There comes a time when God’s will moves from the front to the back, resulting in the disappearance of the light.
I can no longer see where I am going. God is behind me, and I have only one thing to do: Let myself be pushed along. In the beginning it feels a little uncertain and unsafe, and small accidents can occur, not because God fails to do his part or is leading in the wrong direction, but because I have not dared to trust in him completely, and I resist or want to help.
God is like a specialist in relaxation who works with the patient’s head, turning it in different directions. The fact that it cause pain is not the specialist’s fault. He does not turn it too far. No, it is because the patient’s neck muscles are tense. He cannot, dares not relax completely. It is no wonder God calls us a “stubborn people” (Dr 9:13).
The words “your kingdom come” that we pray daily are realized only when we live in total dependence on God. As long as he cannot do everything in us, his kingdom has not come. He wants not merely to decide himself; he also wants to carry out what he has decided, “as though without me and yet through me.” Our ego lives, thanks to and through our activities. When we surrender our faculties to God and let him manage them, the ego has nothing more to do; it dies from lack of work.
In his advice to the novices, Eckhart writes: “God has never given himself and does never give himself to a will that is foreign to him. He gives only to his own will. But when God meets his own will, he gives himself and enters into that will with all that he is.”
Father Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D. “Doing the Will of the Father.” from Into Your Hands, Father: Abandoning Ourselves to the God Who Loves Us (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2011).
Reprinted with permisison of Ignatius Press. This excerpt appeared inMagnificat.
Father Wilfrid Stinissen was born in Antwerp, Belgium, where he entered the Carmelite Order in 1944. He was sent to Sweden in 1967 to cofound a small contemplative community. His many books on the spiritual life have been translated into multiple languages. Among his works available in English areInto Your Hands Father: Abandoning Ourselves to the God Who Loves Us, This Is the Day the Lord Has Made: 365 Daily Meditations, Praying the Name Of Jesus, and The Gift of Spiritual Direction: On Spiritual Guidance and Care for the Soul. http://catholiceducation.org/