First Principle and Foundation

"Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created. From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it. For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created."

The First Principle and Foundation is found in the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and serves as an introduction to help the one making the Exercises root their experience in God's love. This particular translation was done by Father Elder Mullan, S.J. around 1909.

The deceased Father Ignatius Fabacher, S.J. believed that the First Principle and Foundation was so important that he suggested to the New Orleans Province Vocation Director, Marvin Kitten, that vocations would dramatically increase if only all of our high school students were required to memorize it. While I did not require my students to memorize it, they certainly became familiar with it.