Your Intentions in Life

June 21, 2024
Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious

Readings for Today
Readings for Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time


“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.” Matthew 6:22–23

Every Scripture passage, in a spiritual sense, can teach us many lessons. Saint Thomas Aquinas, in his commentary on Matthew’s Gospel, offers one interpretation to the passage quoted above by saying that the “eye” in this passage refers to your intention and “your whole body” refers to all of your actions that follow from your intention. Therefore, when your intentions are in line with God’s will, the actions that follow will be also. This is a very practical and useful lesson for your journey toward holiness.

With this insight from Saint Thomas, we must look at our intentions in an honest and complete way. What are your intentions in life? It’s easy for us to form various intentions that may seem good as well as some that are contrary to the will of God without even realizing it. We may intend to get a good night’s sleep on one occasion. Or intend to have fun with family and friends on a certain day. Or we may intend to cook a good meal, clean the house, do well at work, etc. There are many momentary intentions that are good and are a normal part of daily living. However, the most important intention to consider is that which is the deepest of them all. What is the most central, foundational, and fundamental intention by which your life is directed?

The primary intention that you should work to acquire is to give God the greatest glory possible in all that you do. Giving glory to God is accomplished when you choose Him and His holy will above everything else in life. When this is the deepest and most fundamental intention of your life, everything else will flow from it. All secondary intentions and actions will align with this central focus and work toward its accomplishment. But when there are other “first intentions” that you have on the most fundamental level, then all the rest of your intentions and actions will be misguided and directed in a disordered way.

Reflect, today, upon the most fundamental intention you have in life. Doing so will require a considerable amount of interior reflection and honesty. It will require that you sort through the many things that motivate you and the decisions you make each and every day. Reflect upon the primary purpose of your life, which must be to give God the greatest glory possible by choosing and living His perfect will. Do all of your daily actions align with this ultimate goal? Commit yourself to the holy work of examining all of your actions in this light so that you will more fully achieve the purpose for which you were created.

God of all glory, You and You alone are worthy of all my praise. Your will and Your will alone must become the foundation of all that I choose in life. Give me the spiritual insight I need to look deeply at all that motivates me and all of my most interior intentions in life. May all of my intentions and all of my actions have as their goal Your eternal glory. Jesus, I trust in You.

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Saint of the Day – Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious

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Featured images above: Sermon on the Mountain By Károly Ferenczy, via Wikimedia Commons