Monday, February 10, 2014

"Thy Will Be Done"?!

So what does the Will of God look like in your life?  Does a particular task or a certain face immediately come to mind? 

Sometimes the opportunity to say "Thy Will be done" is obvious, and the moment to stand up and follow Christ is quite clear.  But most of the time, it is not so immediately apparent.  If you are like me, perhaps you even spend a fair bit of time looking for clues and waiting for signs regarding what God is calling you to do. 

When the Lord teaches us how to pray, he specifically instructs us to ask, "Thy will be done."  This is step one, of course.  Yet the daily discerning of God's Will can still be a difficult task.  Some colleagues recently shared the following mediation from Fr. Walter Ciszek.  He was an American Jesuit who was captured by the Russian army during World War II and convicted of being a "Vatican spy"; after facing many disappointments in his attempts to spread the faith while in the labor camps of Siberia, Fr. Ciszek wrote:

"Now, with a sudden and almost blinding clarity and simplicity, I realized I had been trying to do something with my own will and intellect that was at once too much and mostly all wrong.  God's will was not hidden somewhere 'out there' in the situations in which I found myself: the situations themselves were His will for me. What He wanted was for me to accept these situations as from His hands, to let go of the reins and place myself entirely at His disposal.  He was asking of me an act of total trust, allowing for no interference or restless striving on my part, no reservations, no exceptions, no areas where I could set conditions or seem to hesitate.  He was asking a complete gift of self, nothing held back.

"It demanded absolute faith: faith in God's existence, in His providence, in His concern for the minutest detail, in His power to sustain me, and in His love protecting me.  It meant losing the last hidden doubt, the ultimate fear that God will not be there to bear you up.  It was something like that awful eternity between anxiety and belief when a child first leans back and lets go of all support whatever--only to find that the water truly holds him up and he can float motionless and totally relaxed."  (He Leadeth Me, San Francisco: Ignatius Press [1973], p. 77). 

What a liberating insight: the seemingly insignificant situations of our daily lives are God's Will for us!  We need such total trust in God's providential care precisely within the daily details of our often mundane lives.  When we accept our daily situations as from the hands of our heavenly Father, when we say "Yes" to our routine tasks, then our duties and our difficulties become our personal paths to holiness.

Saying "Thy Will be done" throughout each day is the practical way that we can become what Christ is calling us to be--namely, "the light of the world" (Mt 5:14). 

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!