Give Up Your Will

Nothing but the giving up of his will makes a true man. This alone is the perfect and true will,so that one enters into God’s will and is without self-will. For the whole perfection of man’s will means being in harmony with the divine will, by willing what God wills. At the time when the angel appeared to Mary, nothing she had ever done would have made her the mother of Jesus; but as soon as she gave up her will, at that same hour she truly became mother of the Eternal Word and conceived Jesus. God has never given himself (nor will he ever give himself) to an alien will. Only where he finds his will does he impart and leave himself, with all that he is. This is true inner detachment. Then the Spirit stands immovable in the face of everything that befalls it, whether it is good or bad, honor or disgrace or calumny, just as a broad mountain stands immovable in the face of a little breeze. The just man hungers and thirsts so very much for the will of God, and it pleases him so much, that he wishes for nothing else and desires nothing different from what God decrees for him. If God’s will were to please you in this way, you would feel just as if you were in heaven, regardless of what happens or does not happen to you. But those who desire something different from God’s will get what they deserve: they are always in misery and trouble; people do them a great deal of violence and injury, and they suffer in every way Anyone who by God’s grace unites his will purely and completely with God’s will has no need other than to say in ardent longing: “Lord, show me what thy dearest will is, and give me strength to do it!” And God will do this, as truly as he lives, and to such a one he will give in great abundance and all perfection. Whatever is true, noble, right, or pure; whatever is lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy – think on such things… And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil. 4:8–9) ” Eckhardt tells us how a pure heart can become a reality for each of us: If God is to enter into you, your creaturely, human nature must go out of you. For only where this nature ends does God begin. God does not desire more of you than that you should go out from yourself, insofar as you are burdened with your human nature, and let God be God in you. The slightest image you have of the creature that you are, is as big as God: it keeps you away from your whole God. To the extent that such an image enters you, God must yield, and to the extent that this image goes out, God enters in. Self-love is the root and cause of all evil; it snatches away all that is good and all that is perfect. Therefore if the soul is to know God, it must also forget itself and lose itself. For as long as it sees itself, it will not see and know God. But when it loses itself for God’s sake and leaves all things, then it finds itself again in God because God dawns upon it – and only then does the soul know itself and all things in God. Anyone who lets go of things in their trivial and incidental nature will possess them in their pure, eternal nature. Whoever has let go of them in their lower nature, in which they are perishable, will receive them again in God, in whom they have their true being. It is an unmistakable sign of the light of grace when someone turns of his free will away from the transitory toward the highest good – God. Such a soul does not seek outside itself, but in the school of the heart, for it knows that there the Holy Spirit teaches it the things that lead to its blessedness… It tries to do all its works as perfectly as possible in accordance with God’s will…and strives always to have a clear conscience by disdaining worldly doings and loving suffering, so that grace may increase in it and the evil desire of the flesh may decrease