In today’s gospel, Jesus, in a great act of revealing his Father, teaches us to pray, giving us the Lord’s Prayer:
“This is how you are to pray:
“Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’
“If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” (Mt: 9:-15)
How many times have we prayed this in our lifetime? Certainly at every Mass, and if you pray the rosary, with every decade. Just that’s a lot. Sometimes, however, familiarity can breed laziness. Our prayer of the Our Father can be deep and meaningful, or it can be scattered and distracted.
Something that I think we often miss or forget, about Jesus’ teaching here, is what Jesus says before giving us this prayer: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Mt 9:7-8)
Do you sometimes feel like you babble on with your long list of requests and needs and pleadings? Or do you struggle in letting go of your list and not naming every specific intention because you want to pray for those who have asked and for those in need? What about the Church, and the bishops, and the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and those in combat, and those with addictions, what about…. The list goes on and on.
What does Jesus tell us? Your heavenly Father already knows what you need before you ask him.
Does that mean you don’t ask? I don’t think so, but what it does mean is that we ask Him and trust Him with the outcome.
Lately I’ve been asking myself, “What is the difference between faith and trust?” They just seem so intertwined.
First off, faith is a gift, one of the 3 theological virtues imbued into our souls at baptism, changing us forever. I see it as the foundational underpinning for everything else. Scripture tells us, “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1) In this regard, faith is the eyes and heart that see the results of that gift received at baptism.
What about trust? The dictionary gives us 2 meanings for trust:
- reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing
- confident expectation of something
Trust stands on the shoulders of faith.
When I sit before my Divine Mercy image and pray, “My Jesus, I trust in You.” My prayer says, “I believe in what faith teaches me about You and about God, and I rely on the Truth of your goodness and have confidence in your promises and your love for me and those you have entrusted in my care.” Amen, to that!
Like a key and a lock, faith and trust go hand in hand.
…which reminds me of a quote from the great Saint Padre Pio, “If you pray, why worry? If you worry, why pray?”
Easier said than done! But for today, that’s my choice.
Hopefully, tomorrow too….
My Jesus, I trust in You! Anne