Who’s in control? Holy Father reminds us that God is in charge of our lives Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

Editor's View by Mary C. Uhler

Most of us like to have control over our lives. We decide when to get up in the morning, we choose the food we eat at our meals, and we decide what to do throughout the day.

Of course, there are outside circumstances that have an impact on our decisions. The weather comes to mind as an important factor affecting some of our plans. If it’s raining, for example, we might not mow the lawn, or we may choose to eat inside rather than have a picnic in a park.

However, in most cases we like to exercise control over what we do. We’re in charge of our lives. At least that’s what we like to believe.

God is in charge

As we grow older, we may start to realize that this way of looking at life isn’t the whole truth. Although we can have a great deal of control over our thoughts and actions, we aren’t the ones ultimately in charge.

God is the one who has the final say over what happens in our lives.

Any of us who have experienced health problems — or have relatives and friends dealing with health issues — know exactly what this means. We can do the best we can to take care of ourselves, but our future is in God’s hands.

I was intrigued by a message given by Pope Benedict XVI on this very topic to an August 19 to 25 meeting in Rimini, Italy, of the Communion and Liberation (CL) movement. The meeting was intended to focus on people’s relationship with the infinite, reported an article published by Catholic News Service.

Throughout my life I’ve always felt my mind stretch — that’s the only way I can describe it — to try to come to some understanding of the infinite. As I recall from advanced mathematics classes, we can only approach closer and closer to the infinite, but never reach it. It’s not something our limited human minds can fully comprehend.

Developing a relationship with the Infinite

Pope Benedict reminded those attending the meeting  that everything that happens in life, whether it first appears good or bad, is a reminder that human beings do not have absolute control over their own destinies but were made to be in a relationship with God.

“Each thing, each relationship, each joy, like each difficulty, finds its ultimate meaning in being an occasion for a relationship with the Infinite, the voice of God who continually calls us and invites us to raise our sights and to discover in him the fullness of our humanity,” the pope said in his message to participants at the CL meeting.

Curious about CL, I found a description of its purpose: “the education to Christian maturity of its adherents and collaboration in the mission of the Church in all the spheres of contemporary life.” It aims to communicate the awareness that Christ is the one true response to the deepest needs of people in every moment of history.”

CL says that the person who encounters and welcomes the presence of Christ undergoes a conversion that affects not only the individual but also the surrounding environment.

Bridging the distance

So how do we develop that relationship with God? Some people might ask how it is possible for a finite creature like a human being to have a real relationship with the infinite God, said Pope Benedict. For Christians, the answer is that God assumed a finite form in Jesus Christ.

“From the Incarnation, the moment in which the Word was made flesh, the unbridgeable distance between the finite and infinite was erased,” he said. Jesus continues giving himself to his followers in the Eucharist, his body and blood. “Let us rediscover the beauty of the sacrament of the Eucharist,” the pope said.

So there is our answer. We can develop a relationship with God. We can receive Him in Communion, and take Him with us into the world.

We can relinquish that control and give our lives to Him. That should give us greater peace, particularly as we face challenges in our lives and the lives of those around us.