Archive for May 7th, 2020

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Where-the-willingness-is-great[1]Nehemiah 13


I am always struck by the need to separate self from the alien or pagan world in these Old Testament scriptures when the message of unity and universality is taught by Jesus in the New Testament.  As a practicing Jew, Jesus would have known the warnings of Nehemiah quite well . . . yet he challenges us to cease our separatism in order to come to him with others, even those others we have previously avoided.  I believe that God, through Jesus, was calling humanity to something higher.  God is calling us to our divinity . . . through Christ.

I am also struck by the MAGNIFICAT Meditation.  Dom Guillerand, a French Carthusian monk who died in 1945, writes about the kind of willingness we must find within ourselves if we are to find intimate union with God.  He writes about training our willfulness so that the journey – with all its obstacles – becomes our desire; he explains that wishing for something is different from desiring it.  True desire is accompanied by willingness and perseverance.

What distinguishes wishing from real willing is this: the true will wants both the end and the means; mere wishing wants only the end.  Simple desire is conditional: “I would like to reach the end . . .”  “All right, go ahead!”  “But there is this difficulty and that”.  And so mere wishing remains simply an unfulfilled desire – an intention, and nothing more.  Further, it is not a question of just saying or thinking; the essential thing is to act.  Do thoroughly at every moment whatever it is you have to do.  Then you will be strong, although you may not know that you are.  By “thoroughly” I mean with the firm conviction that you will arrive, and the determination to overcome, sooner or later, every difficulty.

In our Eastertide journey we have discovered that although discipleship is arduous and difficult, it is also privilege.  We receive the gifts of meekness, constancy, broken-heartedness, honesty and truth.  Today we add the concept of willingness.  The willingness to live for and in and with Christ.  The willingness to become one with and in Christ.

Tomorrow, the difference between willfulness and willingness . . .

Written on July 21, 2009. Re-written and posted today.

Image from: http://www.quoteswave.com/picture-quotes/32526

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 21.7 (2009). Print.  

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