Friday, June 02, 2017

When the Will Cannot Work Well, and When It Can

We often hear about the Will of each individual, in Church themes, as to how it comes to help us in our spiritual life. We use the Will for prayer, for service, and in some little understood form, we use the Will for love. Love with the Will sets us apart from those who do not use the Will in an intentional form to love, those who understand love to be little more than a feeling.

Yet, the Will can be broken. A broken Will is not here being explained by past concepts of breaking the wills of children in order to get them to become submissive to a parent. In some cases, yes, to break the intentions of a will of a child or teenager might be in the order of creating peace and harmony, but in other cases it might be damaging also. That type of breaking of the will is not being discussed here.

What we are discussing is, however, as to a broken Will, is one which works hard, with intentions, and still damages and harms when it is being used, intentionally, to love. We all do that to some extent. None of us is entirely healed. The Will, however, is broken when it is disconnected from virtue and grace. If I Will to love, but greatly mistake vice for virtue, then I cannot love with my Will even though I try. And if I Will to love, but have not allowed the theological virtue of Love to enter into my heart as grace, namely the love of Christ, of God, then I cannot know what love is, and therefore I cannot Will love on my own even though I try. In this simple scene I would only be self-willed, alone, without the other, God-Love to imbue my actions. The Will, then, is hollow without Christ. To bring an abundance of love and peace, it is entirely connected to receptivity in Christ and in the order of grace.

So, how to get this grace to love? It is simply called conversion, and this comes through constant prayer and in time, but works differently for each and every individual. The answer for all of us is forgiveness of others in practice, through prayer, through time, and through works of the Will. If we do not learn to forgive, then neither can we love rightly, because healing takes place under normal circumstances over time, through forgiveness, which adjusts the Will and its difficulties to be in line with God's love. For a beginner at love, this is exhaustive, surely. For the rest of us, it is stark realization.

Yet, it is to be done. We begin by Faith, and Hope, and we live according to the knowledge which has been shared with us in truthfulness. Then we try out best to practice it. We sin, we fall, and we make many mistakes, but we wait in Hope for the Blessed Event, the Love of Christ poured into our hearts for each need. We want to grow, we want to learn to love, with the Will, until it comes as naturally as breathing.

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