Sanctity and God’s Will
Presence of God – I place myself in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, asking Him to penetrate my soul with His words, “He that doth the will of My Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 7:21).
The path which leads to sanctity, that is, to God, can be marked out only by God Himself, by His will. Jesus expressed this very strongly when He said, “Not everyone that saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doth the will of My Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 7:21). And to show that the souls who are most closely united to Him, the ones He loves most, are precisely those who do the will of God, He does not hesitate to say: “Whosoever shall do the will of My Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Mt 12:50).
The saints learned in the school of Jesus. St. Teresa of Avila, after having received the most sublime mystical communications, did not hesitate to declare, “The highest perfection consists not in interior favors, or in great raptures, or in visions, or in the spirit of prophecy, but in the bringing of our wills so closely into conformity with the will of God that, as soon as we realize He wills anything, we desire it ourselves with all our might, and take the bitter with the sweet” (Foundations, 5). St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus echoes this statement, “The more joyfully [souls] do His will, the greater is their perfection” (Story of a Soul, 1).
True love of God consists in adhering perfectly to His holy will, not desiring to do or be other than what God indicates for each of us, to the point of becoming, as it were, “a living will of God.” Seen in this light, sanctity is possible for every soul of good will; it is not impossible that a soul which leads a humble, hidden life, may adhere to the divine will as well and perhaps even better than a “great” saint who has received from God an exterior mission and has been enriched with mystical graces. The perfection of a soul may be measured by the degree to which it does the will of God, and finds its happiness in doing it.
O my God, You make me understand that the only thing necessary is Your holy will, that it is my one and only treasure. In this life, what can be more beautiful, more safe, more perfect and more holy than to do Your will? You have given me free will; to what better use can I put it than to make it adhere to Your divine will? If I should perform great works and carry out marvelous undertakings which are not fully in accordance with Your will, they would have no value for eternity and would, therefore, be destined to perish; whereas the slightest works done according to Your will have an eternal value.
O Lord, I know that I am nothing, I acknowledge the weakness of my poor will which now turns to one good, now to another, and considers as good what is really imperfection, fault, sin. But Your will is indefectible; You can desire nothing but the true, sovereign good; hence, You desire only my good, my salvation, my sanctification. Nothing, then, can be more advantageous to me than to consecrate my will to Yours, O my God.
“At this moment, O Lord, I freely consecrate my will to You without reserve…. Grant that Your will may always be fulfilled in me, in the way which is most pleasing to You. If You wish me to do this by means of trials, give me strength and let them come. If by means of persecutions and sickness and dishonor and need, here I am, my Father, I shall not turn my face away” (Teresa of Jesus, Way of Perfection, 32).
So many times I have made You the offering of my will, consecrating it to You and declaring that I wanted nothing but Your divine will. But an equal number of times, alas, I have taken back my offering, and in my actions, labors, and apostolic works, instead of allowing myself to be guided by You, I have been led more or less by pride and personal satisfaction. How far I am, O Lord, from losing my will in Yours! How attached I still am to my own ideas and tastes! How many things still remain in me which are contrary to Your will! Give me light to recognize them, and strength to free myself from them! I confess that every time I draw away from Your will, even if only in little things, to act according to my own will, I feel remorse, and a lessening of peace in my soul. Only in Your will is my good, my peace, my salvation, my sanctification.
O Lord, hear my poor prayer: once more I offer You my will; take it, keep it a prisoner, so that I shall never be able to withdraw my offering.
With St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, I repeat, “My God … I will not be a saint by halves, I am not afraid of suffering for You. One thing only do I fear, and that is to follow my own will. Accept, then, the offering I make of it, for I choose all that You will” (Therésè of the Child Jesus, Story of a Soul, 1).
Note from Dan: This post on Sanctity and God’s Will is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art: Teresa of Avila, Peter Paul Rubens, 1615, PD-US copyright expired, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.