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Friday, May 31, 2024
Chapter 7

The second step of humility is that we love not our own will nor take pleasure in the satisfaction of our desires; rather we shall imitate by our actions that saying of Christ's: "I have come not to do my own will, but the will of the One who sent me (Jn 6:38)." Similarly we read, "Consent merits punishment; constraint wins a crown."

The first rung of the ladder of the spiritual life is to recognize that God is God, that nothing else can be permitted to consume us or satisfy us, that we must reach out for God before we can even begin to live the God-life. We must come to understand that we are not our own destinies.

The second rung of the spiritual life follows naturally: If God is my center and my end, then I must accept the will of God, knowing that in it lies the fullness of life for me, however obscure. The question, of course, is how do we recognize the Will of God? How do we tell the will of God from our own? How do we know when to resist the tide and confront the opposition and when to embrace the pain and accept the bitterness because "God wills it for us." The answer lies in the fact that the Jesus who said "I have come not to do my own will but the will of the One who sent me" is also the Jesus who prayed in Gethsemane, "Let this chalice pass from me:" The will of God for us is what remains of a situation after we try without stint and pray without ceasing to change it.