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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Handing Over the Spirit - TRUST

In prayer today I was trying to focus on the prayer and not what I was praying for. I was praying a Chaplet and kept losing my focus to worrying about what it was I was offering up. As I sat there losing my place for the fifth time I finally stopped and ask God why I can't focus.

I just want to trust God with everything; I want to hand it over and trust that he will take care of it all. But instead I'm sitting there thinking of solutions, figuring it out in my head while I recite the prayers. Why?

In truth I think it is because where the rubber meets the road when it comes to trusting God is in actually handing over our troubles one by one and actually letting go. This is what God desires of us in prayer. To hand it all over to him and let it be His concern. "Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?" Matt 6:27

I began to think about Christ on the Cross in that moment of handing over His spirit and breathing his last. He had to actually hand over his spirit; he had to lay it down. He had to trust that His Father would not fail Him.

I think about that in relation to my own struggles. I must hand each one over to God and die to it. Christ breathed his last and so too must I breathe my last breathe of concern and worry. I must give it over to Him and die to the worry - If I hand over my worry, my anxiety about one thing or another - I must like Christ say "into your hands Lord I commend my spirit." Not so I can pick it back up later. Often I think we pray, and then we go to work trying to solve this or that. Or we pray and let it go only to wake up in panic the next day continuing to worry. Rather, what we ought to do is breathe our last concern over that matter, hand it over to the Father through Christ's Divine Mercy and allow Him to do the rest. In a sense we are waiting for a "resurrection" of that concern/worry/situation.

This is a difficult task and one that must happen over and over again, as new situations rise in our lives and we hand them over one by one dying to our worry a little more each day. Each time we do this His infinite Grace and Mercy fill that place in our hearts and goes to work in our lives.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, I place all my trust in you.

I offer this simple prayer to help you in handing it over to Christ.

A Prayer of Trust
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit; my human weakness, my frailty, my anxiety and fear. Into your hands Lord I commend __________________ (list a concern or burden). I die to this worry in full trust and confidence that your mercy and grace are sufficient for me and that just as your Son rose from the grave you will resurrect this situation in my life.

Another prayer from the Divine Mercy Novena:
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion —
inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in
difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great
confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
If you haven't prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet I encourage you to pray it regularly to help you in this dying to your worries and concerns. You can find it here.