Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | January 18, 2010

"God willing"

A simple answer, which I state to virtually EVERY question relating to Faith, Church, or what not.

Some people ask, why don’t I answer the question that’s being asked? Is it because I don’t know? Nah, it’s simply I don’t wan to tell you, either that or there are other forces blocking a certain thing from happening.

A few verses for reflection

“Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit which increases to your credit” (Phil 4, 17)

“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would” (Gal, 5, 17)

“And apart from other things there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches, who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall and I am not indignant?” (2 Cor 11, 28-29)

a. What part of introvert do you not understand?

I once told a friend that if I’m ever open, it’s not because I want to be, it’s because there’s a theoretical gun to my head forcing me to be something that I’m not. I’d much rather sit back, say nothing, and make pointed observations…Then speak when I feel like it. What you read here is no where near the entire picture of what goes on in my life. The people that I let into my life have earned there way into my life, I’ve chosen to let certain people in because of objective merits that I’ve deemed so. I don’t let everyone and their neighbor in. If I choose not to say something, it’s because well, I don’t want to say so. I don’t like when people play “21 questions” with me, ever! (When I offer to open myself up it’s different, but in general, I don’t like to be asked questions about things that I deem personal).

I don’t seek attention, nor do I want the attention on me. “God willing” is one of my ways of deflecting attention. My world is considered a complete paradox. I don’t like people, yet I teach math. I’ll even go to the Novus Ordo with that contains the hugging and all that (I’d rather not, but if I must, I’ll go)

So, you probably are asking, what does this have to do with my vocation? EVERYTHING

b. Power, grace, attention…

The priest participates in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ by being able to confect the Sacraments. As the old saying goes, with certain things comes major responsibilities. If we as lay people sin, (not saying that you should do this, avoid sin, all sin). In the Joe world view, we get back up, in the grand scheme of society, we’re not noticeable. If a priest sins (and you bet they do)…(as if it wasn’t HARD ENOUGH TO GET INTO HEAVEN), not only do you have the responsibility for all the souls in your care…to use the words of St Paul “And apart from other things there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches, who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall and I am not indignant?” (2 Cor 11, 28-29)

My personality being against all things that seek attention would be against this particular cross to carry. To echo the words of then Cardinal Ratzinger when he became pope “why me?” Perhaps another way to put what I’m trying to say would be like this “The best Bishops are the one’s that don’t wan to be Bishops” In short, being a careerist gets you no where. I’m not looking to climb up the ecclesiastical career ladder from layman, deacon, priest, bishop, pope.

It’s even a chore to write this blog at times to even allow people into my world is a tough thing, I don’t like doing so. My students ask why I don’t talk about my personal life in front of them. In short, they don’t need to know. It’s my job to teach them particular material, that’s it. I’m not there friend during class. :). The few that I’ve let in fully (and I can count on my fingers how many people that is) have a bond with me that well is hard to break in short.

c. don’t ask me what I want…

I’m the last person you should ask what he wants. Especially when it comes to matters of God and the Church. “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would” (Gal, 5, 17) . As a friend of mine and I were conversing about we’re weak, we’ll do everything but God’s will if given the chance. Without the grace of God we are nothing. People always ask what I want. I hate it, don’t ask me what I want, that puts attention on me, I don’t want the light on me, get it away from me. (I mean it, get it away)

I’m very absolute in my thinking, and being absolute doesn’t always lead to prudential action. (Again, the author of this blog is a math major). Hence I personally don’t think that I’ll be taking God’s will upon my own merits (which I don’t have). But then again, I’m super self critical beyond measure in most cases.

I seek one thing, the will of God, that’s it, nothing less, nothing more. Perhaps I’m a bit fearful, perhaps it’s me blocking God’s will once again, perhaps it’s me analyzing everything that will go wrong and every other detail. (Which I’m known for doing). Perhaps it’s the agony in the garden before the beautiful moment of redemption.

“Heavenly Father, if it be thy will, let this chalice pass from me, but not as I will, but Thy will be done”


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Responses

  1. +JMJ+What part of introvert do you not understand?I think I'll borrow that one some time. 😉

  2. EnbrethilielYou're more than welcome to borrow it 🙂

  3. One good thing about the priesthood, unlike other professions, is that you can come in at (almost) any age. Don't stress, you have time.I'm very introverted and guarded myself. I have two friends: my sister and my husband, and that doesn't bother me a bit. A little too self-oriented? Maybe, but I'm trying to do what God wants, and I think he understands that. Same for you.

  4. Brooke: That's indeed true, I'm trying not to stress out, must be my super detailed mathematician self that's into the details. Exactly, God's understanding of our own weaknesses…Thanks for commenting :)…now back to doing's God's will, which is staying dry today 🙂

  5. God willing — the best response to almost any question! And it is the ultimate answer to almost any question as well.

  6. Joe, I learn so much when I read your blog."God Willing" is sometimes the most hard prayer to utter. And your example is wonderful.Sometime in my early 30s I read about Fr. Solanus Casey. (Talk about a leason in humility!) He, along with good ole Padre Pio, stress being Thankful at all times.So, thank you for writing this post!God bless you!

  7. Mark in Spokane, indeed, God willing is a great answer to every question :)Lola, you're welcome :), I've been working on this one for a while too 🙂


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