“Blind as we are, we hinder God, and stop the current of His graces. But when He finds a soul penetrated with a lively faith, He pours into it His graces and favors plentifully.” Brother Lawrence
In my previous post, God’s Work & My Work, I discussed those instantaneous changes in my life that God simply gifted upon me that early morning in January. For me, they were miraculous and transforming; a new state of being that was foreign, fascinating and salvific. To this day I find myself constantly reflecting on what I have referred to as the surrealism of my continuing path in life. Reality in my adult life was one of the physical. There was no spirituality within because I had been methodically walked – by my family experience and society’s push to relativism and enlightenment – to the belief that things not seen are things not in existence.
Now do not misinterpret what I say here. While as a child I was subject to the family experience without the capability to discern and affect that experience until of sufficient age, and then it was clearly too late, I was not a victim to society at all. I actively sought out the desires I found within me; taking them on as rights of being. As one learns, one acts; for good and evil. In the physical world, one only cooperates as long as it contributes to one’s needs. The world is very competitive, unforgiving, and seemingly indifferent to suffering. The world produces fear which produces sin. God creates things, and all things are good. Man creates choice and action, and in those choices and actions resides sin and evil. No, I earned my way into sin; one lust, one excess, one abuse, one indifference, one unloving act at a time. Continue reading The Order of Willingness
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Along with Kathryn, I attended a seminar at St. Peter the Apostle Church a few nights back in Naples, Florida. The speaker was Father Matthew Linn, a Jesuit and healing therapist from Minnesota. He asked the question at the end of his talk, “Can you think of what you have been most grateful for this past year?
My answer was immediate and simple, and also a little shocking for me. “I was most grateful for the fact that God had revealed a truth to me about human choice and human willingness.” I say shocking in the fact that this realization seemed to come so easily to a person who lived his adult life not really defining gratitude, let alone coming to any conclusion on something spiritual and meaningful.
The result of this revealed understanding – in the physical – has translated into an incredible deepening of my spiritual relationship with God; His Word, and His will through the reading of the Old and New Testaments, and an intense study in Philosophy and its relationship with Theology. In the physical, it brought me an exercise routine this year – walking – that has improved my overall health, and has brought about a loss in weight of twenty-eight pounds. In the physical, I am being led to walk the Camino de Santiago; to fulfill the death of my past and ensure the life of my future in God. Continue reading Choice or Willingness – Part Two
In order to start something one has to choose to start it, and in order to continue doing something one has to choose to continue it. I know this sounds rather elemental, and so it is a fairly obvious observation. But I venture into these waters for a purpose. There is a fundamental stumbling block for many Christians as they attempt to walk out God’s purpose with their lives; they ‘choose’ to do it. I’d like to make the argument here that choice is not dependent upon, nor advantageous to the most important factor of man’s successful journey to God; willingness.
Choice can be made from humble reason, but choice need not entail humility. In fact, choice is at its very best when issued from a boundless source of pride. Willingness, on the other hand, cannot exist in conjunction with pride. Willingness is that recurring characteristic of many Saints we look to for God’s wisdom and teachings; though there were those who came to serve God without willingness in their hearts. Moses would be one good example. Isaiah, on the other hand, is all too ready to serve the Lord without considering choice. While choice appears to be our conscious nature at work, willingness appears to precede that of the conscious nature and lie somewhere in the spiritual relationship we have with God. I can think of no better scripture to illustrate this than in the Book of Luke.
Then Mary said, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Continue reading Choice or Willingness