Through October, retreatants are praying with, and developing their own Principle and Foundation.
The Principle and Foundation encourages us to think about why we are on earth. And if I’m Christian (and understand the meaning of life), the answer should be, “to praise, reverence, and serve God, our Lord, and by this means, save my soul.”
Because we are meant for heaven, the Exercises remind us to consider every created thing in relation to our final end instead of for temporary enjoyment or momentary gratification. If something helps me in my quest for heaven than I should use it. If it detracts, I should not use it.
But sometimes, I get attached, and don’t want to give things up. The Principle and Foundation reminds me that I shouldn’t prefer the values that the world says is good. Of course I should strive for health, but what if I’m not able to achieve that? Can I let God decide that for me? Can I allow God to give me the amount of money I need, rather than pursue riches at all costs? Can I let go of honor if following Christ brings dishonor? Can I claim that my one desire is what God desires?
If so, I’m living the Principle and Foundation well. If not, well, it’s a good thing God has given us prayer and grace (and time to grow) into tough, but important considerations. May your prayer be filled with grace this month.