Great Commentary on Prayer from “In Conversation with God”

I really enjoyed today’s commentary on the Daily Scripture readings because it focuses on the importance and joy of prayer.

If you prefer to read it in a PDF format, click here. Otherwise, the reflection is below:

Whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother and sister and mother. A Christian’s only desire should be to fulfill the Will of God. When faced with everyday occurrences, he should frequently ask himself: U’hat does God want of me in this matter, in this situation, or in my relationship with that person? What would be the more pleasing to God? … Then he should go and do it. If we pray about our daily activity, about the way we conduct ourselves in family life, the way we behave towards our friends and our colleagues, we will be given plenty of light by which to find ways of fulfilling the divine Will. Our personal prayer will often move us to act in a particular way, to change, to modify our life or our behavior so as to live more in accordance with what God wants. In other matters God will illuminate our minds as to what his Will is through personal spiritual direction.

When we see that God wants something of us, we should do it promptly and cheerfully. Many people rebel when what God wants does not coincide with their own inclination. Others accept his will with more or less reluctant resignation merely submitting to the divine plans because they can see no alternative. Others simply conform, but without any motivation of love. Nevertheless Our Lord wants us to love the divine Will with holy abandonment, with complete trust in God our Father. At the same time we should not fail to use the means that each case calls for. What do you want me to do? How few people are there who have become so disposed to complete obedience that they have renounced their own will to the point where the desires of their heart no longer prompt them to action!

In order to have these close links – closer than the ties of blood – which Christ tells us about in the Gospel, we have to try, each day, to surrender ourselves, to abandon ourselves without any reservations, and even without understanding why God allows this or that to happen. We have to be unconditionally docile to his actions, manifested to us as they are through the internal and external trials with which He wants to purify our souls. Just as we willingly accept the countless joys of family life, of our work and our rest, so too we must willingly accept the difficulties, setbacks and disappointments that life brings with it. Temptations we can expect, and maybe such tribulations as dryness in our life of piety so long as these are not the result of lukewarmness or of a lack of love, good can be brought from them. We must accept this action on the part of God, and those things allowed by his providence, without any reservations, without curiosity, worry or mistrust, because we know that God always wants our good. We must accept them gratefully, trusting in his nearness to us and in the help of his grace. May our only reply to this action of God in us always be: Let it be done as thou wilt; thy Will be done? This must be our attitude towards pain and sickness, towards failure, towards an inexplicable disaster which may at the time seem irreparable. Then, straightaway, we must ask God our Father for strength, and use all the human means we possibly and reasonably can. We must ask that those setbacks may be overcome, if it be his Will. We must ask for the grace to draw the greatest human and supernatural fruits from what at first we can only see as insurmountable misfortune.

Everything that happens each day in the little universe of our work and our family, in the circle of our friends and acquaintances, can and must help us to find God’s providence. Fulfillment of the divine will and the knowledge that it is being done is a source of serenity and gratitude. We will often end up giving thanks for what had initially seemed to us a disaster whose catastrophic effect we could do nothing to alleviate.

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Teacher of unlimited self-giving. Do you remember? It was in praise of her that Jesus Christ said: ‘Whoever fulfills the Will of my Father, he – she – is my mother!