Thursday, March 14, 2013

Devotion for today: God’s ways are not our ways

I have been thinking a lot lately about His Holiness Benedict XVI’s retirement. Many, many speculations have been offered as to why he did it, including health, feebleness of body and mind, and fatigue. I do honestly believe his primary reason is one he offered so freely: after much prayer, he felt led by God to retire to a life of complete solitude and prayer for the Church and the world. In a sense, we can see why the media and the secular world would not understand this. What good is that going to do? Wouldn’t he be more effective speaking, writing, traveling and governing? What man handed such a powerful position would ever leave it? Well, how about a man who is in such a deep relationship with God that he can actually discern the Father’s voice when he hears it? And how about a man so in tune with the Father’s will that he will give up everything he has: power, position, prestige, and influence to do what he feels God is asking him to do? What about a man who knew he would be mocked, ridiculed, scorned and misunderstood for what he would do, and went ahead and did it anyway? Now, why would God ask this of him? This is very much akin to placing him on the cross with Christ, then burying him in the tomb for the rest of his life, to suffer and pray for the Church and the world. Why? Well, I think, and this is my own opinion, that God knows the Church and the world are in such a state that we actually need a "Pope Emeritus in Prayer" and a Pope in action, one who spends his life in prayer and sacrifice for the flock, and one who actively leads it. Don’t we always say that there are two classes of warriors in God’s army: those who are on the front lines fighting the fight in active ministry and daily living, and those who are basically cloistered in a life of prayer and sacrifice? The Church is different from the secular world in that we acknowledge the power of constant, faithful prayer as much as we acknowledge the need for brilliant minds and active, willing spirits. This is like having a Secretary of Prayer and Sacrifice in every world government, which would house people who did nothing but pray that their country’s leaders heard the word of God and acted on it when governing their nation! Imagine that! Believing that God could have a hand in governing, believing that prayer could keep out the evil one from distorting leader’s minds into believing they are their own gods and their beliefs supersede those of God! I think we must believe that God’s ways are not our ways, and that if He asked His Holiness Benedict to step aside and become a much needed prayer warrior in a world that is crying for help, then He knows we need it. I am just thankful to God that His Holiness Benedict was so humble and compliant to the will of God, that he was willing to be a scandal to the world to follow God instead. May we always immerse ourselves so deeply in prayer that we, too, can hear the word of the Father and His call for our lives, and if it is not what we have chosen as the path for life, that we be brave and bold enough to give up our plans for His. It is hard; it hurts; it involves great faith and sacrifice, but when God meets us with open arms in heaven  to thank us personally for helping Him bring His sons and daughters into a life of grace and holiness, I think we may be very happy with our choice!!! 

Habemus Papam: God bless Pope Francis I!

Isaiah 55:8: "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.

Isaiah 53:3,4, 7, 10-12:  He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

1 comment:

FaithfulinPrayer said...

So beautifully said. I really agree with you. In 1 Corinthians it also says that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who do not believe. I really like the reports I've read so far about Pope Frances I that says how humble he is.