Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam: Ambitious for God and Souls
St. Ignatius Loyola’s motive for the foundation of his Society is summed up in the motto: Ad maiorem Dei gloriam inque hominum salutem (“For the greater glory of God and the salvation of men and women”). The word “maiorem” (“greater”) points to the restless ambition to love God by seeking to achieve the most possible for Him during the brief hours of earthly existence.
It is a prolongation of the ineffable passion of Our Divine Savior: “I have a baptism with which I am to be baptized; and how I am restless until it is accomplished”. The public life of Christ portrayed by the Gospel accounts is an intense drive to achieve the utmost possible for souls: “The crowds went looking for him and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, ‘To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God because for this purpose I have been sent’ » (Lk 4 :43?)
The Ignatian priest aspires to follow in Our Lord’s footsteps enlightened by the example of Saints Ignatius of Antioch and Loyola. His ambition for souls is shown in his readiness to undertake the greatest possible projects for the building of the Catholic Church. He seeks to think big for God’s sake, for the Church’s sake, for the sake of suffering humanity. He makes his own the words of King David:
“I will not enter the house where I live nor go to the bed where I rest.
I will give no sleep to my eyes,To my eyelids I will give no slumber
Till I find a place for the Lord, A dwelling for the Strong One of Jacob.” ( Psalm 131)
“To The Greater Glory of God”! (St. Ignatius Loyola)
Should a priest be less ambitious than statesmen who want to change their political system, than industrialists and businessmen who want to give employment to thousands, than generals who want to save their country? And like the greatest among the men of the world, you should be willing to stake all for Christ and souls, risking loss of comfort, possessions, health, reputation and even life.
The Ignatian does not want to be among those who never err because they never act; who live without confronting the great sufferings, the great dangers, and the great opportunities. He resolves to dedicate his life by living out Christ’s call to use his talents to the maximum, cost what it cost.
With holy ambition to build up the Church, as a young entrepreneur rebuilding a business fallen on hard times. He has initiative; does not need to be pushed; realizes that life is fleeting and wants to live on the fast track, seizing time and wringing action from every minute of it!