In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius talked about three things that people commonly use to protect themselves from being vulnerable, from being unsafe.
The first part of the “Meditation on Two Standards” says,
“they have first to tempt with a longing for riches—as he is accustomed to do in most cases that men may more easily come to vain honor of the world, and then to vast pride. So that the first step shall be that of riches; the second, that of honor; the third, that of pride; and from these three steps he draws on to all the other vices.”
For more than three decades, I have been aware of this strategy and been fighting against it with varying degrees of success.
Ignatius, of course, proposes a counter-strategy:
“the first, poverty against riches; the second, contumely or contempt against worldly honor; the third, humility against pride.”