Last week I posted about the little booklet Uniformity with God’s Will by St. Alphonsus Liguori. This week I want to share some of the power stuff you’ll find in it.
- If we would completely rejoice the heart of God, let us strive in all things to conform ourselves to His Divine Will. Let us not only strive to conform ourselves, but also to unite ourselves to whatever dispositions God makes of us. Conformity signifies that we join our wills to the Will of God. Uniformity means more — it means that we make one will of God’s Will and ours, so that we will only what God wills; that God’s Will alone, is our will. This is the summit of perfection and to it we should always aspire; this should be the goal of all our works, desires, meditations and prayers. To this end we should always invoke the aid of our holy patrons, our guardian angels, and above all, of our mother Mary, the most perfect of all the saints because she most perfectly embraced the Divine Will.
- How childish the pretense of those who protest they wish for health not to escape suffering, but to serve our Lord better by being able to observe their Rule, to serve the community, go to church, receive Communion, do penance, study, work for souls in the confessional and pulpit! Devout soul, tell me, why do you desire to do these things? To please God? Why then search any further to please God when you are sure God does not wish these prayers, Communions, penances or studies, but He does wish that you suffer patiently this sickness He sends you? Unite then your sufferings to those of our Lord.
- We should likewise unite ourselves to God’s Will when the moment of death is near. What else is this earth but a prison where we suffer and where we are in constant danger of losing God? Hence David prayed: “Bring my soul out of prison” (Ps. 141:8). St. Teresa too feared to lose God and when she would hear the striking of the clock, she would find consolation in the thought that the passing of the hour was an hour less of the danger of losing God.
St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote the great booklet Uniformity with God’s Will. It got me thinking about seeking what God wants from us and the way we phrase it. Typically we hear about conforming our will to God’s. So when I read the title of his work it got me thinking more seriously about word choice.
Conformity or uniformity? Or is there even a real difference?
I always thought conformity was a fine word to use. Conforming your will to what God wills sounded good to me.
But through uniformity with God’s Will we are making our will uniform with His, which is a positive and peaceful approach. Conformity, on the other hand, connotes a grudging and reluctant attitude.
Sometimes we feel we’re simply “conforming” to God’s Will, particularly when resisting temptations. But uniformity to His Will is our wanting of all that God wants, not merely doing what we are supposed to do.
Conformity or uniformity. Is there any difference to you?
Remember the days when… if you wanted to save a television show episode you needed to record it yourself on VHS? And if you were diligent enough you could start and stop the recording so that the commercials wouldn’t be saved?
Now many television shows are available for purchase on DVD, complete with special features and commentary versions. And with the progression of technology, films are becoming much easier to own as well.
But how does this influence the use of our free time? If someone has 5 seasons of a program with an average of 20 episodes per season, that’s 100 episodes. Just of one show.
The incredible volume in entertainment options also applies to music — how many songs and albums are owned and how often are they listened to in a given year? (I know it’s been years since I’ve listened to some of my CDs.) And after you watch seasons of a television show, how frequently do you go back to watch them again?
Purchasing some of your favorites so that they’re always available is understandable, but that differs from people who tend to have a “collect them all” mentality for particular television shows or film series. For them, buying movies and television shows becomes a pricey hobby.
Even with the opportunity to own it all in our entertainment-crazed culture, we need to try to keep perspective and not give in to the mentality that if I “kind of like” that movie/television show, I should put my money into purchasing it and my time into watching it again and again.
The beauty is in the balance.
In the last decade or so, it’s become more common for musicians to write and sing about cheating on a significant other.
Popular radio tunes in this vein include “Picture” by Kid Rock, featuring Sheryl Crow; “Lips of an Angel” by Hinder; and “Unfaithful” by Rihanna.
With the excessive glorification of so-called freedom and choice comes a decrease in the value of loyalty.
Society and the entertainment industry tell us to do whatever we want and to live life without regard for others. And so the decrease in trust, self-control and respect for one another comes out in our songs.
How do you believe we can help our culture once again see the importance of fidelity and live accordingly?