Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/285

This page needs to be proofread.


CHARACTER OF IGNATIUS 271

to be fought here and now. Therefore he suffered with two-fold pa- tience men who struck violently about them, loved hot temperaments because of the difficult struggle they fought against themselves, and treasured a strong impulse that was mastered more than the passive contemplation of a tranquil soul. His principle that one must fight temptations and not run away from them is worthy of a soldier. The counsel he gave was: curb your uncurbed ego according to the prin- ciples of Christ, and then place it willingly on the altar of the Church. A passion for discipline and for a strict hierarchical order was associated in this classic exponent of spiritual subjugation with a cool strangeness toward the humanistic interests of culture. Just as the baroque style of his time drew figures and columns into a strange system of motion with grandiose indifference to reality, so Loyola subordinated the world over which he had control to the stylized dictatorship of a uni- fied purposive architecture without regard for the autonomous laws of things in themselves.

Therefore his military point of view automatically became a diplo- matic point of view. More than once there occurs in Loyola's letters a sentence which condenses everything that can be said about him and his Order: "I will enter into everyone's house through his door, in order to lead him out through my door and thus win him for Christ." The counsel that one must be as cunning as a snake is followed by him almost to the verge of disrespect for the other commandment of can- dour. He himself is wholly surrendered to the supremacy of the end to be gained, and to it he subordinates all else as well. He was the phrase "in order to" personified. He weighed everything pedanti- cally, went round and round his objective, was a chess player who pondered all the possible effects of his moves and all the opportunities that might be taken by his opponent, a man with two irons in the fire. A friend of poverty and lowliness, he coveted the favour of the rich and the mighty because the governance of affairs was usually en- trusted into such hands. Because the Pope had fostered the Society, Ignatius closed an eye to the fact that there were many Papal relatives. The same attitude in similar cases was exacted of his followers. He wanted the Society to take conditions and characters as they were in order to make use of them as possible instruments. Though himself naturally a stranger to learning, he recommended study as the road to


272