This morning before getting up from the bed, I found myself praying, “Here I am Lord; I come to do your will.”
After fixing coffee and showering – in that order, I sat down to pray and read the first reading for the day, Hebrews 10: 1-10, in which the author cites, twice, a passage from Psalm 40: “Behold, I come to do your will, O God.”
Then in the Gospel, Mark 3: 31-35, we find Jesus saying that “whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
Wow! Doing the will of God must be central to our life of faith.
In our parish, when the candidates for baptism or confirmation are introduced, we ask them to respond to their name with the phrase, “Aquí estoy, Señor, para hacer tu voluntad” – “Here I am, Lord, to do your will.” Some respond forcefully, even with a fist bump, but others, perhaps a bit more shy, barely say it above a whisper.
But the question is “How do we know we are trying to do the will of God?” All too often I confuse my will with God’s, thinking that I know what he wants and it’s what I want.
This points me to the real need we have to learn and teach discernment. All too often I find that our teaching of the faith and the moral life seem more aligned with a black-and-white, law-based approach.
Discernment is hard in such a climate. That’s why I want to spend more time this year learning how to discern better and learning how to assist the people I serve with learning the practical wisdom of discernment.
Many years ago, as I considered coming here to Honduras, I re-read Dean Brackley’s The Call to Discernment in Troubled Times: New Perspective on the Transformative Vision of Ignatius of Loyola. I’m thinking of re-reading it, perhaps for Lent, as a way to deepen my life of faith. (It’s also now available in Spanish, from UCA editores in El Salvador.)
I would also appreciate any suggestions for other resources – books, articles, activities – in English or Spanish, to help our ministry here.
And keep discerning – it’s a life long project.