Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Thy Will Be Done

In between cleaning rifles, researching Gobekli Tepe, antedeluvian megaliths, ruins on Mars and the hideous story of modern Belgian Roman Catholicism, I came across this, Alexander Schmemann on the third petition of the Lord's Prayer (Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven):

In reality, however, this is the most difficult petition.
I would have to say that precisely this petition, "Thy will be done" is the ultimate yardstick of faith, the measure by which' one can discern, in oneself first of all, profound from superficial faith, profound religiosity from a false one. Why? Well, because even the most ardent believer all too regularly, if not always, desires, expects, and asks from the God he claims to believe in that God would fulfill precisely his own will and not the will of God.

Precisely his own will and not the will of God, I'd say that was right in the X Ring and close to the heart of the temptations in the wilderness. Satan invites Christ to walk the way of the flesh, of bread, power and egotistical pride rather than the way of the cross and fidelity to the Father's will; he tempts us likewise. Schmemann continues:

"Thy will be done"-but in fact we are thinking: "Our will be done," and thus this third petition of the Lord's Prayer is first of all a kind of judgment on us, a judgment of our faith.
Do we really desire that which is from God? Do we really desire to accept that difficult, exalted, that seemingly impossible demand of the Gospel? And this petition also becomes a kind of verification of our goals and directions in life: what is it that I want, what is it that forms the main and highest value of my life, where is that treasure about which Christ said that where it lies, there our hearts will be also (Mt 6:21)?

I'd say that's a question worth answering, if you can take time off from throwing darts at photos of Beto "Napoleon Dynamite" O'Rourke, and staring in slack-jawed horror at reports of Belgium's pedophile catechism.

God bless,



LL said...

Sometimes (in a material world) it is difficult to keep our priorities straight.

Simplifying life tends to sort this out, but it's not easy, simplifying is not simple, not in this life in this century in this place. It requires action and prioritizing.

Life is a series of choices - and it only offers time and the choice of how we spend that time. Serve God/serve mammon? We need to make that choice every day.

Sometimes I look up and realize that there's no such thing as an imperfect sky.

LindaG said...

It is hard.
And true. Nothing is imperfect. It is all in how we perceive it.
God bless.

Ols surfer said...

I always try to remember to end my prayers with "Your will, not mine, be done."

LSP said...

Well said, LL, I like that.

LSP said...

Linda, I have to say, not eating bacon during Lent or, for me, any meat at all is pretty difficult. Then there's wine, none of that either.

LSP said...

That's certainly a good way to go, Ols surfer, no doubt about it.

Andrejs Pramnieks said...

I'm no theologian but I do say the Lord's Prayer several times a day, at habitual times, and spontaneously, for example when I catch a glimpse of the Catskill Mountains. I do want God to give me stuff as in the "daily bread" line. I consider the "Thy Will Be Done" line a petition to God to give me the Grace and Character to accept whatever God wants to happen. But that's just me.

LSP said...

AP, perhaps you are a theologian. And I'm with you on the mountains, I was always inspired by glimpses of the Rockies from Calgary, and the Catskills are quite a thing too. I want to go fishing there!

God bless.