Expert Answer Forum

November 9, 2000 QUESTION from Tawny Faith No matter how hard I try to stregthen my faith in God I fail. I have so many doubts that it makes me hard to get close to him. Like why does everything we do in our life have to be about him and why do we have to live OUR life his way? I know he did make the ultimate sacrifice for us, but so many other people have sacraficed their lives for people...I just don't understand. I am not a bad person. In fact I am a very nice person, but I just don't feel as though God has the right to decide our life's plan.
One last thing is does God decide when it's time for a person to die? Even if they die in a sudden car accident or something-did God have that planned?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on Friday, March 2, 2001 Dear Miss Tawny:
No other person who has ever lived as sacrificed as much as Jesus sacrificed for us. Jesus is God who humbled Himself to come to us as a man and to be brutally tortured and killed for our sins. He did this voluntarily. Yes many people have sacrificed for others and when they do they imitate our Lord, but they to not compare to our Lord's sacrifice.
You ask why God has a right to decide our life's plan? Well, He is our Father, thus He has the right to instruct and guide us. But God never forces us. We can decide to reject Him if we wish. Only a fool would reject God, but then we have many fools in this world.
As far as the things that God asks us to do that sometimes we may not want to do, He asks us to do these things because they are in our best interest. If a baby is about to put his finger in a light socket and kill himself by electrocucion are we to let the baby live life his way and stick his finger in the socket?
Well regardless of how grown-up we think we are, we are but children compared to God. Children who stbbornly want to do things that are bad for us. God instructs us to stay away from the light sockets, but often we put out finger in the socket anyway. When we do, we pay for our independence.
Our heavenly Father want you to be the best person you can be. That is only possible if you live your life doing all the things that are best for you. The rules that God gives us are merely the rules of of the road of life that will keep us well, healthy, and happy. If we violate those rules then we place ourselves at risk. Using the rules of the road analogy, if we see a stop sign on the road we need to stop. We may not understand why the stop sign is there, but the city council knows. If we arrogantly think, ah, this sign doesn't need to be there so I will ignore it and we need run through the stop sign we may be sorry. Perhaps what WE did not know but the City Council did know is that there is a dip in the road that you cannot see from the intersection and if you don't stop an oncoming car will smash into you. God is the City Council. We are the driver who needs to obey the signs.
As for death, only God knows. We can never know. However, most of the time God is not pressing a button in heaven that saps us and takes us to the hereafter. Rather God in what is called his permissive will allows our lives to run its natural course. Thus if we get run over by a bus, we get run over by a bus, or we may die from natural causes. God may intervene ans save us from the bus or He may decide to take us home to Him and specifically call us. Only He knows those times and He makes those interventions for His good purposes.
I would suggest that you sit before the Tabernacle and pray. But not only pray, sit there quietly and let the radiation of God's presence in the Bless Sacrament flow through you. Let God speak to you in the quietness.
If you do this, your doubts will melt away like snow in the rain of God's love.
We will be praying for you.
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