One of our primary struggles as Americans is balancing our work ethic with our human need for family, community, and of course, a rich relationship with God. Most of us can relate to the phrase, “I wish there were more hours in the day.”
Yet, if there were so much to do, wouldn’t God have provided us more hours in the day?
The first U.S.-born citizen to have become a canonized saint in the Catholic Church, Katharine Drexel, said many things resonating with our American work ethic. However, she also said:
The patient and humble endurance of the cross, whatever it may be, is the highest work we have to do.
There is nothing wrong with taking great care and joy in our work. Indeed, the saints praise hard work and self-sacrifice. However, our problems set in when we rely entirely on ourselves and our efforts.
How much do we really rely on God? We may profess trust in God, but when the rubber hits the road, how well do we put this into practice?
In my first several meetings with a spiritual director, I would unload many of my struggles and frustrations. Then he would ask, “Have you prayed about this?”
To this insanely simple question, my answer was often, embarrassingly, no.
You’d be surprised how many times someone has shared a problem with me and, when I asked them, “Have you prayed about this?” their answer was no.
We all, having been raised in an efficiency-minded society, can use the reminder that God is the Almighty and the Savior of the World… we aren’t.
Katharine Drexel points us in the Way to freedom: following Jesus’ example in the Passion, death, and then finally in his resurrection.
As person who tends toward self-reliance, I am amazed when I reflect on the Stations of the Cross… I see the God-Man fall. I see him accept help from strangers. I see him weak, vulnerable, and submissive. These are not adjectives we’d generally prefer to describe ourselves, are they?
However, this Lent, we are reminded that those adjectives are exactly how we’ll find freedom, peace, and fullness of life. In living like Christ, our ultimate answer for the challenge at hand lies not in ourselves, but in God.
Our greatest error is entirely trusting in our own abilities.
Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 397)
This Lent, I invite and challenge you: Meditate on the trust that Jesus held onto, as he endured his persecution, Passion, and crucifixion. He trusted in the goodness of Our Heavenly Father.
You may have heard the phrase, “Let go and let God.” For me, and perhaps for you, too, this idea is annoyingly simple, but not easy.
Let’s find freedom in choosing to trust God each day, especially when challenges arise.
Father in Heaven, you are God.
Your will and desire is Goodness itself.
I worship you, and I love you.
Today, I trust that you will provide
all that I need to follow your Son, Jesus.
Holy Spirit, you are the greatest gift of all.
I ask you to be stirred within me,
so that my every thought, word, and action
may be a reflection of you.
Look kindly on my weaknesses, O God,
and in your mercy, strengthen me.
Jesus, I trust in you.
At Pilgrim Center of Hope, we’re here to help you live your daily journey by learning to trust in God. Let us journey with you. Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org. If you are in the San Antonio area, come visit us!
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