"Thy Will Be Done..."

Sorry for the delay. Back to Pope Benedict’s look at the Our Father…

“Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” – this third petition pretty well sums up the entity of our Christian faith; we ought to do nothing contrary to the Will of God, and do everything to promote its completion to the fullest extent. On this note, the Holy Father writes, “Two things are immediately clear from the words of this petition: God has a will with and for us and it must become the measure of our willing and being; and the essence of ‘heaven’ is that it is where God’s will is unswervingly done.” (Jesus of Nazareth, p. 147)

Perhaps this would be an appropriate place for a brief reflection on heaven. Often, we consider heaven as the height of worldly paradise - maybe our version of Sandals resort in the sky - but in reality, it is much more (and much simpler) than that. "The essence of heaven," says the pope, "is oneness with God's will, the oneness of will and truth." (p. 147) In other words, there is nothing in heaven that is not totally in line with the Will of God, and our willingly loving Him back; heaven is perfect communion between God and man, where we will come to "know the fullness of joy" by seeing, unblemished by sin, the face of God. With regard to the Our Father, "Earth becomes 'heaven' when and insofar as God's will is done there; and it is merely 'earth,' the opposite of heaven, when and insofar as it withdraws from the will of God." (pp. 147-8)

So how do we come to know the Will of God? "The Holy Scriptures work on the premise that man has knowledge of God's will in his inmost heart, that anchored deeply within us there is a participation in God's knowing, which we call conscience... But the Scriptures also know that this participation in the Creator's knowledge...became buried in the course of history." (p. 148) This is the reason for Christ's words to his disciples - "thy will be done" - they are a reminder of that innate connection we have with the Father by virtue of our very existence. It is that freedom to choose the Will of God that makes humanity so dignified. In that sense, we were created "little less than gods," with the possibility of one day seeing the True God face to face in paradise.