Someone once asked St. Teresa of Calcutta, “Mother, what is your secret?” And Mother Teresa answered, “My secret is simple – I pray.” I heard my wife Patti share this quote in a talk and she followed up by saying, “Do you want to know my secret? It is living in the union of the Holy Spirit and Mary.” This all got me to thinking…how would I describe my “secret,” (or my spirituality)? I think I would say it this way – I want to always… Desire God’s Will; Seek God’s Wisdom; Remain in God’s Word.
DESIRE GOD’S WILL
St. Alphonsus Ligouri and numerous other saints have said that the most important union with God is union with his will. It is the first step toward holiness and the most important thing in our lives. I remember seeing a T-shirt which said, “God’s will – nothing more, nothing less, nothing else!” Psalm 40:8 says, “To do your will, O my God, is my delight and your law is within my heart.” Psalm 143:10 says, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.” We see in the gospels, especially John’s gospel, that doing the Father’s will was the “spirituality of Jesus.” All that Jesus did was directed “ad Patrem” – to the Father. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ prayer was, “Not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). St. Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 5:17, “Do not be foolish but understand what the will of God is.”
God’s will – nothing more, nothing less, nothing else! DESIRE GOD’S WILL!
SEEK GOD’S WISDOM
We need God’s wisdom to know God’s will. In the Old Testament, wisdom is presented as a truly precious gift of God – the key to receiving many other gifts. The Lord offered King Solomon any gift he desired, but Solomon chose wisdom and the Lord was greatly pleased with that choice (cf. 1 Kings 3:59). Solomon’s prayer for wisdom is in the Book of Wisdom, chapter 9. It is a powerful prayer for seeking wisdom. (On a personal note, I try to pray it daily.) The gospel of Luke says that Jesus was filled with wisdom (cf. 2:40), grew in wisdom (cf. 2:52), and that Jesus’ wisdom is even “greater than Solomon” (cf. 11:31). Jesus himself is our wisdom (cf. 1 Cor. 1:30) and in him are “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (cf. Col. 2:3). It is extremely important and reassuring that God promises to gives us wisdom if we ask in faith (cf. James 1:5). I received the following prophetic word three years ago about how important it is to SEEK GOD’S WISDOM:
My ways are not your ways, says the Lord, and my wisdom is not your wisdom. The wisdom of God is foolishness to men, and the wisdom of men is foolishness to God. Do not confuse my wisdom with the wisdom of men, nor the wisdom of men with my wisdom, says the Lord. My wisdom is the wisdom of the cross. I do not count wisdom as men count wisdom, for the wisdom of men ignores the cross, denies the cross, and even mocks the cross. Only my wisdom is true wisdom, says the Lord.
I will take down every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against me, says the Lord. I will cast down imaginations and pretensions and reasonings that come against me, says the Lord. And I tell you, pull down the high places in your lives, the idols of your mind, everything that sets itself against me, says the Lord, or I will pull them down myself even as I pulled down the Tower of Babel of old. I am the Lord your God; there is no other god besides me, says the Lord.
For I am a jealous God, says the Lord. I share my glory with no other. Do not be led astray. Do not be deceived. War is being waged. The enemy is engaged. The battle is even now raging. Be careful how you walk and be not deceived.
Follow me, says the Lord. Have faith in me; join with me, says the Lord. Join the armies of heaven as they battle here on earth. Victory is mine, says the Lord, and if you are in my company, victory shall be yours as well, says the Lord.
REMAIN IN GOD’S WORD
The primary way to seek God’s wisdom is to remain in God’s holy word in Scripture. “Not by bread alone does man live but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Deut. 8:3). This verse was also quoted by Jesus (cf. Matt. 4:4) during his temptation in the desert. Jesus says in John 8:31-32 that if we remain in his word, three things will happen: 1) we will be truly his disciples; 2) we will know the truth; 3) and the truth will set us free. Those are three tremendous promises – all resulting from remaining in God’s word. St. Paul tells us in Romans 15:4 that the Scriptures yield three fruits: instruction, encouragement, and hope – all of which we desperately need. REMAIN IN GOD’S WORD!
At the beginning of this New Year of 2020, I will share with you a prayer that I try to say first thing every morning.
LET US PRAY
Father, in the name of Jesus and according to James 1:5, I ask you to grant me the wisdom to know your perfect will for me this day and every day of my life.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask you for the grace to do your perfect will for me this day and every day of my life.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask you for the deliverance, healing, and peace that comes from knowing and doing your perfect will for me this day and every day of my life. Amen.