Colossians 1: 12-20 Brothers and sisters: Give thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
I have found throughout my life that the Holy Spirit teaches in themes. I love that He does that. We come across something that speaks to us, and then some unrelated source confirms it and the lesson continues through a series of seemingly unrelated experiences. When that happens, I have learned that it is time to pay attention.
One of my recent articles was on the power of detachment. I thought it was a stand-alone piece, but the Holy Spirit’s lesson was not complete. Since then He has been expanding the lesson. There are nuances to the virtue of surrender to the will of God. We can be surrendered with resignation or with anticipation. In other words, we can be resigned to the will of God, or we can anticipate the ways that God will be glorified in our current situation, whatever the outcome. The second method is decidedly more joyful and fruitful than the first!
When we surrender with resignation, we are still pining for what was lost, namely our own control over the outcome of events. When we surrender with anticipation and joy, we are affirming our belief in God’s goodness, power, mercy, and love. In the last article, I quoted Archbishop Sheen:
“Once you realize that God is your end, you are not disappointed, for you put no more hope in things than they can bear. You cease looking for first-rate joys where there are only tenth-rate pleasures.”
It is important to cultivate this sense of anticipation so we do not slip into misplaced hope. The above reading from Colossians gives us all the reason for hope we need in any situation—Jesus is Lord! In my last article, I told you about an image of myself throwing my arms around Jesus’ chest, and about my friend telling me that when I do that, Jesus has my back. That is a beautiful image on its own. However, at first I was throwing my arms around Jesus in desperation to escape an earthly circumstance. What I now realize is that I need to do that as one filled with gratitude for all that God is doing for me in this situation and in my life as a whole. I can’t see the big picture, but He can. Instead of placing my hope in people or earthly outcomes, I must remember to place all my hope and trust only in God—which is the core message of Divine Mercy. It should also be the attitude of one who seeks to live only and always in the Divine Will.
Now, whenever I feel some anxiety about a situation, I will try to remember to pray something like this: “O beloved Jesus, I love you, I trust you, I surrender myself joyfully to your loving, perfect will for me and mine. I can’t wait to see how you will be glorified in this situation, even if it takes until eternity! Thank you! I praise you and pray for the highest good of all involved. May your name be praised, O Lord, forever!” What I have found is that in praying this way my anxiety level drops immediately, even fully comprehending that the outcome will likely not be what I expect or desire. It is a prayer of surrender and trust to the will of God, the only thing worthy of our trust, the only sure hope that we have.
If we are feeling anxious about something, we need to examine where we are placing our hope. If it is in anything but God’s holy Will and God’s outcomes, we are in for a rough ride.
I recently listened to one of Fr. Robert Young’s Divine Will broadcasts on Radio Maria, in which he expounded on Volume 19 of Luisa’s writings, specifically the entry from September 13, 1926. In that section our Lord laments that there are so few souls sacrificing their lives and beseeching God that the Kingdom of the Divine Fiat would come to reign over the earth. The Redeemer was called to earth the first time by the prayers, sighs, tears and penances of the patriarchs, prophets and all the good people of the Old Testament. If they had not sacrificed and beseeched the Lord fervently and persistently, the Virgin Queen, perfect vessel of the Divine Will, would not have come, and the Divine Justice would not have granted the descent of the longed-for Redeemer to the level of the creature.
Those of us who are longing for the coming of the Kingdom of the Divine Will—and we all should be longing for an end to this evil age—must at every opportunity surrender our every moment to the Lord, in the Divine Will, with a sigh of deep longing that His Kingdom may come and come quickly! The Lord is beseeching us to beseech Him to establish the reign of the Divine Will on earth. Let us not delay, but in the Divine Will make our supplications, sighs, beseechings, yearnings, longings, desires, hungers, thirsts, and prayers—our every act, breath and heartbeat—full of the yearnings of Queen of the Divine Will calling down the Savior once more. May our persistent fervor, in the Divine Will, bear glorious fruit in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Now that is a first-rate joy! Amen.