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As long as I look at myself, my eye is filled with bitterness. But if I look up and fix my eyes on the aid of the divine mercy, this happy vision of God soon tempers the bitter vision of myself.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
In the first part of this series I wrote about how despair over circumstances, ourselves, or other people may stem from a need for the virtue of hope. I stated, "Half the problem with feeling doubly yoked is what we believe about ourselves and others mixed with what we may not believe nor trust about God." Here in this next post I'd like to tackle this second aspect of feeling "doubly yoked", a lack of faith in the goodness and mercy of God.
You can see how this would be a huge obstacle. How can we give ourselves to someone we don't completely trust?
We can start learning to trust by throwing out our false ideas of who God is.
No more believing in an ineffectual God that smiles benignly down upon his people, rarely interacting, never intervening. God is a god of power.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me."
"And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the world." Mt 28:20
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty." Rv:1:8
No more believing in a lightweight God who dispenses"cheap grace" when the mood strikes him. God is generous and grace is rich and freely given.
"And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Lk 11:9
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest." Mt 11:28
"From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace..." Jn 1:16
The necessary grace is there waiting for us. Jesus assures us of this truth.
If what He is saying holds true then why may we feel "doubly yoked" at times? Where does the problem lie?
With us. The problem lies with us.
We lack faith and therefore have trouble receiving.
We block grace through our unbelief.
"If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."
"O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Mt 14:31
When temptations to doubt plague us we can push them aside, refusing to trust our own thoughts rather than God's thoughts.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. As high as the heavens are above the earth so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. Is. 55:8-9 ( Ch 55 - An Invitation to grace - Beautiful!)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not; in all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths. Prv 3:5
In this way, we overcome the tendency to doubt. We place his ways above our own.
We boldly approach the throne of grace.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. Heb: 4:16
Confidently, because we are relying on Christ's merits, not our own. This is where people get confused at times, they confuse confidence with a lack of humility. Truthfully, it is the opposite. When we approach God, we are trusting in his goodness, his love, his merits.
Humility seeks help, pride runs away from it. And what walks hand in hand with pride?
Despair. Once again we come back to despair - that hefty beast that is too heavy to carry. This is why, as I mentioned in my last post, faith, hope and charity are so necessary - they are the three vital virtues that keep our feet firmly on the path of salvation. We cannot do without them. So let's humble ourselves, ask the Lord for the help we need to carry our crosses, and believe that He will answer our prayers.
Let souls who are striving for perfection particularly adore My mercy, because the abundance of grace which I grant them flows from My mercy. I desire that these souls distinguish themselves by boundless trust in My mercy. I will provide them with everything they need to attain sanctity. The graces of my mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is - trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is my desire to give much, very much. On the other hand, I am sad when souls ask for little, when they narrow their hearts. Our Lord to St. Faustina, Diary of St. M. Faustina Kowalska -1578