A couple weeks ago, I mentioned my quest to learn more about the Spiritual Exercises developed by St. Ignatius, so today I wanted to share a little more.
His mission statement for himself and the Jesuits was “Ad majorem Dei gloriam” (which translated means “To the greater glory of God.”)
Another Latin word associated with his vision for followers of Christ was “magis,” which means “the more.”
St. Ignatius would ask himself, “What have I done for God? What am I doing for God? and What MORE can I do for Him?”
When I discovered the concept of “magis,” my mind turned to words in English that might come from this root, like majesty, magnificent, and magnitude. Anything more that I could do for God, would have to be in response to His majesty, magnificence and magnanimous love.
This idea of giving more to God can seem daunting and may even feel like pressure, but I am not thinking of obligation, but rather adoration, like the woman who wept and washed Jesus feet with her tears.
The more I comprehend His great love and my great need, the greater my expression of love will be.
Jesus said the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”(Mark 12:30).
In a commentary that compares the various times this command is quoted in both the Old and New Testament, the author explains that the word for strength translates as “muchness,” which made me smile.
What does loving God with all my muchness look like? It sounds a lot like what St. Igatius was aiming at with his “Ad majorem Dei gloriam!” Or as a famous hymn writer once wrote: “To God be the glory!” Loving God with all our being brings Him such joy.
And Jesus doesn’t ask us to stop there. He asks for more. He wants us to love one another as He loves us. That’s almost too much for me, I scarce can take it in. How about you?