The two documents that will be discussed by comparing, analyzing and contrasting within this paper will be Ignatius of Loyola’s Rules for Thinking with the Church along side of an excerpt of Martin Luther’s writings from the Preface to the Complete Edition of Luther's Latin Works. Although there are many similarities within these documents as men of faith write them both, they are written from different perspectives of their faith. The first is written of the persuasion that one must be submissive to the Roman Catholic Church, and the other, a former Catholic reflecting upon when he, as a Catholic Monk, had an epiphany of the phrase “justice of God” looking at the scriptures writes the other.
First to be analyzed will be the similarities within the two documents. Ignatius suggests we must, “keep our minds prepared and ready to obey promptly and in all things the true spouse of Christ our Lord” and while reading Luther’s writing one can attest this is exactly the sentiment of Luther as well; to be obedient to Christ without delay. They both wanted to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word with great passion and intensity. To be contrary to this was not in the realm of their thinking. Another parallel within these passages are the things that Ignatius reveals must be praised such as religious life, virginity, continence, matrimony, obedience, chastity, fasts, abstinence, confession, and studying religion. Both men are dedicated to this list of values by virtue of their dedication to their faith. Each man of faith approaches this list with a different guiding light; Ignatius of Loyola’s guiding light is following the Roman Catholic Church and for Martin Luther, his guiding lights is focusing on the Word of God being the Holy Bible.
Ignatius also stated “I believe that between . . . Christ our Lord and . . . His Church, there is but one spirit, which governs and directs”, this is what binds these two men of God the closest. Both men desire and hunger for closeness to their Lord Jesus Christ whom they love, adore and worship. While Ignatius discussed one Spirit, Christ and the Church governing and directing, Martin Luther is supposedly to have said something similar before the Diet of Worms when he was accused of heresy against the Roman Catholic Church as quoted here,
Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by
clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils
alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contra-
directed themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and
my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not
recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against con-
science. May God help me. Amen.
While Ignatius held complete allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church, Luther held this dedication and allegiance to Jesus Christ alone. While these two ideals seem to be so closely knit together, this is...