Every child is a symbol of God’s trust in humanity. That is why one of the most lovable qualities of a child is his or her trust. Young children trust blindly and unconditionally. But the older they get, the more this God-given trust fades away. Disappointments, broken promises, injuries, faithlessness – all of these undermine trust. In the end, there are some people who end up no longer trusting anything or anyone.
Distrust is one of the saddest consequences of Original Sin. In Paradise, Satan succeeded in sowing distrust in the hearts of Adam and Eve – mistrust of God. He made them doubt whether God really wanted to give them true happiness or was holding something back from them. And so we lost our trusting relationship with God our Father. In order to heal this wound in the human soul, God himself came on earth as a Child, perfectly trusting in God, and in this way restored the ruptured Father-child relationship. This is why Christmas also celebrates mutual trust, between God and humanity, and between each one of us, His children.
Saint Edith Stein, the great Jewish philosopher, Carmelite nun and martyr, came to the conclusion that “If God tells me through the prophets that He is more faithful to me than father or mother, indeed, that He is Love itself, then it is clear to me how ‘rational’ is my trust in the arms that hold me. I know that I am held tightly, and find peace and security in this – the sweet and blissful security of a child held in strong arms. Or would the child who lived in constant fear that its mother might let it fall be ‘rational’?” Trust in God allows us to participate in the almighty power of God.
Dear Friends, during this Advent, as we prepare for the feast of Christmas, let us learn from the Holy Family how to trust in God. During their desperate search for an inn, and when they were afraid of dying during the flight to Egypt, Joseph and Mary trusted in the Word of God – in the child who was with them at all times. Only such trust can free us from the perils of this world and the fears that surround us. This is why, on seeing an image of the Holy Infant of Prague, Saint Edith Stein exclaimed, “Is not He the ‘hidden Ruler’ who will one day put an end to all suffering? For it is He who holds the reins in his hands, even though men think that they are in control.”
As Jesus said to Saint Faustina, “There is but one vessel through which men may draw graces from my Mercy, and that is trust.” May no difficulties or restrictions hold us back, during this Advent and during the Christmas season, from trusting God completely and drawing on His Divine Mercy – above all through the holy Sacrament of Reconciliation and the celebration of the Eucharist. We at Aid to the Church in Need also trust in the grace of God, which moves your hearts to alleviate the great needs there are in the world, and we thank you for your trust in us.
May God grant you and all your families a blessed advent season and joyful Christmas Feast!
With my grateful thanks and blessing,
Father Martin Maria Barta Ecclesiastical Assistant.
Featured Image: Fr Martin Barta. Photographer: Bruno Barata.
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