Excerpted from St. Alphonsus Liguori’s, “Uniformity With God’s Will”

click to order from tan books

How do we become a saint? By doing God’s will. But how do we do that? How are we to know His will?

The greatest glory we can give to God is to do his will in everything; to make UNIFORM our will to His. Our Redeemer came on earth in total uniformity with his heavenly Father’s will — not His own — to teach us by his example how to do the same.
This earth is a place of merit which is acquired by suffering; heaven is a place of reward and happiness. God does not want sacrifices, but he does want obedience to his will: Because it is like the sin of witchcraft to rebel; and like the crime of idolatry to refuse to obey[1].”
Conformity signifies that we join our wills to the will of God. UNIFORMITY means more — it means that we make ONE will of God’s will and ours, so that we will only what God wills; that God’s will alone, is our will.
This is the summit of perfection and to it we should always aspire; this should be the goal of all our works, desires, meditations and prayers. To this end we should always invoke the aid of our holy patrons, our guardian angels, and above all, of our mother Mary, the most perfect of all the saints because she most perfectly embraced the divine will.
A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint.

Let us now take up in a practical way the consideration of those matters in which we should unite ourselves to God’s will.
In external matters.
In times of great heat, cold or rain; in times of famine, epidemics and similar occasions we should refrain from expressions like these: “What unbearable heat!” “What piercing cold!” “What a tragedy!” In these instances we should avoid expressions indicating opposition to God’s will. We should want things to be just as they are, because it is God who thus disposes them.

In matters that affect us personally, let us submit without protest in God’s will. For example, in hunger, thirst, poverty, desolation, loss of reputation, let us always say: “Do thou build up or tear down, O Lord, as seems good in thy sight. I am content. I wish only what thou dost wish.” Thus too, says Rodriguez, should we act when the devil proposes certain hypothetical cases to us in order to wrest a sinful consent from us, or at least to cause us to be interiorly disturbed. For example: “What would you say or what would you do if some one were to say or do such and such a thing to you?” Let us dismiss the temptation by saying: “By God’s grace, I would say or do what God would want me to say or do.” Thus we shall free ourselves from imperfection and harassment.
Let us not lament if we suffer from some natural defect of body or mind; from poor memory, slowness of understanding, little ability, lameness or general bad health. What claim have we, or what obligation is God under, to give us a more brilliant mind or a more robust body? Who is ever offered a gift and then lays down the conditions upon which he will accept it? Let us thank God for what, in his pure goodness, he has given us and let us be content too with the manner in which he has given it to us.
Who knows? Perhaps if God had given us greater talent, better health, a more personable appearance, we might have lost our souls! Great talent and knowledge have caused many to be puffed up with the idea of their own importance and, in their pride, they have despised others. How easily those who have these gifts fall into grave danger to their salvation! How many on account of physical beauty or robust health have plunged headlong into a life of debauchery! How many, on the contrary, who, by reason of poverty, infirmity or physical deformity, have become saints and have saved their souls, who, given health, wealth or physical attractiveness had else lost their souls! Let us then be content with what God has given us. “But one thing is necessary[2],” and it is not beauty, not health, not talent. It is the salvation of our immortal souls.

1 Kings, 15:22, 23.
2 Luke, 10:42.
Excerpted from St. Alphonsus Liguori’s, “Uniformity With God’s Will”

St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Bigraphy from Catholic Encyclopedia