THAT’S what God has practically given us. He has created us to be his image and likeness. And he has given us everything to reach that goal — our intelligence, will and his powerful grace, and everything else that is for our own good.
In a sense, his precious project with us is well funded. Now it is up to us to write whatever amount we are going to put on that check by way of our free correspondence to his will for us. Whatever amount we write there, it will always be honored.
This is a truth of our Christian faith that we have to be most aware of. Besides, even if along the way, we bumble and commit all sorts of mistakes and blunders, God knows what to do with them, deriving something good from them. It’s a win-win proposition. But it is also true that in spite of this great privilege, we can choose to lose.
We need to be more aware that our life here on earth is a matter of how much we correspond to God’s will and ways. It is a matter of giving ourselves to him, and because of him then also to the others. It’s a matter of losing ourselves in order to win him, to become like him as he wants us to be.
That is why Christ has been consistent in saying that we need to deny ourselves, carry his cross and follow him. (cfr. Mt 16, 24) More vividly, he said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — such a person cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14, 26)
We have to lose our fear of losing ourselves if only to have God, to be with God, and to be like God as he wants us to be. This might sound like an insane proposition if considered in human terms. But God assures us that what we seem to lose would be gained back many times over.
“No one,” he said, “who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields — and with them, persecutions, and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mk 10, 29-30)
We need to have the conviction that it is all worthwhile to give up everything for God. We should never be afraid because he will take care of everything. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you,” Christ said. (Mt 6, 33)
Ours is simply to correspond to his will as fully as we can, imitating the example of Christ, our way, truth and life, who gave up everything, including his life, to do his Father’s will to save us. And that giving up led to the resurrection.
Like Christ, we should correspond to God’s will even to the most extreme of conditions. St. Paul, another good example of how one should very generously correspond to God’s will, gives us an idea of the extent to which we should be willing to correspond to God’s will.
“I have worked much harder,” he said, “been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move…” (2 Cor 11, 23-26)
We need to train ourselves to give ourselves to God more and more, even if it is slow especially at the beginning and in small degrees. As long as it is steadily done, we can end up writing a big amount on the blank check God gives us./PN