March 2011

Audio file

We are fortunate. By doing God’s will moment by moment we can build up the unique and marvellous mosaic of our lives that he has always had in mind for us.

To each of us, as to Mary, God wants to reveal his idea for us: he wants to let us know our true identity. He seems to say, ‘Do you want me to make you and your life into a masterpiece? Then follow the path I will show you and you will become what you have always been in my heart. In fact, from all eternity, I have thought of you and loved you and I have uttered your name. By telling you my will, I am revealing your true self.’

So his will is not an imposition that constrains us, but it is the unveiling of his love for us, of his project in us. God’s will is sublime like God himself, fascinating and enthralling like his face: it is God who gives himself. The will of God is a golden thread, a divine pattern woven through the whole of our earthly life and beyond. It is a plan that starts from eternity and goes to eternity. At first it is in the mind of God, then on this earth and, in the end, in Paradise.

But in order for God’s design to be completely fulfilled, God asks for my assent, for your assent, as he did with Mary. This is the only way to fulfil the word that God has uttered about me, about you. So we too, like Mary, are asked to say:

Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.

Certainly, his will is not always clear to us. Like Mary we too will need to ask for light to understand what God wants. With great sincerity we must listen well to his voice within us and, if need be, ask advice from those who can help. But once we have understood his will, we want to say ‘yes’ to him straightaway. If, indeed, we have understood that his will is the greatest and most beautiful thing that could happen in our life, we will not resign ourselves to ‘having to do’ the will of God. Instead we will be glad to ‘be able’ to do the will of God, to be able to follow his plan, so that his idea for us might come about. It is the best and most intelligent thing we can do.

Mary’s words ‘Here I am, the servant of the Lord’, therefore, become our loving response to God’s love. They keep us always turned towards him, in an attitude of listening and of obedience, wanting only to do his will, to be as he wants us to be.

Sometimes, nonetheless, what he asks of us can seem absurd. It would seem better to us to do something different; we would like to decide for ourselves. We might almost want even to advise God and tell him what to do and not do. But if I believe that God is love and trust him, I know that what he sets up for my life and for the lives of those close to me is for my good and theirs too. So I put myself in his hands, I abandon myself to his will with full trust, and I want it with the whole of myself, to the point of being one with it, knowing that to welcome his will is to welcome him, embrace him and be nourished with him.

We must believe that nothing happens by chance. No event, whether it be joyful, indifferent or painful, no encounter, no situation in the family, at work or at school, no physical or moral condition, is without meaning. On the contrary, every event, situation or person bears a message from God. Everything contributes to the fulfilment of God’s design, which we will discover bit by bit, day by day, doing the will of God as Mary did.

Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.

So how can we live this Word? Practically speaking our ‘yes’ to the word of God means doing well and completely all that he asks us to do in every present moment. We should devote ourselves wholeheartedly to whatever we are doing, putting aside everything else, letting go of any thoughts, desires, memories, actions that have to do with anything else.

We can say in front of every will of God, whether it be painful, joyful or indifferent, ‘Let it be with me according to your word’, or, as Jesus taught us in the ‘Our Father’: ‘Your will be done.’  Let’s tell him this before each of our actions: ‘May it be done’, ‘Your will be done.’ We will compose, moment by moment, piece by piece, the marvellous, unique and unrepeatable mosaic of our lives that the Lord has always had in mind for each one of us.

Chiara Lubich

(First published December 2002)

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