If you have had a good director lead you through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, when you finished them, you probably had a good sense of accomplishment. You probably experienced a healthy sense of pride in yourself, in your director, and in St. Ignatius. When you see a copy of the Spiritual Exercises on someone else’s shelf, or you hear others discussing it, you feel a certain sense of ownership, because you have been there, you have invested, and you have reaped a harvest. This is a healthy sense of pride about the Spiritual Exercises, neither too much nor too little. Too much pride would lead to immoderate boasting or even pelagianism, God forbid! Too little pride would lead to shame, or to putting your light under a bushel basket. But most of us who have made the exercises do, I think, feel a healthy sense of pride about them.
Do we feel the same sense of pride for the work of Jesus Christ? Are we not, perhaps, a little too bashful about what Christ did for us? The words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem might be of assistance: “Let us, therefore, not be ashamed of the Cross of Christ; but though another hide it, do thou openly seal it upon your forehead, that the devils may behold the royal sign and flee trembling far away. Make then this sign at eating and drinking, at sitting, at lying down, at rising up, at speaking, at walking: in a word, at every act.”