Praying in thanksgiving for all who united in making the Novena(s) to Our Lady of Fatima and the Blesseds, now St. Francisco and St. Jacinta. Pondering, still, on how God often works with us in a process to meet our needs and guide us to living in His Will for each of our lives. Especially holding in prayer, those who are deeply suffering at this time when our Mother’s adversary is wreaking havoc all over the world, in personal trials, in families, in countries and in our Church. How our world needs us to persevere!
We know God hears each and every prayer, that prayer brings change and that God answers us in ways so far above and beyond our own limited thinking. My friend, Elizabeth, often speaks of God’s Infinite Imagination and I love that expression of truth. Happy to discover a recent article by Msgr. Pope, I find it to be fine encouragement for us to persevere in prayer with hope while thanking God, in advance, for whatever He is accomplishing in our lives as we wait upon Him.
In my younger years, I often prayed in ways which reflected that I was directing God in how to answer my requests. I’m so grateful for the spiritual mentors in my life who taught me the wisdom of leaving solutions totally in God’s Providence, for HE is the ONE with the Infinite Imagination and HE is the Source of Pure Love from whence our answers come. While Jesus asks, in the Scriptures: “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41) The details of how He brings us the best-for-us answer(s) are wisely left to Him. And when He deems to respond by denying what we asked Him to do, we can be sure He is inviting us to move through alternative doors with a threshold leading to peace and joy. Here, I think of Charlie’s image of God ever going for the triple bank shot (and beyond) to bring into our lives many more blessings for which we didn’t even ask. “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)
It is trustful surrender, with complete openness to His ways and answers, which allows us to bend to God’s Will and experience happiness and joy, even amidst tremendous challenges. Such spiritual muscle strengthening will serve us well in the most difficult days yet to come in this Storm. The Prayer of Miraculous Trust calls us to choose trustful surrender. Many can attest to the power of this prayer. And I have found the Surrender Novena will actually build up our trust in God, thus, immersing us in His Peace.
Before reflecting with Msgr. Pope on God’s mysteries knitted into answering our prayers, you might consider checking out two links:
*Our poor country is crazed in these days, giving evidence that Our Lady of Fatima’s exhortation to pray the Rosary, daily, for peace is as important today as it was 100 years ago. If you’re interested in a great resource for analysis of current news, consider checking out a site from which Charlie often referenced articles: National Review. When I asked him for help in this area, he especially noted the knowledgeable, reasoned, and insightful writers, Victor Davis Hanson and Andrew C. McCarthy.
*On several occasions, Charlie featured the “Walls of Jericho Prayer Project.” There is a new initiative, currently in preparation mode, for June 5-11, 2017, which can be found at the website.
Now, Msgr. Charles Pope’s article, originally posted at his site which he shares with another author: Community in Mission:
(Again, it is I who asked him for permission to reprint his work. He offers no support for the prophetic elements of TNRS site.)
SOME REASONS GOD LEAVES THINGS UNRESOLVED
Msgr. Charles Pope, May 10, 2017
One of the great mysteries of God’s providence is that He often leaves things unresolved or unattended to for a very long time. Despite our fervent prayers, He often doesn’t rush to fix everything and He has His reasons for this.
Perhaps it is that we often grow through struggles. We discover strengths that we did not know we had.
Suffering sometimes brings wisdom; we can learn more by living with our questions for a while rather than getting quick answers.
Suffering can spur creativity. Many movies, works of literature, paintings, and poems, are the fruit of struggle and speak to the drama of life and the conflicts we endure.
Suffering sometimes fosters growth. There’s an old saying, “Things do by opposition grow.” Another one says, “Calm seas do not a mariner make.”
Perhaps if He rushed to solve things and intervened frequently God would remove too much human freedom, which He both respects and sees as necessary for us to be true sons and daughters rather than slaves.
Finally, and most mysteriously from our perspective, fixing one thing often affects many others. We have caused a great deal of “collateral damage” in our culture as a result of trying to fix things too quickly. Whatever our good intentions, many of our welfare programs have harmed families and parishes, from which help through charity traditionally came. Some of our advanced technologies have had harmful effects on the environment. And despite our many labor-saving devices, most of us are busier than ever. Yes, fixing one problem sometimes leads to more problems, or at least brings unintended consequences.
Yes, there are mysteries to God’s providence. Despite our many and seemingly reasonable requests that things be fixed (and quickly!), God in His wisdom often delays and leaves things unresolved. He has His reasons, but most of the answers as to why are none of our business.
Be careful before you rush to fix things in your life or in the lives of others. Fixing is often required, but proceed slowly and carefully; learn patience. Learn from God, who can fix everything instantly but usually does not.