Take a Personal Retreat Based on the ‘Litany of Trust’
BOOK PICK: ‘Jesus I Trust in You: A 30-Day Personal Retreat With the Litany of Trust’
JESUS I TRUST IN YOU
A 30-Day Personal Retreat With the Litany of Trust
By Sister Faustina Maria Pia, S.V.
Emmaus Road Publishing, 2021
216 pages, $15.95
To order: StPaulCenter.com
Sister of Life Sister Faustina was struggling with a difficult situation. Not sure which way to go, she found herself anxious and confused. As she turned to Scripture and prayed for a way through, everything she read (or called out) said, “Trust.”
One afternoon, while gazing at a crucifix, Sister Faustina had a realization: “A new courage came over me to finally stand in the truth of my profound need for God.”
She heard in her heart the words “Litany of Trust.”
“Taking out my journal without much thought, dozens of petitions flowed out from my heart. It would seem that a prayer like the Litany of Trust would come from someone who perfectly trusted in the Lord. But the truth is, it was given to me because I needed trust. And somehow I sensed that others needed it too,” she recalls in her new book, which is presented as a retreat.
Those petitions are the framework for this self-guided 30-day retreat. Each petition is a prayer asking to be relieved of a negativity that keeps us from trusting God fully, even through life’s most difficult situations.
From all suspicion of your words and promises, 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 desolate, deliver me, Jesus.
From restless self-seeking in the present moment, deliver me, Jesus.
For refusals and reluctances in accepting Your will, deliver me, Jesus,
That you always hear me and in your goodness you always respond to me, Jesus I trust in you.
Sister Faustina, named at birth for the Polish nun who is now a saint the Church honors on Oct. 5, provides insights into each doubt, each insecurity through personal experiences, Scripture and stories. Lessons of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross/Edith Stein, Blessed Solanus Casey, St. Thérèse and Cardinal John O’Connor, the founder of the Sisters of Life, point to the struggles these men and women endured that relate to each prayer.
She shares the story of a young woman who came to the Sisters of Life seeking post-abortion healing. She had been covering up her suffering and regret with a rigorous work-out regimen, hoping that through strenuous physical exertion she could avoid the pain caused by her abortion — and avoid God. Ultimately, she realized that she needed to make space in her heart to receive his love and mercy.
Readers are asked to take some time every day to sit with God, opening their hearts to hear him. The reflections ask one to consider that periods of emptiness can be an invitation to love with Jesus’ heart and to seek more.
Sister Faustina pictures the heart with two openings. “On one side, we have an opening to receive our life and love continually from God, as well as to receive His love through others. On the other side, we have another opening, for our life and love to be given away. At the core of our person is the thirst to be loved and the unrelenting call to love. Yet in being open to love, we must be vulnerable.
“As soon as we start shutting the door to receiving love, the door on the other side of our heart slides shut as well. Giving and receiving move together. In fear, we end up stifling the very thing we most desire: love. Trust is what opens the doors of our hearts to the flow of love. In trusting God’s merciful love, we open ourselves to the ever-flowing stream of God’s victorious goodness.”
No authentic Catholic retreat would be complete without time in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, “the one place where each of us is totally received. Tell Him the parts you can’t accept about yourself, as this is what inhibits you from believing in the unconditional love He offers.”
The sacrament of confession, this retreat emphasizes, is where God awaits us: “When we turn with trust to God in these situations, they truly become the crucial place where we come to know personally that God is my Savior. The way He reveals Himself to each individual is tailored to the doubts of each one of us. We don’t have to go far to find God, for in the very place of our struggle, He stands and waits to be discovered.”
This simple but powerful reminder from Sister Faustina will stay with this reader: Jesus is always worth trusting!
As another Sister Faustina wrote of Our Lord’s message to her: “The graces of my mercy are drawn by one vessel only, and that is — trust! The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive” (diary of St. Faustina, 1578).