In every spiritual tradition exists the foundational precept of loving-kindness. In my life, I find no greater joy than to be working in loving- kindness, serving God above all else. But how do we discover what God’s will is for us?
Before we can know God’s will, we must desire it above all else. We must pray to God with simple intentions, asking that our desires be pleasing to Him. We should feel a longing for God’s presence to be with us always, throughout our life in every moment, and in every situation. “Loving- kindness” implies a deep desire to make others happy even when it requires self-sacrifice, suffering, and in extreme cases, even death. The Gospels teach us we are all to be friends, to love one another, and even to love our enemies—those that wish to do harm to us.
Jesus said, “For whoever saves his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for His sake shall find it.” God’s will for us, before all else, is that we should find ourselves, find our true life, and even more profoundly, find our souls. God’s will for me is that I should shape my destiny and forge my eternal happiness in a way that glorifies Him through the reflection of Love. We must always be positioned to respond selflessly with an outpouring of Love, no matter what the circumstances. To do this we must stay committed to daily prayer, to simple intentions, and to listening with an open heart while being mindful of our thoughts and behaviors.
I believe we are called to be holy, yet holiness is beyond our natural power. To become holy requires that we invite God to be present within us, providing light, strength, courage and a burning love to fulfill the task. A holy person is holy because he or she is immersed in light, love, faith and charity that has been bestowed upon them, through desire and daily commitment to prayer and good works. It is only with God’s love and support that we can obtain holiness.
Pope Francis has named 2016 the Year of Mercy. He said, “How much wrong we do to God and His grace when we speak of sins being punished by His judgment before we speak of their being forgiven by His mercy. We have to put mercy before judgment, and in any event God’s judgment will always be in the light of His mercy.” May we take this teaching to heart, and show mercy and extend love to any person in need. John Wooden, the famous and inspirational UCLA basketball coach said, “Never let a day go by without doing something nice for someone who can never pay you back.”
I leave you with this prayer:
“May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering Angel, so nothing can harm you,
Laughter to cheer you;
Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”