Wednesday, July 2, 2014

When God Does What He Wills

I've been able to be outside for a couple hours.  I mowed a little and later discovered I had inadvertently dismembered a snake with the lawnmower.  Then when piling more yard debris onto the mulch pile, I overturned some sod and discovered a very alive snake.  All the while I ponder, and today I've been pondering examples in His Living Word of God doing what He wills.

I thought of Jonah.  Jonah is one of those who intrigues because he avoided God's insistence that he go to Ninevah and warn the people of their impending demise by God if they did not repent.  After a series of refusals and running away, God forced the issue with a storm, some fearful seamen, and a whale.

Jeremiah also comes to mind.  He was just being Himself when God placed burning coals on his lips and told him he was to be a prophet.  King David did not have any choice, either, once God told Eli he would be shown which of several sons to anoint.  Well, Eli was made to anoint Saul as the first king, and Saul had no choice in the matter.  But I suppose being chosen as an earthly king might be something a person would not refuse.

But when God does what He wills, there seems not any way around it.  Sometimes He asks the person, but consider Mary.  The Angel Gabriel came and announced to her what was going to happen.  He told her the Holy Spirit would come over her, and she would give birth to the Messiah.  She gave her assent after being told, but she was not asked if she wanted to or not, actually.

God forced His way in and on many people, if we want to look at it that way.  May as well be realistic.  He chose certain ones over others for specific missions and purposes.  Consider Moses.  Frankly, there are so many instance in the Old Testament of God doing what He willed, that it is more fun for you to start thinking of them. Consider Sarah. She was told she would have a child within the year. 

Jumping to the New Testament, Zachariah and Elizabeth did not have a choice as to their son's name; he was told what it was to be.  In fact, Zachariah was overcome in the holy of holies and had his voice taken when he but questioned with amazement  and doubt what was to occur.  

St. Paul was knocked down by God's power and might, blinded, and then told where to go for further instructions.  Paul was not warned in advance nor asked if he would like to be part of the then "new evangelization."

Yes, I have been pondering these things because periodically I review the locutions, dreams, and visions in which the Three In One have told and shown me, without my anticipating a thing, and without my input and not allowing my avoidance, at least not for long.

I consider people in our time period or close enough, who were overshadowed or overpowered or unexpectedly had some event by God in their lives to which they had no choice, and beg or bribe, God did not take it away.  

Padre Pio is one such person.  St. Michael's imparted the five wounds of Christ into Padre Pio while he was praying before a Crucifix.  Padre Pio cried out from the pain, fainted, and was found bleeding on the stone floor.  God also did not remove the stigmata completely until his death.   Catherine of Siena wanted her stigmata removed, and God did grant her that but instead imprinted them within, known as "interior stigmata", and those expert in study of cases of stigmata report that the interior stigmata are more physically painful than the exterior.  I do not know how they measure that, as pain is individually relevant, but there are means and scales of attempting pain measurement.

But I return to St. Paul, perhaps because he is on my mind as Elizabeth of the Trinity's co-favorite apostle; the other is John.  It is absolutely irrefutable that God did in deed slay Paul as he walked along.  (I'm not sure why some people think he fell off a horse; it seems Scriptures mention he fell to the ground.) 

Regardless, he was, without warning, felled like a tree in a storm.  He heard a locution, and he knew it was Jesus.  Well, you know the sequence of events.  Paul had not asked for that phenomenon nor wanted it, nor expected it, nor agreed in advance to being put upon like that.  But he did agree, for he was blind and without recourse otherwise.  His soul was struck deeply, and he was overpowered by God.

People were and still can be overpowered by God or whoever the Trinity sends for God's will to be done.  Sometimes the way God takes over a body and/or soul, is nothing a person can seemingly refuse.  Perhaps, though, with what God has done and willed in them, their minds and hearts are made conformable to God's.  This may be due to the sheer power of the Holy Spirit when that force comes and one is helpless against it.  There is always the element of agreement in God's will, ours with His, but there certainly are many instances in Scripture and in documented lives, of ways in which God exacted His will with them.

Ah, think of Juan Diego!  It was as though he had no choice, despite his trying to hide and avoid the same path and "the lady".  But in many cases, God does ask, or has an angel or Mary ask the person to do this or that, from simple acts to major life course changes--even to be willing to die in God's will, for souls or other Divine intentions known by God alone.

Remember Jacinta and Francesco of Fatima, Portugal?  We could think how horrible that God would have Mary tell them they would die soon, and ask them if they are willing to suffer for souls to be saved?  And they were willing, for when God imparts what He wills with us, there is something stirred within us, and that is Divine love.  When God comes upon a person, Divine love is nothing the person wants to refuse.

I'm not sure why, other than His Real Presence is omnipotent. He can overtake a body, mind, heart and soul.  Even when God takes a body into His own Hands such as allowing suffering, the mind and soul of the one He holds so dearly, begin to change; and, sometimes, contrary to the person's previous nature, that person becomes alert to God and agreeable to His will.  If not, God may persist and usually does.  It is seen often enough if we are observant, and in Scripture, that God at times plucks souls from this earthly realm.  Yes, God does that which He wills, and we can be transformed in His will.

While we do have free will--this other of God's will be done is documented in real people's lives and encounters with God.  It does seem that most of the time, the person is already agreeable to God and loves God and has at some point given His life to God.  But there are the examples of God imparting His will and Himself in explicit ways in a person's life, and sometimes the person was not at all in tune with God prior. 

I have considered God's power and might regarding our wills and His, off and on in my life and particularly in the last few years.  On occasion I get the notion that perhaps I could take charge of my life again, and it would be more physically pleasant, somewhat carefree, and more humanly "easy".  Maybe I could make my life different than what it is.  

But, even on the few times I've tried to orchestrate a better situation, it simply does not turn out that way.  It seems the suffering is intensified instead.  And sure, the Lord has told me in locutions and various dreams, visions, and situations, that my earthly life's suffering is His chosen vehicle for me and as an aid to my soul's progression in this life.  I nonetheless tend to review these matters periodically, which could be a very human sin against faith except that I always offer myself to His will, all over again, and with more intensity.

Maybe that is why I have kinship with Jonah.  Call it a fable as some do, but it could be an actual, lived experience even down to the whale swallowing him.  I have no hesitation to acknowledge that God does what He wills in whatever ways He wills.  Nothing is out of God's range of possibility.  But I appreciate Jonah because he tried to avoid and escape what God effectively, made Jonah do.  Try as he might, Jonah was not going to get out of the assignment and mission God gave him.  But we must consider that Jonah was already God's prophet.  However, at the time of St. Paul's conversion, Paul was an enemy of Christ.

Neither will any of us be successful in running from God's will if God does with us as He wills.  And He can and He will. Even the most hardened of souls, will at some point come under God's will if only at judgment, when God does what He wills with us.

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