THE FIRST PRINCIPLE AND FOUNDATION OF OUR LIFE
The Spiritual Exercises, #23
The goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God, who loves us, gave us life.
Our open response of that love, in love, allows God's love to flow into us without limit.
All the things in this world are gifts of God, presented to us so that we can come to know more of God and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we come appreciate and use all these gifts of God insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives, they displace God and so hinder our growth towards our goal.
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance before all of these created gifts, insofar as we have a choice and are not bound by some obligation*.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness, wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper response to our life in God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I desire and I choose*what better leads to the deepening of God’s life in me.
St. Ignatius Loyola on the Principle and Foundation as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, SJ with minor changes