“God gives each one of us sufficient grace to know His holy will, and to do it fully”. -St. Ignatius of Loyola
“And we know that the Son of God is come: and he hath given understanding that we may know the true God, and may be in his true Son. This is the true God and life eternal.” (1 John 5:20)
POINT 1: THE TRUE WILL OF GOD FOR US IS HOLINESS THAT IS WHY WE SUFFER SOMETIMES
Many people believe God’s will for us in this world is for us to be comfortable, healthy, rich, popular and successful in all endeavours, and for us to be indulged in continuous pleasures. Therefore, anything contrary to this life of convenience and indulgence is not God’s will and is a plot of Satan and devils.
It is true that God created us for happiness and when we think of happiness, these common concepts of convenience come to mind, but we need to remember that the life in this world must come to an end; this is only a temporal state because of our fall from original grace in Adam. Therefore life in this world is only but a phase where we get to choose and merit by God’s grace, a blessed state of love in the eternal life after this or we can reject that and choose a damned life. From this, we can know that the will of God is to lead us to eternal happiness in his divine life after this one, and not necessarily a convenient life in this world because sometimes, in fact, many times the convenience of this life leads us into the sins and evils of a lazy self-gratifying selfish mindset which is contrary to Love which is the commandment of God and what we need in order to merit the blessed state of happiness in Heaven.
Since love is the self-giving and self-sacrifice of oneself for the true ultimate good of others who are the beloved, then to love is actually to suffer for the ultimate good of others. Therefore, most times it is the will of God that we choose to virtuously and joyfully suffer for our growth in holiness so that we can become people who are strong in sacrificing themselves for others, then, we can truly fulfil the commandment of Christ; “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn13:34). It is unchristian to always pray, live and dream that God brought you into this life to only enjoy comfort and convenience.
You must know that pleasing God and living according to His desire for us, which is; for us to become purely virtuous, holy and truly selfless, that is the only thing that really matters every other thing is peripheral to this. The first letter of St John 5:20 summarizes this well: “And we know that the Son of God has arrived, and he has given us understanding, so that we may know the true God, and so that we may remain in his true Son. This is the true God and this is Eternal life.”
POINT 2: GOD IS THE ADMINISTRATOR OF EVERYTHING AND THERE IS A HOLY REASON WHY EVERYTHING HAPPENS THE WAY IT DOES
Some people think that God loves and favours some people more than others that’s why they are born rich, or more physically endowed, or witness or manifest more miracles or Charismatas than others. Some people believe that God has predestined everyone’s destiny and everyone is only acting according to His predestination; that includes the evil and sinful things happening. Some others believe God has no specific reason He lets things happen differently in peoples lives, that there is too much damage and evil and therefore He has left the world alone and only intervenes by miracles for those who He is interested in. Therefore it is only by luck things happen; that is, some people are lucky and others are not.
This is a common error that comes from the belief that there are situations and activities which do not affect us at all. We must be aware that any interaction with any element of this world has an influence or effect on us, positive or negative. The way they affect us depends first and most important of all, on the way we will voluntarily choose to react to them and be influenced by them, and after that, several other factors which come from; our prior experiences, our society’s influence on us, the physical environment, our psychological environment and mental disposition, the people we have around us, time etc.
Due to the very complex, unpredictable and inaccessible nature of the outcomes of the interactions of people with the elements of this reality throughout time and into the future we tend to perceive the situations of certain things as completely random, above, separate and beyond the specific will of God, forgetting that God is the source, sustenance and administrator of all realities including this world. It was God who fashioned the laws of nature, all the elements of this reality and the free will of human beings. As much as God allows the elements of reality to function as He designed and for humans to exercise their gift of free will He gave, He is still the administrator of this reality and will not allow things to go beyond their limits. Everything works out to the glory of the good. God is the administrator over reality stating when the laws of nature should function or be nullified by a supernatural act (miracle).
He has set up the direction of the course of interactions of the natural phenomena to head towards helping all people to know and have grace while still not tampering with the free will He gave to everyone. He also aids those who desire His help and sets up all elements of natural phenomena and all people, both virtuous and canal in ways that will lead every human being to know and have His grace and grow in sanctity if they choose. He does all this in a perfect way through His omniscient knowledge of all things, even all future possible outcomes of our interactions with the elements of natural phenomena.
Due to our limited experience and knowledge of reality; because we cannot see into the future, we tend not to be able to see or understand the actions of God, but in all things, all activities, situations and conditions God takes into account our efforts, desires, future interactions with elements of reality and works things out to the ultimate good of Love for every soul. Nothing is a random mistake that happens outside God’s knowledge or beyond His power.
POINT 3: THE WILL OF GOD COMES FROM THE WAY THINGS REALLY ARE
Some people believe that the will of God in His absolute commandment of Love is an external concept that God thought about in His “mind” and wants to impose on us; meaning that the many Christian rules we are to live by have nothing to do with the nature of our reality and the way things really are. Some people believe that God’s will is only claimed to be the best and we shouldn’t completely trust and surrender to His will because we can know a better way than He knows.
“Certainly God “knows all things.” First, because He is infinitely wise, and if He were ignorant of anything He would not be so.” . Secondly, because He is everywhere as He is the sustenance of everything that exists.
The law of God is not an external thing as usually imagined by people, it is not just something God or the teachers from God imagined and invented. They are enshrined in the very essence of existence from God to all things He created because they are the external glory God releases and uses to make any created thing that exists, and these external glory which God releases are the order and standards of life and all reality. When a person sins against those orders or laws, he slanders God the source of life and the order, and breaks, damages or reduces that particular constituent of God’s external glory in himself along with some other glories interconnected to it and then he indirectly affects the other humans as we are linked together in our mystical communal life.
While mercy from God pardons the slander and insult toward Him, the broken constituents (external glory) and negative effects remain in the person and other people and things they have affected. He or she must by God’s given grace, repair such damages.
1. The Baltimore catechism