Gillick, Larry, S.J.
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Horse power is a funny kind of name for trucks and cars by which to be measured. Imagine three hundred and fifty horses underneath the hood? One time in my high-school physics class my buddy, Joe, who was on the swimming team allowed his time and body-weight plus his length of laps to be computed into four horses. Was that good or bad we didn't know, but laughable anyway.There are many terms for power, electrical, water, wind, persuasiveness, as well as positive-thinking. The one power which has most personal influence is the power of the will. As with most powers our wills are experienced often by its weakness. We speak of a free will. It is quite an ancient question about whether or not the will can ever really be free. Our wills are under the influence of what information it is fed by our senses. Nothing is in our minds except what we have experienced through our senses. Yes, it is true that we can use our imaginations to sense something we actually have never sensed, but the imagination relies on similar sensed data to form a picture, taste or sound. To be totally free we would have to have total information, which is not possible to us humans.We have a limited free will and that power is used only to say "yes" or "no". I like watermelon pickles or "No thank you". The will is a power toward or away. You might think that you know yourself well enough and so always select or avoid. You can change your knowledge of yourself and so choose something else. Your will can make plans and assist you in accomplishing them. In relationships you would wish to inform those with you of your decision, your will. You might tell them about the information behind your choice. You're working to affect your will would indicate the power of your will behind that decision.Now the huge, huger, hugest question is about the power of God's will. Talk about will power! Is God's Will similar to human will? The answer is as simple as God is simple. God is One, that is not having parts. We hold that God is Love, so we are forced to say that God is not "yes" or "no". God's "yes" is to God's being God Whose Love is what God is and does. So in human terms, God does not have a will, but is Will and that Will is God's being and God's Acting. Not like horse, wind, electric power which can be measured, God's will is as infinite as God's Love is. So hold on! God never did, nor never will decide anything. What does God want for us, for you and for me? How would we ever know that what we choose to do is what God's will is? God is appropriately God, that is always consistently Love. God's love for us (will if you will) is for us to be appropriately human. We are given sense, power, reasoning-power and a power to move toward or away, yes or no. It is God's Love for us and all that we use those gifts properly and then with as much freedom as those powers provide, to make a choice. Now here's the biggy. After our choices, God's Love will keep loving us as we live our choices. Decisions, choices, all lead to God's love being experienced and trusted as we move in time, to our next process of exercising our wills within the circle of God's being God.Now, because we are so frightened, yet of good faith, we will look for signs, clouds, and tea-leaves. My mother would read our palms and tell us our futures. She of course already had planned them. It is very humanly appropriate to experience fears, doubts, insecurities; faith needs them all and more in order to be true faith. We can pray to God that this or that happens or not, that is appropriate, but what we are really doing is asking ourselves to have desires. Within these desires we fight interiorly for a freedom to be available to God's being simply God. It is so good to pray for something or someone that shows our heart's directions. We love our lives and all that are in them. The hugest of all questions then remains, does God love us more than we love ourselves? It is only a glimpse, love and do what you will; that's quite a power right there.