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No Accidents?

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By Br. Leonard Konopka, MIC (Jan 8, 2007)
It has been my privilege and honor over several decades to share some of my modest and personal views on the aspects of God's greatest attribute, which is His Mercy. It took the Lord many years to convice me of His Mercy, therefore, I am not surprised at those who still resist accepting the fullness of His grace. Without His grace I was just as reluctant.

I remember one of the many key moments in which I gained confidence in His mercy. I was sharing some reflections with parishioners at Our Lady of Grace parish in Greensboro, N.C. A reference was made about St. Faustina and her perceptions concerning the incredible events of her own life. Clearly, this Polish nun to whom our Lord revealed Himself as the Divine Mercy in the 1930s had come to the conclusion that there were no accidents, per se, in her spiritual journey. I remember responding to a question from one of the parishioners. I said something along the lines of " ... and by the way, you know that St. Faustina believed there are no accidents."

I realized immediately how truly moved people were by that notion. To this day, many people remind me how significant this attitude has become in their daily lives. Over a period of several years, I have experienced similar responses. Why is that so? Perhaps because we want to acknowledge that there is meaning to the events of our lives, that God has a plan for us, and that so many seemingly "accidental" events are but threads that eventually form a beautiful tapestry of His unique and significant design. All the events we encounter, if we but surrender in trust, can bring about our salvation.

But first, how did St. Faustina come to the conclusion that there are no accidents? Our Lord told her: "I arrange things" (Diary of St Faustina, 1147). Later, St. Faustina wrote: "Jesus gave me to know that even the smallest thing does not happen on earth without His will. After this, my soul entered into an unusual repose; I found myself completely at peace...." (Diary, 1262).

Elsewhere she prayed: "May You be blessed O God, for everything You send me. Nothing under the sun happens without Your will. I cannot penetrate Your secrets with regard to myself, but I press my lips to the chalice You offer me" (Diary, 1208).

These spiritual gems delight us. More so, they may prompt us — as they appeared to have prompted those parishioners in North Carolina and elsewhere — to turn to our Lord and trust Him with the events we encounter in our lives. This is especially required, when we experience frustrations, pain and suffering; when we are wracked by confusion and hopelessness and when nothing seems to make much sense to us.

This inner faith that there are no accidents is a process and cannot be forced on anyone. It cannot be hurried nor simplistically embraced. It can be quite a challenge.

We often arrive at this acceptance after many tears of anguish and pain. It takes our patience and the grace of God to accept His divine intervention in our lives. However, I have seen that it has brought healing to the wounds of a parent who has lost a child to drugs and other addictions. This awareness greatly consoles a family when a child has a fatal car accident. It is able to comfort a mother who has miscarried.

We cannot be cavalier about the pain and anger of those who lost loved ones in battles that are now raging in Iraq and elsewhere. Nevertheless, after years of trying to grasp God's purpose, many of these families come to the conclusion that surrendering the loss to God inevitably brings peace. They have ultimately substituted their losses for the great joy of knowing their loved ones are with God. He, too, will reward them for the great sacrifices they have made.

Each of us approaches grief, sorrow and suffering in our own way. What can heal one person does not necessarily help another. Everything is dependent on His will and our cooperation with His grace. We need to acquire God's understanding and His solution to the issues we face. What we do want to believe in is that God cannot change His nature. He remains loving. He continues to be merciful in spite of our reluctance to yield ourselves to Him because of anguish and pain. If He asks us to trust in Him, then His grace will always remain present for us to respond accordingly.

We find references in scripture that lends itself to His will being perfectly fulfilled in our lives. "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope" (Jer 29:11).

Coming to believe that there are no accidents can help heal many of our wounds, assuage grief and bring the hope that God is in the very heart of our experiences.

Our Lord told St. Faustina: "Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy" (Diary, 300).

We can turn to His mercy in our lives. We can recognize that the experiences that have so traumatized us were the very means God uses to draw us to Himself. This is how we may find peace. When we can actually realize this principle and apply it, our gratitude to Him will never cease. God has a plan for our lives, a plan that always has significance and meaning beyond our imagination.

Meanwhile in faith we can pray:

Lord Jesus, I trust in You. Let Your will be done in every moment of my life. Amen.

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Moderator - May 18, 2007

Dear JL,

That's a great question and one that many people wrestle with, including some of the greatest minds in the history of the Church (like St. Augustine).

I would refer you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) which says in paragraph 311, that "God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it."

So God allows us to sin out of respect for our free will, which He gave us as a gift and in order that He may bring good out of it.

Of course, it would be better if we (and others) did not sin. So, we can pray for God, in His mercy, to turn our hearts more completely to Him and for the conversion of all sinners.

But even if we fall, we should not lose hope, but continue to trust in the Lord, asking Him to bring an even greater good than if we hadn't sinned.

JL - May 13, 2007

i have a question if God has seen our future before he created us, or knows what were gonna do beforehand why does he still allows us to sin, even murder?

Loretta - Jan 15, 2007

"Whatever did not fit in with my plan did lie within the plan of God. I have an ever deeper and firmer belief that nothing is merely an accident when seen in the light of God, that my whole life down to the smallest details has been marked out for me in the plan of Divine Providence and has a completely coherent meaning in God's all-seeing eyes. And so I am beginning to rejoice in the light of glory wherein this meaning will be unveiled to me."

-Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Randy - Jan 12, 2007

I can't remember if it was from the Diary or a different book, but Jesus said, "Be at peace. It is I, Myself, Who am directing everything."

"Holy Mary Mother of God" -- Always give thanks to Her - Jan 11, 2007

Do not also forget the Power of Our Mother's Most Holy Rosary. Aim to recite the rosary daily.
TRUST in Her Immaculate Heart.

Hail Mary Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee,
Blessed art Thou amongst women, and Blessed is the fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of GOD,
Pray for us SINNERS, Now and at the Hour of our death, AMEN

Loretta Fernandes, a poor sinner - Jan 11, 2007

After reading this, I am most truly humbled and inspired. This "Trust" is exactly what Jesus has been trying to re-instill in the very depths of my soul the last few weeks, and especially the last 2 days.
I crumbled in despair the moment I realized I had succumbed to sin, but alas, Jesus was yet, in the silence of my soul, beckoning me to continue to Trust, Trust, TRUST in Him, no matter how sinful I felt.
I initially had fallen to my knees in sorrow, begging the Holy Spirit not to leave its temple indwelling within me, but this "accident", though seemingly damning to me, was actually permitted, so that the soul of my loved one may be saved.
I KNOW this Truth, but at the moment I cannot fully appreciate nor fully rejoice from this, as I am now, still in a State of Sin; until I can run back to my Master for Forgiveness, through the Most Worthy, Holy Sacrament of Reconciliation.

I know Jesus knows my true regret and sorrow, so I know I am able to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and be absolved, for Jesus knows my heart, and knows that I am only mortal, and a poor sinner... 'for there is none without sin.'
My brothers and sisters, Jesus is constantly reminding us, that no sin is so grave, that it cannot be forgiven, even murder, even abortion.

Believe this! Trust in this!
Before sin grabs us, the devil coaxes us, saying, "There is nothing wrong in what you are doing, go right ahead."
But afterwards, Satan fills us with so much shame, guilt and hate, we believe that there is no hope for us.
But, DO NOT run away, but IMMEDIATELY, run TO JESUS! He LOVES US! He DIED for us, so that our sins may be forgiven, and forgotten,... "on earth as it is in Heaven", is also, 'in Heaven as it is on Earth'.
The Power of Absolution a Priest bestows, is Jesus forgetting we ever sinned, and restoring us back into the State of GRACE.
Trust in His Mercy, BELIEVE in HOPE beyond all Hope, and last but not least, HAVE FAITH.

I LOVE YOU ALL, these words are Jesus' Loving words through me to you. DO not be Discouraged!
I am not! :)

Samson Li - Jan 10, 2007

A couple of days ago - it happens to me to have rediscovered St. Faustina. I have a good read about her diaries. My inspiration about this end time saint is so great even tears in my eyes. But I know my mortal sins have not washed away as yet. Deep inside of me feel so desire for holiness. I was practising the Chaplet by myself but soon will say it together with my wife.
Good works those ones who has been spreading this work. Blessed the Lord! Thank you Jesus we just in You.

Divine Mercey - Jan 9, 2007

What a God have we. How could anyone dought His all forgiving love. It certainly makes us feel like His loved children. Thank You Lord.