With My Heavenly Father
by Fr. Jack McArdle
My dear dear child, you whom I have loved from the very beginning. It was in total love you were created, just as it is my wish that all my children might be pro-created in love. I am Love. I have no other way of being and of acting. Love is restless until it receives some response. Love is always giving, always reaching out, always hoping. I think of you all the time, because if I ceased to think of you, you would no longer exist. Creating you, and continuing to create you, is my gift to you. I didn't create you as some whim of fancy, just to please myself. Because I am love, I created you so that I could share that love with you. I am the source of all life, and, so, I created you because I chose to share the gift of life with you. It was you, and you only, I was thinking of when I created you, and when I decided that you should share life and love with me. Creating you was but the beginning of a journey. I didn't create you to let you float aimlessly in space until something happened to end the journey. When I created you, I set you on a journey, on a path, which I had marked out for you. My love hovers over you as you travel, even when you are completely unaware of this, or you don't care to know. My word is sacred, my promises are eternal, and when I begin something I take full responsibility until that creation is completed, until it becomes what I had created it to be. I know it is not possible for you, by yourself, to understand or to grasp the scope of my love for you. That is why I sent my Son Jesus. He came to teach you about my love. He came to tell you that I love you. He even told you that I love you as much as I love him. Because he came to do my will, he never said anything unless I told him to. I told him to tell you about the forgiving Father in the story of the Prodigal Son; about how I care for the birds of the air, and the lilies of the field; about how much I want you to come back to the Garden.
You are very special to me. It certainly is not my will that any one of you should be lost. All I ask is that you respond to my love. I would never ever force or compel a response from you. There are no conditions to my love, and all I ask is that you accept my love. I really want you to live in reality, to live with conviction, to live life fully. I want you to accept the complete parcel, the complete gift of life, and not to settle for some form of existence. That was never my intention in creating you. I want you, in yourself, to reflect something of the reality that I am. I want you to live with a sense of destiny, and with horizons of eternity. I fully appreciate how difficult it is for a finite human mind to even slightly grasp the concept of unlimited unconditional love. It is important, therefore, that you understand that this is your ultimate goal, the direction in which I lead you, and not something you can fully understand right now. In fact, during this earthly part of your life, you will make progress along this road of discovery, but you will arrive nowhere. All of your life will be a journey towards something, and that something will be fully revealed and unveiled when you pass out of the body, to fully become what I created you for in the first place. If you'll forgive me a smile, I couldn't even begin to tell you what that will be like! The journey on which you travel at the moment is often mysterious enough, and can be difficult to understand, and I think you have enough to go on with! When you accept my love, you become one with me, you become united with me, because I am love; when you live in love, you live in me, and I live in you. My Son Jesus came to do my will. All I ask is that you make your will available to me, that you have the goodwill to be open to me. Goodwill is like a switch, and, when I touch it, it switches on the machine. Have you ever watched someone struggling with a car or a motor-lawnmower, trying to get it started? On the other hand, you are very familiar with a switch that fulfills its function once you touch it. That might help you understand the idea of goodwill. The switch doesn't generate or supply the power; it simply makes the connection, and allows the power to flow. You are familiar with switches that are operated by remote control. These controls activate something else, and things begin to happen. I never ask you for will-power; all I ask is that you have the will, and I will supply the power. I ask for openness of heart, of mind, of spirit, and I will do the rest. There is nothing impossible to me. I know you have a big heart, and a good heart. I know that you fail because you are weak, not because you are evil. Because I understand you so well, I am never involved in condemnation, or in rejection. How you think of me is very very important. I want you to examine very carefully the image you have in your mind when you think of me. If you think of me as some sort of eagle-eye in the sky, watching your every move, taking note of every failure, and someone who is going to extract the final penny, then you have entirely missed the whole point of the Gospel, and every word that my Son Jesus told you.
Because I have given you free-will, you often get in the way of my plans for you. You often forget who and what you are, and that I am God, and not you! There are so so many times when I wish you would let me take over, and do for you all those things you never could do for yourself. Quite often this is prompted by your own goodwill, and your determination to be good. The problem arises when your efforts at being good are limited to your own human efforts, and I am not involved. Is it not a fact that you sometimes only come back to me when you have failed?! I smile again when I think of this, because I am a Parent, a Father/Mother, and what parent is not all too familiar with the child running in from the street with a cut knee, or a bleeding finger? Seeing me, and thinking of me as a parent, and thinking of our relationship as one of parent/child is something that should help you a great deal in your conscious awareness of me.
My plans for you never change. I created you in love, to love, and to become love. That plan and purpose is always there, and it never changes. You, however, can put yourself outside of my plans, through the way you choose to do things, and how you choose to have things. I can do nothing about that, because I will never ever interfere in the gift of free-will I gave you. A decision is not real unless it is freely made. Love is a decision. I cannot give you anything unless you choose to accept it. I always offer you choices, because you are free to make choices. You can choose how your life should be, both now, and for eternity. You have a choice between life and death. I always ask you to choose life. Life as you know it now is nothing compared to the fulness of life that lies up ahead for you. The fact is, however, that that fulness of life begins now, it develops now, it evolves now, and all that is life now is but a foreshadowing of what is to come. In the Garden, your first parents chose another way of living, another way of being. I sent my Son Jesus to redeem that situation, and restore you to the original happiness I had intended for all my children. Jesus came to offer you life in abundance. I continually invite you to choose life, to choose that life in abundance. I always await your response at every step of the journey of life.
I know you through and through. At every moment I am fully aware of everything you do, and everything you think. I am fully aware of how you feel, and of what you fear. I want to be part of all that, and I am always hoping that you will let me be part of everything. Because you are a very precious part of my creation, I take full responsibility for all that is best for you. With my gift of life comes all that is needed to live that life to the full. I supply the manna, the daily bread, for every day I give you. Life in a package, to use a word you will understand. With the gift of life comes whatever it takes to live that life. Your life is totally unique, because you are totally unique. When I created you I broke up the mould, and there never has been, nor will there ever be another person exactly like you. Even your fingerprint is uniquely yours, just as is the composition of your blood. It is very important that you understand and accept this fact. You have gifts that are unique to you. Even if you were born deaf, or unable to walk, you have all it takes to live life fully, as I intend it for you. I never ask anyone to be anyone else, or to live like anyone else. Every human being on this earth comes with equal right to live here, even if other people deprive them of that basic right. Just as I would never force you to do the good, so I never stop others from doing the evil. Free-will is a two-edged sword, that can work for good, or for evil. Just as you have choices, and can make choices, so it is with humanity as a whole. I will never interfere directly, because that would be to deprive one group of their free-will, and to prevent the good people from doing what it takes to oppose and overcome the evil. While I will not interfere directly, I will certainly give what it takes to those of goodwill, so they can be my instruments for overcoming the evil. You have within you, as part of your new redeemed creation, all that it takes to overcome all evil. Because my Spirit lives in you, he needs your hands, feet, and voice to do the good, and to speak the good. If you supply the will, the availability, I will do everything else.
I always wish you well. I always want what is best for you. When you thwart my plans for you, when your self-will runs riot, and when your selfishness makes you deaf or heedless to the voice of conscience; at all such times, I just continue to love you, and to want everything that is for your good. I always hope; I always and ever hope that you will listen, that you will heed, that you will respond. It is never too late for me. The only 'yes' I care about is the one you whisper just now. My whole relationship with you is based on the on-going gift of being able to begin again. A mother watches her child take those first very cautious steps. There will be many falls before the child is able to walk unaided, and with confidence. The mother sees every improvement, rather than taking note of every fall. I see you as my child, and I watch you every day. I see your attempts to live as I would wish you, and I see the failures and the falls. You fail because you are weak, not because you are evil. My total attention is directed to you right now. The very fact that you are listening to my words now is all that I ask right now. Thank you for being with me, and for listening. I ask for no return for the gift of life I have given you, beyond the great joy it gives me to live that life with you, and to see your goodwill, and your attempts to live that life. When you live in love, you live in me, and I am living in you. Your goodwill is the material that produces that love.
Heavenly Father, Holy and all-powerful God, thank you for allowing me come to you, and speak to you. After Moses spoke to you, and heard you speak, the people saw that his face was radiant with light. He had stood face to face before the All-holy God. Father, I come before you with very simple credentials. You are my Father, I am your child. I come before you now, knowing I am always before you, even when I am not aware of that fact. I open out my heart, my hands, my whole being to you. I know that I cannot hide from your gaze, and I have no desire to do so. I want to open out the canvas of my life before you...out...out...out to the very edges. There are parts of it that don't make a pretty sight; there are parts that are not very life-giving; there are parts that are not very alive. I trust your gaze of love and total acceptance, because, unless I was sure of that, I wouldn't dare stand before you. I know and accept that you love me exactly as I am. However, I'm more grateful still that you love me much much more than that; and therefore, that you won't leave me the way I am. Father, I have no desire to be anything other than what you want me to be. I stand before you now with all that I am, the good, the bad, the ugly. I'm not looking for any commendation, or expecting any condemnation. It's just me as I am, it's me as you see me. Abba, Daddy, Father, I know that you can read and hear my heart. I cannot ever hope to put in words all I want to say, whether that be asking for forgiveness or giving you thanks. The only anchor I can cling to is the honest desire within my heart to be open to you, and to become everything to which you call me. I know well that I cannot trust myself, because my experience gives me no good reason to do so. I also know that I am happiest when I am aware of you and your presence. I know, of course, that it would be imposssible, and would not be expected by you, that I should be aware of you and of your presence always. I cling to the image of parent and child, where there is a very special love, but they are not always with each other, or thinking of each other. You are God, and you alone in the whole universe are capable of having me in your mind and vision at all times.
I remember, earlier in life, how I set out to gain your approval and your commendation. I was determined to be perfect in your sight, and always be pleasing to you. I smile now when I think of that, and, somehow, I believe that you smile too. I know now that I had it all wrong, but the goodwill was there, and, so, I could never wander too far away from you as long as that was so, no matter how crazy my ideas were, or how unrealistic my dreams. I now know that you were with me at every step of the way, even when I chose to walk alone, as if that could be. When I look back down the corridor of time, the one thing that strikes me most is your extraordinary patience. You stuck with me through thick and thin; whenever I turned back to you, you were always there for me. At some of those times I turned to you because everyone else, including myself, seemed to turn away from me. I turned to you when I came in touch with my frailty, either in matters of worry, of health, or confusion. I believe what Jesus tells me about the Forgiving Father in the story of the Prodigal Son, and I know that you are the Father, and that I am the prodigal child. There are many times, indeed, when you see me as the self-righteous brother, in the way I think of, or treat those who are different from me. I would dearly love to be like the forgiving father towards others. All I can do, again and again, is offer you my goodwill, and my genuine desire to become all you created me to be. You created me in love, and for love, and I believe that my best response, in love, is to constantly desire that your will for me be brought to its completion, and that my own self-will does not get in the way. As it happens, Father, I don't like flying, and when I'm up there in the sky, I am a little more conscious of you being in control! I try to bring that awareness back to earth with me, and remind myself again and again that you are at the controls, even when you allow me to be co-pilot from time to time! It frightens me to think of Jesus feeling absolutely alone on the Cross. I know you were still there with him, but the feeling of being totally alone must be one of the worst experiences possible to the human heart.
I never think of you creating me, and then just leaving me to my own devices, to my own whim and fancy. I just have to believe that your creation of me is on-going; that I am now in the womb of Divinity, being formed in the image of your Son, Jesus. Father, to be honest with you, I have to believe that this is how you see it, and that you know what is happening, or how it's happening. From my point of view, from my perspective, I could easily get discouraged, because it's difficult to see any improvement. While admitting that I'm not as good as I ought to be, I thank you, though, that there are times when I believe that I'm a bit better than I used to be! I rely totally on your love to see me through. All I can do is hang in there, and believe that you know what you're doing. There are times today, when, with developments and events in both Church and State, I'm not sure what's happening. It's at such times that I turn to you afresh, and turn my concerns over to you. I know then that they are in safe hands. I don't need to know the why of everything, and I don't want to know it. All I want to know is that my goodwill is pleasing to you, that I live in conscious awareness of you, and that I make myself available to you. I know you would never ask me, nor expect me, to do the impossible; and what you do ask, I can rely on you to give me the grace to respond and to obey. Abba, Daddy, Father, thank you, thank you for being there, and being there for me always.
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It's Me Again, Lord... copyright © 2004 Fr. Jack McArdle. All rights reserved.