Sermon in a Sentence: St. Thomas Aquinas (March 18, 2014)

“This gift of fortitude prevents man’s heart from fainting through fear of lacking necessities, and makes him trust without wavering that God will provide him with whatever he needs. For this reason the Holy Spirit, the giver of fortitude, teaches us to pray to God to give us this day our daily bread.” –From “Sermon in a Sentence: A Treasury of Quotations on the Spiritual Life; Vol. 5: St. Thomas Aquinas,” pg. 103. Selected and Arranged by John P. McClernon.

 +J.M.J.+

Why is it we so often get caught up in ‘what-ifs?’ Sure, these are great if you are an aspiring novelist like me, who needs to ask all of those questions to see if the story will pan out in a logical order, in the way it was envisioned. But when it comes to our own lives, we have about as much control over our lives as a character in a novel. God as the Ultimate Author holds all of our necessities, indeed, our very next breath (or lack thereof) in His hands. He will distribute them as He sees fit, and we have no reason not to trust Him. (Have you looked at the stars at night lately, or the way our solar system is constructed to give us seasons, or the way the laws of physics work together in perfect harmony to hold everything together? I think God as the Ultimate Architect knows what He is doing!) So what is the purpose, what does it profit us, when we ask “What if I cannot afford a meal today? What if I cannot accomplish all of my work today? What if I don’t have anything suitable to wear for tomorrow? What if it rains tomorrow and I have no umbrella? What if a storm comes and I am outside?”

Let us ask ourselves another question. “What does it matter?” Today has enough troubles of its own to even begin trying to solve tomorrow’s problems, especially since we cannot see what they will be! Sure, we may be able to predict some things. And those predictions may come true, even consistently so. But it never fails that every so often there will come an unexpected event, a tragedy, or some surprise occasion that catches us off guard. Maybe we will be caught in the rain. Maybe we will be short on change to purchase our lunch. But if we trust in God, if we trust Him to provide for us, we will not be short-changed of our necessities. It may not be something as miraculous as a stranger offering to pay off our tab or offer us an umbrella. It may not even be immediate. But God recompenses our trust abundantly.

And if nothing else, even if we do not see the fruits or benefits in this life, we shall see them in the next if we persevere and keep winning for ourselves crowns of patient trust in God. So let us decide to trust in Him more, asking Him only our necessities for this day alone, because we are not promised another moment, much less another day, on this earth! Let us especially ask for the necessary graces to persevere until the very end, whether the end come tomorrow or 100 years from now. God holds all of our necessities and He is not stingy with those who trust Him. But we must first do our part and trust!

+O my God, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love Thee.

I ask pardon for all those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust, and do not love Thee.+

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