Monday, May 7, 2012

It's So Easy to Forget to "Do the Will of God"

Living moment by moment, trying to do the will of God.

I'm a long way from living that way, but it is an "ideal" for which I pray, by which I examine myself. It is an ideal that humbles me, but does not discourage me.

What does it mean, "to do the will of God"?

God's "will" is the same as His wisdom and love. His will for me is His concrete wisdom and love for my life; it corresponds to who I really am, and who I am called to become. To do God's will is to adhere with my own will to reality. Right now, what is really true and good for my life is the relationship between this moment and my destiny.

What is the created world that I am living in right now? It is an invitation and an opportunity to draw closer to God, to correspond from the depths of my freedom to the One-Who-makes-me and the One-for-Whom-I-have-been-made.

"All things were created through Him; all things were created for Him" (Colossians 1:16).

Doing God's will does not mean giving up my own freedom and becoming the slave of some arbitrary metaphysical power that imposes itself on me from the outside. If it seems this way, then either I have misunderstood who God is, or my understanding and my desire are distorted because of sin. God is the One who creates my freedom, and who works "within" my freedom; the very energy of my freedom is my unique, personal capacity to love and embrace the good.

Still, my freedom falls short. I fail to do the will of God. For most of the day, "the will of God" never even enters my head...or my heart. Yet His "will" is His infinite wisdom and loving plan for my life, His design for me. It is what God knows that I truly need in order to become the person He has created me to be. It is the only way that my unique self can be fulfilled as an "adopted son" of the Father, belonging to Jesus and discovering in Him my own true name, adhering to Him with all the energy of my freedom.

Doesn't all that sound inspiring? But how do I live my life? Embroiled in a hundred preoccupations and basically ignoring the love of God.

Here is at least one part of the problem: ignorance. I forget about God. I forget that He is present in my life. It is a weakness of faith.

My faith grows when I "experience" the presence of Christ in my life. The word "experience" does not mean "feel" in the sense of internal emotions. It means to recognize Him, and to become more profoundly convinced that He really does love me, here and now.

This experience grows through the life of the Church, through reading and praying the Sacred Scriptures, through letting the living tradition and teaching of the Church form my mind and heart, and through the marvelous grace of the sacraments. It grows through the help of the people whom Jesus places in my life who remind me--by their words but especially by their example--that He is real. And it grows through learning to respond with love to the small and simple responsibilities and especially to the persons who make up my daily life.

And then there is prayer. In the face of God's call and my continual failure, I can either become discouraged or I can pray. I can embrace the humble fact of what I really am: a beggar before God.
Jesus, have mercy on me. Jesus deepen my awareness of Your presence and Your love in my life. Jesus, give me the grace to know and do Your will. Come Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit, living in the heart of Mary, come and change my heart.
Veni Sancte Spiritus. Veni Per Mariam. Jesus, I trust in You.