The Question to Ask
We were in our family room one evening to spend a couple of hours to relax by watching a movie. There were many TV On-Demand options: drama, comedy, romance, musical, mystery, thriller, etc.
I had already chosen one and I asked: "Do you like this one?" My daughter replied with another question: "Is that good for the soul?"
I was not sure so I kept browsing.
We were in a buffet restaurant for lunch and among the appetizing dishes available were crabs, shrimps, roast beef and king crab legs. "Are they good for my body?" I asked myself. I knew the answer. For I am prone to gout attacks.
Whatever state of life ours may be, everyday all of us are faced with many choices or decisions, big and small, to make. For example, what entertainment to enjoy, which food to eat, which book or literature to read, which place to go to, what words to say, what acts to do, how to react to people or situations, etc.
In his "Spiritual Exercises" St. Ignatius of Loyola writes: ". . . . man is to use created things as much as they help him . . . to save his soul . . . and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it." (First Week --Principle and Foundation)
Whatever individual choices we make either help or hinder the holiness we are all called to.
For example, either to be kind or to be uncaring, either to be pure or to be unchaste, either to be forgiving or to hold on to grudges, either to be slothful or to be responsible, etc.
Thus, in making our choices, I think a single important question to ask is: "Will it be good for my soul?"
For we have only one life to live, only one soul to save.
I think it can not be any clearer than that.#
"You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Mt. 5:48)
"Therefore in the Church, everyone whether belonging to the hierarchy, or being cared for by it, is called to holiness, according to the saying of the Apostle: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification”. (Lumen Gentum - Ch. 5)
"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." ( St. Ignatius -- Spiritual Exercises --Principle and Foundation)