by Katie Warner | May 29, 2010 12:01 am
Complete conformity to the will of God can be challenging. It involves a type of death—a death to self, to self will. Your will must decrease if you want God’s will in your life to increase.
God’s will for your life is that you become holy, be a saint, and go to Heaven. In order to achieve these most magnificent ends, you must surrender your will entirely and make the will of God your guiding path to sanctity. Embracing the virtues is the surest way to make this complete conformity a reality.
At work, I often receive letters from frustrated fallen-away Catholics who are upset that the Church hasn’t conformed to their needs, beliefs, and ideologies. A few weeks ago, I had a woman send us a list that began: “Here’s what the Church has to do to get ME back…,” followed by a series of bulleted items (all of which seriously conflicted with the Church’s consistent teachings, primarily on moral issues).
You see, people like this woman have their understanding of conformity all twisted up. We find misery—not happiness—in trying to get God to conform to our will. (And by the way, part of that misery stems from the fact that it will never happen, no matter how hard we try!) We will only find true happiness when we repent, and then conform to His will.
In football—and for this matter, life in general—the key to success is winning. That’s the goal. That’s the end to the means, or sometimes the means to the end. But in the life of our faith, we see how God, again, takes all of our preconceived notions and ideas about success and happiness and turns them right on their heads! In our relationship with God the Father, to win is to forfeit—to surrender before anything starts! Before we make any decision, any act, any movement of the heart, mind, or will, we must first flat-out GIVE UP! That would seem absurd in athletics…but with God it’s necessary. It’s a prerequisite to winning. We have to forfeit our will before we can conform to His. Only then do we win. So if life were a football game, the team that purposefully threw an interception to God in the first few seconds of the first quarter would have won before the game had barely even begun.
Some tips to help you in your process of complete conformity to the will of God:
As Mother Teresa once said, “True holiness consists in doing God’s will with a smile.” Be happy! You know the secret to becoming a saint: complete conformity. Now do it.
* This article is adapted from a reflection given by Katie Peterson at the St. Peter Chanel Business Association, February 2010
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