Finding His Will in the Ordinary

Today’s first reading about Naaman the Syrian reminded me of a story about the saint we celebrate today, St. Frances of Rome.

Naaman came to Israel looking for a cure for his leprosy.  He expected something grand and dramatic, and was disapointed when he was asked to trust the ordinary. Shouldn’t God work through the prophet Elisha in a earth-shattering way?  Instead, Naaman was supposed to simply wash in the lowly Jordan River.  What a letdown.

How often do I want God’s Will to be something grand and exciting, and then He “disapoints” me with something mundane or ordinary?  Perhaps some young mother out there looks at her life and thinks, “I went to college for this?  I had big dreams of saving the world. And now look at me. Covered in spit up and sweeping up Cheerios.”

St. Frances of Rome wanted to spend her life in prayer and offer herself to God as a nun. Her father was forcing her to marry, and Frances was stubbornly against it. That couldn’t be God’s Plan!  … or could it?

In the midst of storming heaven to stop the marriage, her confessor pointed out to her, “Are you crying because you want to do God’s will or because you want God to do your will?”

Perhaps we want something extraordinary, something earth-shattering, something dramatic. But God doesn’t often work that way. He prefers to work with the ordinary.

How is He wanting to save the world today through you? And are you vulnerable enough to let go and listen?

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