Sr. Mary Chosen Spouse of God Papini
Trust. Why focus on trust? Recently we have been focusing on self-knowledge and conquering our dominant fault. As we are all called to be saints, we must learn to strive to concretely practice virtue in our daily life. Striving for holiness is far more than just praying all the time. If you are falling into the same sins over and over again; having a hard time following through with your resolutions; caught in indecision; or often put off the good you could have done: don't be discouraged! If you feel like you are stuck in mediocrity and want to act according to the greatness you know you are called to: don’t be discouraged! Of all the virtues we could turn to, it is a time to take a deeper look at trust.
Trust is the underlying principle in which marriages, friendships, families, societies and even our relationship with God is founded upon.
Our notion of trust begins as a child in the womb. Nurtured and fed, held and taken care of, an infant lovingly depends on its mother for everything. Trusting is natural, what is learned is distrust. The youth give hope to the world through their childlike trust, for as one gets older and experiences failures and disappointments it becomes difficult to depend on others. We've all been wounded by those who stopped trusting us, and by those who we put our trust in and have let us down.
Here are some images we can think of as we discover what true trust is. Trust is a commander in the army who advances because he knows that his unit will have his back. Trust is a little girl who is afraid, and courageously jumps down from a tree into her father’s arms. Trust is a mountain climber descending from a mountain, relying on his rope. Trust is when you are in the confessional and you tell the priest all of your sins. We can notice that trust is not passive. One is able to take the leap of faith, the risk, because they are relying and depending upon another.
When Adam and Eve fell, they were tricked by the serpent to distrust God and His goodness. Through sinning, “man tempted by the devil, let trust in his creator, die in his heart” (CCC #397). Thus, all sins result from a lack of trust in God who will provide for all that we need. Scripture teaches us where to put our trust. We hear, “Trust in the Lord and he will help you” (Prov. 20-22), “O Lord of hosts, happy are those who trust in you!” (Ps 84:13).
Trust is related to three virtues: faith, hope, and magnanimity. Trust springs from faith, and is strengthened by hope. One can tend toward valiant efforts because they have trust, for fears are diminished and expelled from the soul. The more you trust in God, you can let go of the comforts of the world to truly do His will.
The principal aspect of trust is relying on another. Yet how do we trust, even on a natural, human level? Trust depends on the way you view the person who you believe can help you, and the way you view yourself. Firstly, you perceive that this person has the abilities, qualities, resources, and experience that can assist you. It also requires that you perceive this person who you trust in as one who wants to help you. This can be difficult because we can fall into putting our own faults and failures onto another. Perhaps we personally struggle with being on time, or returning phone calls, or listening to the needs of others. Then we begin to see those around us as always being late, or failing to get back to us, or failing to listen. We can even put our own faults and failures on God: God never listens to my prayers, God never gets back to me, or God is always late.
Prayerfully examine how you perceive those around you, those whom God has put into your life to support and guide you, and how you perceive God Himself.