[The following is Part I of a three part meditation on the Principle and Foundation from the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius]
The spiritual exercises provide a system to lead a person to spiritual freedom in which they then can then make decisions based on an ordered set of values rather than any disordered desire. The trust is toward action, not just reflection. Additionally, an inner balance results such that once fundamental values are determined; a person is not distracted or led astray by contrary temptations. This inner balance is what brings the freedom to choose rightly. Just as regular physical exercise conditions the body so do spiritual exercises condition the mind and soul. The foundation for the exercises is the core base which is an ordered set of values called the “First Principle and Foundation.” It provides guidance to answer “In what context, should I base decisions and actions?”
The following is the First Principle and Foundation. For Part I, just consider the underlined text for your meditation.
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 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 that which is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.
- Consider for meditation the concept that we are created and continue to be created by God on a moment-to-moment basis through the circumstances of our daily life.
- Adapted from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
Be Still | Read | Contemplate It | Listen | Dialogue | Close With Praise and Thanks
Daily Catholic Meditations For Faith, Listening, and Peace (www.SilentInsight.com)