"Do not yield to discouragement in the face of difficulties and do not abandon yourselves to false solutions which often seem the easiest way to overcome problems. Do not be afraid to make a commitment, to face hard work and sacrifice, to choose the paths that demand fidelity and constancy, humility and dedication. Be confident in your youth and its profound desires for happiness, truth, beauty and genuine love! Live fully this time in your life so rich and so full of enthusiasm."
"Let us look with greater hope to the future; let us encourage one another on our journey."
~ Papa Benedict XVI

Wednesday, November 3

Recognizing God's Will

My friend Judy posted on her blog today concerning Recognizing God’s Will

She asked readers to comment on their thoughts about “recognizing God's will in life” and, “How do you discern it?”

I went to post a comment and realized it would be way too long for that small, little box … I am posting it here instead.

Having lived the life we have for these past 2 years - joblessness, homelessness, and family illness - and even still, being in the middle of it now... I can honestly say the silence is hardest. And that is where you have to listen the hardest ... in the silence.

No matter how much you pray and plead, there are things that you will close your eyes for, hand it to God, and jump in doing only what you feel is best for you and your family. You will continue to question your choice, to wonder if you did the right thing, pray unceasingly ...and then look back. You look back and you see why you carried that cross, why one thing needed to happen to allow another to occur.

God’s Will is an interesting thing because it does take into consideration our free will. We do have a choice. Sometimes the choice is black and white, one leading towards our Lord and the other away, but sometimes… well sometimes, it’s as clear as mud.

And we don’t carry the cross only when we are headed in the wrong direction as some have stated…sometimes we carry the cross because we are helping others along. Many times you are the cross bearer but others are asked to be Simon. Asked to help carry, they too have a choice.

Then we wonder – how can suffering be God’s Will? Take the statement above “why one thing needed to happen to allow another to occur” and then add free will… now add your yes.

Yes does not mean I will follow when all is well, yes means i am here; You will call and i will.

I think discerning God’s Will has a lot to do with guiding yourself and those in your care toward all that is true, beautiful, and good. God is in all things, but he would never request you do something that would not eventually better you and those around you – and it might not be for this world, it might be for Heaven.

Satan on the other hand would not give any pause to put in front of you something that appears beautiful and good, and that is why we need to search for the truth. All three are God, but satan, well, he knows how to divide and thus conquer.

In our family’s current journey we have many times been shown the good …but upon stopping and really considering all aspects, searching for the beauty and truth, we have found it to be not so good. And we are questioned, we are looked down upon, we are left to carry the cross alone. But we know, we know there are lines, sometimes you draw them and sometimes satan does, but there are lines and once you cross over and look back, you can see much more clearly.

What’s the point then? Once you cross that line, once satan has dangled and you have not searched, what then? That is the wonder of faith. Our Catholic Faith, the church founded by Jesus himself… How blessed we are! We have the One, True Faith, designed by God, established to bring us to God in Heaven. Within the Sacraments, within the Church, is where our strength to recognize, to discern God’s Will, comes from. It is where we go when we are lost, when we are pained, when we have sinned. It is a place of forgiveness, direction, and healing. It is here that the silence is silenced.

It is not easy, and at times you will feel like you are going forward unanswered, but look back…see your yes in action.

And then look ahead, knowing Christ the King is Truth and that in searching for God’s Will you need only  listen … even in the silence.


Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website said...

Thanks for joining your thoughts (and you lovely blog) to this discussion Allison. Great post!
Indeed...I adamantly believe (and am convicted because of how we have experienced it in our own lives) that "The Cross" is a GIFT and a BLESSING...we are HONORED when we are asked to carry!!! But...that's another post right? The value of suffering? I love how you say that God's will and our free will are entwined...and also that we can look back and see our "yes" in action...thus, discerning God's will...is more about the "yes" than it is about if we could see God's REASONS or specific plan at-hand then right? I know that in the times our family has been left alone with the Cross...in retrospect...we can ..as you said...look back at our yes in action...and clearly see that we were truly ONE with His will for us in those circumstances. Anyway, thanks again for your beautiful post. God bless your dear family always.

Katie said...

I agree - the silence and waiting is often more hard to bear than the cross itself. But how beautiful the carrying of it when you look back and see His hand guiding you!! It makes it all worth it and you wonder if there was something else you could do in addition, though you wouldn't have wished for it at the time!