Moved to Greater Love
Moved to Greater Love

Friday, March 28

Today's Grace

I pray for a heartfelt desire to reorder my life toward God.

Scripture/Reading

Principle and Foundation from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola:

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.

And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created.

From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it.

For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.

The Three Types of Persons from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola:

The Setting: Consider the three types of persons. Each one of them has taken in quite a few possessions — not always with the best of motives, and in fact sometimes quite selfishly. In general, each one is a good person, and each would serve God, even to the extent that if these possessions were to come in the way of salvation, each would like to be free of them.

The First Type keeps saying that he would like to stop being so dependent on all the things which he possesses and which seem to get in the way of his giving his life unreservedly to God. This type talks about the importance of saving his soul, but when death comes, he is too busy about his possessions to have taken any steps toward serving God.

The Second Type would like to be free of all attachments which get in the way of his relationship with God. But this type would rather work harder or fast or pray more — really do just about anything but face the problem which he feels holds him back in his relationship with God. He acts as if he is negotiating with God, trying to buy God off. So though this type may do many good things, he keeps running from the better and more honest way to face the issue.

The Third Type would like to be free of any attachment which gets in the way of God’s call to further life. This one’s whole effort is to be in balance, ready to move in any direction that the call from God may take him. Whatever seems better for the service and praise of God our Lord is his whole desire and choice. Meanwhile, this one strives to act in such a way that he seemingly is free of any attachments. He makes efforts neither to want to retain his possessions nor to want to give them away, unless the service and praise of God our Lord is the God-given motivation for his action. As a result, the graced desire to be better able to serve God our Lord is the cause of his accepting or letting go of anything.

Reflection Questions

  1. Am I like the first type: am I not as generous as I profess to be?
  2. Am I like the second type: am I generous, but on my own terms?
  3. Do I presume to know what God wants me to do with the gifts I've been given? What gifts might I be most reluctant to let go of? What about my non-material gifts: my work, my home, my loved ones, my reputation, my lifestyle, my sense of accomplishment?
  4. Am I like the third type: am I spiritually free with all that I have and all I possess? Am I ready, at a moment's notice, to use it or give it away the moment God calls me to do so? Hardest of all, what if God asks me to hold off deciding at all — to wait patiently as the third class did, not knowing what to do for a while? Am I willing to wait for an answer that doesn't come on my timetable?

Reflection


“Christ Calling His First Disciples” by Adam Brenner, 1839

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Other Resources

View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

Painting (top right) by Diane Fairfield.

From the Wesley Covenant Prayer:

I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
exalted for you, or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing.

My Own Heart
by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ

My own heart let me more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.
I cast for comfort I can no more get
By groping round my comfortless, than blind
Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
Thirst's all-in-all in all a world of wet.

Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise
You, jaded, let be; call off thoughts awhile
Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room; let joy size
At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile
's not wrung, see you; unforeseen times rather — as skies
Betweenpie mountains — lights a lovely mile.

Music: “Miserere” by Gregorio Allegri

Song: “Sono giunta! Madre, pietosa, Vergine” from “La Forza del Destino” by Giuseppe Verdi

Song: “Hopeless Wanderer” by Mumford and Sons

Song: “Hall of Fame” by The Script featuring will.i.am





Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America - 7/7/14

America - 6/23/14

America - 6/9/14





Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House
Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House, located in Grand Coteau, La., has provided a beautiful setting for retreats since 1938.