DIVINE WILL PT. VI

 

       What must be alternatively considered is our personal "complicity with evil." Rather than asking why evil exists, what should be inquired into is why we are giving way to evil. Purity of heart is never associated with censuring God, for having pure heart is identical with having the will congruous with the divine will: "We know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good" (Rom. 8:28). Any predicament where "things go ill or wrong," not as wished for... will not compel true believers to erroneously infer that God is violating principles of fairness. Buber reaffirms that being pure in heart can never lead to drawing such inferences because purity of heart is denotative of the greatest intimacy with God, and being in such closeness with God is synonymous with experiencing God as benevolent in all contexts of personal world or all states of affairs. He clarifies this by saying that, "...this does not mean that God rewards him with his goodness. It means rather that God's goodness is revealed to him who is pure in heart: he experiences this goodness" (Good and Evil, p. 34). In like fashion Kierkegaard reasserts, "But an evil eye discovers much that love does not see, since an evil eye even sees that the Lord acts unjustly when he is good. When evil lives in the heart, the eye sees offense, but when purity lives in the heart, the eye sees the finger of God. The pure always see God, but 'he who does evil does not see God'" (Jn. 3:11) (Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses, p. 60).

       Thielicke provides an illustration to a better understanding why all the tragic events and experiences that God allows are perceived as tragic by giving the example of looking at the fabric through a magnifying glass. Whenever, the fabric is looked at through a magnifying glass, the fabric is clear around the center of the glass, whereas the edges are distinctly distorted. This however, should not lead one to believe that the fabric itself is in fact distorted at the edges. Thielicke concludes that this same happens when one views the world through the medium of Good News, then the center is clear and comprehensible; that is, whatever is most essential in life is seen in a nondistorted way.

       Life can be quite interesting, yet, often it comes to be full of promise when the depth of hopelessness is reached; when human deficiencies and destructiveness are recognized, and when everything seems to come to a dead end, then God's chance really opens. When all that is seen are impossibilities - where there seems to be no prospect of prospects, the real and lasting prospect becomes clear. Everything is not everything, and when everything that is not everything is gone, nothing is in actuality lost. Wanting or having everything therefore may mean wanting or having nothing, and having the wrong things means having nothing. Merton offers another explanation why we dread losing anything in this life: "I know I am in danger, but how can I be afraid of danger? If I remembered that I have nothing called my own that will not be lost anyway, that only what is not mine but God's will ever live, then I would not fear so many false fears" (Thomas Merton: Contemplative Critic, p. 36).

       The submission of human will to the divine will... the unconditionalness of trust in God's benevolence leads to enormity of favors since there is no greater sacrifice which is more pleasing to God than in every circumstance to conform to His will. Jesus states this on numerous occasions to Saint Faustina: "My daughter, you give Me the greatest glory by faithfully fulfilling My desires" (Divine Mercy..., p. 216); "No action undertaken on your own, even though you put much effort into it, pleases Me" (Divine Mercy..., p. 274); "My daughter, My delight is to unite Myself with you. It is when you submit yourself to My will that you give Me the greatest glory and draw upon yourself a sea of blessings. I would not take such special delight in you if you were not living by My will" (Divine Mercy..., p. 371); "My daughter, know that you give Me greater glory by a single act of obedience than by long prayers and mortifications" (Divine Mercy..., p. 350); "My daughter, you give Me most glory by patiently submitting to My will, and you win for yourself greater merit than that which any fast or mortification could ever gain for you. Know, My daughter, that if you submit your will to Mine, you draw upon yourself My special delight. This sacrifice is pleasing to Me and full of sweetness. I take great pleasure in it; there is power in it" (Divine Mercy..., p. 352); "Yes, when you are obedient I take away your weakness and replace it with My strength. I am very surprised that souls do not want to make that exchange with Me" (Divine Mercy..., p. 172). And finally Jesus provides the following clarification: "I demand of you a perfect and whole - burnt offering; an offering of the will. No other sacrifice can compare with this one" (Divine Mercy..., p. 359). If what is required were carried out, God would effect what is wished for. Without doubt, if the divine will were steadfastly fulfilled, there would be heaven on earth, and for that reason Drexelius insistently proclaims: "Let there be an end of your own will, and there will be no such thing as hell" (Heliotropium, p. 215).

Christian Works by Dorothy Kardas, Psy.D. Th.D. 

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