We were created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save our soul; and the other things on the face of the earth were created for our sake, and in order to aid us in the prosecution of the end for which we were created. Whence it follows, that we ought to make use of them just so far as they help us to attain this end, and that we ought to withdraw ourselves from them just so far as they hinder us. It is therefore necessary that we should make ourselves indifferent to all created things, in all that is left to the liberty of our free-will, and is not forbidden; in such sort that we do not for our part wish for health rather than sickness, for wealth rather than poverty, for honour rather than dishonour, for a long life rather than a short one, and so in all other things, desiring and choosing only that which leads us more directly to the end for which we were created. Spiritual Exercises  – Principle and Foundation

The Exercises start with a consideration, rather than a meditation or contemplation.  Something to chew over – this is the framework through which the exercises are experienced.  A desire for a joy-filled freedom that comes from desiring and dedicating oneself to Gods glory.  So we do not enter the Exercises ‘neutrally’ but with a positive disposition and a spirit of generosity and openness to God.  Happiness and Joy in life will come when one is oriented in the right direction, it is this search for God’s will with homest and integrity that brings a joy and a peace that does not fade quickly.  Different to quick gratification that may come from sating appetites that are created by a consumerism that ultimately enslaves us, as it stimulates appetites and desire that ultimately cannot be fulfilled.  As was commented on in the recent General Congregation of the Jesuits (GC35) the consumerist cultures in which people live today do not foster passion, but rather addiction and compulsion. They demand resistance (decree 2/21).  The cosmic vision of the Principle and Foundation is to allow us to share in the joy and freedom for which we were created – and in order to do so we must rid ourselves of ‘disordered attachments’.

I am now in silence – so this post was prepared before the retreat and scheduled for posting automatically. 

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