Trusting in God means letting go of what we want, Pope says

On Wednesday Pope Francis said having total faith and trust in God means recognizing that he always knows and wants what is best for us, even if it’s hard to accept because it doesn’t align with our own plans.

Wednesday, Pope Francis talked about what it means to have total faith and trust in God, acknowledging that he knows what is best, and always wants what is best for us, even if it is often difficult to accept.

“Trusting in God means to enter into his designs without demanding anything, even accepting that his salvation and his help should come to us in a different way from our expectations,” he said Jan. 25.

The Pope’s catechesis for the general audience in the Pope Paul VI hall centered on the story of Judith in the Old Testament, a woman who was “a great heroine,” he said, and an excellent example of the virtues of faith, hope and trust.

In the story, Nebuchadnezzar’s army, under the leadership of General Holofernes, is laying siege to a city in Judea, cutting off the water supply and thus “sapping the resistance of the population,” the Pope said.

“The situation is dramatic,” to the point that the people in the town are giving up, wanting to surrender to the enemy, he said. Faced with such despair, a leader of the people suggests that they wait only five more days. If God has not saved them by then, they will surrender.

But then Judith comes onto the scene, “a woman of great beauty and wisdom, she speaks to the people with the language of faith,” Francis said.

“You want to test the Lord Almighty,” the Pope said, quoting the words of Judith, who cautioned the people not to “provoke the wrath of the Lord, our God.” The Lord, she said, “has full power to defend us in the days he wants or even to destroy us by our enemies.”

Referencing the passage, Pope Francis told pilgrims that “we never put conditions on God and give up…instead hope conquers our fears.”

“He is a Father, he can save us,” he said. In this way, “a woman full of faith and courage gives new strength to his people in mortal danger and leads them on the path of hope, revealing this also to us.”

Judith shows us the path to trust, to “wait in peace, prayer and obedience,” Francis said, noting that this sort of resignation is not easy. We must do everything in our power, but “always remaining in the furrow of the Lord’s will.”

In off-the-cuff comments, the Pope said Judith was brave to trust in God as she did, adding that “this is my opinion: women are more courageous than men.”

We can and should ask the Lord for life, health, happiness, he said, but always “in the awareness that God is able to bring life even from death” and that we can experience “peace even in disease, serenity even in solitude, (and) bliss even in tears.”

“We are not the ones who can teach God what to do, what we need,” he said. “He knows better than we do, and we have to trust, because his ways and his thoughts are different from ours.”


By Hannah Brockhaus | Catholic News Agency | Link

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Pope Francis: ‘never lose faith in God’s providential care

Pope Francis has invited believers to trust in God’s providential care while doing everything in their power to respond to the challenges that come their way.
He was addressing pilgrims gathered in the Paul VI Hall for the weekly General Audience.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:
Resuming his ongoing catechesis on Christian hope Pope Francis recalled the courageous figure of Judith, and of how, during the siege of the city of Bethulia by the Assyrian general Holofernes, she urged the despairing population to reinforce its wavering hope in the Lord and ended up proposing a plan that led to victory over the enemy.
The example of this woman of great wisdom and courage, the Pope said, teaches us to trust in the Lord’s providential care, but also, in prayer and obedience, to discern his will and to do everything in our power to respond to the challenges that come our way.
“How often have we felt our trust in God waver? How many times has each of us, perhaps in desperation, been tempted to lose faith and expect the worst?” he said.
Judith’s faith, Pope Francis continued, inspires us to commend ourselves to the Father with trust and obedience.
And remarking on Judith’s courage, the Pope mentioned that in his opinion, women are often more courageous than men…
“Dear brothers and sisters, never impose your conditions on God, but allow Christian hope to defeat your fear. To trust in God means to be unconditionally part of his plan accepting the fact that we are given salvation and His help in ways that are different from what we expect” he said.
God, the Pope continued, knows exactly what it is we are in need of and we must trust Him because his paths and his actions are different to ours.
Judith, a woman full of faith and courage gave strength to her people who were in mortal danger and conducted them on the path of trust. We too, the Pope said, must heed the wise and courageous words of humble women…
“The wise words of grandmothers who often know what to say and how to give encouragement because they have the experience of life; they have suffered, they have trusted in God, and the Lord gives them this gift of showing us how to keep on having faith” he said.
Let us commend ourselves to the Father, Pope Francis concluded, with the same obedience that led Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, to pray: “Not my will, but yours be done”.
(from Vatican Radio)