Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J.
We saw last time that God loves me. We demonstrated that deductively and inductively, “trickle down” and “bubble up,” by revelation and our own personal experience. God loves me personally and intimately. But He loves me as a member of His family.
When Our Lord taught his apostles how to pray he did not say My Father but Our Father. Our Father defines our relationship with God, and with one another. God is our loving, provident Father and we are all this children. We are all brothers and sisters. There are no isolated, rugged individuals in this family. We are all interdependent, one on the other. Assisted living is characteristic of our way of living from the womb to the tomb. We live in the beautiful home of our Father where there is love, serenity and the freedom of the children of God.
Divine Providence means that God rules the world and everything in it. Nothing happens by chance. Everything that happens in this world is either positively willed by God or at least permitted by him. And to those who love him all things even the evil works together for good.
God has a plan for our life. But just like other architects who use contractors and subcontractors to execute their plans, so God submits the execution of his plans to secondary causes, to creatures. And often, because our faith is weak we do not see behind this person or that event, the loving providing hand of God.
Father Tabb says, “Our life is a weaving between God and me.” Did you ever see two men weaving an oriental tapestry? The master weaver, who has created the design is on the front side directing the weaving. To him the pattern is always visible and slowly taking form. His helper, on the other side, simply pulls the needle through and then puts it in where the master directs him. To him no design or pattern is ever discernible. All he sees is a mess of crisscross stitches of different colors and sizes. But he has confidence in the master weaver and knows that if he follows his directions the result will be beautiful tapestry. “My life is a weaving between God and me, full oft he chooses sorrow and I in sinful pride forget he sees the upper and I, the lower side.”
But we want to see the plan working out in all of its details, and according to our way of thinking. “But our thoughts and our ways are not God’s thoughts and God’s ways.” According to our way of thinking the necessary effect of a life of virtue is esteem, joy, tranquility and success. And a life of sin and vice necessarily brings misery, shame and failure. But how different are the thoughts of God who sometimes blesses us with failure and curses us with success.
Not only do we want to see the plan of our life working out in all of its details and according to our way of thinking, we also want to see it worked out now. We live in a world of speed and instant results. We forget that our lifetime is only a moment in God’s eternity. And it is for Him to determine when the “fullness of time will be.”
Our heavenly Father has not escaped the general misjudgment of fathers. The young, engrossed in the toys of the present, find him indifferent and preoccupied. Why does he insist upon looking ahead, providing for the long future of eternity instead of drying our tears, repairing our toys and comforting us? The older children have looked around a bit and are complacent in the naïve sophistication which that superficial view has given them. From their superior heights they pass judgment, pitying Him, condemning Him and even denying that he is a Father.
But the rough contacts with life will eventually scratch the glittering surface of that sophistication. The humiliation of failure will cut down the height of the judgment seat and bitter experience may teach them to distinguish between the passing tinsel and bauble and the real values of life. Then in their maturity they will pass a saner judgment on their heavenly Father. Fortunately for us, He is never beyond the reach of our apologies, never out of range of our thanks.
Yes, our Heavenly Father loves us, his children with a love we cannot earn or ever be worthy of. This love is indissolubly both a free gift of God and a free acceptance on our part.
BELIEVE – BEHAVE - BECOME
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