St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, knew what "overload" meant. Recognizing that it's easy for us to get so wrapped up in what we're doing that we forget why we're doing it, here's what he told his followers in the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus:
"Make diligent efforts to keep your intentions right in all particular details. Always aim at serving and pleasing the Divine Goodness for its own sake and because of the incomparable love and benefits which God has [given] us, rather than for fear of punishments or hope of rewards, although you ought to draw help also from these."
As we get busier and busier, it becomes more difficult to keep first things first. And God should come first with us. Why? Because God gives us existence — not just at conception, but in every moment with every breath we breathe. We have life because God gives us life. In a supreme act of love, He wills it — and presumably He does so with some purpose in mind. Of course, one of those purposes, as Jesus told us, is to love our neighbor as we love our own self.
Neither loving God first now loving others as we love our self is an easy task. But as Jesus told us, it's what God — our Creator and Sustainer — wants from each of us.
Food for thought
- Do I make a diligent effort to have good intentions in all my work?
- Do I really put God first — and keep Him there — most of the time?
- Is pleasing God more important to me than worldly success?
Adapted and used with permission from Take Five: On-the-Job Meditations with St. Ignatius by Mike Aquilina and Fr. Kris D. Stubna, Copyright © by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc.
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