You can buy a copy of Trusting God with St Therese here.
Does news of ISIS, the Ebola virus and the Synod on the Family fill you with anxiety?
Are you downcast and disheartened by the unraveling of our society and its descent into amoral self-destruction?
Maybe your problems are closer to home.
Do you worry about your children’s friends? Are you caring for a sick child or an elderly relative? Does it seem that you’ll never make enough money to get ahead? Do you fear for your job? Are you faced with a scary health problem?
Is life beating you to the ground on a daily basis?
Trusting God with St Therese is for you.
Connie Rossini does a good job of teaching St Therese’ “little way” in a comprehensible manner that makes it easy to apply to our daily lives. Since reading the book, I’ve been reminding myself to say “Jesus I trust you,” whenever I consider the problems that face me. It helps me a great deal to remind myself that I am not in this life alone. I have a companion who will never desert me, and who, ultimately, has already claimed the victory over all that assails me.
St Therese practiced a life of sanctity based on living each day for Him and through Him. She did not focus on being sinless, but on trusting God for her salvation. She did not attempt great deeds, but entrusted her every action to Him on a daily, and even momentary, basis.
It’s so simple, really. When my mother interrupts me for the 50th (I’m not exaggerating when I say 50; over the course of a day it’s accurate) to ask me something she’s already asked me 49 times and I snap at her, What do you want? St Therese reminds me to turn to God and ask Him for a kiss, or a bit of comfort rather than falling into guilt and despair.
She teaches us to view God as a loving parent, which, for me, is a good analogy. In that way, my own imperfect Daddy is a good model for God. I understand unconditional love because I had it all my life from my Daddy and from that elderly Mama I now care for.
St Therese teaches God as that same sort of loving parent, only writ eternal and almighty.
Think about it for a moment. Is there anything you can do, any accomplishment you can accomplish, that will make God love you? Conversely, is there anything you can do that will make Him stop loving you?
Too often, people come to the conclusion that the answer to the last question is yes. Yes, you can make God stop loving you.
But that simply is not true. Hard as it is to fathom, God loves the murderers of ISIS as much as He loves you and me. They have rejected Him, and sadly, they’ve done it in His name. They are running away from Him and from salvation as hard as they can, and they are laying waste whole areas of the world in the process. They have made themselves the servants and the disciples of satan.
But that does not cancel out God’s love for them. It does not change His willingness to forgive them and change them from sons of darkness to children of Light. The message of the Cross is that no matter what we’ve done, Jesus has paid the eternal price for it. All we need to do is say “yes” to His offer of forgiveness and newness of life.
God’s love lets us roam free, even of Him. We can do our worst. He will still love us.
And if we turn back to Him, the rejoicing in heaven will fill us with love and peace enough to change our souls.
For those of us who do not commit the ghastly barbarisms of ISIS and their fellow mass murderers, this may seem like an odd example. After all, what does me, speaking tartly to my Mama when she interrupts me repeatedly to ask me what day it is or where she put her cane, have to do with the destroyers of life and civilization?
Nothing. And everything.
God’s love for them is the same as His love for me. It is, in both cases, unconditional.
Which is why St Therese and her little way are true. The Bible tells us that God remembers our frame, He knows that we are dust, which is a poetic way of saying that He knows our weaknesses, our tiredness, our sadness; our anxiety and our fears.
He knows us. All the way through. And He loves us with an everlasting love.
We can go to Him like disobedient children because that is exactly what we are.
Connie Rossini has written a fine book, explaining how to live the Little Way in our daily lives. I recommend it.