Litany of Trust- Part I
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Dear Friends in Christ, Thank you for your continued prayers, support, and kind words during this difficult time. I thank God for all of you. Many folks have joined the God is my Glue community recently and I want you to know we are so happy you are here. Let’s continue to stick to God and each other.
Most prayers we use were written decades if not centuries ago. I was absolutely amazed when I found out that this Holy Spirit inspired prayer was written only six years ago by Sister Faustina Maria Pia of the Child Jesus, who is a member of the Sisters of Life congregation. This profound prayer that has already spread across the world is a prayer for all times, but especially now. By the grace of God, I was able to speak to Sister Faustina Maria Pia last week and she was gracious enough to share with me the story of the Litany of Trust, what we can do when we struggle with Trust, and books that can help us on this journey. Below are the beautiful words of Sister Faustina Maria Pia and how the Litany of Trust came to be. This is part I of II.
“I was born and raised Catholic and knew that God loved me and yet as we all do, we have experiences in life that don’t add up and we’re like, ‘Does God really want what is best for me and why am I suffering this, why is this difficult.’ I really wrestled with this and didn’t realize it, but it put a wedge between myself and the Lord. I really was afraid to be open with Him in prayer and really be honest with myself even on the deeper levels of the heart. Part of it was, I didn’t want to ask what I should do with my life because I didn’t trust that it was something that would make me happy and yet I am very happy as a Sister. He made it very clear that He is calling me but He waited until the moment when I could receive it. Even after being a Sister for a few years (‘I have been a Sister for 11 years.’) and grown in my relationship with the Lord, something very difficult happened that made me really lean into the Lord and question why was He allowing certain things. It was a deeper level of trust that I wasn’t prepared for. I guess that is always what it feels like when something is asked of us, we don’t feel prepared for it and are not sure how to approach it. For about 5-6 months, I didn’t feel like I had any light in the situation. It was just not knowing how to live this, what to think, what to do, where is God and yet I wanted to follow Him. I always had that, but it made me question, ‘What is Trust?’ It made me question it all over again. It is so important and my patron is St. Faustina and it was the message of her and the Divine Mercy to Trust in Him. Again, on a certain level, I thought I understood it, but when you encounter trials that are deep and personal and are truly tangible in our own lives, we don’t want to be out of control, we really feel the vulnerability in it. It was really a grace, toward the end of that time, actually it was lined up with Easter, so it was a huge grace, I think. I totally felt completely powerless in the situation and I was praying and I was saying, ‘Jesus, I don’t know how to trust. I know you keep asking me to trust you but I don’t know where to go and why you are holding out for me to trust you.’ I felt like I wanted Jesus to explain the situation to me, like, ‘This is what I am doing and this is what I am asking of you, so then you can consent to waiting and not knowing or being exactly clear. It was almost as if Jesus said, not so much in words, but as an experience, “Well, I want you to say, ‘YES,’ to Me and not to a bunch of circumstances. I don’t want you to give what is so precious, as your fiat, your love, to just feed your own human understanding to have your security built on what you can see and touch and what you deem worthy. That THIS is love, you yielding this ‘YES’ to me is allowing us to be united, this is TRUST. It was a grace that I experienced in that moment, my heart got it. Living in this uncertainty, not being able to see things clearly, I was doing something, I was saying ‘YES’ to God. That is what He wanted, this act of faith, this act of trust. That was an act of love. He was asking for love. I didn’t know what that meant, but it was consenting to this powerlessness and letting Him be my power. It really was a huge moment of awakening in my own heart. Even though I lived in trust beforehand, it wasn’t that I didn’t trust before but it was another level of something very simple becoming so profound in this personal way, it just clicked on such a deeper level because it applied to something very difficult. There was a safety in His hand and that no matter what happened I was going to be ok. The fog lifted and I was able to prayerfully deepen my relationship with the Lord because it gave me this huge desire to trust Him. Right after I had received this huge grace, a couple of minutes later, I was sitting there and was thinking, Wow, I want to TRUST you, Jesus, if this is what it is about, oh my gosh, this is so beautiful, I want this, I want this for you and I want this for me. I want to TRUST you more and more. I kept thinking, oh my gosh, I have this great desire to TRUST Him.
Only 10 minutes before, this was not as attractive, at least not to that degree. In this same moment that I felt this huge desire to TRUST Jesus, I thought, I don’t just want this for just myself I want this for hearts everywhere to trust you, Jesus, that people would have this joy, of this freedom, and this love, this safety and also that YOU would be loved, Jesus. As I sat with these two desires of my heart, to love Him more and trust Him in this way and for others to also come to know this and receive it, I heard in my heart, not in an audible way, “Write a Litany of Trust.” I had a journal and I really did not know what that was so I wrote, “Litany of Trust” on the top of a sheet and yeah it was quite something. I didn’t feel like I knew what the next words were going to be, I thought of the Litany of Humility which we’re familiar with, which is the only other Litany I heard of for a virtue and I immediately thought that I can use that as a model. I can say, Deliver Me, and since it is about Trust, the second part would be, ‘Jesus, I trust in you.’ So, I started to write down things that came to me related to how we block Trust. Which is a funny thing because in all those months I was struggling, I never broke it apart, so it was a funny thing in that moment.
It was not premeditated, I wrote it all right then. I changed a few for the final copy, but not much, to be honest. I knew in my heart because I needed to grow in trust, that I needed to pray it, at the same time I knew there were things on the list that I was not struggling with which came over my heart which was part of my second desire that others would come to Trust Him. For about a year, I prayed it privately because I wasn’t sure what else to do with it. It was not until the following year that I was giving a talk on mercy and I ended the talk with this and all of the sudden people were coming up afterwards and asking for a copy and I realized that I didn’t have any copies and it all kind of started. This is what the Lord wanted, it did not come from a place of my wealth, it came from a low point which became a high point as God does, and really realizing that God doesn’t need anything but our openness. That is what Trust is – showing Jesus this weak place that I think a lot of my life I avoided, these places of powerlessness and that situation really brought me to a place of powerlessness and I finally was not afraid to be there with Jesus, that is how he blessed it, that has given me the courage and I am definitely growing and I am still on the journey, really learning to abandon my heart to Jesus in the best way, that powerlessness is very familiar on human terms, right? We fool ourselves that we are in control, but God is really the One in charge. Sometimes I can see it, but in this situation, I saw it clearly how God used my powerlessness and my little eensy weensy desire to hold on to Him in that powerlessness and how He blessed it. Other times we don’t see the fruitfulness and we may not see it until the other side of Heaven. The point being He wanted to show me, “It’s ok, it’s not only ok, but it is fruitful, that I can live my life through you when you finally surrender.” The places that are the most challenging are the places that are the most fruitful because they demand the most faith.”
LITANY OF TRUST
From the belief that I have to earn Your love, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear that I am unlovable, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the false security that I have what it takes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear that trusting You will leave me more destitute, Deliver me, Jesus.
From all suspicion of Your words and promises, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the rebellion against childlike dependency on You, Deliver me, Jesus.
From refusals and reluctances in accepting Your will, Deliver me, Jesus.
From anxiety about the future, Deliver me, Jesus.
From resentment or excessive preoccupation with the past, Deliver me, Jesus.
From restless self-seeking in the present moment, Deliver me, Jesus.
From disbelief in Your love and presence, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being asked to give more than I have, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the belief that my life has no meaning or worth, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of what love demands, Deliver me, Jesus.
From discouragement, Deliver me, Jesus.
That You are continually holding me, sustaining me, loving me, Jesus, I trust in You.
That Your love goes deeper than my sins and failings and transforms me, Jesus, I trust in You.
That not knowing what tomorrow brings is an invitation to lean on You, Jesus, I trust in You.
That You are with me in my suffering, Jesus, I trust in You.
That my suffering, united to Your own, will bear fruit in this life and the next, Jesus, I trust in You.
That You will not leave me orphan, that You are present in Your Church, Jesus, I trust in You.
That Your plan is better than anything else, Jesus, I trust in You.
That You always hear me and in Your goodness always respond to me, Jesus, I trust in You.
That You give me the grace to accept forgiveness and to forgive others, Jesus, I trust in You.
That You give me all the strength I need for what is asked, Jesus, I trust in You.
That my life is a gift, Jesus, I trust in You.
That You will teach me to trust You, Jesus, I trust in You.
That You are my Lord and my God, Jesus, I trust in You.
That I am Your beloved one, Jesus, I trust in You.
Written by Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, SV Sister of Life
“Click” the Litany of Trust below to visit the Sisters of Life website, see the PDF version in English/Spanish, and listen to the beautiful voice of Sister Caroline Caritas, SV, sharing the song she wrote based on the Litany of Trust.
God bless you dear Friends in Christ! I hope this story and prayer inspires and encourages you as much as it has for me. Please join me next week when Sister Faustina Maria Pia shares ideas to help us trust more as well as books to help us on the journey. Be assured of my prayers for you every day!
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