In this conversation Mark and Frances continue with the second part of a three part series on conforming our will to the will of God. They are using a text from Carmelite Friar Father Wilfrid Stinissen entitled “Into your Hands, Father.” After finishing up the last section of the first part of Fr. Stinissen’s book, which concluded with the role of the memory and the practice of the virtue of Hope, Mark and Frances move to the second section of the book. In this second section Fr. Stinissen speaks about our need to not only accept everything in our life as God’s will, but to them move to put our hands on the plow and begin to do the work the Lord calls us to. Here Fr. Stinissen asks and answers his own question, namely, does God guide us through every moment of our day. The answer is yes, but He uses both external and internal means of doing this. After going through each of these means, Mark and Frances discuss the importance of the role of detachment, and our need to practice genuine human freedom in the context of pursuing our final ends as human persons. It is only through the practice of genuine freedom that we free ourselves to obey God in all things.
All of the spiritual masters have told us that on the journey we must learn to follow God’s will. But that always leaves us with that compelling question – how do I come to know God’s will for me. In this conversation Mark and Frances explore the writings of the Carmelite Saints to help provide some understanding on how we can approach this challenging issue. They identify that we must begin from where we are. We must first recognize that God seldom asks us to make dramatic changes in the external aspects of our life, but He may well ask us to significantly modify our approach to our interior life. If this is an issue you have struggled with, this program will provide many practical bits of advice.
The original founders of the Order of Carmel found it necessary to identify a Rule by which they could conduct their daily activities and stay focused on what was most important. This is no less important for us today. We all need to have some basic guidance that helps stay focused and make progress along the Spiritual Journey. In this conversation Mark and Frances discuss the elements of what should go into a Rule of Life. They also discuss how the development of a Rule can be tailored to our individual circumstances and those elements we need to work on in our own spiritual path. They also discuss some of the best thinking on a Rule from the writings of the Saints and the Church Fathers.