In this life, we have no measure of success. Some people I care deeply about are always trying to figure out what God’s plan for their life is. “This is God’s Will” they will say when things are going their way. Later, when life has thrown them a curve ball and that particular circumstance doesn’t seem quite so beneficial, they will, without a hint of self-awareness, say “This can’t be God’s will!” What is God’s will? To love Him as well as our neighbor. Beyond this is only speculation. …so soon as we agree to take responsibility for the outcome of history, we have agreed to do violence. Christianity, both progressive and conservative strains, fight too much to change the world into what they think God’s ideal for it is. Instead, the Church acts best when it releases responsibility for the result and just simply shows Love in the here and now without worrying about the end result. When we scheme, we fail to simply love our neighbor. Of course, the Church has been terrible at this. We change the Gospel into a self-help seminar, a political movement, or a reformation — anything but Love, which it seems we cannot actually stand. I have only begun to learn about this truth through the sacramental life of the Church. Participating in sacrament doesn’t require allegiance to any ideology. It doesn’t require any code of conduct. Sacrament only needs openness to God and a desire to draw closer to Him. When you take away sacrament and devotion, what are you left with? A political movement? Social reforms? Ideology? Moral guidelines? Scholarship? These are nothing. In the Kingdom of God, they are worthless. Only Love has any meaning.