Common section

Pros and Cons

Advantages and disadvantages in having a fixed income for churches of the Society of Jesus

THE DISADVANTAGES ARISING FROM A LACK OF ANY INCOME

ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF HAVING EITHER A COMPLETE OR

A PARTIAL INCOME

1st

If the Society were to possess a partial or a complete income, it could probably maintain itself better.

2nd

If such is possessed, members of the Society will not cause trouble and disedification by begging, especially as it would be clerics who would have to go begging.

3rd

If such is possessed, they will be less troubled and bothered by distracting worries in searching for alms.

4th

They will be able to give themselves with greater order and peace to the duties and set prayers.

5th

The time spent in asking and seeking for alms could be used for preaching, hearing confessions, and other pious works.

6th

The church will probably be kept cleaner and finer, more suited to rouse devotion; also it will be possible to rebuild it.

7th

Similarly, members of the Society will be able to devote more time to study, and so give more spiritual help to other people and take more care of their own health.

8th

On a former occasion, after two members of the Society had examined the point, the others gave their unanimous approbation.1

THE DISADVANTAGES ARISING FROM THE POSSESSION OF

INCOME ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF NOT HAVING ANYTHING

1st

If members of the Society could possess such an income, they would be less diligent in helping people, and less ready to travel and suffer hardships. Also it is not then so easy to win others to true poverty and self-abnegation in all things, as is explained in the advantages of not possessing anything explained below.2

ADVANTAGES ARISING FROM, AND REASONS IN FAVOUR OF,

HAVING NO INCOME WHATSOEVER

1st

The Society gains greater spiritual strength, and increased devotion, the more it contemplates and imitates the Son of the Blessed Virgin, our Creator and Lord, so poor and so afflicted.

2nd

The world’s avarice is put to shame when one seeks no security.

2nd

Union with the Church seems to be more affectionate, if all are at one in possessing nothing, thinking of Christ poor in the Blessed Sacrament.

3rd

It is easier to put all one’s trust in God Our Lord, if one is cut off from everything of the world.

4th

This causes humiliation and aids union with the One who humbled himself more than any other.

4th

The Society lives more oblivious of worldly consolations.

5th

Its hope in God is more continuous; and its work in His service, more diligent.

6th

In general, people are more impressed if they see that nothing of this world is being sought.

7th

One can speak with greater freedom of spirit, and with more efficacy, of all spiritual things that are for the greater profit of souls.

8th

The daily reception of alms helps and urges one on to give more spiritual assistance to souls.

9th

Others are more strongly persuaded to true poverty, if that poverty is practised to which Christ Our Lord urges, when he says, ‘Everyone who has forsaken father, etc’ (Mt. 19:29, Mk 10:29).

10th

Members of the Society will probably be more diligent in helping others, and more ready to travel and suffer hardships.

11th

Poverty that excludes the possession of any income is more perfect than one that admits either a partial or a complete income.

12th

Jesus, the Lord of us all, chose this poverty for himself, and this was what He taught them, when He sent his apostles and beloved disciples to preach.

13th

When, with complete unanimity, all ten of us chose this poverty, we took as our head Jesus himself, our Creator and Lord, to go forward under his banner, to preach and exhort, as is our profession.

14th

It was on this understanding that we asked for and obtained the Papal Bull; similarly after waiting one year for it to be expedited, we kept to our decision and it was confirmed by His Holiness.

15th

Immutability is a characteristic of God; mutability and change are those of the enemy.3

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