The first step to holiness is always following God’s will and not our own.
One of the most difficult aspects of the spiritual life is the firm resolution to follow God’s will. So often we want to follow our own will or our own plans instead of God’s. Yet, if we truly want to progress in holiness we must let down our guard and ask God what he wants for us in our lives.
There exists an ancient “Litany of Resignation to the Will of God” in the Church’s treasury of litanies that aims to help us be better disposed to God’s will. It repeats the refrain, “Thy Holy Will be done, O my God” and deepens in us a desire for God’s will, not our own. While the words at times may be archaic, this prayer has great power to turn us away from ourselves to embrace God’s providential guidance.
The Litany of Resignation to the Will of God
For private use only.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us, Jesus, graciously hear us.
God the Father, Who hath created me, Hallowed be Thy will.
God the Son, Who hath redeemed me, Not my will but Thine be done.
God the Holy Ghost, Who hath offered sanctification, Blessed be the Most Sweet Will of God.
Thou Who dost know and foresee all things, Have mercy on us.
Thou Who dost govern and rule all things, Have mercy on us.
Thou Who, according to Thy inscrutable designs, dost effect all things in a wonderful manner, Have mercy on us.
Thou Who dost permit evil in order thence to derive good for the salvation of the elect, Have mercy on us.
In all things and in all possible events, Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In all circumstances and disgraces, Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In my state and employment, etc.
In my affairs and occupations,
In all my actions,
In my health and strength,
In my body and soul,
In my life and death,
In myself and in those who belong to me,
In all men and angels,
In all creatures,
In all parts of the earth,
At all times,
For all eternity,
Although weak nature complains,
Although it costs much to self-love and sensuality,
Solely and only through love for Thee and Thy good pleasure,
Because Thou art my Creator,
Because Thou art the Supreme Lord of all things,
Because Thou art infinite perfection, therefore do I say,
with all the Saints in Heaven, With the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
With Jesus in the Garden of Olives, Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
Our Father [silently].
V. May the just, most amiable will of God be done in all things.
R. May it be praised and magnified forever! Amen.
Let Us Pray.
Grant me Thy grace, O Father, that perfect resignation to Thy Holy Will may be with me, and labor with me, and continue with me to the end. Grant me always to desire and will that which is most acceptable to Thee and which pleaseth Thee best. Let Thy will be mine, and let my will always follow Thine and agree perfectly with it. Let me always will and not will the same with Thee; let me not be able to will or not will anything except what Thou willest or willest not.