Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The day we celebrate Mary conceived without original sin. What we have removed in Baptism, she was graced with at conception. **True confession for YEARS I thought it was all about Jesus' conception - oops, I love the Catechism!
This weekend was a fun filled yet incredibly busy one - obvious by my lack of posting a new blog. It was not in the Christmas preparations I was caught up but joyfully in the work of sharing the Good News with others. On Saturday I had the great privilege of leading a women's retreat on Seeking to Trust God. Not an easy feat for anyone -- to trust an unseen Deity, let's face it most of us find it hard enough to trust those in our lives we can see. Trust is often built through a series of needs being met by the other, from a history of seeing them in a role of trustworthiness, and from getting to know the other intimately (this does not mean physically but to grow to know each other's heart). That is the same for our growing to Trust in God. It is not instantaneous because He is God - though it is possible through His Grace. If that was His Will, it certainly could be. For most of us, we are allowed this growing in trust through the gift of our free will. We therefore can choose to seek to know, love and eventually trust the God of the universe. How amazing that God would allow us this gift of discovery, this gift of hope, and ultimately this gift of great Love!
Saturday night when I opened up Chapter 7 (of When Faith Feels Fragile), I actually LOL'd.. aka laughed out loud -- the theme for the day: Trust. There are truly no coincidences in faith, only Godcidences!! As I read the words on page 28, "We may fear that to trust God is to risk losing our identity," it was perfectly aligned with the message the Holy Spirit had put on my heart to share with the woman during the retreat. To trust God completely, I said, we had to surrender ourselves and be open to the idea that although we may not see it in our current circumstances, God ALWAYS has our best interest at heart. What God wants for us, more than we even want it ourselves, is to be with Him for all eternity in heaven!! And in case I wasn't yet convinced that God had guided our retreat, I saw then these words from Fr. Hurd; "This is known as 'surrender'. Doing it won't wipe our our identity. It will just wipe our out selfishness"
In giving up who I thought I was suppose to be, or what I want, and allowing instead God to be at the controls - is an incredible blessing. As my retreats always conclude with a study of scripture to send us forth, (so participants may remember these are God's teachings and God's words, and never mine), I will end my blog the same way. The Scriptures overflow with teachings on trust - and each gives us encouragement and guidance as we try to live out our life of faith. Here are three of my favorites to ponder as we try to grow in trusting God:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.