Monday, August 01, 2005

Justice and Simplicity

Justice and Simplicity
A priest is concerned about justice in society and lives a simple life. What does this mean to you?

While full acceptance of the authority of the Church brings us true liberation and freedom, so too does a life of simplicity and humility. A quote I recently discovered from St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises presents the ideal approach:

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.
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.
Hence, man is to make use of them in as far as they help him in the attainment of his end, and he must rid himself of them in as far as they prove a hindrance to him.
Therefore, we must make ourselves indifferent to all created things, as far as we are allowed free choice and are not under any prohibition. Consequently, as far as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long life to a short life. The same holds for all other things.
Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created.

I think we find true freedom when, rather than having the objects we have own us, we own them and can choose to use them to glorify God. A simple life is one free from those things that distract us from living a life of holiness and helping others find holiness as well. Depriving ourselves of those things that make us comfortable and lazy on this mission can help us to refocus our attention on Christ and rely on him for our well-being. But at the same time, one can live a simple life, even if he has many possessions as long as these have their proper place in a balanced life of sacrifice and service to others. Justice is established in society when man is completely free to “praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord” and work to ensure that his neighbor has this freedom as well. This is justice and simplicity together for the glory of God.

1 comment:

subrosa said...

Justice is established in society when man is completely free to “praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord” and work to ensure that his neighbor has this freedom as well.

i like this. justice is when man is free to serve god, and when he works to free his brother.

very nice.