(-Fr. Cassian Sama, OP)
We can not succeed in our desire for union with God by remaining reserved to our own will. This union requires a complete resignation of self to the will of our heavenly Father. It is to surrender and place complete trust in the Lord. As we seek to follow the will of God in our lives the biggest battle we face is against our own will and our own ideas about what God's will should be for us.
"Our choice is not always God's choice" and by this we can open ourselves to understanding the sacrifice required to live in accordance to His plan. The world seeks to entice us with the message of "self-fulfillment" and presents us with the immediate "fix" of many things marketed toward our desire for more; a desire created by God for God that can only be fulfilled by Him. The world screams "whatever you will can be yours" attempting to silence the voice of our loving Lord. God does not impose Himself upon us we make the choice to follow Him.We must silence the shouts of the world with the silence of prayer, and attune ourselves to hear His voice.
"Those who are godly and at peace are the saints whose choice and will are always aligned with God's". To "always" be aligned with God's will is not the result of one single decision. This type of devotion is the result of continual surrender through all things. It is a choice made out of hope and faith toward an all loving and merciful God. The saints did not surrender to our Lord because of security and comfort; they were trusting through trials and tribulations,extending themselves beyond their own comforts and perpetually keeping their eyes on things above. There was doubt and uncertainty, yet they committed themselves to follow the plan of God. As St. Augustine once said "“Father, I am seeking: I am hesitant and uncertain, but will you, O God, watch over each step of mine and guide me.” This statement reveals the human reality of this beloved saint. So often we can see these venerated people of our church as beyond us and separate from the reality we live today. In taking the time to learn more about these holy men and women we come to see ourselves and our journey within their lives.Our beloved saints have left us not only an example to imitate but one through which we can draw immense strength and virtue from if we turn our gaze toward the path that God has set before us.Like them we must strive to see all things as grace and be patient by trusting that "God will eventually bring good out of any impossible circumstances".
A priest once reminded me that when we love God we begin to love everything He loves. I have seen that this love can lead us to embrace the challenges presented in striving toward holiness and aid us in persevering through many trials. Through grace we also begin to realize that any joy or expectation we can imagine for our own lives will never compare with the joy we are able to attain by simply surrendering to the plans of our Lord.
The saints have much to teach us today about life and about the commitment to living out our faith in today's world. We are called like them to a trust in God that exceeds our understanding. Through all things let us seek to align our will with that of our Lord. May we wake each day with the fervency to follow and the humility to say in faith "Thy will be done". (CC)