On the problem of accurately discerning God’s will for your life

If you’re trying to make a decision and you truly want to do God’s Will, try these 3 steps in order. If the first one works for you, there’s no need to move on to the second. If the second one works, there’s no need to go on to the third. If you get to the third mode, keep trying…it WILL work!

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When grace is not enough

by Doug Lawrence

I often receive emails and inquiries from good, prayerful, practicing Catholics who seem to have a hard time translating the graces they most certainly receive from God, into practical blessings.

My constant reply to people in this situation is to remember to pray first, for wisdom … since without sufficient wisdom, abundant graces often go unused and/or misapplied.

I also typically point out that God gives us graces, virtues, and other gifts because he loves us … but also for his own glory … so that his will might be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.

Which brings us right back to the critical importance of always remembering to pray for an increase in wisdom.

The epistle of St. James reads:

But if any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men abundantly and upbraideth not. And it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

In other words … if you, as a faithful, practicing Catholic, need wisdom … fervently ask God to give it to you. He will never say no … he will never take offense … and he will grant it to you in supernatural abundance.

What could be simpler than that?

Islam’s “double predestination” and Osama bin Laden’s death: Was it “written?”

All of Islam believes in something very close to John Calvin’s (errant) concept of “double predestination” – where a person’s life is predestined to a particular path, and that person is totally unable to do anything to change their fate. Hence, whatever happens is the will of Allah … something not only permitted but (by implication) actually intended … by God.

Catholics believe in in a form of divine predestination that does not prevent our free will choices, that let’s man be man, and God be God … all at the same time. This section from the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains how that typically works. Read it carefully:

“Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God”

599 Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”393 This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.394

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”395 For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.396

Catholics would rightly tell you that God gives each of us free will, and once our earthly existence is complete, God fully intends to judge us for our free will actions (or lack thereof) in response to the grace he also gives to us.

In spite of our most grievous sins and screw-ups, we can still be assured that God’s plan will indeed prevail, since it’s not all that difficult for the creator of the heavens and the earth to work around our little messes, in order to ultimately bring about his will and his plan. (Thank God!)

In this, there is a subtle but clear distinction between ordinary (Catholic) predestination … and Islam/Calvin’s (totally erroneous) double predestination.

Without a human will that is truly free, there could be no fair and impartial divine judgment for sin. Furthermore, the erroneous concept of double predestination makes God (not man … not even the devil) guilty of all the world’s evils. From this, it should be fairly easy to surmise precisely why both Satan and Osama bin Laden endorse and and promote it.

As for the intentions of John Calvin, the 15th century protestant reformer … I’ll leave that one up to you.