We are all willing to give ourselves to God as long as God leaves us alone, our wills untouched. Yet how can the Spirit of Truth lead us into all truth unless we yield and allow it? As Francis de Sales wrote, yielding to God is “the virtue of virtues.” God demands a heroic abandonment of ourselves to His good pleasure. The measure of that abandonment is the measure of our union with God – our progress. It is the delight of God’s tender and parental heart to care for His children, the work of His hands and the price of the blood of his only Son.
The more we trust in God, the more God will trust Himself to us. All that God asks of us is to let him act with full freedom in our regard. All that God wishes is to make us like Himself (infinitely holy and happy).
God would have us forget ourselves; for self- forgetfulness is the beginning of the life of God in the soul. In God the soul places all its hopes and desires. It is converted completely to God. It ignores, the past, present and future. It throws itself without reserve into the arms of God. All that has existence is in God and outside of God there is nothing. Let it cost what it may. Let us throw all care upon God and put all our confidence in him. This is what God wishes of us. What do we have that we have not received by being faithful to God and trusting in His providence? God has not changed His providence towards us.
A Response from the Rev. Paul Robichaud CSP:
There is a difference between what we want and what we need. This is the meeting point, the intersection between our will and God’s will. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to ask the Father for our “daily bread.” What we ask God for is what we need, God providing us with the grace, the peace, the forgiveness, the hope and the perspective to grow in faith as children of the Father. But if we are honest with ourselves and God we know there maybe other things that we want. And some of what we want from God’s perspective, we just don’t need.
This creates the clash of wills that Servant of God Isaac Hecker writes out in today’s reflection. To develop a spiritual life, to work at a relationship with God means that our will and God’s will are going to differ. Father Hecker reminds us that we need to yield to God’s providence, God’s will for our lives. Ultimately happiness happens when our will and God’s will is aligned together. Hecker suggests that the more we yield to God, the deeper our faith becomes. To go back to the Lord’s Prayer, we begin it by praying, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Learning to let go and learning to trust that God will lead us through the difficult moments of our lives. “Let it cost what it may,” he says, “ Let us throw all our care upon God and put our confidence in him.”. Learning to trust God is the way to deeper faith and a richer prayer life is the advice Father Hecker offers us today.
Paulist Father Paul Robichaud CSP is Historian of the Paulist Fathers and Postulator of the Cause of Father Hecker. His office is located at the Hecker Center in Washington, DC.