Ancient Wisdom for Trusting the Father

Image: Kristina Moller

“Trust. Trust. Trust…” the priest says to me through the grill of the confessional. Why is trust so hard for us? And where do we turn to grow in trust? A new place that I have been looking is not new at all, but rather OLD… quite literally.

We all love stories… otherwise binge-watching would not be the new national pastime. We get caught up in the stories—we want to see what happens next to our beloved characters. If you want some real drama, romance, violence, romance, intrigue, romance, tears, laughter, you should binge on some Old Testament.

My 2.5 year old godchild also loves stories… when I was visiting her last month I can’t even tell you how many stories she asked me to read, “Another! Another! Another!” Her love for stories sent me on a search for a good children’s bible or Christian storybook that would not make my former-scripture-professor heart cringe.

I picked up one book and read 30 picture-filled pages of Genesis stories. What surprised me was how these well-loved stories from Genesis were stories of… TRUST. So often we read the Old Testament as stories of human stupidity, hard-headedness, sinfulness, hard-heartedness, and genuine disappointment/wrath on God’s end. But really these are all stories of trust… with some incest and fratricide mixed in for good measure.

Next time you’re struggling with trust, don’t forget that we can turn to the intercession of our Old Testament ancestors in faith. We don’t only learn about the love of the Father through the words of Christ, but also through the witness of faith and trust of the Old Testament patriarchs. As the Catechism reminds us in CCC61:

The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the Church’s liturgical traditions.

We can also learn a great deal from their lack of trust! Because much like us, the patriarchs did not always learn their lesson of trust the first time… (it must run in the family.)

Litany of Old Testament Saints for the Sake of Trust:

When we doubt that your will for us will truly make us happy…
When we think you are withholding your blessings…
When we think your will is taking too long…
When we want to take matters into our own hands…
When we fear a lack of control…
When we feel cut off from your love…

… Adam & Eve, pray for us!

When we have been the victims of injustice…
When we struggle to forgive those who have hurt us…
When we are angry that you have allowed us to suffer…
When we are stuck in the shame of our sin…
When we do not believe that you still love us after we have screwed up…
When we hurt the ones we love and feel no longer worthy of the Father’s love…
When we doubt your protection over us…
When we are scared of what the future holds…

…Cain & Abel, pray for us!

When we feel like we are drowning…
When the world feels like it is ending…
When we feel like we need some space…
When we feel that what you’re asking of us is too much…

…Noah & his family, pray for us!

When we think we can do it without you…
When we trust our own strength and try to circumvent your help…
When we are confused…

… Builders of the Tower of Babel, pray for us!

When we do not believe your promises…
When we laugh at the idea that miracles are possible…
When we think it’s too late for us to change…
When we can’t wait on your will and try to force it…

…Abraham & Sarah, pray for us!

When we don’t have the strength to make a great sacrifice…

…Abraham & Isaac, pray for us!

When we question our choice of spouse/wonder where our spouse is…
When we question your methods…

…Isaac & Rebecca, pray for us!

When we don’t listen to our mothers…

…Rebecca and Jacob, pray for us!

When we don’t want to work hard… to put in the extra labor…
When we let drama distract us from your plan…
When we have an inability to share with others…
When we are angry with you…
When we feel forgotten… unloved… passed over…

…Jacob, Rachel, and Leah, pray for us!

When we are running for our lives…
When we have to face the ones we have hurt…
When we seek the forgiveness of our family members…
When we are slow to forgive…

…Jacob and his entire posse and Esau, pray for us!

Image: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

When we struggle with not being the favorite…
When we think too highly of ourselves…
When our clothes and material possessions become attachments…
When we lack in humility…
When we do not use prudence in budgeting our time, talent, and treasure…

…Jacob & Joseph, pray for us!

Posted by Katie Austin

Katie Austin has been involved in leadership training, facilitation, and ministry since 1997. Originally from Lafayette, LA, Katie graduated from Tulane University in Marketing and Business Law. She earned her Juris Doctor/Bachelor of Civil Law degree from LSU Law Center and completed her M.A. in Theological Studies with a concentration in Dogmatic Theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. After law school, Katie was the Assistant Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. A former adjunct professor at Notre Dame Seminary and coordinator of the Aquinas Institute, Katie has devoted herself to making intellectual formation readily available to lay Catholics who are hungry to encounter truth. She is currently working towards an M.S. is Psychology from Divine Mercy University.? Katie now serves as the Campus Minister and Director of Programming at Our Lady of Wisdom Church and Catholic Student Center on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette—home of the Ragin’ Cajun Catholics!