Three Kinds of People

3 pairs of shoes in different colors - image by Three-shots from Pixabay
St. Ignatius described three kinds of people: the postponer, the compromiser, and the free person. The postponer may have a vague interest in a life committed to loving service in imitation of Christ but feels that there are many more pressing needs to attend to. The compromiser, while making moves toward such a life, proffers various conditions to God: “I’ll follow you as long as I get to…” Such a person does not fully trust that God knows what is best.

The truly free person does highly unusual things. Maybe the person lets go of the privileges of his early life and goes to live with people who have next to nothing. Whatever the call, God will lead the person to exciting new horizons of love, of service, of creative works of justice. Breaking bread with tax collectors; washing feet; mingling with those on the margins—these are the actions of a person who is not nervously glancing sideways at others for approval.

Let us make our prayer today that we become truly free.

Image by Three-shots from Pixabay.

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Tim Muldoon
Tim Muldoon is the author of a number of books, including The Ignatian Workout and Living Against the Grain, and teaches in the Department of Philosophy at Boston College.


  1. I think I’m in between the compromiser and the free person. Scary to let go completely. It is a daily struggle. Thank you for your reflection.


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