Faith and FearI was getting ready to put some thoughts down on paper. I felt badly that I had not written in over a month. I really wanted to write a post, but nothing seemed to be inside me. It is very easy to write and speak of God, of Jesus, of Catholicism when your inside seems all aglow. But, all too often, that glow seems to quickly fade. And, replacing the glow seems to be a dark feeling of loneliness, sadness and an unwillingness to review our own life.

This feeling, however, is not an indication that something is wrong with us. It is just an obstacle that we must deal with, climb over and move on. The problem is, however, that the hollowness inside us seems to militate against any positive movement. We seem destined to wallow in our own self-pity. The more empty we feel, the less inclined we are to want to strive vigorously forward. Sadly, it is just easier to feel sorry for ourselves.

The expectations we have for ourselves actually get in the way of any forward movement in our lives. We become disheartened. We are ashamed. We feel hopeless and alone. The more we allow these negative feelings to bubble up inside us, the less likely we are to realize that the answer is there waiting to be discovered by us.

Think of EVERY possible reason for you to feel down. Maybe you are worried about health issues, or even concerns about death. Maybe you are worrying about loved ones, or problems that you cannot seem to resolve or conquer. These are all major issues. I don’t think there are any worse kinds of concerns. And yet, what is the sadness that they bring about in you? Why the hollow pit in your stomach? What can worries do to correct any of these issues? Nothing.

We are imperfect human beings. We are hampered by poor judgments. We feel a hollowness inside that we try to alleviate with possessions, or wealth, or addictions, or anything else that we think will satisfy us. “If only this or that would happen, all will be better”, we reassure ourselves. But even if this-or-that were to happen, we would only find something else to bring us down. You know that this is true!

We are placing our trust in…. ourselves. We think WE can correct these negative feelings. We are sure that WE can set the matter straight. STOP trusting in yourself. It is that simple. We don’t have the answers. We don’t have the capability to correct problems that we have no domain over. When are we going to believe that? When are we going to realize that we are creatures and not Creator? God, and only God, can write straight with the crooked lines that we scribble.

If we believe, truly believe, that God loves us, if we believe, truly believe, that God wants only the best for us, if we believe, truly believe, that God came to this earth to show us how to live, then we can stop the useless trust of ourselves and trust, truly trust, this God who loves us.

His love for you and me has no limits. He patiently waits for us to wake up, and to realize that He is eminently trustworthy. Why should we put our trust in weak earthen vessels, when our God is waiting with arms outstretched to embrace us?

I think all of us are really afraid of God. We are afraid that what He wants, what He will allow, is not what we want. And so, we worry about the outcomes of events, and try to manipulate them in some way. If we can trust a doctor, or a pharmacist, or anyone else who has been trained to know, recognize and diagnose our ailments, why can we not trust our God?

This past January, on the 4th, 5th, and 6th, I posted a blog each day talking about a novena of nine days which Father Dolindo Ruotolo advocated. On the 4th I posted days 1-3 of the novena. On the 5th I posted days 4-6 and on the 6th of January I posted days 7-9. Each day of the novena may take about 5 minutes of your time. But, each day strives to awaken within our souls the loving trust for God that is dormant there. I urge you to look at January 4th. Pray the first day of the novena. I promise you this, if you pray this novena, really pray it and desire to trust God, your fears and worries will become like so much snow, melting under the warmth of the sun.

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