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20 October 2013
posted by Canon Dakin on 23-10-2013

Our Lord seems to be anticipating the complaint: God doesn’t listen.

We must be careful. We may really mean that God is not under our control.

We do have a problem when we pray; we tend to impose our will rather  than to ask for the grace to accept what God is planning. We needn’t be ashamed of that. Our Lord in Gethsemane prayed that he might not have to face what God had in mind for him - but he ended his prayer: ‘Not my will but yours be done’. If we are going to live in the real world, God’s world, we must sccept that we live in mystery. On earth we are unable to see the wood for the trees, We are part of an order of creation which is much bigger than our little earth.  There are forces of good and evil that transcend our imagining. Do I believe in angels? Yes. Do I believe in evil spirits. Yes, I do. Have I any clear idea of where I stand in relation to these? No, I don’t.

To come down to earth again. The case of Madeleine McCann has been once more in the news. Can you think of any pain greater than that of her parents who for six years have not only suffered the loss of her presence but have been oppressed by all their fears concerning her posible fate, together with their self reproach, in hindsight, of having left her even for only a short while out of their sight. They apeak our language because they share our faith. In Holy Communion they know they are in union with him who himself wrestled to accept God’s will.  It is not a sin to feel rebellious. It is not a sin to question Why?  We have to try, as Jesus did, to trust a wisdom that is infinitely greater than ours and to trust a love that brought God to earth for our ressurance that, through his death and resurection, one day all will be well.

Where God is concerned we will get quick justice, says Our Lord. Tell that to the Christians of Palestine, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria and other places. How quick is quick in God’s vocabulary? Again it depends what we mean. If we are imagining that God should be protecting Christians from attacks by Muslim fanatics we shall be disappointed. It is God’s way to provide rather the gift of fortitude. Only yesterday we read in the gospel: “When they take you before (the) authorities do not worry how to defend yourselves or what to say, because, when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say”.

Its obvious that God’s vision, God’s plan, is not alway what we would wish for ourselves, but through the coming to earth of his Son, which we are remembering, here, God has deserved our trust.

  

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