You know how you join a book group, and some of the books you simply slog through and cannot wait to finish (or don’t finish at all) and some really speak to you and inspire you? I’m reading a book with a group right now that I really love called My Sisters The Saints by Colleen Campbell. It is a story of a young woman who reflects on her spiritual journey and the saints who inspired her during different phases of her life. She’s no holy roller – you could actually see yourself having lunch with her at Newk’s.
This past week we read about her season where she was working in the White House as a speech writer and separated from the man she wanted to marry by many miles. She was conflicted between career and family. Her mother gave her the diary of St. Faustina – a poor, sickly, barely literate nun who lived in a convent in Poland pre-World War II. Faustina experienced a lot of rejection from various convents (clearly not very successful at convent “rush”) as well as a “dark night of the soul” where her faith was severely tested. She is most known for her deep and humble faith and her vision of the image of Christ that can be seen now in many churches both in the US and abroad with the words, “Jesus, I trust in you.”
Jesus, do I really trust that you will see my child through this issue they are facing? Jesus, do I trust you that you will take care of my aging parents? Jesus, do I trust that you will help me take that next step that makes me so afraid? Jesus, do I trust in you in the very big – let alone the very small – issues that I’m facing in my life and the life of my family?
The author states, “The crucial question when it comes to faith is not “Do I trust in God” but “Is God trustworthy?” (page 90). The Bible tells us time and time again that God, not the world we live in, is truly trustworthy. Apparently, the Bible has 31,174 verses, and the very middle is Psalm 118:8 – “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man”.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
So I will leave you with a prayer written by St. Faustina, whose trust in God during times of humiliation, sickness and rejection might speak to one of us.
“O Lord, I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.
Help me, O Lord, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors’ needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.
Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.
Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the most difficult and toilsome tasks.
Help me, O Lord, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness.
Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor.
May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me”
(Source: St. Faustina’s Diary, 163).