Many people want God to answer their prayers and many people claim to want to serve God but how many are actually doing the will of God? How many are actually willing to do what God wants them to do? They want to be happy but little do they know that real joy lies in doing the will of God. Real joy is not doing what one thinks can make him happy in this world but knowing that he or she has served the Lord faithfully.
Many in the world today claim they want to go to the ends of the world to preach the Good News. However, many have fallen captive to their own desires to be looked upon by many as someone who is great. Deep beneath the surface lies this self-glorification. Without God, we are nothing. All the achievements would not be ours if God does not give it to us.
Many yet asks God for direction but a lot of us are not willing to give up our desires and ambitions. We secretly conjure up plans in our hearts.Worse still, engaging in activities that do not glorify God. How then can we seek what God wants for us? God has wonderful plans for us but if we do not empty ourselves, how can we know what He wants to do for us?
Someone sent me a lovely writing from a Christian who lived long ago.
Saint Peter Damian (1007-1072), hermit then Bishop, Doctor of the Church
Sermon 9, PL 144, 549-553
To give up everything and follow Christ
It is a great thing, in truth, to “give up everything”, but greater “to follow Christ”, for, as we learn in books, many people gave up everything but did not follow Christ. Following Christ is our task, our work, in that consists the main part of man’s salvation, but we cannot follow Christ if we do not leave behind everything which hinders us. Because “like an athlete he joyfully runs his course” (Ps 19:6) and no one can follow him laden down with a burden.
Peter said, “We have given up everything”, not only worldly goods, but also the desires of our heart. For those who remain attached, even just to their own life, have not given up everything. Moreover, it’s no good leaving everything behind except one’s self, for there is no burden heavier than our ego. What tyrant is crueler, what master more pitiless for man than his own will? ... Consequently, we must give up our possessions and our own will, if we want to follow him who had “nowhere to rest his head” (Lk 9:58) and who came “not to do his own will but the will of the one who sent him” (Jn 6:38).
If we truly empty ourselves and our deepest desires, God will not fail us. Do you not think the Father would not give you all that He wants to make you happy? He who even knows every hair on your head. God loves each one dearly and He will give the best for us, only if we let Him. How can He when we limit this to our own desires?