13 Hidden Life and Obedience

"[E]ntering the world, Christ says:
    "Behold, I have come to do thy will, O God" (Heb 10:5).
"Obedience" is the new name of "love"!
[Jesus'] whole life was dominated by that 'I must',
    which determines his choices and guides his activity."
(John Paul II, Angelus, 23 July 1989)

"My food is to do the will of him who sent me,
and to accomplish his work"
(Jn 4:34).

"Our Father . . . Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"
(Mt 6:10).

"Jesus is obedient even unto death (cf. Phil 2:8),
    although nothing is more radically opposed to him than death,
    since he is the very source of life (cf. Jn 11:25-26).

In those tragic hours there come
    worrying dejection and anxiety (cf. Mt 26:37),
    fear and perturbation (cf. Mk 14:33),
    the sweat of blood and the tears (cf. Lk 22:44).
Then on the Cross
    pain lacerates his pierced body.
    The bitterness of rejection, betrayal, ingratitude fills his Heart.
Yet the peace of obedience dominates over all.
'Not my will, but thine, be done' (Lk 22:42).
Jesus gathers his remaining strength and,
    as if summarizing his life,
    speaks his last words: 'It is finished' (Jn 19:3). ...
At the beginning, middle and end of Jesus' life
    one sole desire filled his Heart:
    to do the Father's will....
May Mary Most Holy, the Virgin of the anxious and generous 'fiat',
    help us also to learn this fundamental lesson."
(John Paul II, Angelus, 23 July 1989)

"[T] the Christian participates in the triple office of Christ: his priestly, prophetic, and royal office. ...
Jesus Christ is King, most of all because,
    making himself obedient unto death on the Cross,
    he was exalted by the Father and made Lord of the whole universe.
Therefore the faithful laity participate in his royal mission
    through mortification to conquer in themselves the reign of sin,
    and by working to help bring about the reign of truth, justice and peace...."
(John Paul II, 1 March 1987)

"My real programme of governance
    is not to do my own will,
    not to pursue my own ideas,
but to listen,
    together with the whole Church,
to the word and the will of the Lord,
    to be guided by Him,
so that He himself will lead the Church
    at this hour of our history."
(Benedict XVI, Inauguration Mass Homily, 24 April 2005)

"[W]e are only instruments in the Lord's hands;
and this knowledge
    frees us from the presumption of thinking
    that we alone are personally responsible for building a better world.
In all humility we will do what we can,
    and in all humility we will entrust the rest to the Lord.
It is God who governs the world, not we.
We offer him our service only to the extent that we can,
    and for as long as he grants us the strength.
To do all we can with what strength we have, however,
    is the task which keeps the good servant of Jesus Christ
    always at work:
    'The love of Christ urges us on' (2 Cor 5:14)."
(Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est 35)

"There are only two kinds of people in the end:
    those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,'
and those to whom God says, in the end,
    'Thy will be done.'"
(CS Lewis, The Great Divorce, p 72)

We actually want to do the will of God.
We actually want to execute it right away,
    but that is,
    provided he tells us directly.
This is where the problem usually lies--
    he usually doesn't tell us directly.
He makes use of what Philosophy calls
    'secondary causes'.
Secondary causes are for us an obstacle to obedience.
Because secondary causes can be
    or events,
    or circumstances
    or just about anything else,
    which don't seem to have anything to do with God.
But God is an Artist
    who is infinitely Creative in his choice of means.
Our job then, would be
    to refine our senses,
    to sharpen our eyes,
    to prick up our ears,
    to awaken our supernatural instincts daily,
in order to detect God's presence
    behind those secondary causes;
in order that we may be able to say like St John
    (the one whom Jesus loved,
    and the one who loved Jesus the most)
    'It is the Lord!'
    'Dominus est!'
    (Jn 21:7).
It is the Lord hiding behind these appearances.
It is God in disguise.
Just as He disguised Himself in Bethlehem.
Just as He disguised Himself in Nazareth.
Just as He disguised Himself on Calvary.
Just as He disguises Himself in the Tabernacle.
'Dominus est!'
'It is the Lord!'