“Lord, my life is not my own. Let me be Your vessel. Let them no longer see me in what I say or do; let them only see You.”
This prayer came to me during a visit to the Blessed Sacrament yesterday. The Lord has asked me to sacrifice something I love for Him and to do His Will. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made and what the Lord was asking went against all reason, plans for myself, and great desires I have for my present and future. So I had great difficulty making the choice to follow His Will. But ultimately, I surrendered to Him, and peace and graces have flowed forth abundantly. The Lord, in His kindness and mercy, waited patiently for me to accept His request and to do His Will. Months, years, in fact. It was slowly and gently that He guided me down this path, slowly revealing to me what He was asking, knowing my ability and the rate at which I would be able to accept His plans for myself and my husband. This is how the Lord works. He knows us greater than we know ourselves.
As I reflect on the challenge and suffering I experienced in following the Lord’s Will, I am reminded of Jesus, when He accepted the Father’s Will before He was crucified for our sake, for our sins. And how He said “yes” to much greater suffering than I could ever experience. And how His “yes” has allowed me to say “yes” to God, to be forgiven by Him, even after all the sins I have committed throughout my life. After reflecting on that, how could I not say “yes” to anything He asks of me, no matter how much I think I desire or need or want something else? Because, ultimately, what I desire more than anything, and what we all desire whether we are aware of it or not, is to be united with Him, to be close to Him, to be in relationship with Our Lord and forever reside in His Heart. We desire this because He created us and He put that very desire in our hearts.
The pain and hurt we experience in life, whether caused through our own choices or through no fault of our own, can cloud the ability to feel and experience this desire. We become sure we know what we truly desire and want and what is best for us more than anyone else. But sadly, that is so far from the Truth. It’s understandable we all think this, as this is what we are taught and what is promoted in the world today. We are surrounded by this type of thinking. And how the Lord knows I have thought this way the majority of my life. Oh the misery I have been in! The spiritual pain!
The happiness I thought I was in, living in the world and enjoying its pleasures, I have learned, however, cannot compare to the sweetness and true joy that comes from following the Lord’s Will and could never even begin to touch the peace that underscores all moments in time whether one suffers, laughs, is sad, or is in pure joy, when one is following this Lord’s Will.
There is a distinct feeling of certainty when one is living the Lord’s Will. An underlying surety that never goes away–no matter what situation comes up that may provoke many different feelings. But most of all, there is the deep knowing that life is not over at the end of this earthly life, it lasts for eternity. The Lord desires to be with us forever and always. And following His Will, even though seemingly difficult at times when our desires and the world may be pulling us another way, is truly the most peaceful path to spending forever with Him.
May Jesus draw us all to His Most Sacred Heart so we may find there the treasures, beautiful graces and everlasting peace He has waiting for us. Peace that lasts forever. And may we come to know Jesus greater through Mary, and Her Most Immaculate Heart.