Monday, June 6, 2011


What is successful in the eyes of God and what we account as success are not quite the same.  When we think of success in an endeavor, it produces the effect for which we have striven, or perhaps an even greater effect than we imagined possible.  Yet in God’s assessment, it is simply that we have surrendered ourselves wholly to His will that makes of our efforts a success. 

In the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, it is written that she had been given to see how much her confessor was to suffer in carrying out a work entrusted to him by God.  Sister Faustina questioned our Lord saying, “Jesus, this is Your affair, so why are You acting this way toward him?  It seems to me that You are making difficulties for him while at the same time ordering him to act.”  Jesus replied: “Write [in your diary] that by day and by night My gaze is fixed upon him and I permit these adversities in order to increase his merit.  I do not reward for good results but for the patience and hardship undergone for My sake.” (86)

We may have an idea of the way we think our lives will go and then something happens to change our course.  We’re shunted to another track or maybe derailed altogether.  We do what we think is right, expecting a certain type of outcome, and something different occurs.  Maybe we can begin to see and understand why and where it is leading, but then again, maybe not. 

When we surrender ourselves to the will of God, discerning it through prayer, through circumstance, through the results of our efforts to cooperate with His loving plan for us, whether it is possible to understand or not, the surrender itself is pleasing to Him who does not lead us into harm but shepherd’s us according to the best way for ourselves and those others whose lives and souls we touch by our own.

Though for many of us here, it is illness that has seemed to divert us from the path we intended to travel, our surrender to this change in our lives is compatible with His will, for it calls us to embrace with patience, a hardship.  For some of us, it is a short time we will pass through, for others of us, it will be an ongoing struggle, yet His gaze is fixed upon each of us in the knowledge of what we suffer, and not one splinter of the cross we bear which pricks our skin goes unnoticed by Him.       

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