Conforming ourselves to God’s will in all things, good or bad

January 7, 2022 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 441
By Venerable Louis of Granada

These three degrees which constitute the perfection of obedience seem to be indicated in these words of the Apostle: “Be not conformed to this world, but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God.” [Rom. xii. 2.]

The observance of the commandments is good; the practice of the counsels is acceptable; and fidelity to divine inspirations is perfect. When one has learned to practise these three degrees he has attained the perfection of obedience.

Another virtue, which may be considered a fourth degree of obedience, is conformity to the divine will in all things.

This enables us to accept from the hands of God, with equal submission, honor or ignominy, obscurity or renown, stripes or caresses, health or sickness, life or death; for we look, not at our chastisements, but at Him who inflicts them through love of us.

An earthly father loves his child when he corrects him no less than when he caresses him. Does his love bear any comparison to the love of the Heavenly Father?

Let us realize, then, that all that comes from His hand is for our welfare, and we shall become so firmly established in submission to His holy will that He may mould us according to His good pleasure, as clay in the hands of the potter.

Thus we shall no longer live for ourselves, but for God. We shall be happy only in accomplishing His divine will, in doing all things, in bearing all things for His glory, and acting at all times as His submissive servants.

Such were the sentiments of David when he said: “I am become as a beast before Thee, and I am always with Thee,” [Ps. lxxii. 23.] A beast of burden goes not where he wills, nor rests when he pleases, but lives in complete obedience to his master. A Christian should live in like submission to the will of His Heavenly Father.

Let us not forget, however, that this submission to God, and this promptness in obeying Him, must ever be accompanied by prudence and judgment, so that we may not mistake our own will for that of God. In most cases let us distrust what flatters our own inclinations, and proceed with more confidence when we are acting contrary to our personal interests.

This is the most pleasing sacrifice we can make to God. In other sacrifices we offer Him only our possessions. In this we immolate ourselves.

St. Augustine says that though God is the Lord of all that exists, yet it is not every one who can say with the Psalmist: “O Lord! I am thy servant,” [ Ps. cxv. 6.] but those only who have renounced their own will and consecrated themselves to His service.

There is, moreover, no better disposition for attaining the perfection of a Christian life. As God in His infinite goodness is ever ready to overwhelm us with His graces when we offer no obstacle to His merciful designs, whoever is perfectly confined to His will can justly expect an abundance of His favors. Yes, God will treat him with great liberality, and will make him, like another David, a man after His own Heart.

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