Photo: Felix Carroll
By Bryan Thatcher, MD (Dec 16, 2009)
A few years ago we had two visiting priests from Ghana, West Africa, stay with us, and it was interesting to see how our younger children, ages 6, 4, and 2 at the time, interacted with them.
Initially, there was very little interaction. That's no surprise, since they were strangers. But as time went on there was more and more, and what I saw at the end of their visit really touched my heart.
Our son John Paul, aged 6 at the time, had gone up to Fr. Asante and asked him to play UNO, a simple card game. They played until Father was worn out. After that, I didn't see John Paul for awhile, and I assumed he was in his bedroom playing, but then I looked out on the patio and saw him playing UNO with Fr. Abizi, the other priest!
As it turns out, John Paul beat them at the games, and all of them truly enjoyed their time together. The joy and smile on John Paul's face, his missing two front teeth and all, could not be put into words.
It reminded me of our interacting with Jesus and how we are to be as simple and pure as a little child. We should not be afraid to approach him, to interact with Him as a friend, and talk to Him as a brother.
Jesus wants us to come to Him as a little child. What does that mean?
It means to come to Him with trust and full confidence that He will never abandon us. Elizabeth Rose, our youngest, doesn't worry about her next meal or her college education; she trusts her mom and dad and runs to us with open arms, knowing that we will never abandon her. And that is how we must look at Jesus and our spiritual journey. Even though we may have to walk through a burning bush and suffer in this valley of tears, we will have inner peace on earth and a joy beyond all understanding when we see Him in Heaven.
The Lord made it clear to St. Faustina that the more we trust in Him and try to live in His will and not ours, the more graces we will receive.
He told her, "Tell [all people] My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1074).
Trust in God is easy when things are going well. However, in times of trial and suffering, doubt appears and we wonder "where is God?" or "does He really exist?"
Financial ruin, the sudden death of a loved one, divorce, and drug-addicted children are just a few of the painful episodes in life that we can use to draw nearer to Him. But trust in God is the key; we must let it be the life vest to hold onto when we feel we are drowning.
So let's put all our trials and tribulations at the foot of the Cross and maintain an attitude of peace and trust in God, as we say with great conviction, "Jesus, I trust in You!"
Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.