“Beware of despairing about yourself. You are commanded to place your trust in God, not in yourself.” ~ Saint Augustine
Our 1st Reading today (Isaiah 55:10-11) reminds us in no uncertain terms that our Savior is not one who brokers in empty promises. God tells the prophet Isaiah “So shall my word be that goes from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.”
As we make our way to today’s Gospel (Matthew 6:7-15), wherein Jesus teaches us the “perfect prayer,” the Our Father, we are invited once again to reflect upon this notion of thy will be done versus my will be done and whether or not it truly governs our lives.
I’ve discussed Matthew’s version of the Our Father on a number of occasions, most recently back in October of last year https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Daily-Mass-Reflections-621. I am sure that many if not all of you pray it daily, most likely numerous times a day. I do as well, and over the years I find myself reflecting upon that one all-important declaration, “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.” perhaps more so than any other portion of this all-encompassing and powerful prayer.
Do we really mean it? Do we really live it?
Truth be told, God’s will can be very mysterious in nature. It can be hard to discern and certainly even harder to surrender to. It can at times seem to take an eternity to unfold. On the notion of pursuing God’s will in our lives, Saint Ignatius of Loyola once said “More determination is required to subdue the interior man than to mortify the body; and to break one's will than to break one's bones.”
But as the title of today’s Essay indicates, this is what we submit to as genuine, faith-filled people of God. We sign up for ambiguity, handing control of our lives over to Jesus, where it has in reality always resided anyway. We allow the Son of Man to gently take our hand and guide us on the journey home to our Father’s House. Jesus never promised it would be easy...only that it would be worth it. As has been said before, God only responds to our prayers in three different ways: “yes,“ “not now,“ or “I have a better plan.”
Set aside some quiet time every day this Lenten Season to reflect upon this notion of surrendering to God’s will, of bravely carrying your cross, of cultivating and fostering the gifts of patience, wisdom and humility. For when “my will be done” slowly morphs into “thy will be done,” true spiritual growth and yes, true spiritual freedom will be yours.
“A soul who is really resigned to God's will does not become attached to any created thing because he sees clearly that all things are nothing except God.” ~ Blessed Henry Sussone