My purpose in these posts is to bring a variety of Christian and other writers in a desire to share significant writings that in my estimation contribute to the common good and directly or indirectly give glory to God and extend the Lord's work of salvation to all of humanity. G.S.
I hope this finds you all well, and I hope that if you have rain, that you may find it soothing to listen to the rain fall.... I further hope that the following words will be soothing to any who may be feeling any kind of stress, for any reason at all, which is bound to happen to all of us from time to time....
For many years now I have come to understand in my own experience, I believe the Lord has taught me, that his ways are not our ways, as He says in the Old Testament so often to his people. One of the ways of the Lord is that He governs us under what Saint Pope John Paul II called "the law of the gift", which he liked to apply to Marriage, but it is also a universal principle eminently applicable to every dimension of our human life: God is a self-bestowing God, He gives Himself. The Father gives Himself to us through his only-begotten Son, the Son gives Himself as the human man Jesus and does so to the end on the cross and continues to give Himself now in the Holy Eucharist as well as in his being the divine "Word of God", and the Holy Spirit pours Himself into us as what Jesus called "living water".
God the Most Holy Trinity calls us to be governed by this same principle, never out of fear - see how often God says "Do not be afraid." The Word of God said this to his people whenever a heavenly messenger addressed a member of the Chose People, and Jesus also said this to his disciples and to people. We are to imitate God in the gift of self, and of course, this can only be done in freedom and with generosity, which means there can be no coercion.
I regularly have occasion to apologize, in a sense, for my enthusiasm, when this causes others to feel under pressure to be a certain way or speak a certain way or do a certain thing; which is generally very far from my intention. It is for each of us to understand that we stand freely before God and in the face of each other. One of the consequences of this is that we need to wait on one another for a response fully from freedom which in turn can allow for a movement, "un élan", an impulse of generosity, which itself generally is produced as a radiance of gratitude; gratitude for all that we have already received from this God who gives Himself so liberally, so completely, so extravagantly, and so universally.
Since the divine law which governs us is divine love, itself a process which unfolds in freedom and generosity, then we can breathe easily, and allow ourselves to open up to the three divine persons in trust, and rather than force ourselves into becoming saints, simply allow them to fill us with the Holy Spirit and gently guide us, from moment to moment and situation to situation, into living in a way by which we gradually make of our life more and more a gift of love for others, beginning with our spouse, then our children, then our immediate family of origin and our extended family, and finally to our neighbor, to the stranger, and even to any and all enemies.
If we truly love, then we do no wrong to our neighbour as Saint Paul wrote in Romans 13:10, and if we love Jesus, then we will obey his' commandments as reported in his Gospel by John in 14:15. Gratitude, love, freedom, and generosity are like a kind of spiritual dance which exists in the peace God gives and which generates divine joy. In turn these enhance the freedom, peace, and gratitude of all who observe them in others. I am very far from experiencing these in perfection, but I have tasted enough of them to know that they are true and real, and that they are precious graces from God, which are very highly desirable for ourselves and for others.
May we all be governed by these wonderful principles....
© 2004-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal QC
© 2004-2021 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC
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