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Catholic Dictionary




Basic premise of Christian living and the first meditation of the spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The Principle and Foundation states two principles and two conclusions. The principles are that "Man was 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 were created for man's sake, and in order to aid him in the prosecution of the end for which he was created." The conclusions are that therefore: 1. "Man must make use of creatures in so far as they help him to attain his end, and in the same way he ought to withdraw himself from them in so far as they hinder him from it;" and 2. "We should make ourselves indifferent to all created things, in so far as is left to the liberty of our free will to do so, and is not forbidden; in such sort that we do not for our part wish for health rather than sickness, for wealth rather than poverty, for honor rather than dishonor, for a long life rather than a short one; and so in all other things, desiring and choosing only those which most lead us to the end for which we were created."