Saturday, September 06, 2008

Across the Threshhold

Across the threshhold I had been afraid to cross, things suddenly seemed so very simple. There was but a single vision, God, who was all in all; there was but one will that directed all things, God's will. I had only to see it, to discern it in every circumstance in which I found myself, and let myself be ruled by it. God is in all things, sustains all things, directs all things. To discern this in every situation and circumstance, to see His will in all things, was to accept each circumstance and situation and let oneself be borne along in perfect confidence and trust. Nothing could separate me from Him, because He was in all things. No danger could threaten me, no fear could shake me, except the fear of losing sight of Him. The future, hidden as it was, was hidden in His will and therefore acceptable to me no matter what it might bring. The past, with all its failures, was not forgotten; it remained to remind me of the weakness of human nature and the folly of putting any faith in self. But it no longer depressed me. I looked no longer to self to guide me, relied on it no longer in any way, so it could not again fail me. By renouncing, finally and completely, all control of my life and future destiny, I was relieved as a consequence of all responsibility. I was freed thereby from anxiety and worry, from every tension, and could float serenely upon the tide of God's sustaining providence in perfect peace of soul.

Walter Ciszek, SJ

6 comments:

poetreader said...

Wonderful quote!
In these troubled and contentious times we need to be reminded that God is indeed our only real objective, and that He really is in charge. It's not up to me to fix it all, God be thanked! I do my best, knowing that it can never be anywhere near good enough, and have to trust Him both to make up the difference, and to repair the damage I manage to do.

ed

Albion Land said...

I came across Fr Ciszek fortuitously; a friend posted a reference to him on Facebook. I looked him up on Wikipedia, and found this quote, which left me breathless by its simplicity.

So that got me to thinking about the whole question of discerning what God's will is, and I have done a good bit of reading for the rest of the day. That has led me to St Francis de Sales, an expert in this field, so it is said. I just found this quote, which so closely echoes what Ciszek said:

"The will then neither knows nor cares what it wants; it surrenders itself utterly and unreservedly to the permissive will of providence, becoming so blended with this sweet will that it can say with St. Paul, I live now, no longer I, but Christ lives in me!"

Brian G. said...

In a somewhat similar vein, you might like Abandonment to Divine Providence (also published as The Sacrament of the Present Moment). Despite the potentially off-putting title(s), what I've read so far is quite good. The work is a compilation of instructional notes by 18-century Jesuit priest Jean Pierre de Caussade, written for a group of Visitationist nuns.

johnnybuttboy said...

Thanks. I needed this so badly right now. God Bless You.

Albion Land said...

Dear Johnny,

You are more than welcome.

I needed it too, which is why it took my breath away when I read it.

Ironically, I have recently been meditating on Matthew 6. 25-34, yet somehow our Lord's words just weren't getting through to me. It was only when I read Fr Ciszek that it clicked.

Albion Land said...

Brian,

Thanks for the tip. Here is an interesting prayer from Caussade, which says much:

"Make it your chief study to conform yourself to the will of God even in the smallest things, saying in the midst of the most annoying contradictions and with the most alarming prospects for the future: 'My God, I desire with all my heart to do Your holy will, I submit in all things and absolutely to Your good pleasure for time and eternity; and I wish to do this, Oh my God, for two reasons; first: because You are my Sovereign Lord and it is but just that Your will should be accomplished; secondly: because I am convinced by faith, and by experience that Your will is in all things as good and beneficent as it is just and adorable, while my own desires are always blind and corrupt; blind, because I know not what I ought to desire or to avoid; corrupt, because I nearly always long for what would do me harm. Therefore, from henceforth, I renounce my own will to follow Yours in all things; dispose of me, Oh my God, according to Your good will and pleasure.'"