MAN was created for this – end to praise, reverence,
and serve the Lord his God, and by this means
to arrive at eternal salvation. All other beings or objects
placed around man on earth have been created for him,
to serve as means to assist him in the pursuit of the end
for which he was created.
We must, then, above all things, endeavor to establish
in ourselves a complete indifference with regard to all
created things, even those of which the use is not for
bidden us; not preferring, as far as depends on us, health
to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to humiliation, a
long life to a short one; since good order requires that
we wish for and choose, in everything, what will lead us
most surely to the end for which we were created.
(Text of St. Ignatius.)
For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world
and suffer the loss of his soul? Or what shall a man give
in exchange for his soul?
(Mark viii. 36, 37.)
Jesus said: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with
thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy
whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment."
(Matt. xxii. 37, 38.)
Jesus said: "The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and
Him only shalt thou serve."
(Matt. iv. 10.)
Lord, Thou hast created me, Thou hast created me for
Thyself to praise Thee, to reverence Thee, to serve Thee.
It is by applying myself to Thy service that I shall save
my soul. All other things placed around me in this world
are there as so many means whereby I may be conducted
to the great final end of my creation, which is twofold yet
one: to serve Thee and save myself.
Teach me, O Lord, to do my duty, my only duty in
this world, which is for the fulfilling of Thy intentions
and designs, to discern amongst Thy creatures – 1st, those
which may aid me, so as to use them so long as they may
be of service to me: 2d, those which may be harmful to
me, so as to reject them inasmuch as they may be injurious
to me. If I accept some and reject the others, may
it be solely with the view of glorifying Thee, and of being
always within the order of Thy will.
But since my courage may give way, since my heart
may be fascinated by these extraneous creatures, defend
it, O my God, and assure to it safety and freedom from
the seductions of the world. Grant that, indifferent to
all that is not commanded by Thee, indifferent to all those
creatures the use of which Thou hast not even forbidden,
my heart may neither desire nor seek amongst the multiplicity
of creatures and the vicissitudes of life aught but
what is needful for the fulfilling of Thy will.
May health or sickness, riches or poverty, honors or
contempt and humiliations, leave my soul, if not insensible,
at least in that state of holy indifference to which I
desire to attain for Thy greater honor and glory; for
this I pray. I will and desire that it should be thus with
me, and I firmly resolve continually to restore my will to
this necessary equilibrium, so that it may always be
inclined solely by the motive-power of Thy holy will.