It is my voice. All my life I’ve been saying no to God. Granted, I’ve said yes a few times, but usually only after a bloody fight. My first impulse is distrust. Prove to me it will be better your way. Why do I imagine I know better than Him who brings order to earth and skies? It is the height of illogic to refuse God, and yet my default response to Him is something like what will you give me if I do it your way?
We’ve just finished a priests’ retreat on Our Lady in Fatima, inspired by the spirituality of Mother Teresa. Most of us have been disciples of Mother for decades, although some have only recently discovered her particular spiritual perceptions. She made an extraordinary vow in 1942, four years before Jesus would ask her to leave the Loretto Sisters for the open streets of Calcutta: “I will refuse you nothing, under pain of mortal sin.” She trusted Him that much, to surrender even the smallest details of her life. And the next 55 years were not easy. She fought sometimes tooth and nail to hold onto the joy of loving Jesus, but by God’s grace she prevailed. Certainly we all have fears, attractions and impulses that conflict with God’s will. A bit of food, a sharp voice, the memory of a pretty girl, an ache or pain—every bit of the world is at war with God. Every single thing He has created—all of it good—has been compromised by a fundamental disorder. It was not easy for Mother Teresa to deny Him nothing, and to accept everything, but she did it, by His grace. “If you only knew how He thirsts for you,” she wrote her sisters in 1993.
If only that baby would stop saying no for just a minute and consider: my mother loves me more than herself. Why won’t I let her hold me close to her heart? Yes, the plane is shuddering all around me, but do I know of a better place to be than in her arms? If only I would let Him hold me close to His heart.