O the supreme folly of those who resist the divine will! In God's
providence, no one can escape hardship: "Who resisteth his
will?" A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without
merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his
punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of
mind in this life: "Who resisteth him and hath had peace?" The
screaming rage of the sick man in his pain, the whining complaints
of the poor man in his destitution -- what will they avail these
people, except increase their unhappiness and bring them no
relief? "Little man," says St. Augustine, "grow up. What are you
seeking in your search for happiness? Seek the one good that
embraces all others.''
Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find
him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and
you will live always at peace in this life and in the next.
God wills only our good; God loves us more than anybody else
can or does love us. His will is that no one should lose his soul,
that everyone should save and sanctify his soul: "Not willing that
any should perish, but that all should return to penance."
"This is the will of God, your sanctification."God has made the
attainment of our happiness, his glory. Since he is by his nature
infinite goodness, and since as St. Leo says goodness is
diffusive of itself, God has a supreme desire to make us sharers
of his goods and of his happiness. If then he sends us suffering
in this life, it is for our own good: "All things work together
unto good."Even chastisements come to us, not to crush us, but
to make us mend our ways and save our souls: "Let us believe that
these scourges of the Lord have happened for our amendment and not
for our destruction."
God surrounds us with his loving care lest we suffer eternal
damnation: "O Lord, thou hast crowned us as with a shield of thy
good will." He is most solicitous for our welfare: "The Lord is
solicitous for me." What can God deny us when he has given us
his own son? "He that spared not even his own son, but delivered
him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all
things? "Therefore we should most confidently abandon
ourselves to all the dispositions of divine providence, since they
are for our own good. In all that happens to us, let us say: "In
peace, in the self same I will sleep, and I will rest: Because
thou, O Lord, hast singularly settled me in hope."
Let us place ourselves unreservedly in his hands because he
will not fail to have care of us: "Casting all your care upon him,
for he hath care of you." Let us keep God in our thoughts and
carry out his will, and he will think of us and of our welfare.
Our Lord said to St. Catherine of Siena, "Daughter, think of me,
and I will always think of you." Let us often repeat with the
Spouse in the Canticle: "My beloved to me, and I to him."
St. Niles, abbot, used to say that our petitions should be, not
that our wishes be done, but that God's holy will should be
fulfilled in us and by us. When, therefore, something adverse
happens to us, let us accept it from his hands, not only
patiently, but even with gladness, as did the apostles "who went
from the presence of the council rejoicing, that they were
accounted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus." What
greater consolation can come to a soul than to know that by
patiently bearing some tribulation, it gives God the greatest
pleasure in its power? Spiritual writers tell us that though the
desire of certain souls to please God by their sufferings is
acceptable to him, still more pleasing to him is the union of
certain others with his will, so that their will is neither to
rejoice nor to suffer, but to hold themselves completely amenable
to his will, and they desire only that his holy will be fulfilled.
If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life
of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things
to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked
life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will.
For the future, embrace God's good pleasure and say to him in
every happening: "Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy
sight." When anything disagreeable happens, remember it comes
from God and say at once, "This comes from God" and be at peace:
"I was dumb and opened not my mouth, because thou hast done
it."Lord, since thou hast done this, I will be silent and accept
Direct all your thoughts and prayers to this end, to beg God
constantly in meditation, Communion, and visits to the Blessed
Sacrament that he help you accomplish his holy will. Form the
habit of offering yourself frequently to God by saying, "My God,
behold me in thy presence; do with me and all that I have as thou
pleasest." This was the constant practice of St. Teresa. At least
fifty times a day she offered herself to God, placing herself at
his entire disposition and good pleasure.
How fortunate you, kind reader, if you too act thus! You will
surely become a saint. Your life will be calm and peaceful; your
death will be happy. At death all our hope of salvation will come
from the testimony of our conscience as to whether or not we are
dying resigned to God's will. If during life we have embraced
everything as coming from God's hands, and if at death we embrace
death in fulfillment of God's holy will, we shall certainly save
our souls and die the death of saints.
Let us then abandon everything to God's good pleasure, because
being infinitely wise, he knows what is best for us; and being
all-good and all-loving -- having given his life for us -- he
wills what is best for us. Let us, as St. Basil counsels us, rest
secure in the conviction that beyond the possibility of a doubt,
God works to effect our welfare, infinitely better than we could
ever hope to accomplish or desire it ourselves.