12 Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - Raymond Pinto

posted Jul 25, 2018, 11:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 25, 2018, 11:02 AM ]
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing [Stephen Covey]. For the Jesuits, the main thing is to keep the main mission the main thing. However, the main mission for the Jesuits is a very flexible thing… that is to say, to do anything so long as it is for the greater glory of God! Yet, such a flexible idea surprisingly came, if I dare say, from quite a rigid person – St Ignatius of Loyola. His life was extraordinarily focused, and even after he was wounded and in the recovery phase in bed, he kept probing to know God's will, and as to what shape his main mission is to be. Ignatius transformed himself from a 'Glory be' individual to doing 'more for God's Greater Glory'. Thus came into being the Society of Jesus with St Ignatius as its founder.

St Ignatius formulated the 'Spiritual Exercises' which is the template of the widely popular 'Ignatian Spirituality' or 'Silent Retreat' conducted all over the world, and experienced not only by Jesuits, but thousands of lay people, especially in Jesuit parishes. During his lifetime, Ignatius finetuned the Spiritual Exercises, and while doing so, he gave the Jesuits a brand new four-letter word – "A-M-D-G". One will find these four letters inscribed on walls and portals of Jesuit churches and institutions. You will also find it written on the top or bottom of Jesuit letters and documents. The AMDG is an Ignatian Force Multiplier. The four letters stand for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam—the Latin phrase meaning "To/for the Greater Glory of God" and it guides the main mission for every Jesuit. This phrase is easy to remember, and probably understood as a concept. But ask a Jesuit, and he will silently tell you, it is much more than a simple four-letter word, and this is true. Do we not all believe that the prime motive in our lives is to do God's will? That our thoughts, words and actions are directed in promoting the glory of God? Stop just now, pick up your mobile phone and check for yourself if the WhatsApp forwards or messages you indulge in promote the glory of God. And this is only one of the Actively Mundane Daily Grind for many of us—a secular pitfall in the times we live in! We engage and encourage others in this type of a 'secular AMDG', because our fast-paced lives leave no time for silence, contemplation and to seek God's will in matters that constitute our daily grind. It's only then that we can know what gives Glory to God. Let us then, look at what is "God's Glory" and why "Greater", so as to make AMDG our very own force multiplier.