last modified: Tuesday - III - 4 - 2003   

Saint Ignatius Loyola: Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome



Prayer On the Three Classes

1. O Lord, I beg of Thee the grace not to belong to that class of Christians who, convinced of the truth of religion, are not converted or sanctified, because they will not make use of the means by which sanctity may be acquired and their conversion assured. Grant that I may not be with those who give Thee desires only, and who put off, from day to day, the means necessary for holiness and salvation, and who do nothing until the day of their death.

2. Lord, I ask of Thee the grace not to belong to that class of men who indeed desire holiness, but who at the same time will not make the sacrifice of all, who cannot bring themselves to renounce certain passions, who will only give to Thee certain works, who would have Thee and at the same time retain possession of certain worldly advantages, who will not choose the most certain means of holiness. They are very willing that Thou shouldst come to them, but they cannot persuade themselves to go to Thee; and yet what a happy lot would be theirs if they had but the courage to give themselves unreservedly to Thee! With what superabundant graces dost Thou reward the sacrifices of generous souls, O my God!

3. Lord, I ask of Thee to grant me the grace of being in the class of those whose will is in a state of such perfect equilibrium, that it neither accepts nor rejects anything except as Thou inspires it to accept or reject it.

I desire nothing, O my God, unless Thou first willest it; I wish for nothing except to serve Thee, my Creator and my Savior; and if the voice of nature asks anything different of me, it is my will and desire to go against this voice of nature, this natural repugnance. And I pray and beseech Thee to grant and vouchsafe to me, though in opposition to my natural inclination, and notwithstanding the reluctance of nature, that I may have the grace accorded me of always acting solely for the greater honor and glory of Thy infinite Majesty, the grace of always choosing what is for Thy greater glory; and to this end I beseech of Thee the grace of perfect and effective detachment.