The Virtue of Trust by Val Conlon
The most difficult virtue but the most noble of mankind is Trust. It is also the most important and respected virtue a person can have in life; trust in one’s neighbours, relatives, and friends. Nearly always, without exception you will find this trust is reciprocated. Trust is what makes us real Christians in a world that is suspicious of everyone and everything, a world that now seems to be engaged in an endless cycle of self-indulgence and mistrust.
What is trust ? The dictionary defines trust as faith, so to trust someone is to have faith in them, and what is faith? Well again the dictionary tells us faith is hope in promise.
If someone promises to do something for you, to have faith in this promise is to trust that person to see it through and if you have this great virtue of trust, you can not fail to have another wonderful virtue that goes hand in hand, the virtue of humility. Trust and humility are inseparable companions.
Trust is a basic requirement in any relationship, it is that which develops a relationship, it is through trust that people become friends.
So too, is this the way with God. Jesus told St. Faustina, “I am Love and Mercy itself. There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy, neither will misery exhaust it, because as it is being granted — it increases. The soul that trusts in My mercy is most fortunate, because I myself take care of it”. (Diary 1273)
Trust is the very essence of the Devotion to the Divine Mercy as revealed to St. Faustina in 1931. Her whole mission was to bring souls to trust in God. The young Helen Kowalska (St. Faustina) could see God in everything. It was this vivid sense of God's presence in her life and all around her, which developed the mystery of her great trust.
Young children will only fully give their trust when they are in the presence of their parents, but we are all God’s children, and we are always in His presence, so like St. Faustina we should never be hesitant with our trust in God, because trust is the first prerequisite for receiving His Mercy. Jesus told St. Faustina, “The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is — trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow their hearts”. (Diary 1578)
St. Faustina recorded in her Diary, "I am aware that you are within me, and all around me, you are in all things, and in all that happens to me". (Diary 478) A humans trust in God, is also the result of their acceptance of God's Mercy. Jesus desires all people to put their trust in Him, appealing to the greatest sinners, to abandon themselves to trust in Him.
The trust of Blessed Faustina in Jesus was beyond all abandonment. Jesus said to St. Faustina, "your duty will be to trust entirely in My Mercy, My duty will be to give you all that you need. I am making Myself dependent on your trust" (Diary 548).
Fr.Ignacy Rozycki who was asked by Pope John Paul II to examine the revelations to St. Faustina, wrote in his book, ‘Fundamental Characteristics of The Devotion of the Divine Mercy’, that “Trust gives a knowledge of supernatural reality, and thereby an understanding of the mystery of God's Mercy. It kindles in the human heart a desire to possess the eternal and gives hope that with the help of God's grace this will be attained. The deeper a souls knowledge of God, the more its trust in God's Mercy”.
Trust in the goodness of God is all the stronger, the humbler it is. Fr.Rozycki went on to say that a proud person who builds his life on human circumspection cannot put his trust in God. The humble person, on the other hand, knows that all that is good in him, and around him, comes from God, he recognises his own limitations, his own weakness and his dependence on the Creator, putting his trust in God's wisdom, power and mercy.
Another prolific writer on Devotion to the Divine Mercy Fr.George Kosciki, wrote “my greatest need is to live baptised in the Lords Mercy, but how do I do this?” He asks, “I know that I am baptised in His mercy, but how do I live in His mercy? I am now convinced that trust is the key”.
Trust in the Lord and in His mercy is the key to open the flood gates of His mercy. Trust is an act of our free will, which gives the Lord permission to act freely, according to His will. Our trust gives God the freedom to act mercifully. By our trust God can fulfil His plan and desire to have mercy on all. Trust and humility are also connected with contrition, which is an acknowledgement of our misery and sorrow, for the evil we commit.
Jesus said, “I am mercy itself for a contrite soul” (Diary 1739). Without contrition, trust would be arrogance and presumption. How do we grow in trust?
We must ask to be transformed into His mercy, like St. Faustina. She wrote, “I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbour”. (Diary 163). We must ask Mary to teach you how to grow in trust, as she had to. Remember the essential condition for receiving Divine Mercy, is trust.
The nearness of God’s mercy and His closeness to us can be experienced, especially at times in history when the Church is really suffering, and when there is a threat to the purpose of our existence and the meaning of life, and this is why, in the situation of the Church and the world today, many individuals and groups are being guided to the Mercy of God.
All of us on this planet are pilgrims on a journey to eternity. Let us pray that during the journey to this sacred place, all people in the world will have an encounter with Divine Mercy, because God wishes to transform each and every one of us on this earth into living icons of His Mercy. Remember, He offers His mercy and His peace to all who trust in Him.