Fulfilling His Will

Ervin TanReflections

Before we assume that we are doing and living according to God’s will, Rev Fr Philip Heng, SJ urges us to reflect on the quality of our daily living. Photo: VITA Images

Fulfilling His Will

Many of us may be familiar with the St Ignatius’ “Prayer of Generosity”, but have we paused to consider what it means for us? In exploring this beautiful prayer, Father Philip Heng, SJ invites us to ponder how we can better serve the Lord.

“Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve You as You deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, and to labour and not to seek for reward; save that of knowing that I do Your most Holy Will, Amen.”

In order to enter more deeply into the reality of our lives, we need to first ask ourselves the essential question, “What is my purpose in life?” Once we know this, the meaning of our life will emerge, and it will occupy our mind and absorb our energy.

As faithful disciples, we desire, like Mother Mary, to live in God’s love and ways. However, before we assume that we are doing and living according to God’s will, we need to reflect on the quality of our daily living.

The Prayer of Generosity of St Ignatius gives us the main elements of what is demanded of us, if we are truly serious about God’s will in our lives. Let us ponder each of the qualities that St Ignatius highlighted as essential if we truly wish to live God’s will daily.

To be generous

Generosity of heart is more than being gracious in giving abundantly of what we possess. To be generous in doing God’s will is to be Christ-like in everything that we do. If we want to follow God’s will, are we willing to give up our whole self and all that we have for God? Or do we often hold back and continue to be attached to the many things in life that we value? If so, then we are not fully desiring to do God’s will.

To serve you as you deserve

Serving God is more than doing. Serving denounces the evil of injustice through exploitation, abuse and destruction of relationships, families and lives. To serve is essentially to live a life that witnesses God’s presence through our daily living. And so, we should ask ourselves: if we want to do God’s will, do our lives draw people closer to God?

To give and not to count the cost

While this virtue denounces the evil of gratification, how many of us truly share the abundant blessings that God has given us? How many of us continue to do justice and put to good use the blessings that He has given us? We can give for the good of the poor and needy and for the Church, such as to the GIFT programme launched by our Archbishop in order to build a vibrant, evangelising and missionary Church.

To fight and not to heed the wounds

This virtue of doing God’s will is the virtue of committed love for God. Are we willing to be compassionate and forgive the people who have caused us deep wounds and hurts, especially in our respective vocations, whether in marriage or religious life? Are we willing to “die to ourselves” so that God’s will can be realised through us?

Can we see the bigger picture, the needs of others, instead of over-focusing on our own needs?

To toil and not to seek for rest

This virtue of selfless giving is to see how it is indeed an honour to be able to do God’s will. Or do we see it as a burden that causes us to complain about the smallest inconvenience when we serve?

To labour and not to seek for reward

This virtue is one of the biggest challenges for many who want to do God’s will, but are also seeking selfish gains and personal glory. Such attitudes and behaviours are clearly very secular, and not what we should adopt if we want to serve Him.

A renewed hope

How can we live God’s will more wholeheartedly? Let us learn from Mary, our Mother, who “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Yes, Mary constantly pondered on His will and allowed His truth and the challenges she faced to fill her heart. In her humility, she accepted God’s will fully and never allowed any attachments in life to get in the way.

What about us? If our hearts allow the Holy Spirit to help us seek God’s will, if we respond generously in Christ-like ways, and if we serve, give, fight, toil, and labour without giving excuses, we will find true hope.

Let us live this Prayer of Generosity and beg God for the grace to fulfil His will, so that we may have renewed hope – not just for ourselves, but for the world.

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