Saint Ignatius offers eighteen rules for thinking with the Church as members of the Church Militant. The “Church Militant” refers to all those on Earth working toward Heaven. In other words, it refers to all Christians who are living in this world.
These rules offer general attitudes that you should have so as to be properly disposed to give the greatest glory to God and to fulfill His holy will. The rules for thinking that you should have as a member of the Church include the following:
- Love for Confession and the reception of the Eucharist
- Love for attending Mass, prayers, liturgies, etc.
- Praise for the Religious Life
- Praise for the evangelical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
- Praise for the saints, devotions, sacramentals, pilgrimages, etc.
- Praise for fasts, mortifications, etc., practiced in the Church
- Praise for the Church buildings
- Praise for all the precepts of the Church
- Public praise of superiors and leaders in the Church, speaking concerns about them privately and only to those who are able to help remedy their errors
- Praise of theological learning, the Doctors of the Church and doctrines
- Avoidance of comparing the living to the great saints
- Firm adherence to the teachings of the Church
- Cautiousness when speaking about salvation, faith and grace
- Care, when speaking about salvation, not to lead people into error or confusion
- Care, when speaking about faith, not to lead people into laziness
- Clarity, when speaking of faith and works, so as not to mislead.
- Courage to not shy away from leading people to have fear of grave sin; Fortitude to draw others into the more perfect fear of offending God at all, purely out of love for Him
Keep your mind and actions in union with the Church. Love her practices, teachings, Sacraments, charitable works, evangelical activities and all that makes the Church the Bride of Christ. If you love the Church, you will be better disposed to come to know the Bridegroom, Christ Himself.