“My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me.”
So said Jesus Christ, speaking of Himself. In this mortal life, “meat” is that which preserves our life, and therefore Our Lord said that it was His meat to do the will of the Father. This also ought to be the meat of our souls: “Life is in His will.” (Ps. 29:6). Our life consists in doing the Divine will; he that does not fulfill it is dead.
God only desires that which is best for us, which is our sanctification. Let us take care, therefore, to quiet our own will, uniting it ever to the will of God, and thus we shall be able also to quiet our mind, recollecting that everything that God does is the best thing that can befall us.
Whoever does not do this will never find true peace. All the perfection which can be attained in this world, which is a place of preparation and purification, consists in suffering patiently those things which are opposed to our self-love. And, in order to suffer with patience, there is no more efficacious means than a willingness to suffer in order to do the will of God. He that acquiesces with the Divine will in everything is always at peace, and nothing that happens to him can make him miserable.
The Divine will, so to say, draws out all the thorns and bitterness of the tribulations which come upon us in this world. The hymn which speaks of the Divine will thus sings: “Thou changest crosses into joys; Thou makest even death to be sweet; he that can unite himself with Thee, knows neither cross nor fear. Oh, how worthy art Thou of love, Thou, O Will of God!”
Behold the excellent counsel of St. Peter, in order to find a perfect peace in the midst of the toils of this present life, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7). And if it is God who thus gives thought for our good, why should we weary ourselves with so many anxieties – as if our happiness depended on our own cares – and not rather give ourselves up into the hands of God, upon whom all depends. “Cast thy care upon the Lord,” says David, “and He shall sustain thee.” (Ps. 54:23).
In a word, whoever does the will of God enters into Paradise, and he that does it not, enters not. Some people trust their eternal salvation to certain devotions or to certain outward works of piety, and yet they do not give their hearts to God. But Jesus Christ says, “Not every one that saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of My Father, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 7:21).
Receive, O God my soul, receive the sacrifice of my whole will and my whole liberty. I see that I have deserved that Thou shouldst turn Thy back upon me and refuse this gift of mine, so often have I been unfaithful to Thee. But I learn that Thou dost again command me to love Thee with all my heart, and therefore I am sure Thou wilt receive it. I resign myself, then, wholly to Thy will; make me to know what Thou wilt, that I may be able to accomplish it all. Make me love Thee, and then dispose of me and all my affairs as it pleases Thee. I am in Thy hands; do what Thou knowest to be most expedient for my eternal salvation, while I declare that I desire Thee alone and nothing else.
This article is taken from a chapter in The Soul Sanctified: Catholic Wisdom on the Way of Salvation which is available from TAN Books.