HomeIgnatian PrayerExcept That of Knowing That I Do Your Will

Except That of Knowing That I Do Your Will

Prayer for Generosity - "Except that of knowing that I do your will" line highlightedWe’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.

Melinda LeBlanc
Melinda LeBlanc
Melinda LeBlanc is a spiritual director in the diocese of Baton Rouge, LA, where she offers individual direction, group direction, retreats, and prayer. She received her certification in Spiritual Direction from the Archdiocesan Spirituality Center in New Orleans and holds a Masters of Pastoral Studies degree from Loyola University. Melinda serves on the board of the Louisiana Association of Spiritual Directors. She considers it a blessing to be a part of others’ spiritual journeys and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Darrel and entertaining her two cats.


  1. Thank you Melinda. Love is best shown in actions writes Ignatius. In later years Mahatma Gandhi would say, ‘deeds not words’.

  2. Except to know that I do your will,,,For me the Statement sums up the scariest prayer. But there is a portion of Joy that comes about with doing his will and some form of Peace associated with this, However we are Prophets of a future not our own and No statement says all that could be said.
    No prayer fully expresses our faith.
    No confession brings perfection.
    No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
    No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
    No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
    And this uncertainity is mostly puzzling and somehow demotivating for the Work In Progress Christian ,,,(We are all tough) Strength is however derived from knowing that GOD CAN NEVER INSPIRE DESIRES THAT CAN NOT BE FULFILLED all this that we do in the name of serving him he sees and all this that we do are deep conversations with the Maker telling him how we Long and thirst for him…All these he will fulfill at the right time when we will see him SOul to Soul and feel his love heart to heart and share in his glory

  3. This line: “Our heart is so united with God’s heart that just knowing we are doing God’s will is enough to sustain us,” reminds me of what is important, and inspires me to “let go and let God.”
    Thanks for sharing this, Melinda.


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