2012-05-25 Vatican RadioIn last Monday’s brief address to the cardinals of Rome, the Pope spoke about the Church’s battle in its journey throughout the ages. The Church “militant,” as he said at one point – namely, that fight for what is good and against evil that at some times is visibly dominant and violent, while at other times is insidiously subtle and hidden beneath a façade of benevolence. Drawing upon Saint Augustine, the Pope described the interior dimension of this battle as being the choice between two loves: that which leads man to forget God, and that which leads man to forget himself.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, in a key passage from the “Spiritual Exercises”, tells us the same thing: we must choose to stand either beneath the flag of the devil or beneath the flag of Jesus. Under the devil’s flag, we are enlisted in the search for wealth, vainglory, pride, and all that which is seen by others. Beneath the flag of Jesus, we are committed to a love for poverty – both spiritual and material – humiliation, humility, and all of the virtues which follow.
It's all very clear, isn't it? That this is the current state of affairs?
Saint Ignatius says that, on the one side, we are attracted to those deceptive spirits who promise happiness, but who actually lay traps along the way and enslave us. On the other side – that of goodness – we are invited to be “servants and friends” of Jesus, masters of spirit and evangelical discernment. The Pope also spoke about those “good friends” who accompany us and who help us rest in the Lord during the battle. Together we ask for the gift of discernment from the Holy Spirit, the gift of consolation and of strength, even during the “dark nights” of our lives, so that the confusion of Babel, which poses an ever-present threat to society and the Church, we may continue towards the dialogue and communion of Pentecost.