Desiring God's Will

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BY DAVID BENNER. Discovering God’s “will” is much more than simply making right choices regarding such events as marriage or career. According to psychologist and spiritual director Benner, surrendering to God’s will is choosing God over self in all areas of life. It is willingness instead of willfulness. In this short book, veteran spirituality writer Benner takes a close look at willfulness in the forms of discipline and rigidity, then contrasts those with the freedom that comes with knowing God’s love. That love, he says, is the basis for our surrender to God. With that surrender comes desire, and with that desire a willingness to make God, not self, the center of life. Benner admits to his struggles with willfulness, including God’s plan for him to write this book instead of the one Benner planned, but he also describes the spiritual transformation he desires and sometimes fully achieves. He quotes often from the spiritual leaders of the past, a refreshing change from some modern authors who reduce God’s will to “sin avoidance.” His discussion of consolation, the name given by St. Ignatius for the feeling that we are aligned with God, and desolation, the feeling of being far from God, is an interesting and valuable addition to the book.