Before we conclude our Bits of Ignatian Wisdom series, there is one last piece of Ignatian spirituality that I want to cover that is uniquely tied to Ignatian discernment wisdom and discovering the way God is inviting us to be part of the work of the Kingdom here and now.
Bit of Ignatian Wisdom #9: Magis
Magis is a latin world that means “the more” or “better”. It refers to the belief of doing more for Christ and therefore doing more for others. Put a different way, it is finding where who we are syncs with what we do. When we discover this beautiful way of living, we live our Magis or our “more”.
Many elements of the Spiritual Exercises point to this idea of Magis. Let’s take a look at a few of these now.
First Principle and Foundation:
In this early meditation in the Spiritual Exercises, we are invited to build our life on THE most solid foundation there is – God. The call is to build our entire lives with God as the center and securest foundation. The closing line of the FPF (as I call it) is, “Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to God’s deepening life in me.” (David Flemming’s version). Ultimately, we are seeking to chose the way and the path that better leads us to living our “more”, where who we are aligns with what we do.
What Ought I do for Christ?
During the first week of the Exercises, we take a close look at our sinfulness, the sin of the world, and the impact of sin. This honest assessment of our sinfulness is coupled with a question that keeps us from turning this awareness of our sin inward. As we look at all the ways we have turned away from God, we are invited to pray with the question, “What ought I do for Christ?” Answering this question as we face our utter helplessness and need for God helps us live our Magis as God helps rid our lives of the things that keep us from living authentically who we are, a loved sinner.
Model for the Way:
Facing our sin and our need for God’s mercy, we begin to see and understand our need for a Savior. The second and third weeks offer us the gift of the Messiah and a model to show us how to live with who we are and what we do in sync. Jesus shows us the way to be who we are meant to be and to do what we are called to do by being grounded in a relationship with God and living authentically who that person is out in the world. Jesus models for us how to live our magis while facing those who do not understand who we are and what we do.
Take, Lord and Receive:
The Spiritual Exercises last movement turns us outward to not only naming our Magis, but living it. The Take, Lord, and Receive prayer is one of the most well-known Ignatian prayers. It captures the essence of one of the closing meditations in the Spiritual Exercises called the Contemplation for Learning to Love Like God. It is praying to live in full discipleship with Christ and for complete understanding that life is gift given to us by God. Grounded in the deep knowledge of the love of God we return all that we have to God, so we may do what God asks of us. This is the movement to knowing and living our “more”, our Magis.
Living Our Magis:
A motto of the Jesuits is “Ad majorem Dei gloriam,” which means, “for the greater glory of God.” Rebecca Ruiz, a fellow blogger at dotMagis, in her poem captures what this means well, “To live Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam is a way of being that permeates every thought, every deed, every action and inaction—all is contemplated and weighed, all for the greater glory of God.”
What I know is when I bring the deep down in my bones understanding of who I am in God out into what I do, there is tremendous joy. Seeking to live for the greater glory of God has transformed my life in ways I cannot imagine. It reminds me of a prayer by Pedro Arrupe, SJ, that often helps me when I am discerning the more I am called to:
“More than ever I find myself in the hands of God. This is what I wanted all my life from my youth. But now there is a difference; the initiative is entirely with God. It is indeed a profound spiritual experience to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands. ”
What is your Magis? How are you being invited to live “the more” for the greater glory of God in your life?
- Rebecca Ruiz’ Poem on Ad majorem Dei gloriam
- Draw Me Into Your Friendship: A Literal Translation and a Contemporary Reading of the Spiritual Exercises
Online Busy Person’s Retreat Begins October 2nd!
October 2-5, 2017: Register here!
October 23-26, 2017: Register here!
Who is the Author of My Life? Women’s Day of Reflection: October 18, 2017
Spend a day with other women in fellowship, prayer, and reflection as we seek to place God as the author of our life. Offered in conjunction with the Diocese of Baton Rouge Office of Evangelization & Catechesis.
For more information and to register go here!
Cultivating Space for God Together: Fall 2017
- September 27, 2017: Christ Covenant Preschool Faculty Morning Devotion
- October 10, 2017: Women’s ALIVE event at St. Robert Newminister Parish, Ada, MI
- October 11, 2017: Parish Staff Day of Reflection for St. Robert Newminister Parish, Ada, MI
- November 16, 2017: Women in Spirit, St. Joseph’s Cathedral
- November 28, 2017: Loyola Institue for Ministry Webinar “Advent: Awaiting Encounter, Anticipating Accompaniment”
- December 8, 2017: St. Scholastica Academy Morning of Reflection for Parents, Covington, LA
- December 12, 2017: Advent Evening of Reflection, St. Thomas More Parish
- December 13, 2017: Women’s Advent Evening of Reflection
- December 17, 2017: “Spirituality for a Busy Person,” St. Margaret Parish, Albany, LA