Saint Ignatius of Loyola gives us the Principle and Foundation on which our life is based, starting with the following Two Principles:
The End of the Human Person: Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means save his soul.
The End of Creatures: The other things on the face of the earth are created for man to help him in attaining the end for which he is created.
PRAY AND MEDITATE ON GENESIS 1 AND CREATION…
In this meditation on the reality of creation, you will be begging for the grace to contemplate the God of Creation. All that God created was and is GOOD! However, the high-point of creation is the creation of man and woman, who were created in His image and likeness. Still more, through the gratuitous gift of the Sacrament of Baptism, your dignity skyrockets and your destiny reveals itself with the utmost splendor and beauty! Read and meditate on prayerfully Genesis Chapter 1 in the light of God’s goodness, generosity, and love. Most especially beg for the grace to really understand the infinite love that God had in creating you out of the abundance of love that flows from His Heart!
1. YOU AND CREATION. In all of the ranks of creation on earth, you are the crown of creation, the high-point of creation, the summit of creation, the apex and zenith of creation. Indeed, you were created in the image and likeness of God. Meditate and pray over this profound reality and truth.
2. YOUR DIGNITY! In his Christmas sermon that we read in the second Reading of the Liturgy of the Hours, Pope Saint Leo the Great exclaims: “O Christian, recognize your dignity.” Indeed, your dignity is great compared to all of physical creation. Saint Thomas Aquinas asserts: “Your soul is worth more than all of the created universe!” How great God is, but also, how great God is in His creation of man and woman!
3. YOUR DESTINY! Your dignity and destiny are interconnected and interrelated. Your destiny is to be united with God for all eternity! Challenge yourself to meditate upon this truth constantly: I am created for one primary purpose—to be united with God in heaven for all eternity! May this truth engrave itself into the very depths, fiber, and marrow of your being!
4. CREATION AND YOUR DIGNITY THROUGH BAPTISM. Once I have received the gratuitous gift from my loving Father of Baptism, then my dignity skyrockets almost beyond limits. In a word, my relation to the Triune God becomes intimate, deep, dynamic, and transformative! In your reflection on Principle and Foundation related to Creation, let your heart burst in thanksgiving for the inexplicable gift of the Sacrament of Baptism.
5. YOUR RELATION TO GOD THE FATHER. Once baptized you have entered into a new family—the family of God. In all truth, you are a son/daughter of God the Father. You can call Him ABBA—meaning Daddy! God as your personal Father truly loves you. This must be repeated with insistence— God the Father truly loves you. Indeed, He loved you into existence. God the Father always loves you. Even though you may have made countless mistakes, errors, and sins, maybe thousands, still the love of God the Father for you is eternal, infinite, and never changes. Call to mind the love of the Father for the Prodigal Son. (Lk. 15:11-32) Now it is your turn: tell God the Father that you love Him. You can spend your whole time of prayer simply loving God. But also, let God the Father love you! Remember the words of Saint John: “It is God who loved us first!” (1 Jn 4:19) Let your guard down and let God the Father love you!
6. JESUS IS YOUR BROTHER. From Baptism you have entered into a new relation to Jesus. If God is your Father, then Jesus is your Older Brother! Brothers come from the same Father. True Brothers care for each other; true brothers watch over each other’s safety mutually; true brothers sacrifice themselves for the welfare of each other. Jesus is your Older Brother. He loves you so much that He even died for you, shedding His Precious Blood for you on the cross! Allow this thought to sink deep into the very recesses of your soul!
7. THE HOLY SPIRIT: YOUR INTIMATE, CONSTANT, AND BEST FRIEND. In a world where so many people experience a crushing loneliness, you have a huge advantage: you are never alone! On the contrary, the Holy Spirit is always present to you and with you to comfort you, to console you, to guide you, to protect you. Beg the Holy Spirit for a constant awareness of His Consoling Presence.
8. THE BLESSED TRINITY. Then it must be expressed with the utmost clarity that through your Baptism you have been transformed into a living Tabernacle of the Blessed Trinity. Indeed, within the depths of your soul lives the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In truth, you are the House of God, the Indwelling of the Triune Mystery, the Blessed Trinity. Close your eyes and enter into the very depths of your being and praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit within you! Incidentally, Carmelite spirituality focuses much upon the Indwelling of the Blessed Trinity in our souls through Baptism and through grace. Pray for a more keen awareness of God who dwells within you—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
9. PRINCIPLE AND FOUNDATION—CREATION AND LOVE! This must be repeated time and time again: God created you, your whole being, body and soul, for one primary reason: LOVE!!! The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit love you beyond your wildest imagination! Their love is strong, pure, constant, faithful, eternal, infinite! Saint John states: “God is love!” (1 Jn 4:8) However, love demands a response of love. Indeed, God wants to be loved by you. Right now is the precise moment in which you are called to open up your heart and tell God that you want to experience His love, and to love Him with all of the fiber of your being. You want to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength! This is a key element of Principle and Foundation and the concept of CREATION!
10. MARY IS VERY CLOSE TO YOU: SHE IS YOUR MOTHER. In all that has been said about your close relationship to the Blessed Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary has a very important role and place. Indeed, Mary is the Daughter of God the Father; she is the Mother of God the Son; she is the Mystical Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. She is the Mother of the Church. However, in relation to you, Mary is truly your Mother. Saint Therese of Lisieux stated: “Mary is Queen and Mother, but she is more Mother than Queen!” Invite the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray with you and to pray for you. She will help you go deep in your knowledge and love of God. She will help you to understand and live out Principle and Foundation to the fullest extent possible. Talk now to Mary, your loving Mother, from the depths of your heart and beg her for the grace to love God more and more every day, leading you to heaven!