"Who prays with hope might ask for anything... like nice weather and advancement. This concreteness is a sign of authenticity.... Concrete requests are merely... ways of saying that we must trust in the fullness of God's goodness.... Whenever we pray with hope, we put our lives in the hands of God." -- Henry Nouwen, Prayer and Hope (from Mission 2000, a prayer book by Fr Mark Link, sj)
E. WROTE ONLINE THIS MORNING, "I think your hypothesis is quite plausible because it looks consistent with official teachings:
"CCC 307: To human beings God even gives the power of freely sharing in his providence by entrusting them with the responsibility of 'subduing' the earth and having dominion over it. God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbours. Though often unconscious collaborators with God's will, they can also enter deliberately into the divine plan by their actions, their prayers and their sufferings. They then fully become "God's fellow workers" and co-workers for his kingdom.
"For more details on God (the First cause) acting through human beings (secondary causes), see CCC 306-308."
"ACTUALLY, OUR DESIRES are not "one major consideration besides God's will", because our wishes (or desires) are part of God's will. In fact, God guides us to our ultimate end through the dispositions He gives us:
"CCC 302: Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created 'in a state of journeying' (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. We call 'divine providence' the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection:
"By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, 'reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well'. For 'all are open and laid bare to his eyes', even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures.
"This is the reason why we can trust our desires in discernment, because these have been redeemed by Christ as well. We just have to be open to the grace of God and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit."
ME>> This is very good. Explains something that i've heard during Christian meditation talks about our 'false' vs. 'true' selves. It also dovetails neatly with Confucius' proclamation that 'At 15, I set my heart on learning. At 30, I established myself. At 40, I was no longer plagued by delusions. At 50, I knew the mandate of heaven. At 60, my senses were refined. At 70, I could do as my heart desired, and yet not deviate from propriety'.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we'll eventually become the man (or woman) within the plans of God. ;-)
(See also Our Will within God's Will.)