Dear parish family and friends of St. Julia,
What is the goal of life? St. Ignatius can help guide us with what is known as the First Principle and Foundation of his Spiritual Exercises. One translation reads as follows:
The goal of our life is to be with God forever.
We should not fix our desires on
health or sickness,
wealth or poverty,
success or failure,
a long life or a short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
a deeper response to our life in God.
Fr. David Flemming, SJ, unpacks this in the following way:
The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into us without limit.
All the things in this world are gifts of God, presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we 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 toward 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 a 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 want and I choose what better leads to God’s deepening his life in me.
I encourage you to sit and meditate with this. So what is your goal? Are you being called into something deeper? Do you need to realign your focus?
Ultimately it comes down to love. Love of God. Think of the vows of marriage: “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” If we have found true love, then we love no matter what happens and always choose the better option for our love to thrive. That’s what First Principle and Foundation calls us to.
It is my prayer that we desire to be one with God in this life and in the life to come.
During this month of November, may we continue to pray for all souls who have gone before us and the souls in purgatory. May they we one with God forever.
May God bless each of you and those that you love,
From Our Pastor