Our All?
Off the Wall, December 9, 2016

When I converted to the Roman Catholic Church back in the mid-seventies, I started to notice some of many things that were new to me. As a member of this new denomination, fellow parishioners were carrying with them prayer cards with them and would actually read from them silently to themselves the messages disclosed.

In my observances, I soon learned that, as part of the tradition, one could pray to any number of saints, the Devine Mercy Prayer and/or prayers of various wordings to Jesus Christ as well.

As a former Protestant, the faithful may have carried similar possessions, but I wasn’t devout enough to take note of such a ritual. For me, it was about entering a certain building weekly, rubbing shoulders with friends, and checking out the girls in the congregation.

Sunday was all about going to church at 11 a .m., listening to what the minister had to say, and then leaving one hour later, all the time stating to friends, “See you next week.”

I never saw one person prior to the proceedings reading from a card. In my new place of worship, it was different. Not only were they part of people’s possessions, but one could find them on tables near the church doors or strewn about on pews directly in front of the side doors of the building. It was not uncommon for each member to have ten or more of these plastic-coated pocket-sized documents stuck in their Bibles as bookmarks or kept in ladies’ purses.

I have to omit, just because I felt led by the Holy Spirit to join my neighborhood church, I had no immediate inclination to start my collection of these cards as one would do so to collect players’ pictures in a deck to be a keepsake for later years.

Now, some forty years later, I now find myself drawn to one card that has a picture of Jesus on the front waving with his right hand and learning his left hand over his heart. There is a narrow angle of red extended to the bottom of the card pointing to the heart of our Lord.

At the bottom of the card are five words – Jesus, I Trust In You! One word in this statement leads me to part of what I want to talk about today – ‘trust.’

We have all used this word one time or another in making inferences to others, or telling people outright, “I trust what you say is right.” Most the time we leave our statements at that and don’t think another thing about it.

Not long ago, I received an email from a friend who regularly passes along messages from a visionary who receives words of knowledge from the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Mother of Jesus calls for us to have unconditional trust for her Son. We possibly state, “Yes,” as though it’s no big deal. But She also stated unconditional love (my favorite subject), as well.

When you make your petitions to the Trinity, do you trust them unconditionally?

Recently a friend and I were talking about the word ‘trust’ and I threw a zinger in her direction that evolved into a short thought deliberation before spelling out an answer. I asked her, “Do you trust your husband unconditionally? I expected her to say “yes,” but after a bit of time went by she responded almost in a whisper, “I guess no.”

I have mentioned the subject of ‘unconditional love’ many times in my columns. The dictionary state the prefix “un” meant ‘without.’ So the word means without conditional love. In other words, there were no conditions attached.

In the same sense, the “un” before ‘conditional trust’ would be defined, “no conditions attached.”

So when the statement is made, “Jesus, I trust in you,” we have to do so unconditionally. Now, for a human being, it seems, we all have things with conditions attached. When we turn to Him for help, guidance or forgiveness, are we doing so we “human trust” or the trust he is trying to teach us, that same love he taught his disciples and those whom listened to him when he was with his followers over 2000 years ago?

When we turn to our spouses, friends or family members, are we utilizing that unconditional love and trust to them? Only you can be the judge to that. But when talking to Jesus, our love and trust can only be undoubtedly unconditional.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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