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Prayer as entrusting (part 1)

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Fr. Peter John Cameron, OP - published on 09/17/23

"Have no fear of either your misery or your powerlessness, for I know well how to vanquish them."

When we’re hampered by our limitations, our inability, our weakness and lack, we’re tempted to quit — to just give up. But if we keep going, it’s owing to one reason: because we dare to trust. And prayer is an act of trust.

St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that “the word trust means primarily that hope which a person conceives when they rely upon the words of another whose help has been promised to them.” And Jesus does promise that help to us! We need to trust that … and we trust by actually entrusting ourselves to Someone. One concrete way to do this is to pray.

“This means total confidence even in front of all of one’s own weaknesses,” says Servant of God Luigi Giussani. 

If I recognize that my strength is in Him, none of my weaknesses can stop me. Trust is the certainty that Another will realize the ideal. It isn’t necessary to cultivate plans of perfection, but to look Christ in the face. Don’t daydream and aim for perfection, but look Christ in the face: If one looks Christ in the face, if one looks someone one loves in the face, everything is straightened out, everything falls into place. Happiness is to follow Another. Trust is the opposite of being suspended over a vacuum: Trust is being suspended over a fullness.

These are Jesus’ words of help that we can rely on:

Have no fear of either your misery or your powerlessness, for I know well how to vanquish them. Even when all seems lost, yet have no fear, for I know well how to choose among the many the one path, secret and unknown to you, which, in spite of all, shall lead you to the dazzling peak of love’s transformation (Fr. Paul de Jaegher, S.J.).

The prayer of trust is every prayer in which we declare, I will rely on Your strength — not on my own. Lord Jesus Christ,you are my strength!

~

Follow Fr. Cameron’s series on prayer here.

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