Sunday, July 24, 2016
God Above All Things (Notes from the Ignatian Exercises)
Our use of creatures in life should have a holy indifference.
2.) Conditions in life
*Creatures should help us to serve God. They should not be used to [attempt to] replace God.
We have three purposes in life:
1.) To Know God
a.) Mountains >> To see God's beauty and majesty
b.) Storms >> To see God's power and might
c.) Seas >> To see God's infinite mercy
d.) Snow >> To see God's purity
2.) To Love God
a.) We ourselves must love Him
b.) We must help others to love Him
c.) From others we must learn to love Him (through discipline/correction and teaching)
3.) To Serve God (through development of gifts)
a.) Parable of the Talents
b.) Perseverance unto Perfection
c.) In this world but not of it
d.) Development of the Will (intellect + memory + courage/fortitude)
*We must deny ourselves and cultivate virtue. Use temptations and trials as an occasion of perfection and not of indulgence.
Ex: a child born with Down Syndrome can be a gift and a great occasion of patience and pure love
Ex: calumny against us can teach us humility
Ex: Immodesty can be an occasion of self-denial, modesty of the eyes, and to offer it up for that other person's soul and conversion
Some of the most common creatures which overtake us:
- Epicureanism (love of luxury, fine things)
- Greed/Covetousness, desire for material goods
- Desire for esteem/praise
- False asceticism / Esotericism (yoga, buddhism, etc.)
St. Ignatius teaches us that HOLY INDIFFERENCE regards all things as blessings, whether benefits or crosses:
1.) Honors vs Dishonors
2.) Health vs Sickness
3.) Prosperity vs Poverty
4.) Comfort vs Pain/discomfort
5.) Long life vs Short Life
We are dust and to dust we shall return.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
We need to thank God for all of our benefits while remaining unattached to them.
We need to thank God for our crosses and rejoice, for power is made perfect in infirmity.