Aleteia

Trusting God when life is hard and we fall from grace

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St. Therese of Lisieux encourages us to trust God’s mercy, especially when we are not faithful to him.

One of the first things to go when life gets difficult and we fail to remain faithful to God is our trust in him. We look at our lives and think, “Where are you, God?” or “I can’t do this.” This is accentuated when our will power is weakened and we succumb to various temptations.

At times like these St. Therese of Lisieux urges us to run like a little child into the arms of our Heavenly Father.

[A child who has sinned] throws himself into his father’s arms, telling him that he is sorry to have hurt him, that he loves him, and that he will prove it by being good from now on … Then, if that child asks his father to punish him with a kiss, I don’t think the happy father could harden his heart against his child’s filial trust, knowing his sincerity and love.

An action such as this requires a profound trust in God, not seeing God as a vindictive father who punishes his children needlessly, but as a loving and merciful Father, ready to receive us and heal our wounds.

St. Therese speaks these words out of experience, as she fully admits to her sister that she is not perfect.

I am afraid I have not said what I should; perhaps you will think I always do what I am saying. Oh, no! I am not always faithful, but I never get discouraged; I abandon myself into the arms of Jesus. The little drop of dew goes deeper into the calyx of the flower of the fields, and there it finds again all it has lost and even much more.

This is image of running to Jesus and allowing him to embrace us is a most beloved illustration of St. Therese. She returns to it frequently in her writings and encourages others to have a similar trust in God.

When times get tough and we fall, or begin to doubt in God’s goodness, the best thing to do is run to him. It requires a filial heart, who does not fear God’s wrath, but trusts in his mercy.

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