The Two Standards – The Heart of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola with Fr. Anthony Wieck S.J.
Fr. Anthony Wieck and Kris McGregor continue this series centered around the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. This episode focuses on the standards of Christ versus the standards of the Enemy.
“So Satan always is trying to tempt Jesus to focus on himself, and Jesus instead is constantly focused on the Father. His center is always on the Father. He’s eccentric. From and center, his center is always away from Himself in the Father. He’s a man in love. This is the son of God made flesh. You and I will only find ourselves in being in love. So all right. So that’s the temptation of Satan. And so creature comforts, by the way, in religious life, there’s a lot of temptations for little ways of taking a trip or maybe pocketing some money or things like that. Poverty, St. Ignatius says is the bulwark of the religious life.
So it’s the protecting bulwark of the religious life. And that will be the first to be attacked by Satan. It’s the first to go, pocket money on the side. People may give me, entitled to do certain things with money sent my way. We’ve seen some good priests in religious recently, very popular ones that have first fallen, allowed poverty to kind of be broken down, and then one thing leads to another, and then unfortunately, we read about them in the papers. It’s so sad and scandalous.
But that’s the common way Satan works with us. So we do have to watch all kinds of things like my wardrobe. Do I keep allowing new things to be brought in there, or do each time I add something, I subtract something also? Am I living a certain simplicity of life? That’s the invitation, not to keep needing more and more things to live a higher and higher standard of living. That’s the danger.”
Fr. Anthony Wieck is a Jesuit priest of the Central & Southern province. Sixth of nine children, raised on a farm in Oregon, Fr. Anthony began religious life in 1994, spending his first five years of formation in Rome, Italy, studying at the Casa Balthasar and the Gregorian. The former was under the watchful patronage of Pope Benedict XVI (then-Card. Joseph Ratzinger). Fr. Anthony currently acts as retreat master at the White House Jesuit Retreat in St. Louis, Missouri. He also offers spiritual direction at the St. Louis diocesan seminary for 25 future priests there.