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This talk explores a foundational question in the spiritual life: where are you? It serves as an introduction to the broad theme of this retreat, which is framed around asking six key questions in the spiritual life. It includes a brief overview of the life of St. Ignatius, as well as an introduction to the retreat’s host, Eric Immel, SJ. Finally, it presents a key to Ignatian spirituality: the ‘First Principle and Foundation.’
- Psalm 139
- Genesis 3:1-10
- John 1:1-5
- The First Principle and Foundation:
God created human beings to praise, reverence, and serve God, and by doing this, to save their souls. God created all other things on the face of the earth to help fulfill this purpose. From this, it follows that we are to use the things of this world only to the extent that they help us to this end, and we ought to rid ourselves of the things of this world to the extent that they get in the way of this end. For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things as much as we are able, so that we do not necessarily want health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, a long rather than a short life, and so in all the rest, so that we ultimately desire and choose only what is most conducive for us to the end for which God created us.
Points for reflection:
- Where are you? Where do you find yourself on your spiritual journey these days?
- How would you describe the goal and purpose of your life? Where are you in honoring that goal and purpose?
- In what ways do you struggle to choose goodness and spiritual freedom? Where are you in moving beyond that struggle? Where do you feel called to change for the better?