"in the waves of the divine will"

I have the feeling that what is asked of us is to live in the whirlwind, without keeping back any of our substance, without keeping back anything for ourselves... in fact to let ourselves pitch and toss in the waves of the divine will till the day when it will say: "That's enough."

-Raissa Maritain

I've had some good conversations with the Catholic Workers here in South Bend. Like today, with Patrick, about how to best help people who are alcoholics. Yesterday I happened to be there when several of the workers were confronting a guest who has alcohol problems, who has made life in the house very difficult at times and who has had trouble making any progress. They continue to be patient with him. But it's hard to know what love calls for in a case like that.

A couple things seem important for me in dealing with such hard situations. One, I'd want to remember to always keep focused on doing what is best for that person, rather than myself or even others in the house. That's the only way for love to be communicated clearly. If we're trying to protect ourselves or our property or other people, the person will sense that our loyalties are elsewhere. And I believe if we truly are doing what's best (most loving) for that person, we will also be doing good for the other people involved. As was read in church this morning: "In everything God works for good with those who love him." (Rom 8.28) Real, God-inspired love cannot be divided against itself. Love never conflicts with love.

And, two, I'd want to be ready to suffer when the person is untrustworthy or unfaithful. God keeps his covenant with us even we don't live up to our part of the agreement, so we should also forgive and be faithful in our love for others even when they break their promises (as people with addictions often do). And this usually includes loss and suffering on our part. Are we willing to let go, "to let ourselves pitch and toss in the waves of the divine will"?

I'm very thankful not to be alone in this. At lunch I was making new friends with Mike and Violet, a young couple who are also interested in raising a family in community and with the poor. And this morning in church, backed up by a lively gospel choir, Brenna sang beautifully this song by Danielle Rose:
Holiness is faithfulness
Holiness is joy
I am not bound to loneliness
When I follow Christ my Lord