Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Take care to guard against all greed,

for though one may be rich,

one’s life does not consist of possessions…

You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself
but is not rich in what matters to God.

When one is making a major life-decision, like whether to enter into marriage or religious life, or to leave one occupation and go for another, Saint Ignatius has some helpful advice for the one discerning.

Among other methods, Ignatius invites the discerner to imagine his or her life – long or short – at the moment of death.  Of course, it’s natural to feel a bit macabre in contemplating one’s deathbed.  Yet, it seems Ignatius is very wise here.

Would my taking this (or that) path be something for which I would be grateful, a decision in which God would delight?  More than “satisfied,” could I imagine that having made this particular decision that might life would feel fulfilled in God?

When we look at today’s parable about being rich in what matters to God, we might employ this method (annotation 186) of the Spiritual Exercises to do a little inventory of our lives.

What really, truly matters to God, and what is merely secondary?  And how might my contemplation inspire me to change, even a little bit, what I choose to store up?

October 21st, 2013