What is trust and how do you get it?


I have an issue with trust.

Trust is the one BIG thing that has stalled my spiritual progress. It’s a stumbling block that I’ve not been able to overcome.

The reasons I don’t trust are complex and have to do with family and upbringing and life’s experiences.

I feel our relationships with those above are founded upon our relationships with those here below. If you have a good relationship with your mother, you’ll have a good relationship with The Virgin Mary, your Heavenly mother, etc …

All of my relationships here below are messed up. I don’t have a relationship with my mom because the true love of her life is the TV set. My Dad … I do love him dearly … but he is Bipolar and he refuses to get treatment. (I’m also bipolar, but I am medicated and that’s a different topic). Anyhow, my relationship with him isn’t normal either. I am his parent most of the time. It’s been that way since I’ve been seven. My brother and I have been close off and on, but we’ve drifted apart since my return to the Church.

I don’t let people close. This includes men and women. Women friends always, at some point, get jealous of me. My male friends fall in love with me. All of them. That gets to be a problem when they’re married! My best friends are my cats and my dad when he’s not bugging the living daylights out of me with his manic obsessions and wild flights of fancy.

Some may think I’m depressed. I assure you I’m not. I’m writing this in a perfectly disattached manner.

I’d like a rational explanation to my problem with trust. See, in my world, I love all my relatives dearly but I don’t trust them 100% of the time, for different reasons. My dad is sometimes too crazy to be trusted. My mother is too absorbed in the TV to remember to love me. My brother is too absorbed in himself and his girlfriend in order to be trusted with anything important.

These problems down here really affect my relationship with those above. I haven’t prayed the Rosary in two or three years (used to do it daily) because as my relationship with my mom has decayed to the point where we rarely speak. Same goes with my relations to my Heavenly Mother. I feel really guilty about this and sorry.

My relationship with God isn’t much better. To me, the definition of “father” is a crazy person and so even praying the “Our Father” seems inappropriate. I don’t even know how to approach Jesus anymore. Father? Brother? What?

The underlying problem is trust. I rationally know this. Emotionally, I have no idea how to fix it. I feel guilty for not trusting God. I know it hurts Him. I don’t want that.

So …

**What is trust? Is it a virtue? Is it an act of will? How is it related to love? Can you have love without trust or vice versa? **

I know a lot of people who’ve had rough childhoods have the same problem. I was more emotionally abused and or neglected than anything else.

I’m not trying to feel sorry for myself and am not seeking pity because there are people out there in a much worse situation than myself, those who define “father” as a tyrant who beats mom and myself after getting drunk every night. Unfortunately, that’s a common scenario and that’s a common reason why we have trouble converting young people to the faith.

Is trust a learned thing? And it trust is never learned, can one be saved? That’s the bottom line.

Thanks for any input!

Mary Ann


Start by praying the rosary again and giving over this problem you have with trust to the Blessed Mother.

We are all affected by our relationships. You have alot of disappointment with your parents. You are aware that your relationship with your parents is “preparation” for how you relate to God—this insight helps you to separate the two: your relationship with your parents is imperfect, but your relationship with God* does not *have to be limited by that experience. Let God take over that for you.

When you pray the Our Father, it is appropriate because you are adressing God Our Father, and *not *just YOUR idea of Him. Ask God to know HIM, not your idea of HIM. If you long for a real encounter with God, in His Personal Presence, then you will have one if you ask “ask and you shall receive”


I have a problem with trust also and don’t trust other human beings as much as I might safely do in some circumstances. That said, our trust in humans does not have to influence our trust for Our Father in heaven. To me, Our Lord and the BVM, along with the other (S)saints that we are in communion with, are infinitely more trustworthy than are the souls on earth.
Don’t limit your trust of Him by focussing on the crippled actions of our earthly family.


That’s good advice.

What I’m wondering though, actually my real question is, how do we unlearn mistrust … cause obviously … in my case … issues with trust are learned behaviors. It’s almost like a conditioned response.

I’m 37 and have been trying to unlearn this behavior for years to no avail. Sort of feels like I’m chasing my own tail.

But still, well said advice. I’ll meditate upon it. Thank you.


Thank you, but as I said, I have trust issues also, so just feeling my way. What I’ve decided for me, as I don’t see any way around my past life experiences (had lots of secular counseling tho’, etc.), is that I just have to decide to trust Him and let Him do the rest. He certainly can work with what I will for Him to do and I don’t see how I could otherwise.
Since trust is a part of the fullness of love and love can be willed (not necessarily the feeling but the action, and I think there’s a lot of connection with our will there, too) then it stands to reason that I can will to love.
Let me know your thoughts on this. I’m wondering if my “logic” holds water.:shrug: In the meanwhile, I’m paying a lot of attention to St. Therese’ “Little Way” since trust and confidence in Him were a major part of her teaching.


I think that trust is not wholely dependent on whether the person we are trusting is trustworthy or not. For example, Jesus trusted Judas, who betrayed him, Peter, who denied him three times, and us who are wicked beings. Love of the Cross involves love and trust of imperfect people.

That being said, I do not think that our human conceptions of how relationships should work are infalliable. Maybe the book: The Way of Perfection by St. Therese of Avila could give you a spiritual person’s perspective on the flaws that intrinsically exist when women relate to others.

I personally think that most of Catholicism is an act of will to take up one’s Cross in life. I think that praying the rosary should be a mature, intelligent, and thoughtful discipline that enables one to grow in perfection and joyously and lovingly bear one’s crosses in life.

An excerpt from True Devotion to Mary:
“I reply that it is quite true that the most faithful servants of the Blessed Virgin, being her greatest favourites, receive from her the best graces and favours from heaven, which are crosses. But I maintain too that these servants of Mary bear their crosses with greater ease and gain more merit and glory. What could check another’s progress a thousand times over, or possibly bring about his downfall, does not balk them at all, but even helps them on their way. For this good Mother, filled with the grace and unction of the Holy Spirit, dips all the crosses she prepares for them in the honey of her maternal sweetness and the unction of pure love. They then readily swallow them as they would sugared almonds, though the crosses may be very bitter. I believe that anyone who wishes to be devout and live piously in Jesus will suffer persecution and will have a daily cross to carry. But he will never manage to carry a heavy cross, or carry it joyfully and perseveringly, without a trusting devotion to our Lady, who is the very sweetness of the cross. It is obvious that a person could not keep on eating without great effort unripe fruit which has not been sweetened.”

You might try wearing the brown scalpular and the 33 day full preparation (with the full 4 mysteries rosary said daily) for Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After 33 days of rigorous, disciplined, prayer and spiritual reading of classic works such as the Way of Perfection, you might re-evaluate your perspectives on trust and love.

Hail Mary!!! Blessed be the name of the Lord!!! Hosanna to the Highest!!!


Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is in itself based on the concept of unrequited love


I would definitely have to agree with you on this. Everybody experiences distrust to a certain degree, particularly so if trust has been abused in the past. It does take time to heal but the awareness of it helps you all the more to reach for Christ’s love. His is the only love that we have that is unconditional. That is why He came for the broken-hearted and the sick - we are the people that fully understand what it is He has to offer in what could otherwise be a pretty dismal world. It will serve to strengthen you in your faith. My prayers go out for you.



Thank you so much for your post and your prayers!:crossrc:




:slight_smile: :blessyou:


This is a subject that hits home. I have just spent some time with my Deacon trying to get some clarity on the same issue. Like yourself I have had a similar experience with my past. I have learned through alot of tears a life changing way to trust. First I had to realize that my parents are my earthly parents. I am learning to detach myself so to speak from the earthly parents that I was given. I haven’t stopped loving them, but I try to love them as human beings. Than I had to know that my true father is in heaven. That my true mother is Mary, the mother of God. There is a distinct difference between unconditional love which God can only provide and the parents we have here on earth. It is work and an act of the will to think beyond this world and believe in a loving mother and father. I am finding as I begin to see my parents in the light of God as children themselves than I can see myself as the maturing believer that I desire to be. It can be very freeing to know that you can let go of the earthly attachments we have and have a personal relationship with God. I began reading the bible more and praying to find a better way of life than the one I came from. I used to worry that I was dishonoring my parents by changing the pattern of the past. The truth is you can honor your parents by doing God’s will and following Christ. It’s not that you don’t Love them, you are actually showing them love by the way you live. You may get a hard time from them, but than when you really think about it, you are doing what is right and good. It will get easier as time goes by. You already see clearly what you don’t want. I think God is calling you into a deeper relationship. When I am going through a withdrawel of sorts from the past, I try to get to church more to receive Communion. There are people available to help you through this. It is a journey, but you will see growth as you see things through faith. I will be praying for you.


Another advice - One way to think of Mary is as our heavenly mother, another way to think of her is as our perfect sister, or as a lovely child of God herself. She was created 100% human and struggled like we did.

She got pregnant at around 14 without knowing anything about why except that it was the Son of God. Her husband, Joseph, who was probably in his 30s decided to quietly not marry her when he found out she was pregnant. She said nothing. In that time, women could get stoned for being mothers out of wedlock like the woman who committed adultery that Jesus rescued. I doubt that she was the one who even chose Joseph to love him and be his wife the way that we do these days. I suspect that he was chosen for her.

After the Angel revealed to Joseph in a dream that Mary should be his wife, she went with him and they gave birth in a manger with farm animals around because no one would let them stay anywhere else. Then they fled to Egypt to keep the child safe. Were they on foot or did they have a horse or something? However they fled it must have been difficult and I was so immature at the age of 14,15,16 to hide like that…

During Jesus’ life it appears that Joseph must have died because we never hear about him after the Finding in the Temple and Mary seemed to followed after Jesus since she was there when he was preaching and she was there at the Cross.

So what accomplishment did she have in life? She married a man much older in years, who, noble as he was, * had as a first thought to abandon her when he found her pregnant.* Then she has a son who is cruelly whipped and scourged on the cross. Throughout this time she remained a servant, serving Elizabeth while pregnant herself. She was obedient to God and submissive to not even have control of her own womb. It is for her * humility and obedience and submissiveness to the will of God* that God so highly exalted her, made her the Queen of Heaven and Earth, and we sing her praises now.

Then here comes Jesus. He stayed with Mary for 30 years. Wasn’t he a humble carpenter? Not a chief priest or a lawyer or such as that. He walked out in poverty and called 12 apostles. He led them as his friends, fed them, instructed them, did miracles for them, even took two or three of them up to the mountain for the Transfiguration where he spoke with Moses and Elijah. Then when it came time for his crucifixion - one disciple betrayed him with a kiss - the other disciple, the one who would be the Father of his church denied him three times and fled the scene of the cross - they mocked him, they spit at him, they scourged him with nails, they gave him a crown of thorns, they pierced his side, even at his dying hours one their repented and the other thief ridiculed him. *What did he ever do them that they would treat him this way other than heal their wounds, feed them, love them, try to bring them to heaven? * He was the Son of God, capable of bringing down angels to defend him, and he instead let them kill him as if he was a murderer.

So I find it hard to trust and I don’t often come to God seeing him as a loving Father although I know the Bible tells me that he is - for I am not close to my own father, I haven’t spoken to him in months because it is unhealthy for him although we email each other and I have problems with my mother as well. However, when I say the rosary I concentrate on the sufferings of Mary and Jesus as people who were fully human, throughout their life to the very end, and I rejoice that in Heaven they were glorified for their humility on this earth - and I ask them to help me stand it while I’m here and to make me more like them since all three of us were born into this world humans who suffer pain. Jesus said on the Cross - “Father, why have you abandoned me.” Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane - “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” When Mary lost Jesus as a child she said, “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” They felt pain too…deep and hurtful pain… they were betrayed too… I meditate on them in the rosary as humans who felt pain and I pray to God to empty me from the spirit of the world, to convert me and my loved ones, and to heal us.

Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus. Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


To answer your question, you get trust by believing and praying, read Mt 6:25 about Dependence on God. I also suggest going to daily mass. If you can go to daily mass everyday for a week, maybe even take off of work or go in late if you can. Anyway, going to daily mass for a week will change your life and while it may not seem attractive right now, I promise you will notice that by the end of the week, that you actually really like it.

Also, if you have a family of your own someday, make sure to spoil your kids with love!

Hope this helps!


I’ve been doing better in the trusting of God aspect since I first posted this. Trust is really just a leap of faith in the end and it is a choice, just like love is a choice.

There’s something else wrong with my faith though and it’s hard to put my finger on it.

The real problem seems to be trusting members of Christ’s Church, for certain members of it don’t seem to like me. See, I have a dry sense of humor and I try to be funny and people don’t get it. They don’t understand me. I have a terrible time trying to communicate with people and right and left I end up putting my foot in my mouth and offending someone.

I just wish the married men would keep their lustful eyes to themselves and the women would stop finding a reason to be jealous of me!!! I just get really tired of all the passive aggressive female behavior. And I get tired of the folks who smile at you sweetly but really hate your guts in reality.

I have gotten myself into a situation I can’t get out of (for a while) as far as my chosen ministry goes. I’d quit if I could. But I can’t. So I have to learn to cope with certain personalities for at least another year.

As soon as I’m finished with certain projects, I’m planning on withdrawing from parish activities, possibly for good.

In the meantime, I’m trying very hard to practice silence in the face of adversity and to keep my stupid big mouth shut.

See, I used to be painfully shy. I wanted to develop social skills, so I started going to coffee and donuts after mass and later some classes at night. The shyness has lessened. That’s good. What’s bad though is that I’ve discovered that people don’t like talking with me. One person recently implied that I’m rude. I give up!

My issues with trust run deep, to say the least. Anyway, I’m looking forward to just being left alone – in a year or so. Then I can return to being the contemplative soul that I really am an not a busy Martha that I’m not.




I thought I’d just give you a real-life example:

I’ve lost twenty pounds since June and have gone from a size 12 to a size 6 in that time.

A couple weeks ago, a nice married man I’ve known for several years, who is about 15 years my senior, came up beside me when we were in a food line. He gently pinched me at the waist and told me I was “lookin’ pretty good.” Then he smiled and winked. His wife was across the room and didn’t see any of this encounter. Thank goodness … for I really like her.

First of all, I would NEVER have expected this particular gentleman to act like this. He’s never flirted with me in the past. Not even a hint.

Secondly, he’s a very respected member of the parish and an upstanding citizen.

Thirdly, I can’t believe he touched me! Inside, I was shouting every expletive it could think of.

I was so shocked that all I could do was say, “thank you.” It was all WAY weird!!! I’ve avoided sitting with he and his wife ever since.

I didn’t mean to tempt anyone. I was dressed conservatively in relaxed fit blue jeans and a button-up blouse. I was buttoned almost all the way up. It was not a tight blouse. I’m a child of the 80’s and I don’t like tight-fitting clothes.

I actually have a moral problem with dressing in a revealing manner. I don’t like the modern fashions.

So what am I supposed to do? Come to the classes dressed like a bag lady???

Another example:
I was on the phone with a fellow parishioner and I asked her the name of the lady who sat beside me in adult ed class. I forget names and I was too embarrassed to ask again. It might hurt her feelings.

The phone lady told me the one sitting beside me was named Ann. I said something to the effect that I was bad with memory mnemonics. I asked the lady on the phone to help me pick a mnemonic for Ann so I wouldn’t forget her name again.

Suddenly, “Raggety Ann” popped into my head. I blurted it out without thinking. I got a rather terse response of, “How about ‘Ann the Housekeeper.’” I thought the tone-of-voice was rather corrective. I said, “Yeah, that’s good, too.”

It wasn’t until I got off the phone that I realized that the lady on the phone thought I was insulting Ann for dressing poorly. She often came in sweat pants.

Now, I didn’t mean it as an insult at all. I don’t care what Ann wears and wasn’t thinking about that at all when the mnemonic popped into my head. I picked that because I LOVE Raggedy Ann and Andy. I still have the dolls I grew up with. Raggedy Ann is my favorite doll.

But the lady on the phone, not knowing my LOVE for Raggedy Ann, thought I was being rude by insulting Ann with that mnemonic. The lady on the phone hasn’t spoken to me ever since. She’s stopped inviting me over to her dinner parties, too. (I only went to one). After all, I’m rude and gossipy!

Thing is … I do that all the time.

I think my brain is set at a totally different frequency than that of 99 percent of the brains out there.

So for me … I think silence is best!

And that, folks, is why ONLY THE LORD is qualified to judge us.


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