We’ve invited our dotMagis bloggers to reflect on the individual lines of the Prayer for Generosity, attributed to St. Ignatius.
Doing God’s will. It’s what we are created for. In the Principle and Foundation, St. Ignatius tells us that our purpose is “to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save [my] soul.” (Spiritual Exercises 23) We believe that God created us in love and wants an intimate relationship with us. God has placed in us the desire to know, love, and serve God. What can be more natural or right than wanting to do the will of the God who created us, redeemed us, and sanctifies us?
The last line of the Prayer for Generosity takes doing God’s will to an entirely new level. In this context, we pray to do God’s will, knowing that there could be costs, hardships, and no rewards. This is truly praying from the heart, a heart full of gratitude and humility. The heart that prays the Prayer for Generosity has encountered God and has been transformed by God’s unconditional love. In praying this final line, we are putting on the heart of Christ, one that surrenders all. In surrendering everything, the important thing becomes doing God’s will. Our heart is so united with God’s heart that just knowing we are doing God’s will is enough to sustain us. This final line of the prayer is a pathway to a grace-filled state of freedom. Sometimes following that pathway makes us lose conveniences, but knowing we are doing the right thing gives us peace that exceeds any perks of the other path.
When we listen to the heart of God within us, our lives are lived as the gifts they are to God. We are drawn to generosity, even when our giving, fighting, toiling, and laboring come with costs, wounds, no rest, and no reward. As St. Ignatius taught, love is best shown in actions. (SE 230) We act because we love. It’s a mutual thing. God loves, shows us the way, and we are eager to follow, purely out of love. May our lives reflect to others the generosity that God bestows on us.