St. Aloysius Gonzaga was a well-connected young man who lived during the Renaissance. His father longed for him to become a military hero, and brought him up in the court society. But Aloysius was affected from an early age by a desire to become one with God, and often practiced great penance and asceticism. By age eleven, he was teaching catechism to poor children, and fasting three times a week. I don’t really remember what I was doing at age eleven, but I know my piety was not nearly as advanced as Aloysius! He eventually decided he would like to join the Jesuits, but had to wage a four-year battle with his father, who eventually relented and let him forsake his right to succession and join the novitiate.
Sometimes our plans, for ourselves or for others, are far different than the plans God has. I always tell people that if you really want to be happy with your life, you have to do what God wants you to do, whatever that is. That takes a lot of discernment, and that can take time. But if we’re ever going to mean what we pray in the Lord’s prayer: “thy will be done,” then we have to be serious about discernment. You don’t know the answer until you ask the question. And when we all have that happiness that comes from aligning our will with God’s then, I truly believe, his kingdom will come.