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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Letters from Maryland on Ignatian Spirituality


“The Principle and Foundation and Rules for Discernment of Spirits”

The Principle and Foundation and Rules for the Discernment of Spirits are key and reciprocal components of the Exercises. Fleming cites the Principle and Foundation as “a life vision” and I find his Contemporary Reading of it the clearest and the one which speaks best to people today. Here it is:

“God freely created us so we might know, love and serve him in this life and be happy with him forever. God’s purpose in creating us is to draw forth from us a response of love and service here one earth, so that we may attain our goal of everlasting happiness with him in heaven.
All the things in this world are gifts of God insofar as they help us toward our goal of loving service and union with God. But insofar as any created thing hinders our progress toward our goal, we ought to let them go.
In everyday life then, we should keep ourselves indifferent or undecided in the face of all created gifts when we have an option and we do not have the clarity of what would be the better choice. We ought not to be led by our natural likes and dislikes even in matters such as health or sickness, wealth or poverty, between living in the east and in the west, becoming an accountant or a lawyer. Rather, our only desire and our only choice should be that option which better leads us to the goal for which God created us.”

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