Sunday, June 10, 2007

Trust and Obey

There is an old hymn that I still remember from my Evangelical days called "TRUST AND OBEY" by John Sammis (d. 1887). The refrain goes:
Trust and obey
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey.
Giving in to Providence (that's with a capital "P") is difficult. Most of the time I'm not sure if the obstacle that I face is something I should overcome with sheer perseverance or humbly accept and step around it. While the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius help a great deal, especially in the discernment of "spiritual consolation" vs "spiritual desolation", I'm just not very good at the whole process. It's not that I don't trust God -- I do totally. I just don't trust my abillity to hear God and his angels correctly. Going to confession regularly helps a great deal. It cleans out the noise and keeps my Guardian Angel close by.

Some years ago my wife, Pam, and I recorded a CD of Favorite Litanies that we've listened to, and prayed with during times of stress. I think my favorite is "Litany of Resignation to the Will of God." Praying this litany doesn't remove the problems from life, but it sure does help to confront them with a clearer mind and heart.

Some of the lines are poignant:
In all things and in all possible events
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In all circumstances and disgraces
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
The last lines at the end of the prayer
are alone worthy of meditation. They are grammatically correct and precise. You just have to repeat them over and over to get it right in your mind...which inturn allows it to sink in:
Let Thy will be mine, and let my will always follow Thine and agree perfectly with it. Let me always will, and not will, the same with Thee; let me not be able to will, or not will, anything except what Thou willest or willest not.

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