Serving in God’s Way

Our greatest fault is, that we wish to serve God in our way, not in His way; according to our will, not according to His will. When He wishes us to be sick, we wish to be well; when He desires us to serve Him by sufferings, we desire to serve Him by works; when He wishes us to exercise charity, we wish to exercise humility; when He seeks from us resignation, we wish for devotion, a spirit of prayer, or some other virtue. And this is not because the things we desire may be more pleasing to Him, but because they are more to our taste. This is certainly the greatest obstacle we can raise to our own perfection, for it is beyond doubt that if we wish to be Saints according to our own will, we shall never be so at all. To be truly a Saint, it is necessary to be one according to the will of God. -St. Francis de Sales

St. Mary Magdalen di Pazzi knew this most important truth; and, with the guidance of so clear a light, she knew how to submit her will to that of God so perfectly, that she was always contented with what came to her day by day, nor did she ever desire anything extraordinary. She was even accustomed to say that she would consider it a marked defect to ask of the Lord any grace for herself or others, with any greater importunity than simple prayers, and that it was her joy and glory to do His will, not that He should do hers. Even as to the sanctity and perfection of her own soul, she wished that it might be not according to her own desire, but to the will of God. And so, we find among her writings this resolution: To offer myself to God, and to seek all that perfection and only that perfection which He is pleased that I should have, and in the time and way that He shall wish, and not otherwise.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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