God and Backseat Drivers


Psychologists tell us that backseat drivers, folks who find it necessary to give unnecessary, unwanted advice in the car and elsewhere, are really just expressing their own insecurities, lack of faith in others,  or reaction to feeling powerless.  Many of us have been the victims of such people, both in the car and in life, and it is no understatement to say that such people can be irritating, annoying, and even dangerous.

The expression “backseat driver” of course, has expanded beyond the automobile to include people who obsessively mistrust, find it necessary to control or judge, or think that they have all the right answers.  Consequently, such people tend to feel that the one in perceived control of the situation, be it a driver, manager, or other, does not always know what he or she is doing.

The question is, are we God’s backseat drivers?   Do we poke our nose in God’s Will, questioning where He is taking us and why?

A Little Faith Goes a Long Way

We can talk a good talk about trusting God with our affairs, problems, and concerns, but the proof is in the pudding, not the meddling.  First, we need to humbly and sincerely ask God to help us.  Second, we need to follow that request for help with true trust that God knows what He is doing in our lives. Lastly, we need to respectfully and obediently step out of the way and let Him do the driving.

Too many times, we pray asking for our way at our time, and write off the prayer as unanswered if we do not get our way.  Absurd as it seems, how many times do we micromanage the Manager of the Universe?  It is a contradiction to pray the Our Father asking God to follow our instructions, guidelines, and preferences to the tee.

Locus of Control

Locus of control is a psychological concept referring to where people feel that the control in their lives is found.   This society promotes an internal locus of control, wherein folks feel empowered to guide their lives, as the sign of a healthy, responsible, and ultimately successful person.  Conversely, this society paints having an external locus of control as being a weak, irresponsible, rationalizing loser who plays the role of victim all the time. Where society has this locus of control thing wrong is in how locus is used.

While it is true that using an external locus of control to play the victim, avoid responsibility, and blame everybody else for one’s issues is wrong and destructive, it is also true that using an internal locus of control to bully, manipulate, intimidate, judge, and project our insecurities on others can be just as harmful.  Thus, how one uses an internal or external locus of control is more important than merely having one or the other. Using either one for selfish reasons is wrong, and using either one to bring glory to and obey God as well as love others is right.

Proactive vs. Reactive

Proactive people make things happen, and reactive people wait for things to happen to them.  Needless to say, proactive types are normally associated with an internal locus of control and, conversely, reactive types are commonly viewed as tending to have an external locus of control.

Most of the time, being proactive is better than being reactive. However, there are times when we should step back, process what is happening, and then react to that, as opposed to just blindly jumping into every situation  swinging like some crazed, self-perceived super hero.

Once again, society oversimplifies the relationship between locus of control and being proactive or reactive.   It assumes that having an internal locus of control is akin to being proactive and, conversely, that having an external locus of control parallels with being reactive. While this may often be true, it is not always so and, beyond that, the good and bad of all of this is not so clear cut either.

Our Way and Sin

If you think about it, sin is really selfishly doing things our way regardless of what we should know that God wants.  Claiming that we think God wants this or that, based purely on our own subjective, biased agenda, is playing make-believe morality.  Likewise, pretending that we do not know what God wants, without making a concerted, sincere, and legitimate effort to discern that Will, is purposeful moral fraud.

The Key and Bridge

The key to all of this is to be purposeful in seeking and trying to actualize God’s Will as found in Scripture, Christ’s example and teachings,  and our own constantly developing conscience.  Once we are trying to function within that Divine Will, we must remain purposeful in carrying it through while becoming reactive in allowing God to speak to and through us.

God does not want us to be babbling moral idiots, spewing excuses or fawning mindless, oblivious adorations we do not feel. Neither does He want us to be insolent backseat drivers, bullying and questioning everything that happens in our lives like irritated accountants counting pegs or measuring perceived wins and losses on some ledger. Sincere prayer,  honest reflection, and purposeful meditation and study often help us to balance the purpose, reaction, and locus of control in our lives.

Conclusion

Each of us is riding a life taxi to our ultimate destination.  We can either ask God to achieve His Will through our proactive efforts and reactive trust, or we can rant and rave about where our taxi should be going and why. Ultimately, we must each ask ourselves how much we trust the Divine Driver of our life taxi and how sincerely we accept and want Him to take us home…His way.

 

 

 

2016  Gabriel Garnica

Do You Practice “Take Home” Catholicism?


The other day I was thinking about the difference between “eating out”,  “fast food”, and “take home food”.  I realize that, for many folks, there is no difference between these three terms. However, the more I thought about it, I began to see a difference, not in general terms but, more importantly, in emphasis.

The concept of eating out has been identified with eating away from home, where less work is involved since one does not prepare the meal, with payment involved, providing a change of pace from the norm, expecting a commercial transaction of some kind ( food for payment), and most often involving a big meal with some provision for small snacks taken outside the home from time to time.

In contrast to eating out, fast food is taken to be a quick, convenient meal making way for more time spent with other parts of life.  It would seem absurd, for example, for a family to go to a fast food place and then take two hours to eat the meal there. People associate fast food with eating out because fast food places are outside the home, but the two are not completely compatible. In other words, most fast food places involve eating out, but not all eating out involves going to a fast food place, since one can eat out at a restaurant and take three hours to eat one’s meal there.

The concept of take home food, however, is quite different than the two above.  While it does overlap, as all three of these concepts do, it is not really the same thing. In a sense, most of the food we eat is take home because we buy it outside and take it home to eat. More generally, however, take home food is considered practically synonymous with take out food, which is food prepared outside the home but taken off the premises to be eaten in the home or at least somewhere else, as in an office etc.

The central theme of eating out is seeking an occasional or at least planned convenience outside the home for a price. The key focus of fast food is, of course, quick convenience to make way for other, seemingly more important, life events. The emphasis of take home food, however, is obtaining food outside the home which one then brings back to one’s place of living of working to consume and, possibly, share.

While you may be wondering what any of this has to do with Catholicism, I ask you to consider if, in fact, you are practicing your faith out of mere convenience, rote habit, occasional entertainment, or simply to fulfill some duty.  Do  you look at your faith as something you obtain for one hour out of 168 hours in the week ( if that) where you pray, sing, read deep spirituality, eat a cookie, and then go home?  Do you seek a pre-packaged faith prepared by someone else which you can quickly consume in church and then go about your business once you escape from church premises? Are you looking for an easy faith, prepared by someone else, which does not require any work on your part?  Is your focus more on gulping down the practices and particulars of worship like some hamburger rather than actually saving your soul while helping others save theirs?

I suggest that you consider developing a deeper, more fulfilling, form of Catholicism.  Perhaps you may look into beginning to practice a “Take Home Catholicism”  in which you partake of what church has to offer seriously and with focus consistent with its importance and then, just as importantly, you then go out and take what you have been shown inside the church outside in your life, your work, your interactions with others, and in your home.

What good does praying and singing devoutly in church do if followed by arrogance, disregard, negligence, mockery, disrespect, and mistreatment of others once you are outside?  What good does it do to shake everyone’s hand inside the church if you follow that up with banding together with your sacred clique and alienate others later?

Jesus did not like those who publicly practiced devout faith but did not follow those rituals up with practical, real applications of that faith in the rest of their lives.  He did not like hypocrites, and those who sing hymns, pray prayers, and then later patronize, mock, and alienate others through their arrogant self-entitlement and feelings of superiority are surely hypocrites.  Make it a practice to practice what you preach, and to speak only if such speech will bring others to Christ, as opposed to bringing yourself up in other people’s eyes or popularity.

Take your Catholicism home, or you will starve your faith and your salvation in the long run.

Gabriel Garnica, 2014

When It Comes To Their Faith, Many Catholics Stick Their Foot in It


A foot doctor once told me that, when it comes to taking care of their health, most people largely neglect their feet. “People’s concerns and care, it seems, begin with their head or brain, then their hearts and lungs, then their lower internal organs, followed by their legs and, lastly, their feet, which they neglect until things have really gotten very bad”  he complained. While I realize that some of this may just be a frustrated doctor upset that people give as much care for their feet as they should, I have to generally agree with him.  I, for one, have tended to worry about seemingly everything else regarding my health than my feet, usually putting off anything of concern until after the other “priorities” have been dealt with.

What does any of this this have to do with our spiritual health?  Well, for one thing, we treat our Catholic faith exactly as we do our feet.  It seems that most of us have a ranked priority list of concerns and “to-dos” and our faith is somewhere down near the basement of that list.

How much are we preoccupied with what others think of us, and what we have to remember?  These concerns of the head or mind seem to be near the top for most people. Taking the liberty of poetic license, how much time do we spend worrying about what we need to get “ahead” and rise to the “head” of the pack?  Don’t we spend tons of time wanting to become the head person in some group or organization, to be considered the “brains” of the operation?

Likewise, how obsessed are we with how people perceive us, with our appearance, with “looking” the parts we play?  How often do we judge by appearances, and look at people and situations with this society’s twisted, biased and secular eyes?  Continuing, how careful are we to only say what people want to “hear”, and of “hearing” only what is convenient to us? How much time do we spend “talking” about others, and defending or explaining ourselves regardless of whether what we have done deserves or can even be solved by such efforts?

We often say that we “smell a rat” but do we ever smell our own faults?  Do we stick our neck out for others, or are we cutthroat in our evaluation of them?  Do we find it necessary to “get something off our chest” oblivious of how our self-serving rants and efforts may hurt others?  Are we drinking this society’s moral kool-aid and making our own stance for our faith toothless by rationalizing, diluting, and apologizing for who we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to stand for?  How often do we swallow our pride and try to bring peace and forgiveness to a situation?

Where is our heart?  Is it with Christ, or with this false, manipulative, and hypocritical society? Where is our soul?  Is it taking the express train to perdition, or is it anywhere near where Our Lord wants it to be?  When faced with the many temptations of this world, do we go with our moral gut, or do we take the easy way out and just follow the most popular route? Have we developed an unhealthy taste for sin, able to stomach almost anything without much moral revulsion?  Are we constantly turning our back on our Faith, treating it like some convenient hat we wear whenever it is convenient?

Do we sit on our comfort level rather than pray on our knees? Do we reach out to people and does our claim to be faithful have a leg to stand on?

Lastly, do we relegate our faith to a daily footnote, touching on it only when there is nothing else to do or when we cannot avoid it any longer?  Like the feet, our Faith provides the foundation for where we will go and how balanced we will be there. However, that Faith should not be treated like the feet.  It should be housed in our minds, hearts, and souls, and feed the rest of our existence with its influence.  When we keep our Faith at our feet, it is an uphill journey for it to impact our lives.  However, when we keep that Faith in our minds, hearts, and souls, it can more easily spread its influence throughout our existence.

The next time you think about where your Faith resides in your life, get off your feet, shake a leg, and get it into your head to get to the heart and soul of the matter.

Gabriel Garnica, 2014

 

Dust off Your David


 

 

We have all heard the story of David and Goliath ( 1 Samuel 17) whereby the Philistine and Israelite armies faced each other on opposite sides of a steep valley, ready to do battle, but knowing that the first army to charge would be at a disadvantage below the other one. To make matters worse for the Israelite army, the Philistines were led by a giant named Goliath, who was much bigger, stronger, and terrifying than the meanest, toughest, and largest football player we can think of. Goliath spent forty days mocking God and the Israelite army, challenging them to send their best warrior in a winner take all match. Saul, the King of Israel, and his entire army were terrified of this guy, and were practically paralyzed in fear and frustration, not knowing how to get out of this situation, much less ever dream of solving it.  In fact, Goliath seemed so much better, stronger, tougher, and bigger than they were, that it started to seem that the easiest thing to do was just give up an surrender. Have you ever faced a test, situation, problem, challenge, or bully that seemed unbeatable?  Were you sometimes tempted to just give up, thinking that it was easier to just run, hide, or avoid what was facing you?  Now you know how the Israelite army felt.

Well, David, the son of Jesse, was a shepherd, and his father sent him to the battleground to find out how his brother were doing. When David heard Goliath mock and defy God, and saw how scared the Israelite army was, he volunteered to fight Goliath himself, which must have made everyone on both sides laugh. After all, they all figured, a teenage shepherd armed with a slingshot and rocks would have to be crazy, stupid, delusional, arrogant, or all of the above to even think that he had any chance to beat a giant, experienced, mean, armed warrior like Goliath. What both sides did not realize was that David was none of these things; He just loved and trusted in God so much that he put all of his faith, efforts, and chances in God’s Hands. He knew that what he was doing was the right thing, and that was all that mattered. Sure, his opponents, and even people who were supposedly on his side, mocked and criticized him but, in the end, he knew that the only Judge, the only Referee, who mattered was God, and that as long as he was doing what God wanted, everything would be alright in the end.

Have you ever seen someone being mistreated, bullied, or made fun of?  Has someone ever tried to make you do something you knew was wrong, or go against what your parents and family have taught you? People who do and say bad things often want others to agree with them, and they will try to push and even force you to go along with them. Why do you think  David refused to think and act like the crowd wanted him to?

Do you know what an underdog is?  Have you ever been an underdog?  The dictionary tells us that an underdog is someone or a side which is expected to lose to an opponent which seems much better, more talented, prepared, or the popular choice of most people. There is that word again, “popularity”; popularity is like ice cream,  pizza, or macaroni and cheese; we all like it, but that does not always mean that it is the right thing for us. That is because what most people like, prefer, or would do is not necessarily what God wants us to do or be. Following God means listening and following God’s Word, His Commandments, and the examples of Jesus, Mary, and the saints.  Praying and coming to Church are very important, and God wants us to do these things, but it is not enough.  We have to go out and try our best to be like Jesus to others. What good is praying and coming to Church if we then go out and ignore or disobey what God wants us to do?  What are we doing if we call ourselves followers of Jesus and then go out and ignore, mistreat, bully, or expect special treatment without treating others as special?  Jesus taught us to love and serve others, to be unselfish not expecting everything for ourselves, to not always look at things from our interest or agenda, and to genuinely care and feel happy for others. If we are not doing these things, we are not following Jesus and obeying God, no matter how much we pretend we are, and we are certainly not being a good example to others either.

The world considers the story of David and Goliath the ultimate underdog story and, as a fan of the Mets and Jets, I know a thing or two about underdogs. However, the popular speaker and writer David Gladwell challenges us to see this story in a different way. The world, the popular view, is that David somehow managed to overcome great disadvantages to beat someone he should have lost to, but that is only looking  at things the way the world measures things.

By the world’s view, Goliath was an unbeatable, experienced, powerful, imposing, and popular opponent expected to win; and David, was a small, insignificant, foolish, punk daring to stand in Goliath’s way. However, Gladwell tells us that Goliath likely suffered from a disease that made him a giant, that he was slow, had bad vision, and was not the brightest person in the world.  We know that Goliath did not respect, credit, or obey God from his actions and words that day, and that he took all the credit for whatever went right. By Heaven’s view, David was a fast, creative, resourceful, intelligent, courageous expert in hitting a target 100 feet or more away with a slingshot and stone who used God’s gifts to maximize his performance. Above all, he loved, trusted, and believed in God above everything, and everyone else. History will tell us that he was certainly not perfect, and had many faults, as we all do, and he accepted the consequences of those faults, but it remains that he offered what he did on that valley that day to God, and humbly gave God all the glory, praise, and credit for it.  He did not seek glory, credit, fame, or any selfish interest for himself on tht day, but rather offered his God-given talents in the service of God.

The world today is Goliath. It  seems to have many advantages, to make a lot of sense, and to have all the answers. It pretends to know right from wrong, and is very happy to push us to follow its preferences on how to be more popular. It mocks and disrespects God and those who follow and love God often, and expects them to grow up, get a life, figure it out, and change to be more inclusive, more positive, and make people more comfortable. It is more concerned with its depiction of truth than what truth really is, and is increasingly intolerant, even while portraying itself as a champion of tolerance, of any views which oppose its version of truth.  It wants us to apologize for being Christians, to surrender our loyalty to God, and to give up trying to follow a poor Carpenter who ended up nailed to a cross for making the wrong people feel comfortable and the wrong people feel uncomfortable.

We can be the Israelite army, shaking in our boots, expecting to lose, apologizing for even being  around, preferring to run and hide, mocking those in our ranks who even try to follow Christ, and  forgetting that faith and belief in God always beats earthly fear and threats. Some people say Jesus was our First David, fighting evil for us on the cross, and they may be right. However, make no mistake about it. If Jesus was David for us, it is our turn to be David for Him.  We all have a David inside us; all we have to do is dust off our David, find the God-given talents God has given us to serve Him and others, take out our slingshot, and find the stones to do what God put us on this earth to do.

Gabriel Garnica,  2014.

 

 

 

Catholic Exceptionalism Has Developed an Inferiority Complex


 

 

 

 

I recently saw some videos wherein young Catholics at the recent March for Life were asked if the Catholic Church is superior to all other religions.  The vast majority of these young people, who should be commended for supporting life under brutal conditions, seemed to shy away from the word “superior”.  Many of them answered “no” and some of those, when later asked to provide more detail in their answer, seemed to not want to offend or insult anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings.  Since when has the word “superior” become a curse word?  Since our society began to worship what I will call militant, rampant, and non-conditional equality. This so-called equality demands that people spread the wealth, spread the love, spread the pain, spread the gain and, ultimately, only succeeds in spreading something for more organic and fertilizing.

We believe that we are all created in the Image of God, and that we are all God’s children. As Catholics we not only believe that Jesus Christ came down to us to provide us with the opportunity for eternal salvation, but that we receive His Body and Blood at Mass, which is not a glorified meal but, rather, a re-enactment of Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross. We also believe that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, and that She, like Her Son, was born and lived without sin.  We love and honor Mary as our ally in the struggle for salvation. That effort is a struggle, not because Christ made it so but, rather, because we make it so with our human weakness, inconsistency, disloyalty, selfishness, and disobedience as personified in sin.  We believe that we need to unburden our sin through the Sacrament of Confession before a priest, and to feed our souls, minds, and hearts with the Body and Blood of Christ as often as possible to help us in our struggle for salvation.  We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that the Pope is God’s representative on earth.  

We also believe that the great privilege and blessing of being a Catholic carries with it a similarly great responsibility and duty, which is to live according to a higher standard than that practiced by this world, and by other faiths. In addition to following God’s Word, as well as seeking and accepting God’s Will as best we can define that Will, we are expected to combine God’s Word in the Bible with Christ’s example in both the Bible and the Gospels to serve as messengers and models of salvation for this world. We are not called to bash, humiliate, or mock other faiths, for Christ did not do that but, rather, to lovingly and consistently exhibit words, actions, and examples which will encourage others to seek salvation through our faith.  Being Catholic is a gift we should want to share with others out of love, not a burden or a toy which we should endure or play with.

If you found a great electronic device, or a fantastic recipe, or an awesome website,  which you thought would transform the lives of those you love, wouldn’t you tell them about it, and even try to convince them to give it a try?  If you were selfish, you might keep this information to yourself, but then you would not be following Christ’s example and, ironically, endangering your own salvation while neglecting that of others.  By telling them about this item, process, or place that you saw as so special, would you be necessarily be telling them that all other electronic devices, recipes, or websites were total garbage, useless trash with no redeeming value whatsoever?  Of course not, yet this redistribution society wants to pretend that, unless we say everything is equal, we are saying that everything, and everybody, outside of our agenda is worthless garbage.

Another insidious influence of this society is that we are told to question and suspect everything said and  done by those who have, blindly favor  and defend everthing said and done by those who have not, and assume and even demand that everyone, regardless of merit or qualification, should be equal.  Thus, everyone is going to Heaven no matter what, and nobody will go to a Hell because that would just be wrong and mean or, because, God would never have a Hell in the first place.

This society and world loves to call itself “progressive”, “modern”, “sensitive”,  and “tolerant”  yet it is least forward thinking, advanced, caring, or tolerant with regard to those who disagree with the accepted or popular thinking or opinion regarding the deepest and most intimate of matters.  At the end of the day, this world and society are about subjective morality built on rampant, militant, and blind equality with no foundation in truth or merit.  If all go to Heaven no matter what, what is the value of holiness and the consequence of sin?  If everyone and everything everyone believes is equal, there will never be a need to seek the light since that light will be everywhere.  The truth told, there is darkness, and light, in varying degrees, as one moves farther, or closer, to God in varying degrees.  The truth told, only God can judge who is, and who is not, worthy of salvation.  

At the end of the day, we should proudly believe that, if we are faithful and practicing Catholics,  we will be further down that path toward God, and that we will be judged by how well we loved others enough to help them along that same path.  That certainly seems unique, special, and exceptional to me, and is clearly something we should be willing to proudly and assertively proclaim to others. So, please, for the sake of your own salvation and that of those you can touch, rip off your Catholic inferiority complex and proudly wear your hat of Catholic Exceptionalism. This is not about putting other down but, rather, about lifting them up.  What do you think?

Copyright, 2014,  Gabriel Garnica,  All rights reserved.

If You Want to Follow Christ, Travel Light


Whether we admit it or not, we all worship enough gods to fill our local arena. Sure, we talk a good game regarding loyalty to the One, True, God but, when nobody is watching us, we raid the cookie jar of gods to satisfy our whim of the day.  Whether we kneel before the gods of power, money, possessions, popularity, self, revenge, or any of the other slew of deities of doom this world entices us with, we certainly have our pick on a daily basis. Rather than pretend that this danger does not exist, or deny its power to persuade us from time to time, we should simply admit its presence in our lives and ask God for help.

You see, when it comes to following Christ, we must all walk through a gauntlet of temptations on a daily basis, a veritable buffet of easy human enticements propped up on flimsy, fanciful lies that this earth ever has the real answer to anything. Eve faced one apple, and Adam followed the easy way to please, but we confront an apple orchard 24/7 just begging us to fill our knapsack with all forms of luggage. I love the phrase “you have more issues than a newstand” because, in reality, we are all newstands,  displaying loads of issues of all kinds. If we are not carrying around resentments or regrets from years ago, we are lugging around insecurities, fears, or stereotypes about others, ourselves, or the situations we face.

Christ has told us that we cannot follow Him if we are carrying around all of this garbage. Following Him demands that we travel light because, no pun intended, He is the Light.

While it would be wonderful if we could just snap our fingers and eliminate this luggage, or somehow put up a firewall to prevent these items from invading our lives, the truth is that God would not allow that to happen for three reasons. First, it would be the easy way out, avoiding our need to confront and defeat our demons.  Second, we would own the idea that we had somehow  overcome these demons on our own. Last, it would eliminate our need to trust in Christ.  In actuality, God allows these challenges to tempt and weigh us down to test our resolve, our faith, and our trust in Him.

No, we cannot magically snap our way out of this daily battle with this luggage. No, we cannot avoid carrying these suitcases from time to time. However, there is one way we can lighten our load and follow Christ.  We simply have to hand these stuff to Christ and trust that He will deal with it constructively and effectively for our ultimate salvation.  You see, we are not on this earth to prove that we do not need God. Rather, we are on this earth to prove that we can serve and bring God to others through our own meager efforts. This is not about proving to God that we can carry tons of useless earthly garbage. Rather, it is everything about showing God how much we love and trust Him, how much we want to follow Christ, and how much we want to return home to Heaven where we belong.

So, the next time you find yourself holding a grudge, struggling to forgive, clinging to anger or fear, or immersed in self-doubt and hopelessness, drop off this luggage at Christ’s courtesy counter of faith because you can only  board your flight to salvation with a light, carry-on bag filled with your love, service, charity, compassion, mercy, and selfless dedication to others inside.

Copyright, 2013  Gabriel Garnica.   All Rights Reserved.

True Faith and Trust in God Means That The ? Key in Your Life Keyboard Will Gather Dust


Under normal circumstances, question marks are an accepted part of life, describing situations which may be both positive and negative.  None of us know all the answers, and it is precisely when we do not know an answer that we have questions.  Asking questions because one is interested and proactively pursuing issues discovered through diligent investigation is a fantastic sign of preparation.  Interviewers may be more impressed by an interviewee’s questions than by his or her answers if those questions demonstrate insight and diligent preparation.  People who ask constructive and insightful questions demonstrate that they care, and that they are proactive.  The right question never asked is often a bigger mistake than the wrong answer given.

On the other hand, foolish questions regarding issues which should have been known only demonstrate laziness and a lack of preparation.  Most of us would be displeased if a cab driver taking us into an unknown city’s downtown area started asking us how to get to our hotel!  Asking questions in a job interview which the job seeker should have known going in can easily be the kiss of death.

If questions are a part of life, and if they are at the very heart of what it means to be an imperfect human being on this earth and with respect to others along our life journey, they take a very different role with respect to our relationship with God.

Our relationship with God should not have any ?  signs;  it should be based on profound trust, faith, obedience, and dedication.  While it is true that the various saints and mystics who interacted with Christ may have sometimes asked Him questions, the fact remains that the vast majority of us mere mortals have not had the opportunity to converse and interact with Christ directly, where such questions could arise.

Instead of asking God to give us something, we should tell Him how much we love Him, how much and why we want something, and then leave things in His Hands to decide in whatever way or form His Divine Providence and Will should prefer.  Instead of asking God why something has happened to us, we should tell Him how much we love and trust Him to take us in the path most beneficial to our souls and our salvation.  When we ask, we either doubt, protest, or request, which are all about us.  Doubts demonstrate a lack of faith and trust in God’s Divine Will and Providence.  Protests demonstrate a foolish insolence and defiance against that Will and Providence.  Requests, while not wrong in an of themselves, often take on a consumerist tone, sliding into demands and selfish expectations, especially when the requests involve our needs, wants, and interests.

While none of us is perfect, and we all slip into the ? mode in our relationship with God from time to time, we should strive to reduce if not completely eliminate the ? factor in our relationship with God over our lifetimes.  We must constantly control and dispel doubt in God’s Will and Plan since that is one of the devil’s greatest delights.  We must never protest God’s plan for us, because to do so demonstrates a total lack of obedience, humility, and selfless abandonment to serving God.  Notice how the Virgin Mary asked the angel Gabriel questions to clarify, to better understand, not to doubt, protest, or ask for anything for Herself.  Her profound humility and  obedience should inspire us.  Finally, we should not so much ask God for things as place them on the table for God’s consideration, obediently and faithfully withdrawing that request when circumstances demonstrate a contrary disposition by God.  Akin to this is accepting our losses and suffering as favors from God to fortify us against the threats of this world.

Rather than spewing  ?????? at God, you should spray His Divine Throne with as many !!!!!!!!!!!  as possible, praising His great love, mercy, and justice with unwavering dedication, trust, faith, and courage.

Copyright, 2013  Gabriel Garnica    All Rights Reserved.