A PASSAGE from the gospel of St. John can remind us of
what our intention should be in everything that we do. It comes as a
way of reproach. “For they loved human praise more than praise from
God.” (Jn 12,43)
With these words, we are reminded that we should do
everything for the glory of God. All other motives for doing things
should be subordinated to this first and foremost intention and should
be compatible to it. They should flow from it and tend toward it.
Thus, human praise, whether actively sought or simply
earned, is not bad in itself. It just should not undermine our primary
duty to give glory in everything that we do. We have to be wary of the
danger of letting it spoil our ultimate motive.
This is simply because all our life has no other purpose
than to give glory to God. There can be no other higher purpose. Our
Catechism tells us why in a very direct way: “The world was created
for the glory of God who wished to show forth and communicate his
goodness, truth and beauty. The ultimate end of creation is that God,
in Christ, might be ‘all in all’ (1 Cor 15,28) for his glory and for
our happiness.” (Compendium 53)
It’s important that we are constantly aware of the origins
of the whole creation so we do not forget the fundamental principles
that should shape our mind and heart and govern our whole life.
This is the problem and challenge that we have these days.
We tend to forget or ignore the origins of things and simply allow
ourselves to be carried away by the impulses of the current state of
the world, now mostly intoxicated by our own accomplishments and
Nowadays, what drive our intentions and motives are
usually selfish principles: pride, vanity, sheer quest for wealth and
power, popularity, pleasure, and good and healthy animal life.
Nowadays, we need some extraordinary effort to correspond
to God’s unfailing graces to counter this tremendous grip of
self-seeking motives in us. We need to humble ourselves like what
Christ did when he insisted that he washed the feet of his apostles.
Indeed, some drastic efforts are needed, a kind of
paradigm shift that should start with each person, and continually
reinforced in the families and society in general. We need to explain
why we have to work always for God’s glory and show ways of how to put
this intention into effect. We need to get to the practical aspects of
this concern, and avoid getting stuck in the theoretical level only.
I imagine that one good way to see if we have the right
motive and intention when we do things is to continually ask
ourselves: Does this task I am doing now please God? Is this what God
wants me to do now? Am I doing this task with my best efforts? Am I
consciously following the commandments and duly carrying out the
duties and responsibilities of my current state in life? Etc.