Does God have a plan for me?

Gerard W Hughes SJ

The late Gerry W. Hughes, the author of God of Surprises, promoted over many years the formation of lay people to give the Spiritual Exercises.

A brief, accurate and very unsatisfactory answer to this question is ‘God knows’. ‘Can I ever discover what it is?’ ‘You can try’. ‘But can I ever be absolutely certain that I have discovered God’s plan?’ ‘I hope not.’ ‘Then what’s the point of trying?’ ‘Because you cannot do otherwise.’ You are caught up in something far greater than anything your conscious mind can ever grasp. That ‘something’ is God, in whom all creation has its being. God is in all creation, vibrant in every atom, ‘nearer to you than you are to yourself’ as St. Augustine wrote over 1500 years ago. You are much greater than you thought. You are caught up in and dependent on the whole of creation. And God, ‘the love that moves the sun and other stars’ (Dante), this God identifies God’s very self with you, yes, you! Describing the final judgement in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus makes this identification; ‘I was hungry and you gave me food… ’

Gerry and the Edinburgh Jesuit communityWe are very wonderful and mysterious creatures. I read recently a statement by one medical writer who stated, ‘In the human body, there are approximately 6 trillion chemical changes per second.’ The whole Universe cooperates in your existence, yet each of the trillions of cells is unique to you. Is it not possible that God has a unique role for you in the life of the Universe? If not, why did God bother giving you unique cells? Incidentally, whenever you feel fraught, too busy, too worried with your own concerns, allow a little pause just to thank God for looking after the 6 trillion chemical changes per second in the meantime!

How do we communicate with this God? Listen to your heart, your longings, the pain you experience when you can find no meaning in life. Keep asking yourself: ‘Basically, what do I long for more than anything?’ Keep asking this question. It is as though you are boring through your many layers of consciousness, down to the foundations, where our narrow, conditioned minds open out into the wonder of our being. Keep your focus on this basic desire and it will lead you on surprising and exciting paths, God’s plan for you for the benefit of us all.

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God of Surprises, God knows, plan, discerning, listening heart, meaning