I’ve been looking forward to a possible event for sometime now. An event that would be a culmination of years of planning and expectation. I’ve been asking God to make this event happen. It seems like it would be a GOOD THING and have a benefit to many souls. Today, I learned it would not be happening because someone’s permission which was required was withheld.
The first thought that came to my mind when learning of this was “Is this God’s Will or is this the forestalling of God’s Will?” There is no way for me to know the answer to that question. Accordingly, I must fall back on what we must always fall back to:
We are well assured that everything helps to secure the good of those who love God, those whom he has called in fulfillment of his design. (Rom 8:28, Knox Trans.)
Or as put by a friend with some significant experience in the spiritual life who has the same disappointment: God has His plans, and I must be willing to cooperate, when they are to my taste or not!
Detachment from one’s will, one’s expectation of how things should proceed — that is very Christ-like. In fact, I would suggest that detachment from one’s will is a preeminent Christological action. Christ expressed this detachment from the moment of His conception through to the moment of His death. We see it clearly in His words during His agony in the garden of Gethsemane.
This is what makes the vow of obedience the crown jewel of religious life. Not all orders have vows of chastity and poverty, but all have vows of obedience which is the foundation of the others.
It is the vow of obedience that makes religious life so mysterious, so baffling to the point of anathema to modern man. We can be very thankful that there are still those who see the value and who seek the grace to live their lives in emulation of Christ in this most complete way.
Perhaps the GOOD THING will still happen, but clearly not the way I expect. God grant me the grace to cooperate with His Will.