rid themselves of the roots of all passion and unrest.
Concerning the harsh treatment of the body for our Lord's sake, I would say, avoid anything that would cause the shedding even of a drop of blood.
The safest and most suitable form of penance seems to be that which causes pain in the flesh but does not penetrate to the bones, that is, which causes suffering but not sickness.
May the perfect grace and eternal love of Christ our Lord be our never-failing protection and help.
Little by little he came to recognize the difference between the spirits that agitated him, one from the enemy and one from God.
We should always be disposed to believe that that which appears white is really black, if the hierarchy of the Church so decides.
What St. Francis and St. Dominic have done, that, by God's grace, I will do.
We esteem, honor, and love the apostles more than the other saints, because they served God more faithfully and because they loved Him more perfectly.
In the matter of learning, the difference between the earnest and the careless student stands out clearly. The same holds true in the mastering of passion and the weaknesses to which our nature is subject, as in the acquiring of virtue.
To have prevented one single sin is reward enough for the labors and efforts of a whole lifetime.
In the light of the Divine Goodness, it seems to me, though others may think differently, that ingratitude is the most abominable of sins and that it should be detested in the sight of our Creator and Lord by all of His creatures who are capable of enjoying His divine and everlasting glory.
So with that will prompt and prepared to serve all those whom I perceive to be servants of my Lord, I will speak of three things with simplicity and love as if I were speaking to my own soul.
Realize that illness and other temporal setbacks often come to us from the hand of God our Lord, and are sent to help us know ourselves better, to free ourselves of the love of created things, and to reflect on the brevity of this life and, thus, to prepare ourselves for the life which is without end.
Some indeed have tears naturally, when the higher motion of the soul makes itself felt in the lower, or because God our Lord, seeing that it would be good for them, allows them to melt into tears. But this does not mean that they have greater charity or that they are more effective than others who enjoy no tears.
Remember that bodily exercise, when it is well ordered, as I have said, is also prayer by means of which you can please God our Lord.
The more completely we focus our attention on our Creator and Lord, the less chance there is of our being distracted by creatures.
In the fallen there is danger of pride and vainglory, since they prefer their own judgment to the judgment of everyone else, usurping what is not their own by setting themselves up as judges in their own cause when the rightful judge is their superior.
Man was created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord and in this way to save his soul. The other things on Earth were created for man's use, to help him reach the end for which he was created.
Among the many signs of a lively faith and hope we have in eternal life, one of the surest is not being overly sad at the death of those whom we dearly love in our Lord.
It is proper to ask for sorrow with Christ in sorrow, anguish with Christ in anguish, tears and deep grief because of the great affliction Christ endures for me.
God our Lord would have us look to the Giver and love Him more than His gift, keeping Him always before our eyes, in our hearts, and in our thoughts.
Occupy yourself in beholding and bewailing your own imperfections rather than contemplating the imperfections of others.
Up to his twenty-sixth year, the heart of Ignatius was enthralled by the vanities of the world. His special delight was in the military life, and he seemed led by a strong and empty desire of gaining for himself a great name.
Be slow to speak, and only after having first listened quietly, so that you may understand the meaning, leanings, and wishes of those who do speak. Thus you will better know when to speak and when to be silent.