Used by permission from Kathryn Marcellino, www.CatholicSpiritualDirection.org
Kathryn Marcellino has a website for Catholic Spiritual direction online and puts out a newsletter with some great comments on aspects of the Spiritual Life. I contacted her via email and asked for permission to, at times, publish her comments on CAF here and/or another Catholic Discussion site of which I am a member. I received her email today giving me full permission to post her comments in full.
Trust in God
God desires not only that we love him but that we trust him and hope in him. Reading the Bible and Catechism of the Catholic Church is a good way to learn what God wants us to do. One thing the Bible says is, “Fear is useless. What is needed is trust.” Let us not only offer Jesus our love this Christmas and the gift of ourselves, but our complete trust and confidence during this time of uncertainty in our world and country.
Even if we are afraid or worried because of the economy, world events or something else, we can replace those thoughts with trusting, hopeful thoughts from the Bible (with the help of God’s grace that we obtain by asking in prayer.) Jesus said, “Do not worry or be afraid.” He said he had conquered the world. There is so much in the Bible that tells us how to be happy but we need to learn it and do it. One way we learn it is by reading and pondering the words of the Bible often.
One way that we can tell if we are completely trusting in God is whether or not we lose our peace when “bad” things happen. Do we rely too much on our money, job, friends, family or health and then when we lose something we lose our peace as well? We need to watch our thoughts and see if we are telling ourselves things that are not true and not in accordance with God’s word in the Bible. Do we believe God is working everything together for good? The Bible says he is.
One thing that I’ve been personally reflecting on is two verses from the Bible that say, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5) and “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Sometimes when things seem tough… financially, in relationships, with our health, or other sufferings… we can easily get overwhelmed when we rely on something or someone more than we do on God. Sometimes when things seem especially difficult, I repeat this verse to myself until it replaces my negative thoughts, “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” I do this with other verses of the Bible also and try to renew my mind with God’s thoughts. Sometimes we have a bad programming of negative or untrue thoughts and sometimes negative thoughts that pop into our heads are even temptations that we need to reject.
If we want to be happy and at peace, we need to replace our faulty thinking with God’s words and our negative self-talk with true and positive statements from the Bible. Anyone struggling with this would do well to study Philippians, chapter 4. I personally find so much there that I need to incorporate in my life. It is filled with great wisdom on how to experience God’s peace in our lives.
To get the benefit of God’s word, we need to not just read it but put it into practice and do what it says, even if we don’t feel it at first. Try giving thanks even when you don’t especially feel it, and pretty soon you will begin to feel it.
Jesus wants us to give us his peace
At the first Christmas the angels came and said, “Peace to men of good will.” Jesus came to give us his peace and desires that we have it.
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.
*****Do not let your heart be troubled, *****
*****nor let *it be fearful."
God is the source of all good things. God can take care of us despite what is happening around us. He either gives us all we ask for when we pray for it, or the strength to get through the tough times when they are necessary for some reason.
We may not always have outer peace with others or the world, but Jesus desires that we have inner peace despite what is going on around us.
[quote]The book of Job in the Bible is a good one for reflection when all things are seeming to go bad. Job had everything go bad in his life, but he didn’t blame God, nor lose his trust in God. And eventually all was returned to him.
If you would like to learn more about the spirituality of absolute confident trust in God in all things regardless, you may be interested in Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean Pierre de Caussade - a traditional Catholic spiritual classic of renown:
If you access the above link, you will notice that the many chapter headings cover almost any and every spiritual problem or difficulty that there is. The letters at the end of the work are of particular interest and importance in the overall.