St. Louise affirmed that trust in God is one of the two pillars of the Company of the Daughters of Charity. And she explained it to Saint Vincent:
“I do not know if I am mistaken, but I think Our Lord will always desire more confidence than prudence to maintain the Company and that this very confidence will imperceptibly actuate prudence when the need arises. I think that experience has often shown this on various occasions when my spirit needed it.” (CCD, vol. 6, letter 2120).
- Trust is the air that envelops the streets and houses of any society, and allows humanmankind to breathe; without confidence you can not live. People have to face dangers and difficulties in life, difficult to overcome without the help of others, without a house or community to welcome us. These supports and this community give us security to walk through life without hesitation.
- In relations with the people there is danger that Vincentians will become distrustful and forget that ultimately people are generous. What assurance is given by a doctor we trust, even if he can not cure all diseases or stop aging!
- In the midst of a material world, trust becomes the chariot that sustains the Vincentian Family to solve daily conflicts. Confidence becomes the light that makes it easy to relate to others, while mistrust introduces suspicion and jealousy that thin the air and cause death by suffocation. At work, in social relationships, either we trust each other or life becomes unbearable. It is often said that it is foolish to trust everyone, but to trust no one is something more: madness.
- Mistrust creates doubts and whoever walks in it hesitates, wobbles and falls. To walk steadfastly, one must rely on oneself, on one’s qualities, far superior to one’s defects. How many occasions have we failed in our being suspicious of our own possibilities! To feel useful in life and to be valued is vital for all men and women. To lose confidence in oneself is to kill the vision of the future.
- Trust also in friends. What a thrill good friends give! And we need to have friends within the Vincentian Family so that we do not live in solitude. People need to be trusted so that love is not quenched.
- And, above all, trust in God. Whoever trusts in God does not consider himself superior to others, because he recognizes that God has given him the strength. It is not a question of ignoring one’s own effort. It is essential to work with enthusiasm, but accompanied by the recognition that everything is God given. Trusting God because we are weak, prevents defending the indefensible and destroys the prejudices that lead us to deny all evidence. If we trust in God, we have taken away dogmatism that admits no criticism from the community life and from service.
Questions for dialogue:
- Have you stopped doing things for lack of trust in yourself? Do you regret not having done it? Trust must be earned, do you give evidence of trust?
- Are you responsible for the work or duties entrusted to you? And of the secrets entrusted to you, without disclosing them to other people? Do you keep the word given, even if it hurts you?
- Do you always speak well of the one who is absent?
Benito Martínez, C.M.