Principle and Foundation

Long before Rick Warren ever wrote Purpose Driven Life, St. Ignaitus of Loyola wrote the first principle and foundation. It is the orginal purpose statement and an excellent barometer for our spiritual lives.

The Goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God, who loves us, gave us life.
Our own response of love allows God’s life
to flow into us without limit.

All the things in this world are gifts from God,
Presented to us so that we can know God more easily
and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God
Insofar as they help us to develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
They displace God
And so hinder our growth toward our goal.

In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
Before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
And are not bound by some obligation.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
Wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
A deeper response to our life in God.

Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads
To God’s deepening his life in me.

It seems to me that the final paragraph can serve as excellent filter as we practice examen. Did I choose the things that better lead to God’s deepening in me today?

Recent Posts

Outside the Village

It’s the parking spot we were sure we’d remember, then spent 15 minutes hunting for only to realize it was one aisle away the whole time. It’s a person we were looking intently for in the crowd only to find them less than ten feet away. When our senses are...

Before, During, and After Employment

“You have received instructions about [Mark]; if he comes to you, welcome him.”  Colossians 4:10    The Teammate Who Left A trained expositor, philosopher, and observer, Paul’s fingerprints can be found all over Christian history. For both good and ill, Paul’s...

Permission Granted

I set out to write this week about healthy exits from ministry.  I wanted to write about churches partnering with their ministers who were leaving to help them land softly at whatever was next.  I wanted to write about positive steps a (former) minister can take to...