The Irony of Piety

It's funny when you actually decide to buckle down and attempt holiness. You say, "God, do whatever it takes to make me overcome this or that flaw, to do my duty, to go wherever I need to go in life. God, point me in the right direction, and I'll follow."

And then he puts you in a position where you have two choices: accept God's Will and be at peace, or reject it and be miserable. He's making it easy for you. He's showing you the right direction. He's actually quite clear about His intentions. It's the moment you've been waiting for. Why, then, does God have to drag you kicking and screaming?

Piety seems easy, but only so long as we are in control of our own piety. Thing is, true piety has nothing to do with us doing anything. It has to do with completely letting go, and following. We ask God for the grace to love Him, and to abandon our will to His, but we don't pay attention to the fact that we are often asking for the grace because want to be in control of our pius actions so that we can take credit for them.

That's why we often choose misery and anguish over simple acceptance of God's Will. We know that accepting God's Will will bring us peace, but we have such a tight hold on our desire to be in control that we will essentially throw a temper tantrum. We're like the little girl who won't eat her mashed potatoes, even though she is fully aware that by not doing so she will not get her jello. It doesn't even matter whether or not she likes mashed potatoes. But someone is telling her what to eat, and how to eat it, and that is the bone of contention.

Often we complain about God not being clear, not showing us exactly where we should be; then He does, and we say "Sorry, wrong answer God, try again. I want You to tell me where I should be, but I reject your current analysis of what I should do, and I want a new one."

We ask for piety, but we forget what we're asking for. He always answers when we ask; ironically, it's the fact that He answers that causes us to object.

Santa Therese di Lisieux, prega per noi.

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