We are all held in the palm of God’s hand
1488: (You see, my child, what you are of yourself. The cause of your falls is that you rely too much upon yourself and too little on me. But let this not sadden you so much. You are dealing with the God of mercy, which your misery cannot exhaust. Remember, I did not allot only a certain number of pardons.).
(Diary of Sister Faustina, conversations with souls 1485-1489)
How deep is our capacity to receive mercy? The same question can be said of ones capacity to receive love. How does trust play into this? All the above involve choice, so mercy and love as well as trust can be rejected by our choosing. Many of our choices are made at a deep level and they can resemble mere reactions, for they are often unconscious, in spite of that the roots of how we relate to life, others and ourselves are chosen, though when based on protection of self can be made without much effort and in that keep us chained to a life that is limited, fearful and filled with cycles of suffering that can only be ended by ‘a death to self’. It can be a difficult process.
Trust and fear can’t co-exist; one or the other has to eventually die. As trust grows, no matter how slowly, fear lessens its hold, though this healing process may take years to accomplish. This is so, because humans are finite beings, we have limitations and we can easily break trust with others. For the one who breaks trust it may not always seem to be such a big matter, but to the one experiencing it, it may just be another cut into an already deep and festering wound. We learn how painful this often shattering experience is when this happens to us in our lives
In the Christian path (the only one I can speak from), we are called to become ever more fully human, loving, trusting and open to God, life and the process that we all seem to be going through. Christ forgave all on the cross, so that means each one of us. So Christians grow as their faith deepens in trust of God’s love, compassion and mercy. For we are seen and known, in ways that at this time we do not understand at this part of our journey, we are still pilgrims on the way. For God’s love is a mystery that I believe we will spend an eternity knowing, but never reaching the end of it. We are finite beings with an infinite capacity to grow in love and understanding. Because we are ‘seen’ in our totality, the often unconscious belief that we can hide from God is known to be an illusion, we then lose our fear of being ‘seen’ by God. Healing comes from knowing that we are loved, embraced by the infinite and loved as we are and for what we are all called to be.
So total trust is possible with God and in that the deepest longing of the human heart is accomplished, for love is always a grace, Infinite Love even more so. We grace each other with friendship, with respect, with love; even though we may be imperfect at it….it is still something we bestow on one another. God’s love is different only in the sense that he will never violate our trust, nor will he abandon us, but will pursue us always.
To trust in this reality is a process that grows as we age and experience this reality in our lives. As we die to a small world of fear and cynicism, we open up to the infinite possibilities that come to us through God’s freely given grace.
A man asked me one day what is God’s love like. The only thing that came to mind is the 13th chapter in Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians. This shows us what Christ Jesus is like in his full humanity, and what though grace we are all called to as well.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.