My dad texts me a reflection every day; he finds poignant quotes from the saints, the catechism, the Bible, etc. The reflections he sends never fail to make me pause and think a while, which is the whole point after all, but yesterday his quote stopped me in my tracks. It read:
“He that sacrifices to God his property by alms-deeds, his honor by bearing insults, or his body by mortifications, by fasts and penitential rigours, offers to Him a part of himself and of what belongs to him; but he that sacrifices to God his will, by obedience, gives to Him all that he has, and can say: Lord, having given you my will, I have nothing more to give you.”
St. Alphonsus Liguori
Now, I’m by no means a saint, but I do consider myself a good Catholic. I tithe 10% of my income, I turn the other cheek when slighted (still working on the interior aspect of letting go of my pride- the Litany of Humility is helpful for that), and I “give up” various little comforts throughout my week. I know St. Alphonsus isn’t belittling those actions and yet, reading this quote, I felt immediately defensive. Luckily, my guardian angel pricked my conscience and asked a simple question: “Why?” Re-reading the quotation, I was able to flesh out a more pointed question: “What does it mean to sacrifice my will?” I carried this question to Adoration with me and below is my struggle with the answer. While surrender is a daily choice, sometimes even minute by minute for me, I felt this time in Adoration was a solid step in the right direction. I pray these words serve as a springboard for your own submission to Christ.
What does it mean to sacrifice my will?
The presumed loss of control is terrifying. I cling to a shadow of my own perfectionist need to create a pristine plan that will make my problems disappear. I dig in my heels, saying, “I CAN change what I put my mind to!” It’s relatively easy to offer Him what I choose to forfeit, but my entire life? My entire will? My dreams and even my identity?
I would, of course, be returning a gift that was bestowed upon me. In fact, my free gift of my free will is what He is waiting for. He longs to give me not necessarily what I want, but what I need. He is waiting for me to stop demanding and forcing my perfect way and to give in to His. [My] Momma always says, “He can see the big picture, and you are only looking at a tiny corner of the entire masterpiece of your life.” My head knows He can see the entire trajectory of my life, while I have nothing but the here and now. Yet, my heart clings to the reins. Again, why?
It’s trust. Can I trust Him? Does He truly know what’s best for my eternal salvation if not my earthly pleasure and satisfaction? Can I believe in what I cannot see? Faith is in that question too. Yet, even as my heart cries out for the earthly joys it is missing, I hear Pope Benedict’s words ring in my ears. “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”
Letting go just might result in the turning point in my life. This surrender will not likely bring about what I want (a baby), but what might happen if I allow myself to be led? If I stopped living by and making decisions based on “what if”? My direction, my focus, and my attitude might shift to one of service. I might reflect Christ, be Christ, to others rather than expecting Christ to do something for me.
Our Lady’s fiat brought Christ to the world. His surrender brought about the salvation of the entire human race! What will my “yes” bring? What will my surrender to trust in God do to re-route the course of my entire life? In a moment of panic, my heart cries out, “But what if I fall?!” The gentle reply is like a whisper of wind: “But what if you fly?”
Sydnee has been married to her husband Bren for four years and resides in eastern Pennsylvania in a parked RV! Despite the unusually tiny living arrangements, she is a hoarder of both plants and books. To hear more about her journey, go to www.theonewithinfertility.com or you can find her on Instagram @theonewithinfertility.