March 28, 2007

God's Will

There is a very good discussion going on over at Historical Christian. Check it out.

The question is the specificity of God's will in discerning one's vocation in life. Does God will a specific vocation for each human life? Or does God simply wish us to be happy and loving and then gives us the freedom to decide for ourselves the best way to do it? After all, as Augustine famously put it, "love and do what you will," since, if we are loving, we can hardly stray from the will of the God who is Love.

Certainly one doesn't fuss about the will of God in little, inconsequential decisions. I doubt if God cares whether you have butter or honey with your bread, or both, as Winnie-the-Pooh famously opted. But what about the big discernments of life, like whom to marry?

I'm very grateful for the specificity of my vocation, that I find myself today as a Christian, a Roman Catholic, a consecrated religious, a Franciscan, and a (transitional) deacon. But does God insist that I do this with my life? Is it his choice, or is it mine? Or, better, in what sense is it a confluence of our two wills together? Wouldn't God be just as happy with me if I was a loving witness to Christ in the secular or married vocation? After all, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is about my age and still unattached. Or was I theologically destined to be the friar minor I have become?

All kidding aside, these are not easy questions, and I have heard different opinions from similarly thoughtful people. Click the link and check out the discussion. But keep in mind too that these kinds of discernment questions only make sense when you are rich enough to not be concerned with keeping yourself and your children alive in the first place.


Michael K. "Rose" McCleary said...

I think it is both the butter and the honey, as God knows better what will truly bring us joy, and wishes us to choose that vocation which is better in line with our true selves.

God bless,

Charles of New Haven said...

That's a lovely way to build on the metaphor--and one that could become a neat homily for kids or adults! Thanks!