Liturgy and Discernment – Seeing the Will of God

January 14, 2012

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, O.P.

Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care, 
O Lord, we pray, 
that they may see what must be done 
and gain strength to do what they have seen.  
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, 
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God for ever and ever.

This prayer is the opening Collect for Mass for the First Week of Ordinary Time.  In a way, it’s not only helpful because it begins Ordinary Time with a plea to the Father for His help for His people as we begin things once again, but it’s also providential that this is one of the Church’s texts for prayer during National Vocation Awareness Week (which is also this week).

In this prayer, there is something that is helpful for discernment:  seeing the Lord’s will and acting on it.  Throughout the week, the Church has been praying for open eyes that we “may see what must be done.”  In this prayer for vision, we ask for the Lord’s own vision so that we may see as He sees things.  In other words, this whole week, we’ve been praying for the grace to have the in-sights into life that the Lord has in mind for us.

Moreover, the priest is also asking, on behalf of God’s people, that God might give His people “strength to do what they have seen.”  It’s one thing to think we can see what we’re supposed to do in a certain situation.  It’s another thing to actually carry it out.  And so through the week, the Church has been asking God (in a beautiful parallelism, I might add) for this important assistance, this “strength” to carry out His will.

When it comes to discernment, these two principles, spiritual in-sight and perseverance, are both fundamentally important.  It’s one thing to see the summit.  It’s another thing to actually climb the mountain.

May the Lord bless all you who are discerning God’s call in your life, and may He give you the strength and perseverance to carry out His will.

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