The Spiritual Exercises (For Ignatius of Loyola)

For, though our bodies must be trained
and strengthened to withstand the stress
of life and all its straining days,

and though our hearts and lungs must learn
the best rhythm, the smoothest flow,
learnt through all our daily drills,

our spirits too must learn to tell
the good from ill and the true
from that which can but be corrupt,

and all our slumping days must turn
to backs upraised with eager hearts
pumping and enlivening

unless in slackness we grow slouched
and flab and dross drag down our souls,
pulling our deadweight to ground.

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