“Perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God’s” – St. Alphonsus de Liguori.
This is a good time of year to take a Penny Walk. Put on your walking shoes, then find a shiny penny. All set? Let’s go outdoors!
Walk to the nearest corner. Flip the penny and see which side lands up. If it’s tails, make a left. If it’s heads, make a right. Keep walking to the next corner, and when you get there, flip the coin again to find out which way to turn. Continue in this manner, flipping the penny at every corner and following its direction.
Now you’re on a Penny Walk!
When my children were very young, Penny Walks used to be a favorite diversion. I’d drive the kids down to Hellertown, which had the sidewalks and crossing zones that were lacking in our Lower Saucon neighborhood. Once out of the car, the little ones would take turns flipping a penny – or more accurately, fumbling flips and dropping the penny on the pavement – to determine the direction we’d turn. Our Penny Walks would sometimes take us along streets and alleyways that we had not visited before.
One day, while traipsing through an unfamiliar alley near the center of Hellertown, we were surprised to come upon a wayside shrine of sorts, a glass-fronted case containing a life-size statue of St. Michael brandishing a sword. The finely detailed statue was impressive in its realism, and the children gazed at it with awe.
In the months following our discovery of the statue, most of our trips into town would include a detour to “visit St. Michael.” Many conversations about saints and angels, and good and evil, resulted from that one Penny Walk, and the simple shrine to which it had unexpectedly led us.
Of course, Penny Walks don’t always lead to exciting discoveries, nor should they. For many of us, Penny Walks can serve an entirely different purpose: they can help to subdue our very human desire to “be in charge.” Going on a Penny Walk demands that a person let go of his own will and turn his steps in a direction that he might not otherwise have gone.
Walking with God requires a similar kind of resignation. Submitting to the Divine Will means allowing God to direct your footsteps along the path He’s chosen for you. This childlike trust in God’s will is beautifully expressed in the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, through which we ask that we “with great confidence submit ourselves to your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.” Complete resignation to God’s will is difficult, but it’s a certain path to sanctity.
Are you ready to follow the GPS: God’s Perfect Strategy?
Dear Lord, please help me to remember that the road You choose is the one that will lead me to heaven. Teach me to unite my will to Yours.