Monday, December 19, 2005

A Penitent Blogger on "The thing I want"

Penitens, A Penitent Blogger counters the endless consumerist noise of the Christmas season with sound counsel. Behold, the man's testimony:
Indeed, whether it is childlessness or some other life problem (real or perceived), instead of seeking to understand God’s will for their lives, too many people are willing to cross any line to obtain what they want.

It is sometimes a very slippery slope: for example, what begins as compassionate medical care for childless couples leads so easily to demands for “selective reduction” (abortion) or to the manufacture of human embryos (who can be locked away in a freezer pack for future use).

This is not a situation only for childless couples: in different ways we are ALL tempted to bend rules, rationalize, go along, or “do what we have to do” to gain or hold onto a thing that we feel or think is “good.”

Sometimes, like Zechariah in today’s Gospel, we may even question God’s message (especially when it clashes with “conventional” wisdom).

As a society, we have seen where these temptations lead: an increasingly slippery slope into moral chaos and the degradation of human life.

As individuals too we have seen where personal moral shortcuts leave us.

It is good to be happy and to do things that improve our lives. Whether our problem is childlessness or something else, we (as individuals, couples and as societies) should pursue every objectively moral approach available.

First and foremost, however, we should always be trying to discern God’s will: not to do things because we “can” but to do only those things God wants us to do.
To live according to God's will may be the most difficult commitment any of us make. Indeed, to even discern God's will in terms of the practical decisions of our daily lives can often prove to be a herculean labor. But to then live by God's will? Whoa: talk about a trial of Faith!

For, in the end, that's what it takes to live according to God's will: Faith. We need to trust in the Lord and truly believe that what he wants of us is what's best for us. When we face the suffering that comes from life this side of heaven, we may wonder if we truly can trust in the Lord. We may want to walk the path that eases our sorrow rather than transcends it. We may even choose to live the easy way out rather than carry the cross placed at our feet.

In the end, though, to whom can we go? Who do we believe has the words of eternal life? God's love for each and everyone of us is freely given and showered upon us. Whatever pain we experience in our lives, we know that it counts as nothing compared to the love he overpowers us with. We can trust in our God; he will lead us through our Golgothas to the new life we live in his presence.

Let us choose to live in the fullness of Faith, by placing our fundamental trust in him and following him, wherever he may lead. Then we'll experience the ultimate fulfillment that comes when we rest our hearts in him. Today, let us trust in the Lord and have Faith in him.