"I beg God our Lord for the grace that all my intentions, all my outward acts, all my inward operations, may be directed purely to the praise and service of his Divine Majesty." – Ignatius of Loyola
In Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, he exhorts the reader to pray the above prayer, called the Readiness Prayer. It is a particularly appropriate prayer for the advent of the new year, for it re-focuses us on what is truly important in life: living our lives 100% toward the praise and service of God.
Spend serious time in contemplation of this simple prayer. Ask yourself:
What characterizes my intentions: at work, at home, at church? Why do I do the things that I do?
What do my outward acts – including what I say – tell about my priorities, goals, and character?
How do I structure my thought life? What do I put into my mind? What do I dwell on and think about?
How does my will interact with God’s grace? In what circumstances do I tend to work with God, and in which do I tend to fight against him?
What areas do I need to change so that everything in my life may be “purely to the praise and service” of God?
After you have truly examined yourself and all this prayer is really asking God, make this Readiness Prayer your prayer.