DOING GOD’S WILL YOUR SANCTIFICATION
Some place sanctity in works of penance, others in frequent Communion, others in reciting many vocal prayers. But, no; for St. Thomas says that perfection consists not in these things, but in submission to the Divine will. Doing God’s will is your sanctification.
Some place sanctity in works of penance, others in frequent Communion, others in reciting many vocal prayers. But, no; for St. Thomas says that perfection consists not in these things, but in submission to the Divine will. “The perfection of the human soul consists in its subjection to God.” Works of penance, prayers, Communions, are good, inasmuch as God wills them; hence they serve only as means to unite us to the Divine will. But all perfection, all sanctity consists in doing the will of God. In a word, the Divine will is the rule of all goodness and virtue. Because it is holy, it sanctifies all, even the most indifferent actions, when they are done to please God. This is the will of God, your sanctification (1 Thess. iv. 3) says the Apostle. The accomplishment of the Divine will is the sanctification of your souls.
Men will, of course, cheerfully conform to the will of God in prosperity, but are afterwards unwilling to submit to it in adversity. But this is great folly; for they thus suffer doubly and without merit from the evils that befall them, since, whether they wish or do not wish it, the will of God shall be accomplished. My counsel shall stand, and all my will shall be done (Is. xlvi. 10). When, then, a person in sickness does not accept his pains with patience, but gives way to anger, and complains of every one, what does he do? Does he by his impatience get rid of his pains? No: on the contrary he increases them, because by resisting the will of God he loses his peace, and still has to endure the same pains. Who hath resisteth him and hath had peace? (Job ix. 4). But were he to embrace his sufferings in peace, he would feel his pains less sensibly, and would derive consolation from the thought of pleasing God, by accepting crosses from His Divine hands.
Oh! what pleasure does he give to the Lord, who in the time of tribulation says with David: “I was dumb, and I opened not my mouth, because thou hast done it. (Ps. xxxviii. 10). My God, I have closed my lips, and have not dared to speak, because I know that Thou hast done it. No; there is no one better able than God to promote our welfare, or that loves us more than our Creator. And let us be persuaded that whatever God does He does for our good, and because He loves us. Many things appear to us to be misfortunes, and we call them misfortunes; but if we understood the end for which God sends them, we should see that they are favours. It appeared a calamity to King Manasses to be deprived of his kingdom, and to be made a slave of the prince of the Assyrians; but these misfortunes were blessings; for after his downfall he returned to God, and did penance for the wickedness of his life. And after that he was in distress, he prayed to the Lord his God; and did penance exceedingly before the God of his fathers (2 Par. xxxiii. 12). To one who suffers from a vertigo, many things appear to be falling to pieces; and he knows not that it is his dizziness that makes them appear different from what they are in reality. Such a person may say: How does it happen that everything goes astray with me? No, I answer, but you go astray; your will is crooked; for all that happens comes from God. He does all for your welfare, but you know it not.