How, Then, Shall We Trust?

John Paul II in prayer. Courtesy of Catholic News Service.

In the course of recent reading, I came across this passage from an essay by Howard Gray, S.J.:

Ignatius learned to trust his heart as a place of unique encounter with God. . . . Trust is an essential component of Ignatian spirituality. Trust, in turn, will permeate the life and mission of the Society of Jesus. Trust will characterize the way Jesuits deal with people, cultures, and other religious experiences. For if Ignatius saw God as one who taught, he also saw God as one who taught out of trust for the unique reality of Ignatius's own temperament, history, and talents. God for Ignatius was an adapting God, a God who met created reality in trust. From God's trust Ignatius learned to trust -- himself first and others later.

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I had to read the passage a few times to appreciate the words, so dissonant is the thought today. Trust is foundational for faith, essential for prayer--and yet the world preaches distrust. Our politics foments distrust. The world urges us to be constantly on guard. Your identity could be stolen. Your email could be hacked. Your phone calls listened to.

Some mistrust, I should add, is for good reason. I don't want to trust Syria. I don't want to trust the stranger knocking in the middle of the night on my front door.

But if trust is an essential component in our spiritual growth, where is trust to be learned? To be fostered? To be found?

 

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