God’s will (part 1)

as i write these words regarding what God wants, i realize how lofty a goal it is to understand and then try to communicate it. who really knows the mind of God? certainly not me. so please take these musings with a grain of salt– i can be very off base with it all. but this is my perspective and i dare share it with you who read it.

in the christian faith, nothing makes sense outside of the primacy of love. unpacking the mystery of God is understanding and responding to love: within ourselves, with others, in God and the universe.

in our relationships, the better we know the other, the better we can respond to what the other wants. this presumes that we know ourselves too. knowing ourselves and the other then allows us to judge– how well– and how badly– we respond to the other.

our faith is primarily relational; our relationship with God is a journey for the whole of life. we need to learn and relearn constantly about ourselves and who God is. how do we know and then desire to do God’s will?

thomas merton’s prayer is appealing in this light:

Thomas Merton

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

the desire to please God is fundamental in our faith. when we question this desire in our lives, the Spirit helps and guides us to a different place– if we are open to it. but desire is what we pray for. but merton points out that there is a context for our desire to do God’s will: God’s faithful presence and providence. we are not alone. God walks with us on the journey. and no matter how we might feel, we can trust that our faithful God will provide. these are actions of God’s unconditional love for us.

our desires affect our actions. we strive to not only desire to please God but to do what God wants: to do God’s will in our acts. the ideal is that our actions are in accord with our intention/desire. but none of us can do this perfectly. in fact, the more we learn about what God desires from us, the easier it is to see how woefully inadequate our responses can be. this is where God’s infinite mercy showers down upon us. sin always frustrates both our intentions and our actions. God’s wants our us healed and transformed.

all of this is the Spirit’s work in us and the world. we do not do any of this on our own. we are part of creation; we are not God.

jesus is the key to understanding God’s will. through jesus’ words and actions we see his mission: to do the Father’s will. so the better we know jesus, the better we can respond to God’s desires for us and our world. this is especially heartfelt when it comes to our own suffering and the crosses we must bear.

so we step forward as best we can– desiring to please God.

i am reminded of a quote from pope francis after he was praised for being a holy man. francis responded, “i’m just a man who does what he can.”

let us pray:

Lord, give me the grace to _______


  1. beccamac2001 says:

    Just what I needed.
    Have a beautiful day.
    Hugs to you and your precious mama.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. frarthurcmf says:

    becca– thanks for being YOU! have a graced day


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