25 meditations are presented here on the Will of God in our lives.
The whole of religion, the whole of the glory of God, the whole of sanctity, consist in imitation of the Creator, the Exemplar and Model of all being; and the higher the level of being possessed by a creature, the greater is its religion, its glory to God, and its sanctity. As mirrors of varying shape and clearness, creatures portray various phases of God's holiness in portraying various phases of His perfection. First, the mineral, plant, and animal creatures - material beings - imitate God's perfection, perfectly according to the divine purpose assigned to them; but they do so perforce - forced by the natural laws imposed on them. "The winds and the sea obey Him." They have a perfection and, consequently, a holiness which is not conscious or free.
But the creature man, because of his intellect and will, is to imitate freely and consciously the free and conscious perfection of God. Man's holiness must be, likewise, a free and conscious holiness like God's. Man's intellect must imitate the divine intellect in knowing God; while his will must be the divine intellect in knowing God; while his will must be a finite replica of the infinite Will in willing what God wills.
Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Our wills are ours to make them Thine.
(Tennyson, In Memoriam, 5,16)
We know, further, through revelation, that man is to be a facsimile of God's perfection in the supernatural perfection of sanctifying grace, that is, man's perfection and holiness is to be like the perfection and holiness of God through, with, and in the possession of God's very essence and powers in that degree in which one has sanctifying grace. In grace, Christ the divine, Christ the Son of God, divinely elevates our persons to that we are children of God; and elevates our actions so that they give God a glory worthy of Him and rightfully demand a reward, the possession of God Himself. Sanctifying grace is entirely the doing of God; it is our "being like Christ the divine." The sanctity considered in these meditations is the "acting like Christ the human," doing like Christ the divine in the reception and increase of our sanctifying grace.
This supernatural, divine reproduction of God's perfection is man's supernatural holiness. God Himself attends to it both in its beginning and in its increase. Man on his part must attend to the required condition in himself for this holiness; to his perfection and holiness of will in reproducing the divine Will in himself.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 6-7
God's sanctity, His substantial holiness, His infinite perfection of being, "dwells in light inaccessible." It cannot be known by us directly, "hid in His own brightness from the sight." Our unaided vision cannot peer with impunity into the untempered solar brilliance, not because the sun is obscure but because it is too bright. Similarly, it is not the obscurity but the infinite clarity of God's truth and beauty that makes Him invisible to unaided creature perception, :blasted by His brow." His Will alone, which is one and identically the same thing as His being, communicates to us tempered gleams of His all-holy perfection; for His Will is known by us in the effects and laws of its creation, both natural and supernatural, but principally in its self-revelation in the teaching of Christ.
A child born in a dungeon, who knows the sun only by a pencil of light filtering through a cranny in the dungeon wall, can have but a faint realization of the glory of midday. The Will of God is a flash into the minds from the dark lantern of His infinite essence; it is a ray of His august holiness penetrating into the our creature world. Without that ray, we are lost in an existence of blackest nothingness. When we illumine our lives with the beam of the divine Will, conforming ourselves to it, we are in union with the divine essence and being; we are holy with the shared holiness of Infinite Perfection.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 9
The Will of God is the source whence all other things arise and have their existence. The scriptural "He spoke and they were made" is only a human way of saying "He willed and they were made." "Whatsoever the Lord pleased, He hath done in heaven, in earth, in the sea, and in all the deeps." (Ps 134:6)
"Thou art worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power; because Thou hast created all things; and for Thy Will they were, and have been created." (Revelation 4:11) From this we draw the transcendently important consequence: The wisdom itself of God could not propose a more exquisite perfection of our beings, a more exalted nobility of our persons, a more sublime holiness of our lives, than the perfect union of our human wills with the all-perfect creative Will. Through that Will, perfect with the perfection of God Himself, holy with the holiness of the divine essence, we have the sole possible communication with the Perfection and Holiness from which all perfection and holiness must be derived. This house of our human world has only one window looking toward God, the window through which His Will shines in upon our lives.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 10
In whatever we conform to God's Will, be it little or great in human importance, in that we have the means of absorption into the perfection of the divine will and thus of participation in the infinite plenitude of the divine essence. The most insignificant action done, or situation accepted, in obedience to the divine pleasure is more noble and perfect than any action or situation of our persons that the highest angelic intelligence could devise; and conversely, the creature at variance with God's will is a disaster.
Nothing can be at peace when it is in opposition to the purpose for which it exists. The body is uneasy as long as its organs are hindered from functioning according to their purpose. The plan suffers when it cannot reach the light for which it is made. Man is unhappy in so far as he lives outside of his Creator's Will, the sole and complete purpose of his existence. That divine Will is to all creatures, and especially to the human will, as the sun is to the sunflower. To it man must constantly orient himself and all that is his. Outside it there is for all creatures, especially for our human nature, only darkness and violence. "Who hath resisted HIm, and hath had peace?" (Job 9:4)
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 12
Our mind derives all its powers of understanding from God's perfect mind; first, because it is the handiwork of His intelligence; second, because it is fashioned after the model of the divine mind; third, because the nature of our knowledge depends on the nature of the things known, which in turn gives us our thoughts inasmuch as they are the realization of the thoughts of God. Thus Kepler studying the heavens is said to have exclaimed: "O God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee." In knowing things, therefore, we know some of the thoughts of their Creator, and to that extent we know His mind: we have sanctity of the understanding as our understanding reflects His.
From this it is immediately evident how indispensable for a reasonably perfect knowledge of anything in particular and of all things together is our knowledge of God. Many think that an understanding of the material nature of things and of their relations to one another in material laws is the sum total of the perfection of wisdom! But immeasurably higher is the knowledge of the purpose of things with the relation to man, especially in his moral life. The sublimest is the knowledge of the relation which all things, especially man have to their Creator.
First, we should know the relation of creatures to God; second is the knowledge of their relation to man, especially with regard to his service of God and of his fellow man; and least of all is the knowledge of their material relationship to one another in the "scientific" laws. Yet the majority of the world's intelligentsia thinks that there is nothing to be learned more noble than the third class of lore: physical sense knowledge derived from test tubes, microscopes, and slide rules. The result is, naturally, that they are led into repeated gross errors in the fundamental knowing of creatures because they would study strands of God's intricate tapestry of creation outside their setting.
The higher the being, the higher is its purpose and the greater is the error in mistaking its purpose. God has arranged the hierarchy of His creation so that the purpose of lower beings is to serve the purpose of higher beings, which in turn are to serve the purpose of still higher beings - all converging in unity of purpose until ultimately we arrive at the purpose of the infinite Wellspring of beings. Flowing through the purposes of all creatures there is but one purpose, that of God. In proportion as that is known and attained do we know and attain the bent and goal of all creatures.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 13-14
Insignificance carried to the infinite power is the status of man, if you measure significance with scales (man's 160 lbs vs earth's 13 septillion lbs). But man's spiritual value and his eternal destiny dwarf limitless space and mass to triviality. Man's power consciously to glorify his Creator by his knowledge of creation, and man's power freely to love and serve his God makes him the King of the visible universe. The materialists' rating of human worth is as silly as would be an evaluation of man and the elephant according to the square feet of their skin's area.
The greatest knowledge, greater than all other than mankind has amassed and will amass, is the knowledge of the real worth of each circumstance of our life: "Let not the wise glory in his wisdom." The greatest power, greater than that of the world's leaders, is the power to follow unwaveringly the Will of God: "Let not the strong man glory in his strength." The greatest possession of wealth, a wealth which the millionaire's riches cannot give, is the possession of the Will of God: "Let not the rich man glory in his riches." The greatest honor, greater than that of history's most famed personages, is the honor of association with the infinite God in conformity with His Will: "But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me."
"Wherefore become not unwise, but understanding what is the will of God." Paul's first lesson from God in that unsearchable wisdom which the world owes to him was the sanctity of knowledge of the divine Will. Paul the Apostle was prepared for his great mission of making known "the mystery of God's Will," by having it made known to him. If we are to carry on that same mission of Paul, as God intends us to do, it must be done in the same way, by realizing deeply the greatness of God's Will.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 17-18
There has always existed in human nature this tendency to look to the Infinite as to the norm of perfection. Human thought, through the ages seeking to understand the meaning of its existence and the attainment of its proper perfection, shows the natural inclination of humanity to turn to infinite Being as to the norm of perfection for its own being. For this reason, despite all its included absurdities, pantheism, proposing one form or another of approchement with the Divine, with the "Absolute," with the "World Soul," has always had and always will have a magnetic attraction for the mind groping for light. The East has ever looked to the Deity as to the culmination of perfect being and perfect life, as did the Platonist Greeks and Romans, and as do our many kinds of modern pantheist philosophers and theologians. But pantheism has dragged God down to our human littleness instead of raising human aspiration to the contemplation of its all-perfect Norm in His proper realm of infinity. The human has not been elevated by pantheism; the Divine has been demeaned to our clay.
This human longing for union with the Divinity is divinely implanted in us by our Creator, divinely explained to us by Christ, and divinely fulfilled in us by His grace. To accomplish our reunion of the creature child with the Creator Parent, to realize our supernatural absorption into our infinite Source, the divine approach to live our life in grace must be met with willingness on our part to live the divine life of God's Will. God's Will is all the reason and perfection and sanctity of the universe; God's grace is the only worth and happiness of man; God's glory is the beginning and the end of all. Only the Fashioner of the human heart, knowing perfectly, as He does, all its throbbings, could have given us Himself as the completely satisfying purpose of our being and our life. Only the Fashioner of our wonderful mind could propose to it such fundamental, such clear, and, withal, such unfathomable wisdom concerning man's place and purpose, that it answers all of life's questionings.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 28-29
What then is holiness, sanctity, perfection of being? It is whatever God wills that we do, whatever God wills that we be. "Wherein, then, O Lord, do progress and perfection consist? In giving thyself over to the divine Will with all thy own interest, in great matters or in small, either in time or in eternity. So shalt though also keep one and the same countenance with thanksgiving, both in prosperity and in adversity, weighing all things with equal balance." (Imitation III, 25)
God's Will is identical with His infinite perfection, and beyond infinite perfection there is no possible further motive. In it man attains to union with the Absolute - with absolute Being, absolute Perfection, absolute Truth, absolute beauty. Few can aspire to the union of mystic prayer and experience of God, but all can and should aspire to a far higher union: perfect union with God's Will in their lives.
Requisite love of God and of God's glory is the general desire: "Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven." But to be really love, this general desire must be followed by a complete conversion, or turning, to God: the acknowledgement of the practical demands of God on all the individual actions of our individual lives. The root and source of Paul the Apostle's wonderful conversion and more wonderful life was his strong sense that God's Will must guide each of the actions of his life.
For each of us Christ has a life plan worked out in its smallest detailed action; and we shall be great if our preoccupation is to accommodate ourselves and our wills in every detail to the ennobling desire of God.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 29
When one enters on a course of high spiritual ambitions, he must realize with Saul of Tarsus that there is only one requirement for a perfect life of perfect love of God: the constant, eager attitude: "Lord what wilt Thou have me to do in the coming action and in these circumstances?" The one and only hindrance to an eminent spiritual life and to an eminent human life is reluctance to give up entirely our own contrary will. The Will of God must not be a form superimposed from the outside; it must be the core and mainspring of a great life. Each of us is to be "The Apostle of Jesus Christ through the Will of God," as St. Paul calls himself in five of his epistles; for the divine Will is no less in our lives than it was in the life of the Apostle to the Gentiles.
This is the light to our feet in each and every step of life's activity: the infinite Will. In it we have the whole meaning of our lives down to their smallest detail. In it we have the center toward which all creation gravitates by force of its very nature of creature. God's Will is all that is of worth. Outside that, all is worse than nothing. God's Will is absolutely fundamental. God's Will has infinite precedence over all things and over all other wills affecting our lives; for it has the adorable infinity of God's essence. The Creator can be imagined without His creation but never without His august Will. Hence, in correct spirituality, the divine Will must always come first; every other consideration must have its values from and be wholly ruled by God's holy Will. To eat a morsel of food under obedience to His Will is an act immeasurably more glorifying to God and more profitable to ourselves than to convert all Asia in disobedience to His Will.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 30-31
Love of God is the highest and most perfect state and sanctity of the soul. "The greatest of these virtues is love," says St. Paul, echoing the words of his divine Master: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God...This is the greatest and the first commandment." The heart of Christianity is love of God; but the very soul of love of God is love of His divine Will. For love is a bond which unites the lover to the person beloved, making of the two one...The union produced by love is above all a union of wills. Love causes the lovers to have the same likes and dislikes in regard to every object that presents itself....Hence we must conclude that love is the measure of conformity and union of wills; so that imperfect love means imperfect conformity of wills; increased love, increase conformity; perfect love, perfect conformity.
The purest love of God is the will and satisfaction that God be what He is: Infinite Perfection. Love is an act of the will; and well for him whose will is strong, for our purest love is purest union in will with the Will of God. Love's sublimest reach is satisfaction in the perfection of the beloved. The complete harmony of God's essence with His Will of God's infinite love of Himself; hence, absolutely pure love of God in us has as its ultimate reason His infinite perfection. Consequently, love is afire with yearning that God's Will be perfectly fulfilled, first of all in us and then in all other things: "That His will be Lord through all this world domain." (2 Corinthians 7:10)
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 32
God in his infinite goodness and condescension has made His Will one with ours inasmuch as the attainment of His desires is the attainment, likewise, of our whole nature's most intimate and most powerful yearnings. However, any reference to ourselves as enjoying a possession of the beloved's perfection and goods is not the essence of absolute pure love; our enjoyment and happiness are but the natural consequence of love. The satisfaction of our longings, in the possession of our all-satisfying God, is desired by perfect love only as a phase of our union with His Will.
The natural effect of great love of God is great eagerness to be possessed entirely by Him and to possess Him as much as we are able. Union with God's Will is our sole means of conscious union with Him; for in this, our world of "analogical" knowledge of God, creatures can know the Infinite only "as in a mirror darkly" through their knowledge of finite things. Hence, the saints' great love of God impelled them to make their thought of union with His Will as continuous as possible so that they would have a continuous realization of their union of love with Him. By faith we know, indeed, that we possess Him in grace, but we can be conscious of that supernatural union with Him only in the culmination of grace, the beatitude of heaven.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 33
If we love God with full devotedness our wills are absorbed and lost in the divine Will throughout all the actions and circumstances of our lives; in the most intimate of all unions, we live, life in life, so that wherever God's desire is, there is our desire inseparably associated with it.
Our love, to be love, must be effective of God's desires, not merely affective toward Him; and as "action is in accord with the nature acting," the more our love of God is generous and ardent, so likewise are the actions of that love in the fulfillment of the Will of the Beloved. The greater a fire is, the greater is its activity of combustion and heat and light. St. Augustine, who loved late in life but in compensation loved most intensely: "Love cannot be idle. Did you ever see an inactive love? a love that does nothing?" The love of God is never indolent, for it accomplishes marvels. If love refuses to act, it is not love. St. Thomas reminds us: "Love effects wonders and thinks them small; love executes many works and thinks them few; love labors long and thinks it is short."
Love is "ecstatic" in the sense of going out of itself. The one who loves God necessarily "goes out of self" and enters into the self of God; and wholly dominated by all His desires, has no self-ownership, no self-government.
Those who love are one in will, willing and not willing all that their Beloved wills not; and they come to adopt the same thoughts, the same opinions, the same convictions, the same desires, and the same affections as the loved one. The result is that their wills and their hearts are, as it were, melted into one with the Will and Heart of God; so that only one soul seems to animate the two. (Knowledge of Jesus Christ by J.B.St.Jure, II,II,4
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 36
Why does God desire us to love our neighbor equally as we love ourselves? Because such a love is the natural result of love of God, which is wholly union of our will with His Will. For if we love God for Himself, and all else for His sake and according to His desire, then we love ourselves, our neighbor, and all other things according to a common norm - the Will of God for all His creatures. We do not use a privileged norm for our love of ourselves and another norm for our love of others. Such is the disinterestedness of our love of God and of His desires that even our own persons are not to be taken into account in determining the degree of love of our neighbor. To do otherwise is to love something because of itself and not because of God and His Will.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 43
The fulfillment of God's Will by His free and intelligent creatures was the whole purpose of humanity's perfect model, the Man-God. It was the divine and human expression of the perfect love of God the Son for God the Father. St. Paul most clearly integrates the meaning and worth of Christ in the Will of God, as lived in a human life: "Wherefore when He cometh into the world, he said...'Behold I come. In the head of the book it is written of me that I should do Thy Will, O God...' Then said I: 'Behold I come to do Thy Will, O God." (Hebrews 10:5-9) Not primarily to save souls, not to teach man the way of a true life, not to found the Church and institute the worship of God in the sacraments, but to do the Will of His heavenly Father was His whole objective - all other objectives of His life must be identified with that.
To do the Will of His Father and to lead His brother men to do so was the sum total of Christ's life and mission. Many and many a time He insists on this: "I do always the things that please Him." (John 8:29) If any man had a right to act and speak in his own name and authority, it was the God-Man. Nevertheless, He rarely does so. His customary attitude is expressed in the word by which He constantly describes Himself: "sent." "I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the Will of Him that sent Me." (John 6:38) The Second Person of the Holy Trinity as Christ is identified by "His mission into this world" at the Will of the Father.
Consequently, He tells us that no one is dearer to Him than the one whose life is in perfect accord with the Will of God: "Who is My mother and who are My brethren? - whosoever shall do the will of My Father that is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother." (John 8:28) Christ recognizes no claim on Himself except that of those who, in fulfilling the purpose for which He created them, live like Him according to the great norm of the universe: God's Will. There are no privileged classes, no favored exemptions to the fulfillment of this first law of heaven, in lieu of which even blood relationship of His mother is no consideration. The one title to His friendship and to His most generous and almightly goodness is brotherhood with Him in doing the Will of His father. For such relatives He expresses His love in terms of the closest ties among men: such are His mother and brothers and sisters. For these there is nothing that He will not do, nothing that He will refuse.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 46-47
In loyalty to our divine Father and our divine Brother, we must make their interests our interests, their ambitions our ambitions, their ways of thinking ours, their life our life. Then God will not be to us the distant, impersonal lawgiver whose statutes must be obeyed without any personal connection with Him. His inexorable laws, once we subject ourselves to them, are immediately sublimated into the desires of a Father carried out in us, His children. Associated by grace with Christ our brother in fulfilling our Father's desires, we receive His personal help and presence and worth, for God's Will is not only the whole meaning of Christ's life in Himself, but it is also the whole meaning of Christ's life in us. As long as He finds correspondence of our wills with His, He never leaves us and never deprives us of His shared dignity and familiarity. We cannot obey God's laws, therefore, without entering into the intimacy of His family. We cannot be God's subject without being ipso facto God's child and Christ's brother or sister.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 48
Christ was engrossed by one idea: to please and glorify the One who sent Him, whom alone He loved, in whom and for whom He love all His fellow men devotedly. The redemption and sanctification wrought by Christ must apply to us individually and aid us to work out again in our human will conformed to His: "...that thou dost His Will, thy Maker's." (Tennyson, "Gareth and Lynette, 10) We must reject the fallacy of self-seeking, "shedding poison in the fountain of the will."(Tennyson, "Locksley Hall," 27, 4) We must sacrific self-will in worship of God's holy Will. Hence as the condition of "attaining what is good and agreeable to Him and perfect, " St Paul earnestly asks of us: "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies (i.e., your human self) a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and the perfect will of God," (Romans 12:1)
These three adjectives correspond to the aspirations of the human being. The Will of God is our "good," that is, all value. The Will of God is the sole thing "acceptable" to our Maker; by it we realize His purpose in our existence. The Will of God is our "perfection" - that which the wise of the world have sought to know in their searchings of thousands of years and have not yet learned. "What is the perfect man?" We have in Christ the simple, complete, and sole answer: The man who does God's Will perfectly.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 66
This world, to which we must not accommodate ourselves, is exclusively self-centered. As Christians, we are to change our center of gravitation from self to God. Thus the Apostle explains that "our Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself for our sins," which are the substitution of self for God, "that He might deliver us from the present wicked world according to the Will of God our Father." (Galatians 1:4) It was this same world of paramount self-seeking of which our Lord spoke when He said: "My Kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36) Of the same world he spoke to His disciples: "You are not of the world." (John 15: 19)
In this world, modern philosophy lives and moves and has its being. Its last motive for all human living is self-interest. Its sole reason for altruism is the extent to which it is egoism.
Human nature is essentially good; its tendencies are fundamentally good because God made human nature and "declared it was good." It is the exaggerated, unrestrained surrender to our human desires that generates evil: opposition to God's Will. We are to destroy only the perverted self and to foster and build up the good self which is in us. We are to "be ourselves," our worth-while selves, the selves with whom Christ dwelling in us can identify His infinitely beautiful Personality. "That He may live the rest of his time in the flesh, not after the desires of men, but according to the Will of God." (1 Peter 4:2)
The two opposing wills of the world are the Will of the Creator in a planned universe, and, running counter to it, the perverse will of the fallen creature man, wreaking chaos in his own life and in the lives of others. These two wills are the two laws which each of us finds in his person. Anyone who would rise to perfection of living must approximate "absolute purity" of God's Will in their lives, in order that the resulting glory given to God be not polluted, nor even diluted.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 67-68
The noncreated God is Infinite, and so His Will is of infinite worth and perfection. Our created persons are finite, the next removed from nothingness; our wills and our works are consequently of finite worth, of no worth whatever in themselves. But clothed in the infinite worth of God's Will, they share in the infinite worth of His Being, regardless of what they are in the comparison of finite values. Alone our deeds are but mere pieces of paper; endorsed with God's Will they become most valuable drafts on His eternal wealth.
The divine Will is that magic wand of childhood's fairy tales which turns everything touched by it - whether wood of stone or clay or silver - into gold. Applied to our lives, it makes them equally golden, whether they are lives of the lowest subject or of the highest superior, with talents or without them, living where we naturally like to be or dislike to be - in a word, whether we succeed or fail in a human sense. We should be wholly intent on the least sign of God's Will, whether it be to serve in the smallest capacity or to rule in the greatest.
Without that Will, which ennobles all that is noble, no notable event, no seeming success has any worth - it has only vileness; and however extraordinary and noticeable it may be, we shall one day say of it with Isaiah: "I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength without cause and in vain." God's Will is everything that is good and true; without it, everything is false, empty, and harmful. When man lives independently of God's intention in creating him, he is a being of frustration. "Unless the Lord build the house of life according to His will, in vain has he labored who builds it." (Psalm 126:1)
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 69-70
Our lives' adoration is valued by God not according to the exterior magnificence of our deeds, but only inasmuch as they are the effect and sign of adoration "in Spirit," that is, in union with His Will. ...Nor is the sanctity of doing God's Will proportionate to intelligence. The brilliant and learned have no advantage over the slow minded as regards complete fulfillment of the divine purpose in their lives. After due consideration, a mistake as to what is the Will of God is only a mistake of myopic human intellect which in fact is willed by man's Creator who made him a fallible being.
When the human will is united in affection with the divine Will, it can never be really mistaken as to God's desire for it; for even in erroneous judgment as to God's pleasure, it always does God's pleasure. Our Maker's Will as to each of our actions and circumstances, considered in itself, is of infinite intelligence, ever undiminished in its unfathomable wisdom.
God made us to glorify Him as human beings, that is, to carry out His Will with the limited powers of intelligence which He has given us. If we do, mistake or no mistake, we glorify Him fully and we are holy. He loves us, not according to our intelligence, but according to the degree in which we live up to the dictates of our intelligence, whatever it may be.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 71
How can we become persons "after God's heart'? Not be anything that we can do or contrive of ourselves, but merely and solely by careful attention to God's desires and by loving steadfast fulfillment of them, cost what it may. When God wills it, we must be without fear of failure in the boldness of our enterprise, we must be tenacious in our perseverance against opposition, and we must also be ready to abandon the most fruitful activity, even when it is about to reach a desirable consummation. We must undertake what God wishes, we must carry it on as God wishes, we must bring it to that measure of success, complete, partial, or nil, which God wishes. Then, and then only, are we one hundred percent successful, with the success of God and of His divine Will.
"Always bear in mind," says Francis de Sales, "that what we do draws its true value from the conformity that we have with the Will of God. Thus in eating and drinking, if I do so because it is God's Will that I perform these actions, I am more pleasing to Him than if I underwent death without that intention." (Francis de Sales, Letter 735) We are to ride, then, on the sea of our work, calm or tempestuous as it may be, in the boat of God's Will, going whithersoever it carries us. We must not, in our eagerness and in our own ideas of the course to be taken, abandon the boat and, plunging into the sea, strive to buffet our own way through the waves. The sea of work is intended by God to carry us, not to submerge us.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 73-4
God in His Wisdom, knowing the stupidity of our fatuous minds, has with fatherly goodness deemed it necessary to give us, in the person of Christ, a lesson so extreme and so clear that we could not fail to understand it. Our divine Savior is God, teaching us how God lived a human life in perfectly human circumstances; and the life He led was the most common, negligible, and insignificant in worth, if we measure it by the exterior actions which He performed during thirty of His thirty-three years on earth. More, it was from the world' viewpoint a life of sorrow and suffering, of failure and frustration. Heralded by 4000 years as the Messiah, He came to accomplish the greatest life every lived and to afford the solution of all human problems. He came to be the model, humanly and divinely perfect, of all living; and He spent ten elevenths of that life as an unknown peasant boy and a youthful toiler. So quiet was the tenor of His ways that His acquaintances were scandalized when He began to teach and to work miracles: "Is not this the carpenter's son?...Whence therefore hath He all these things?" (Mt 13: 55,57)
God chose for Christ the most illustrious life possible when He chose for Him that of a poor peasant in a despised corner of the despised land of Palestine, because He chose a life wholly after the divine will. Jesus Christ is the man in whom God finds a perfect medium to express Himself in human ways, not because of His miraculous wisdom, not because of His astounding prodigies, not because He live a poor, hard life, nor even because He suffered and died so generously for us, but only because Christ realized the divine Will perfectly in a human life; He corresponded perfectly to the purpose that God had in Him as a human being.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 81-2
The putting of worth into our otherwise worthless lives is, in the words of St. Paul, the "putting on Christ" who wishes to express Himself in another mystic incarnation in each of our varying personalities, somewhat as God the Creator has wished to reflect His perfections in the myriad varieties of creatures. The more we are ruled by His Will, the more does the divine Christ, dwelling within us, find Himself at home in our lives; the more profoundly does He enter into our actions as their supernatural cause of greater glory to God and of our correspondingly greater possession of Him, who is all worth and happiness. We thus make our Creator more and more beautiful in us, as we become increasingly beautiful with the infinite beauty of His Will more and more completely governing our lives.
For Christ carries on, even unto the end of time, the mystery of His Epiphany (appearance) in His fellow men whom He constitutes "other Christs" by His divinely elevating union with them in sanctifying grace. His ambition is to "show Himself to the world" in our divinized personalities. By His mystically continued execution of His Father's Will in us, His brethren, He would continue to let His light so shine among men that they may see His good works in our good works and glorify His Father who is in Heaven.
The life of the Son of God is the life of the Father: "Amen, Amen, I say unto you, the Son cannot do anything of Himself but what He sees the Father do; for whatever the Father does the Son also does in like manner." (John 5:19) Living the life of His Father, Christ the Son wishes also to live the lives of all His human brethren; hence, clothing them with His divinity, He divinely does whatever they humanly do. He explains in a number of places what His own life is and consequently what it must be in us: "I seek not My own will, but the Will of Him who sent Me; that the world may know that I love the Father." It is only inasmuch as He can realize this program of His life in us that He can "sanctify us in truth" and bring it about that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, so we may be one in Them. Thus our lives will be carriers of the life of Christ.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 87
Every effect on any being is willed positively by God. Even the effect on us of the wrong doing of others is not merely permitted but is the positive ordination of God for His glory and for our perfection. There is only one thing not expressly willed by Him: the sinfulness of the evil choice of the sinner; but after the sinful choice, God fully wills the resulting modification of our lives and the resulting aid or hindrance to perfect living. He wills all His creatures to be affected just as they are affected. He wills them to glorify Him by fulfilling His desires in the setting of circumstances ordained for them, whether this arise from the physical necessity of natural laws or from the voluntary actions of human associates, whether this be favorable or unfavorable to material or to spiritual well-being. It is not the harness but the horse that draws the wagon; it is not the creature but the Creator who governs our lives.
This fact, that God wills without exception every effect that happens to His creatures, is a truth which, if applied to our lives, will render them, wherever and however they be circumstances, lives of sheer beauty, lives of pure worth, lives of divine nobility. It means that all that happens to us is willed by our all-perfect heavenly Father; hence it is the very best for us. Therefore in all things we can give thanks to Him and rejoice.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 98-9
Passive conformity with God's Will does not entail a fatalistic and inert impassiveness in undesirable circumstances. Passive conformity must always be coupled with active conformity to God's desire that we endeavor to guide the events of our lives as properly and as successfully as we can. God may place us, either through the general course of events or through the disposition of superiors, in a most unsuitable situation. Then it is His Will both that we graciously accept the situation and also that we energetically improve it as soon as possible. Such would be the case of a successful teacher placed over a demoralized class in order to restore discipline, or of an executive put in charge of a financially mismanaged institution, or of a person made superior over a disaffected group. But after our best effort, if we accept all as God's Will, we are in every case successful. "Consider thy end," says David - that is, keep in mind God's Will for thee - "and all, whatsoever thou shalt do, shall prosper"; (Psalm 1:3) for the result, though it be apparent insuccess, is God's infinitely fitting appointment for us, and that is perfect.
It is only the divine alchemy which out of the base stuff of sorrows, sufferings, and even sins, could so distill the heavenly essence of sublime perfection, of imperishable wealth of eternal happiness. It is only the Wisdom of God that cannot be thwarted by evil. It is only the greatness of God which so disposes that the greater the evil is, the greater the good which will be drawn from it.
From thence a paradox,
Which comforts while it mocks,
Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail.
(R. Browning, "Rabbi Ben Ezra.")
Out of the earthly worm of original sin God has drawn the most gorgeous of His creations, a human nature holy with the holiness of God, the Incarnate Word; and likewise in the head of every toadlike evil, God has placed the hidden emerald of His Will.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 109-10
For mankind, the will has been both Pandora's casket pouring out grief, and Aladdin's lamp bringing supernatural powers. The creature's self-will, heedless of the Creator's wise Will, has been the hidden spring of all the flood of failure, degradation, and unhappiness which has inundated the world. God tells us, not only for His glory but also for our own welfare, "Go not after thy lusts but turn away from thy own will." (Ecclesiasticus 18:30) The leading back to Christ of this wild, destructive creature-will to beneficial, gentle submission to its God, is the cure of all human woes.
Acquiescence to God providently directing every one of life's events renders possible that dream of the philosophers: man absolutely perfect. To share in God's perfection, man need but will what God wills of him, and accept what God wills for him. "O Lord, if only my will remain firm and right toward Thee! Do with me whatsoever it shall please Thee, for it cannot be anything but good, whatsoever Thou shalt do with me." (Imitation of Christ, III, 17) This is the formula for a perfect life, at once so simple that the uneducated mind can grasp it well, and so rich in import that the profoundest intellect will never plumb its depths. It is the whole and sole purpose of the existence of every creature, human or angelic. It is the solution of the riddle of life, and of life's inequalities, a solution, alike of divine sapience and of divine simplicity; sublime for the mystic and primary for the child; it is the wisdom of God
St. Augustine in the fourth century tells us that he tried all the paths and byways of human willfulness, but that the road of God's Will alone led him to human dignity and human perfection.
-excerpt taken from My Father's Will by Francis J. McGarrigle, pg 133
This ends our meditations on My Father's Will.
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