I just saw the amazing quote above from St. Ignatius of Loyola while I was doing my morning scroll through the office twitter feed and I just had to share it here. I believe that when St. Ignatius had this thought he most likely was thinking about obeying our Lord and doing the will of God. No truer words could be said about that. When we love the Lord, we trust the Lord and we believe that what he asks of us is only for our own good. Therefore, obeying that will is easy. Of course, there are going to be times that DOING the will of God is not easy because he will often ask us to do things that are not possible on our own. In fact, everything the Lord expects of us is not possible to accomplish without his grace. But I digress.
What struck me about this quote is the way it is reflected in my life as a father trying to raise children and help them to their ultimate home in Heaven. What is the one thing anybody with children complains about the most?
“My children just don’t do what I ask them to do? They don’t listen.”
I remember as a little guy myself, I had my own problems listening and obeying my parents. However, what I’m hearing from St. Ignatius today is that, perhaps, my children struggle to obey me because I don’t show them as clearly as I can that I love them. They don’t see day in and day out, in the good times and in the rough times, when they have done everything perfectly and when they have made mistakes, that I love them. How do I respond when things aren’t done perfectly in my house? How do I handle having to pick up their toys and clothes and shoes every single day? Am I showing them love and patience and mercy as the Father has shown me? Am I making it easy for them to love me or am I simply seeking respect?
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that by showing my kids more patience and love and mercy they will automatically obey my every word. I don’t do that in my relationship with God! I do believe that if they know how much I love them and want what is best for them and that I am trying every day to help them to get to heaven, then, perhaps they will be more likely to trust that, even when I’m asking them to do things that are difficult, they can obey me and there will be a good result for them and for our family. If I can be the type of person that is easy to love, and not the type of person that is easy to fear, then, perhaps, my children will find it easier to obey.