This week, my spiritual director asked me a big question: If we know that choosing God is the greatest good, why do we choose lesser goods? Why do we choose darkness over light?
That’s an interesting question and one that gets to the heart of our relationship with God. Why do I, a person who knows God and knows that He is the Creator of all and all good, sometimes refuse to submit to His will? Why do I neglect gratitude for His graces? Why do I worry myself to distraction about things that I cannot control? Why do I waste my time on lesser goods.?
I am not saying that we cannot love people and things in our life. We are commanded to do so, and to love ourselves. Loving is always directing us toward God, or it should be. All goods are from God and owed back to Him. Yet we often choose to focus on something to the exclusion of God, and to twist our love of people and things into something that distracts us from God’s will. We see the goodness in many things; power, sensual beauty, worldly renown, etc. St. Augustine, in his Confessions sees nothing wrong with those pursuits as long as we recognize and submit to the law of God before all others. Ultimately, when we concentrate on these worldly goods and don’t consider God’s will, we are ignoring His voice, enjoying His goods without considering Who made them. We set our face against Him and ignore His voice. As Augustine notes, “All those who wander far away and set themselves up against you are imitating you, but in a perverse way; yet by this very mimicry they proclaim that you are the creator of the whole of nature, and that in consequence there is no place whatever where we can hide from your presence” (45). Augustine is right, we hide from God because of our pride; whether we consider ourselves too sinful or too self-sufficient, the result is the same. We close ourselves off from the grace we need to be fully human, which is to be completely subsumed in God’s will.
Pray for me this Lent and I’ll pray for you. I really do want your prayer requests. Please like and share and comment!! God bless.
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