Listen to this!
Today’s Lectio Divina:
God spoke to Moses: “Tell Aaron and his sons, this is how you are to bless the People of Israel. Say to them,‘God bless you and keep you, God smile on you and gift you, God look you full in the face and make you prosper.’ In so doing, they will place My name on the People of Israel—I will confirm it by blessing them.” Numbers 6: 22-27 (MsgB)
Ignatian Truth #12: Ignatian spirituality is all about living our lives for the Greater Glory of God (AMDG). We’re contemplatives-in-action; Christ-followers set apart for the glory of God and the service of others. Our mission, as we grow ever closer to Jesus, will mean that the road is our home.
Every good story has to have a good ending.
A reason for the reading.
And the Greatest Story ever told, the story of Jesus of Nazareth, is no exception.
For Ignatius, the whole payoff for the Spiritual Exercises is to help us arrive at the place where Jesus ultimately arrived. In John 5, Jesus describes this destination…
Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does. Yes, and He will show Him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. John 5: 19-20 (NIV)
And then, over in John 6, Jesus continues His explanation…
For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me. John 6: 38 (NIV)
The moral of the story?
That all of us, from the greatest to the least of those called by God, will find ourselves:
- Blessed by the Father,
- Commissioned by the Son,
- Indwelled and empowered by the Spirit,
- Doing only those things we see the Father doing, and in doing so,
- Fulfilling the will of Christ, who sent us.
Ignatius said it this way…
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (AMDG)
This Latin phrase translates into English as “For the Greater Glory of God” and it became the marching orders for Ignatius and his friends, known later as the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits.
This AMDG motto, and ones similar to it have become common among those who desire to give glory to God as they live out their human existence in Christ.
George Frederic Handel, the German-born composer of classical music, scrawled the letters ‘SDG’ at the end of his manuscript, his most famous work, Messiah: An Oratorio. SDG stands for the Latin words Soli Deo Gloria, which translates into English as “To God Alone the Glory.”
So, as we near to the close of this 37-session blog series, here’s a few questions for you to ponder…
For what cause do you live your life?
For what purpose have you been born?
For whom (or what) do you choose to live?
These are not simple questions being asked here, so I don’t expect you to roll off a few quick answers from the top of your head.
You see, Ignatius assembled the Spiritual Exercises as a tool to help us arrive at the answers to these questions. And all of the previous discussions we’ve had thus far in this blog series will hopefully join to help us form some deliberate answers to these questions at hand.
So, this week, allow me to offer you some of my answers, and in the process, hopefully, it might stir a few good things for you as well.
Keep in mind that today’s text, the Blessing of Aaron (found way back in the earliest sections of our Holy Scriptures), forms the foundational base for whatever answers we choose. Allow me to restate it here for you, one more time so you can allow it to soak deeply into your being…
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6: 24-26 (NIV)
My prayer: As I see it, Father God, I can choose to live my life out of my own strength and hopefully some good might come of it. Or, I can choose to step under Your rich blessings of grace and peace, allowing myself, like Jesus did, to live, move, and have my being in and through all You have for me, both in this life and the life to come. Thank You for the blessing of Your fatherly love in and through my life. As I receive this rich Blessing of Aaron, may my life be lived like those who have gone before me. AMDG. For the Greater Glory of God. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: What might AMDG look like in my life, if I truly yielded all things to God? If Jesus could only do those things He saw the Father doing, what would that same process look like for me, in my day, in my circle of influence?
How are you experiencing God as you ponder on these Ignatian truths today?
Over a period of twelve weeks (3 sessions per week), we will take this journey into Iggy’s Biggies, contemplating twelve foundational truths found within the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. We suggest you bookmark our blog series homepage to keep all the writings in one place for your future reference. Take note that each blog session begins with a short scripture reading. My suggestion is that you don’t hurry through, or skip the text, but treat it as a Lectio Divina reading where you slow down and sit a bit with God’s Word, allowing it to penetrate and influence you as you read.
If you’ve never journeyed through the Exercises, might I suggest that you find a qualified spiritual director and ask them to accompany you along the way? Here at The Contemplative Activist, we can offer a good number of highly qualified folks to do just that.
Oh, and if you enjoy what you’re reading here, we encourage you to share this page and our website, The Contemplative Activist, with your friends!