Prayer for Generosity St. Ignatius of Loyola

Eternal Word, only begotten Son of God,
Teach me true generosity.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve.
To give without counting the cost,
To fight heedless of wounds,
To labour without seeking rest,
To sacrifice myself without thought of any reward
Save the knowledge that I have done your will.

In John 13 we read the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. I find that confronting. Not the act itself. I have had careers in toilet cleaning and garbage collecting, so a bit of tinea doesn’t bother me. No, it is the subservience, the humility that sticks in my throat. I don’t have a “natural” gift of service. It galls me.

Yet, this is what Jesus calls for and it is what St. Ignatius echoes.

The striking aspect of St. Ignatius’ poem is that it reminds us that our selfless, sacrificial service is a sign that we are growing in our reflection of Jesus. Once again, this challenges me, as it is not the way I want to live.

What should I do? This gracelessness in my life is a reminder that I still have so far to go in understanding Christ’s sacrifice for me, no matter how well I think I know my Bible. The more I understand and apprehend the cost of my salvation, eternal life and membership of His Kingdom, the more I will bow the knee in humble thankfulness.

To give without counting the cost,
To fight heedless of wounds,
To labour without seeking rest,

All these acts require a decision of the will, not simply a response of the emotions. Each act is one that I need to practise and practise again. If you, like I, do not find these actions come naturally our challenge is to actively seek to serve and labour. However, we must always remember that this is a response to, not a cause for, our salvation. In the words of St Ignatius it is what Jesus “deserves”.

Categories: christian, Christianity, Devotional, Faith, Jesus, St. Ignatius | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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