Spirit led thoughts from the Canon to the Ordinary
Am I Doing God’s Will?
People often ask me how to know if what they are doing is God’s will as opposed to their own. It’s a complex question. Often we already have decided what we want to do and when we pray we’re asking God to bless our intended action. It’s evidence of spiritual maturity if we actually openly ask God to guide us, ready to accept what God says. When we initially confess with our mouths that we want Jesus to be the Lord of our life, He gives us a new heart and the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in us. As we worship regularly, study the Bible and pray, God transforms us making us more and more like Jesus. At some point, we begin to want what God wants. Then it’s very possible that what we want to do is what God wills. Still, it’s hard to know for sure. For over ten years I’ve found this prayer by the Cistercian Monk Thomas Merton helpful.
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact, please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
I pray that desiring to please God will be your desire as it is mine.
Father Jim Fosdick SSC
Canon to the Ordinary