Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
This upcoming week, we will celebrate the Feast of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. St. Ignatius was a contemporary of St. Philip Neri, and they knew each other in Rome. It is said that the Jesuit cassock is buttonless because St. Philip once pulled on St. Ignatius cassock and told him to cheer up, pulling all the buttons with it. May we pray for St. Ignatius’ intercession this week, that we may have the same zeal as he did for the spread of the faith.
Please find the following letter from St. Ignatius, on how he recommended to his small company on how to deal with others. Have a blessed week ahead!
“In all your dealings be slow to speak and say little, especially with your equals and those lower in dignity and authority than yourselves. Be ready to listen for long periods and until each one has had his say. Answer the questions put to you, come to an end, and take your leave. If a rejoinder is required, let your reply be as brief as possible, and take leave promptly and politely.
In dealing with men of position or influence—if you hope to win their affection for the greater glory of God our Lord—first consider their temperaments and adapt yourselves to them. If they are of a lively temper, quick and cheerful in speech, follow their lead while speaking to them of good and holy things, and do not be serious, glum, and reserved. If they are shy and retiring, slow to speak, serious, and weighty in their words, use the same manner with them, because such ways will be pleasing to them. I became all things to all men [1 Cor. 9:22].
You must keep in mind that if someone with a lively disposition does not deal with another who is likewise lively, there is very great danger of their failing to come to any agreement, since they happen not to be of the same mind. And therefore, if one knows that he himself is of such a lively disposition, he ought to approach the other, possessing similar traits, well prepared by a close study of himself and determined to be patient and not to get out of sorts with him, especially if he knows him to be in poor health. If he is dealing with one of slower temper, then there is not so much danger of a disagreement arising from words too hastily spoken.
Whenever we wish to win someone over and engage him in the greater service of God our Lord, we should use the same strategy for good that the enemy employs to draw a good soul to evil. The enemy enters through the other’s door and comes out his own. He enters with the other, not by opposing his ways but by praising them. He acts familiarly with the soul, suggesting good and holy thoughts that bring peace to the good soul. Then, little by little, he tries to come out his own door, always portraying some error or illusion under the appearance of something good, but which will always be evil. So, we may lead others to good by praying or agreeing with them on a certain good point, leaving aside whatever else may be wrong. Thus after gaining his confidence, we shall meet with better success. In this sense we enter his door with him, but we come out our own.
We should be kind and compassionate with those who are sad or tempted, speak at length with them, and show great joy and cheerfulness, both interior and exterior, to draw them to the opposite of what they feel, for their greater edification and consolation.
In everything you say, especially when you are trying to restore peace and are giving spiritual exhortations, be on your guard and remember that everything you say may or will become public.
In business matters be generous with your time; that is, if you can, do today what you promise to do tomorrow.” – St. Ignatius of Loyola