... to whatever it was you were begging Him for. Maybe it was that job, or the miracle to save your marriage, or the life of your child -
And you did everything you were told you are supposed to do -
You prayed the novenas, you fasted, you made other sacrifices, you were careful not to step on cracks and you stood on your head...
And, oh, your faith was immense -
And God still said, "No."
We are told - by well-meaning people who can't bear to tell us the truth, by popular movements, by our "authority figures" - that if we just play the game right, God will honor the desires of our heart -
Actually, what we're often told is that, if we just follow this particular formula, God has obligated Himself to do what we wish.
That's a pagan idea, worse than a heresy; God does not subject Himself to our whims and wills -
But we, in our utter desparation, believe, we cling to every bit of flotsam within reach, because we are desparate to receive what we want.
When God says "No," it doesn't mean that we failed. Oh! how we can beat ourselves up over that! - I must have done something wrong, I must have spoken the words (the incantation?) out of order, I must have failed in some capacity - my faith must not have been strong enough -
No. God is only exercising His Divine Right as the Almighty Creator of the Cosmos - His omniscience that there are greater fruits ahead.
When I saw the mom's fevered prayer request for the life of her son, back last fall, I knew that he would die, and I feared for the woman, because her prayer request was worded in such a way that I knew she had bought into this neopagan notion that God can be bought. Sure enough, the boy died a couple of weeks ago, and I have gotten word that she - who was absolutely defiant in the face of his failing health: "Mary will do what I ask her to do!" - has reached a bad place, a bleak and miserable place.
With the very certainty that I foresaw the boy's death, I also saw that his death would be the catalyst to bring many souls into the Kingdom of God. Sometimes we can do more for Our Lord when we are denied what we want - and this is going to be such a case. I believe it with all my being.
Pray for this family, please -
and don't doubt God's mercy, or His power, just because He won't play our games.