Thursday, September 2, 2010


The meditations in the pages of Magnificat for today (2 September) include a one-sentence quote from (Blessed) Abbot Columba Marmion:
We must go to God in his way; we shall only be saints in the measure wherein we adapt ourselves to the divine plan.
What might this mean for us?

There is an obvious and easy interpretation of the Abbot’s words: surrender to God’s will. And this is true enough in its own way (see the words of Gamaliel to the Sanhedrin in Acts 5:33ff. for a parallel). But knowing how to do this is quite a bit trickier.

I want to suggest a way that has a realistic application while remaining faithful, I believe, to the sense of the quote. You must explore your own depths (probably with the aid of a spiritual director, or someone who can be objective with you in ways you cannot be with yourself). You must examine yourself to see who you really are, and this means exploring your past—memories of events, joys, sorrows, disappointments, hurts, being loved or not, loving or not… All these are what go into making you, spiritually and psychologically, who and what you are today. “You” cannot successfully adapt yourself to a divine plan (or anyone else’s) without knowing who “you” is. You have to come to God in prayer with words to this effect: “All right, Lord—given all this, all I’ve been and experienced, all that has made me “me” today—given all this, how can I best serve and follow you?”

Then you must “test the waters,” so to speak, with life decisions. Make a choice (Pascal would have said Make the wager). See the results. You are looking for the results that produce peace in your heart and soul, for this peace is the resonance of who you are and what you are choosing. And this, I suggest, is “the divine plan” for you. Albert Camus put it like this: But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?

Your harmony must be yours; no one else’s will do. Nothing else will bring you peace or happiness. Abbot Marmion’s quote was an encouragement to become a saint. But consider the incredible diversity of kinds of saints we celebrate: hermits and virgins, bishops and priests, kings and queens, religious and lay, mystics and missionaries and martyrs, old and young… There is no one road to heaven, to sanctity: we are simply called (as Bl. Mother Teresa put it) to be holy where God has placed us.

This road is not easy; it is surely a “road less traveled.” But is the journey, the destination, worth it? Is it worth it to you? Consider the alternative of never being truly happy or at peace, never being truly who and what you can be. Honestly, no road is more worth it.


  1. In confirmation of the 'Divine Plan', my spiritual path was enlightened
    three years ago with a 'call' to review my entire life and attend mass
    every day.......indeed, reviewing has not been easy, many crevices to fall into and subsequently to climb out again and again. In the blessed and positive pursuit, the graces have flowed in accordance with my perseverance, receiving the sacraments & following choices of readings by remarkable authors, all monitored by spiritual guidance. For an impatient nature, the peace that surpasses all understanding, has slowly been experienced on unexpected occasions. All of you out there, wholeheartedly pay attention to this is a genuine path that can be followed by everyone.

  2. Really?....There is but ONE path to Heaven, and it is a narrow one, His name is Jesus Christ. The path can be painful and paved with rejection and all sorts of stumbling blocks. Rejection and struggles, and depending on those who are too DISTRACTED to SEE a genuine attempt/commitment being made to follow Christ, and pursuing the Call strongly heard. I am indeed privileged in having been rejected along with Christ and will never give up His Path, for it does lead to the TREE of LIFE.

  3. My, oh my, you are so quick on the draw, Anonymous. There was no deviation in the blog, to which I referred, from following the Divine Path.
    It gave all of us, regardless of our station in life, a means of following Our Lord and Savior. All of us have an opportunity to be saved. Father's suggestion was an approach to do so. Abbot Marmion's quote was an encouragement to become a saint which triggered the thoughts in the original blog by Father. I was merely verifyng that this particular approach worked for me- the Call came from heaven.