REFLECTION: Living by God’s will PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 March 2015 14:12

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

This, in the end, is what is most important to us. It’s not just following our will which is, of course, indispensable to us.

Otherwise, we would be undermining our very own freedom and our humanity itself. Whatever we do is done because we want it. It should be a fruit of our freedom.

But what is most important is to conform our will to God’s will, which is even more indispensable to us. Otherwise, we sooner or later would destroy our freedom and our humanity itself, since God is the very author and the very lawgiver of our freedom and our humanity.

This is a basic truth that we need to spread around more widely and abidingly, since it is steadily and even systematically forgotten and, nowadays, even contradicted in many instances. We need to inculcate this truth to children as early as when they can understand and appreciate it. Then let’s give them the example of how it is lived.

God’s will is the source of everything in the universe. The whole of creation in all its existence, unity, truth, goodness and beauty starts from God’s will and is maintained by it. The entire range and scope of reality—be it material or spiritual, natural or supernatural, temporal or eternal—is “contained” there, not only theoretically but in vivo.

It would be absurd to believe that the whole reality can be captured by our senses and feelings alone, or by our intelligence that is working on its own and producing the arts and the sciences that we now have and that we continue to discover.

It would be equally absurd to speculate that we cannot know the origin of the universe, or that the whole cosmos just came to be more or less spontaneously, directly contradicting a basic principle that from nothing, nothing comes.

Or that there may be a God who created the universe, but after creation, we and the world are now left on our own to do whatever we want to do or agree to do together. This is the deistic belief that actually cannot hold water upon closer scrutiny.

We have to realize more deeply that it is in God’s will that everything is made to exist and is kept in existence in accordance to his providence. Since we have been made with the capacity to know and to will, we have to live our life knowing and willing together with God’s knowledge and will, full of wisdom, love and mercy.

In other words, we have to cooperate with God’s providence, we have to live by God’s abiding will. Thus, St. Paul says: “Whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” (Rom 14,8)

We have to learn to live by God’s will that is shown to us, thanks to God, by Christ, the fullness of divine revelation, who left us with his word and the sacraments in the Church.

What is God’s will for us? In general, it is to love him and our neighbor. It is to love the way Christ himself has loved us. God’s will is that we continually pray, so we get in contact with him in a direct and intimate way. We have to know him more and more by reading the gospel and following his teaching, and developing a real love for him, complete with feelings.

God’s will is also contained in the duties and responsibilities attached to our state and position in life, whether we are parents or teachers, workers or students, public officials or private citizens, etc.

What is also crucial in knowing God’s will and avoiding the subtle trap of being confined to do our own will is to be immersed in the lives of others. God’s will for us is known through the needs that others have and that we can somehow fulfill.

This will effectively help us from falling into the trick of conforming God’s will to our own will, instead of the other way around. It cannot be denied that there are people, more or less looking holy and doing a lot of good, but doing their own will instead of God’s, since they are unmindful of the others’ needs. They only mind their own business.

St. Paul tells us that we have to learn to bear each other’s burden. (cfr Gal 6,2) This was epitomized by Christ himself who bore all the sins of men by offering his life on the cross. This is how we ultimately live by God’s will.