A Watchmaker or Loving Father?

Share on email
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on reddit

The summer before my Senior Year in college, I was all set to go on a pretty amazing month long pilgrimage through the Holy Land, Greece, Medjugorje, and Rome. Now, whether you agree with the apparitions of the third location of the trip is up to you and not the point of this story.  It is interesting to mention that the group of pilgrims included a few friends of mine from college as well as my future wife, with whom I was involved in a beautiful courtship.

Due to medical reasons, I had to miss the first week of the trip in the Holy Land. I was not going to go at all, but at the last minute decided to meet my group in Athens. However, the only flight I could get arrived one day in the ancient city before my fellow pilgrims. We planned on meeting at the bus that would take us to the port where we would catch the Cruise ship taking us to Patmos and a few other Greek Islands.

My thoughts on the plane: 1) go to a Mass as soon as you get to Athens. 2) Ask priest if you can sleep in a pew for the night.

It turns out that the Church I picked to go to, happened to be the only Catholic Church in Athens with a priest who was able to speak English. He was a Filipino priest named Fr. Arthur. He let me stay and took me to a cool restaurant where we sang songs from Mary Poppins and the Sound of Music. He also helped me buy a bus ticket to the airport.

The next day, I went to morning Mass and hopped on the first bus. I noted that the time was getting close and prayed for God’s help. The bus trip was taking longer than I had planned. I arrived at the airport and began to look for the bus that was going to the port. I finally found it and boarded.

Although it was probably only a few minutes that passed, I began to get a little nervous. The plane should have already landed and there was only one other person on the bus. I asked him if I could use his phone to call my pilgrimage leader and he proceeded to point to the airport and told me to use the pay phones inside.

I grabbed my suitcase, walked off the bus and through the automatic doors of the airport. Members of my group along with my future bride were standing about five feet in front of me. My wife did not know I was joining the trip and it was very exciting to surprise her and other members of the group.

It turns out they were stopped at that spot in order to wait for fellow pilgrims to catch up. Once they did, we were all off to the bus. However, it was not the bus I was originally on. It was a private bus that took us to the port and we almost arrived too late, but made it just in time to board the ship.

Basically, if I had not gotten off the public bus and tried to use the phone, I would have missed my group and possibly my boat. I am sure that God could have fixed whatever mess I caused, but I put the whole trip in His hands from the beginning and, trusting in Him, took each step in hopes of doing His will.

Something that is good to remember before I continue is that there is nothing special about me. God wants to do this for everyone. If we seek His Will over our own, He will do great things. Not to put me on the same level, but two other people who worked to put God’s Will over their own were Saints Louis and Zelie Martin, a holy married couple who happen to be the first married couple canonized together in the history of the Church.

Both Saints Zelie and Louis wanted to do God’s Will by living their lives consecrated to Him in the Religious life. However, at the very moment that Louis saw Zelie for the first time, God told him that he would marry her. Louis recognized God’s plan for His life. He put aside what he thought he originally should do and married Zelie, whom he truly loved. The two holy people were able to raise a Holy family of girls who would all grow up to become nuns. The most famous of which is St. Therese of Lisieux.

Distant Clockmaker or Loving Father

Here we have two examples of God taking an interest in human circumstances. I truly believe that He guided me to meet up with my pilgrimage and I also believe that he guided the parents of St. Therese to meet and marry one another. Notice that each person never has his or her free will taken away in either story. Everyone is free. However, I think that in both cases, through seeking God’s will, all people chose correctly as they allowed God to guide them.

God is not a distant Clockmaker who built the World, set it into motion, and stepped away to see what would unfold. He is a Loving Father who designed everything and is constantly at work to bring about good from the choices humans make. We are all apart of His plan and it is true of all of us what He tells His prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5 –

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

God knew us before we were formed in the womb. He knows what we will be, do, and who we will meet, befriend, and marry. As a Loving Father, He has a great design for us. I think that in this design, our Loving Father has a vocation in mind for us, whether it be through marriage, ordination to the priesthood, or religious. He has a great plan that He works to guide us to find, and in turn by finding this vocation we will find completion, joy, and peace.

A Father Concerned With Even the Little Things

We can see that Our God is a Loving Father who takes care of even the little things through Sacred Scripture, but it is most specifically in John’s Gospel that we read about the Wedding Feast at Cana. It’s at this wedding that Jesus performs a miracle for an newlywed couple that needs more wine. That’s right, Jesus performed His first miracle making sure a newly wedded couple had enough wine at their wedding. This absolutely proves that God cares about the mundane little things in our lives.

Furthermore, in my own personal life, God has come through for my family and I even for the little things. We have had the help of St. Anthony in finding various lost items. We have had healings through the help of St. Philomena and Our Lady of Lourdes.

Akin to Sts. Zelie and Louis, I have heard countless stories of friends and strangers being brought together through God’s guiding hand. One of my friends left a ring at a statue of Mary asking her to have the woman he felt God already calling him to pursue to wear it. Soon, without any interference on his own part, he saw the woman, whom he would later marry and start a family with, with the ring on her finger.

Soulmates or Sole mates

I have always thought that God had prepared my wife and I for each other. Yes, we need to choose to love one another each day by serving one another and working to put the needs of the other before our own. Still I think that God wanted us to be together, and He wanted this since we were both formed in our mother’s wombs.

We can see something similar in each Priest being called to be the bridegroom to the Church. Priests are called to the celibate state and to serve the Church. Married people are called to chastity as well and to serve one another.

Free will is still at play as we still are free to choose to say yes or no. In the same case that Mary was able to say Yes or No, but she gave her yes. If she said no, God was able, just like He is with anyone of us, to make good out of her choice. And, unlike Mary, many people do say no to marriage, just like many people say no to the religious or priestly life.

Surrender

Regardless if I am right or wrong in my stance on soulmates, we can know for certain that God is at work in each and every one of our lives. He is trying to guide us to Himself so that we can find His Peace and then share this with others. While in college, I read a well-written book called Arms of Love, and its sequel, Surrender. Sorry to be a bit of a spoiler, but in one of those books a person discovered that they were meant for the single life. Once they realized and accepted this truth, and gave in to what God had planned for them, they were overcome with His peace.

We are all called to love as it is stated in Chapter 5 of the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium. This is universal and should be sought in every state and stage of life. Furthermore, we are called to surrender ourselves and seek God’s will. His plan is amazing. It can be scary to take that step where we have never been before, but we must trust that He is in control.

Thomas Clements

Thomas Clements

Thomas Clements is a High School and Middle School Theology Teacher. He graduated with an B.A. in Theology from Southern Catholic College and received an M.A. in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. On the side he has recorded a CD and performs music at various colleges, churches, and conferences. He lives with his wife and 3 children in Atlanta, GA.

Leave a Replay

4 thoughts on “A Watchmaker or Loving Father?”

  1. Pingback: VVEDNESDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  2. Avatar

    God has a plan and He created free will such that His plan works for everyone.
    Which of the following should all good parents pray for themselves, for (and with) their spouses and children, for loved ones, everyone, and which ones can parents consciously decide to stop praying and implicitly assume that they do not need to specifically pray such because either, we can all do these simple things without God’s grace, or we are all holy enough as we are, or they choose to take the easy, fast, good way and just pray, “God, by your Name, give them the help You know they need when it is best for them, thy will be done” and then move on to what they really want to do rather than ALSO taking the TIME to pray specifically for each virtue and grace we all should strive for?
    Please God, only because of Your Mercy and graces can I, or my loved ones, believe in You with a truly living faith as the Creator of all things, of all space and time and the absolute, objective, moral order, and believe that You must be infinite goodness, infinitely all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful with only one, single, infinite, indivisible, eternally in the present tense thought, in which you think the Name You call Yourself, each and every one of your attributes, your entire plan, Your entire will for all creation, all time, down to the smallest detail, every thought and prayer of every person throughout all time and space, and how You intercede for us sinners, how You help us, by your mercy and grace, because of your infinite goodness and for Your Glory and therefore the Glory of Your Name which is inseparable from what You are because You are infinite Spirit and therefore perfectly simple with no real divisions possible, and therefore You/Your Name/Your will are/is infinitely present everywhere.
    God, because You are infinite Goodness, infinitely all-loving and all-powerful, You created free will such that Your plan works and Your Love IS Your plan that You will good for all, will everyone to be good, to be holy and do everything You can to help everyone choose, by their truly free will and Your mercy and grace, to be holy in the end, to be people of good will with living, natural, spiritual hearts, willing good for all, doing all each can to help all, loving all with a sacrificial love, and to be perfectly reconciled with You and to You, and therefore have perfect contrition for all sins of commission and omission.
    Please God, pray Your Name in me, for me, through me, for each of my loved ones (naming each) for everyone, that all be people of good will with living, natural, spiritual hearts, but especially that all ministers of all faiths be given the graces to publicly encourage all to ever more resolutely and perfectly unite their prayer with Your entire, infinite, perfect Will in Your Name that You call Yourself and therefore pray more efficaciously and to honestly ask for your MERCY on all and to pray your Name with You that Your Name be done (JESUS, if He IS true God and True man) through all and for all, as You are already willing what is best for everyone at every point of space and time, You are eternally willing that all prayerfully seek all the attributes and actions of a truly living faith that You want all to desire with their whole heart and give me the courage to do all I can, by your grace, to hasten that end.
    Please God, give each of us the Graces to begin to believe in, and then the graces to continue to believe with a truly living faith, in YOU, and the graces to want to be good, the graces to want to be holy, to be people of good will with living natural, spiritual hearts, not stony hearts, willing good for everyone, loving all with a sacrificial love, the graces to honestly look for ways to help others be holy and thereby loving all as You love all, and the graces to be open to all insights from You, either direct or indirect.
    the graces to want to seek and to dwell on and work for the things pertaining to heaven and not the things of the world, the graces to despise the perishable GOOD things of this world,
    the graces for everyone (especially our loved ones) to understand that all should pray for the graces to want all the essential attributes and actions of a truly living faith (verb) which then requires them to want the graces to accept the (true) love of the truth so that they may be saved (2 Thes. 2:10) and therefore the graces to honestly want to know and believe all the truths, details of the TRUE faith, that You want everyone to want to know and believe with Your understanding, especially concerning Your infinite nature, all the Truths concerning Jesus Christ and Mohammed and the graces to want to reject, by Your mercy and grace combined with verifiable evidence and sound reasoning, to reject all that is contrary to Your truths.
    The graces to believe and dwell on the knowable truth that You must be infinitely good and powerful enough to create free will such that You can and ARE converting the whole world by Your peaceful means of Your grace and Your answers to the questions that You want all to seek Your answers to and that You want all to seek to cooperate with You in this by praying that You give everyone those questions and Your answers.
    the graces to accept that a truly living faith requires us to want to know, and to desire to share, all the verifiable evidence and questions that YOU want all to desire to know and share, combined with living holy lives, so as to cooperate as much as possible with the Holy Spirit in converting the world by Your mercy and grace when He gives your answers, your truths of Faith to those who honestly seek them.
    the graces to have a truly living faith which requires all to honestly seek the graces to pray ever more perfectly and always ask for Your help to do any good because You are infinite goodness and therefore we cannot do, or have, any good except by your gift of grace and mercy.
    Can we honestly say we love someone and that we have a truly living faith, if we consciously choose not to pray the above for ourselves and our loved ones and do all we can to help them also pray for these specific graces rather than just taking the fast, easy, good way of praying, “God, by your Name, give them the help you know they need when it is best for them, thy will be done” and then move on to what they really want to do rather than taking the TIME to pray both?
    Which ones SHOULD Catholic priests, and ministers of all faiths, explicitly remind all to pray in an effort to forestall becoming presumptuous concerning God’s grace and mercy? Both?
    Do you believe each minister SHOULD publicly profess that, because they believe God is infinitely good and powerful enough to convert the whole world by His peaceful means of His grace and His answers to the questions He wants all people to seek His answer to, each minister SHOULD promise to do all they can to find and place on their websites the verifiable evidence and the best sequences of questions (Socratic method/ asking “Should you….”) they personally believe God wants to give His answers to, so that by God’s mercy and grace, God will lead all to the one Faith He wants all to accept, and each minister SHOULD encourage all to seek the websites that have the best sequences of questions and then carry a little slip of paper with that web address on it so that all can mutually share web addresses with others, encouraging each other to find God’s answers to the questions on those websites?

  3. Avatar
    Douglas Kraeger

    God has a plan and He has created free will such that His plan works, for everyone.
    Which of the following should all good parents pray for themselves, for (and with) their spouses and children, for loved ones, everyone, and which ones can parents consciously decide to stop praying and implicitly assume that they do not need to specifically pray such because either, we can all do these simple things without God’s grace, or we are all holy enough as we are, or they choose to take the easy, fast, good way and just pray, “God, by your Name, give them the help You know they need when it is best for them, thy will be done” and then move on to what they really want to do rather than ALSO taking the TIME to pray specifically for each virtue and grace we all should strive for?
    Please God, only because of Your Mercy and graces can I, or my loved ones, believe in You with a truly living faith as the Creator of all things, of all space and time and the absolute, objective, moral order, and believe that You must be infinite goodness, infinitely all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful with only one, single, infinite, indivisible, eternally in the present tense thought, in which you think the Name You call Yourself, each and every one of your attributes, your entire plan, Your entire will for all creation, all time, down to the smallest detail, every thought and prayer of every person throughout all time and space, and how You intercede for us sinners, how You help us, by your mercy and grace, because of your infinite goodness and for Your Glory and therefore the Glory of Your Name which is inseparable from what You are because You are infinite Spirit and therefore perfectly simple with no real divisions possible, and therefore You/Your Name/Your will are/is infinitely present everywhere.
    God, because You are infinite Goodness, infinitely all-loving and all-powerful, You created free will such that Your plan works and Your Love IS Your plan that You will good for all, will everyone to be good, to be holy and do everything You can to help everyone choose, by their truly free will and Your mercy and grace, to be holy in the end, to be people of good will with living, natural, spiritual hearts, willing good for all, doing all each can to help all, loving all with a sacrificial love, and to be perfectly reconciled with You and to You, and therefore have perfect contrition for all sins of commission and omission.
    Please God, pray Your Name in me, for me, through me, for each of my loved ones (naming each) for everyone, that all be people of good will with living, natural, spiritual hearts, but especially that all ministers of all faiths be given the graces to publicly encourage all to ever more resolutely and perfectly unite their prayer with Your entire, infinite, perfect Will in Your Name that You call Yourself and therefore pray more efficaciously and to honestly ask for your MERCY on all and to pray your Name with You that Your Name be done (JESUS, if He IS true God and True man) through all and for all, as You are already willing what is best for everyone at every point of space and time, You are eternally willing that all prayerfully seek all the attributes and actions of a truly living faith that You want all to desire with their whole heart and give me the courage to do all I can, by your grace, to hasten that end.
    Please God, give each of us the Graces to begin to believe in, and then the graces to continue to believe with a truly living faith, in YOU, and the graces to want to be good, the graces to want to be holy, to be people of good will with living natural, spiritual hearts, not stony hearts, willing good for everyone, loving all with a sacrificial love, the graces to honestly look for ways to help others be holy and thereby loving all as You love all, and the graces to be open to all insights from You, either direct or indirect.
    the graces to want to seek and to dwell on and work for the things pertaining to heaven and not the things of the world, the graces to despise the perishable GOOD things of this world,
    the graces for everyone (especially our loved ones) to understand that all should pray for the graces to want all the essential attributes and actions of a truly living faith (verb) which then requires them to want the graces to accept the (true) love of the truth so that they may be saved (2 Thes. 2:10) and therefore the graces to honestly want to know and believe all the truths, details of the TRUE faith, that You want everyone to want to know and believe with Your understanding, especially concerning Your infinite nature, all the Truths concerning Jesus Christ and Mohammed and the graces to want to reject, by Your mercy and grace combined with verifiable evidence and sound reasoning, to reject all that is contrary to Your truths.
    The graces to believe and dwell on the knowable truth that You must be infinitely good and powerful enough to create free will such that You can and ARE converting the whole world by Your peaceful means of Your grace and Your answers to the questions that You want all to seek Your answers to and that You want all to seek to cooperate with You in this by praying that You give everyone those questions and Your answers.
    the graces to accept that a truly living faith requires us to want to know, and to desire to share, all the verifiable evidence and questions that YOU want all to desire to know and share, combined with living holy lives, so as to cooperate as much as possible with the Holy Spirit in converting the world by Your mercy and grace when He gives your answers, your truths of Faith to those who honestly seek them.
    the graces to have a truly living faith which requires all to honestly seek the graces to pray ever more perfectly and always ask for Your help to do any good because You are infinite goodness and therefore we cannot do, or have, any good except by your gift of grace and mercy.
    Can we honestly say we love someone and that we have a truly living faith, if we consciously choose not to pray the above for ourselves and our loved ones and do all we can to help them also pray for these specific graces rather than just taking the fast, easy, good way of praying, “God, by your Name, give them the help you know they need when it is best for them, thy will be done” and then move on to what they really want to do rather than taking the TIME to pray both?
    Which ones SHOULD Catholic priests, and ministers of all faiths, explicitly remind all to pray in an effort to forestall becoming presumptuous concerning God’s grace and mercy? Both?
    Do you believe each minister SHOULD publicly profess that, because they believe God is infinitely good and powerful enough to convert the whole world by His peaceful means of His grace and His answers to the questions He wants all people to seek His answer to, each minister SHOULD promise to do all they can to find and place on their websites the verifiable evidence and the best sequences of questions (Socratic method/ asking “Should you….”) they personally believe God wants to give His answers to, so that by God’s mercy and grace, God will lead all to the one Faith He wants all to accept, and each minister SHOULD encourage all to seek the websites that have the best sequences of questions and then carry a little slip of paper with that web address on it so that all can mutually share web addresses with others, encouraging each other to find God’s answers to the questions on those websites?

  4. Avatar

    Anyone can surrender to God whether they are married or single; rich or poor. It’s as easy as casting all of your care on the Lord and being anxious for nothing (see 1Peter 5:5-7 and Philippians 4:6-7).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit