Speak Lord: our peace

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In God alone is my soul at rest.

In God alone is my soul at rest;
my help comes from him.
He alone is my rock, my stronghold,
my fortress: I stand firm.

In God alone is my soul at rest.

In God alone be at rest, my soul;
for my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock, my stronghold,
my fortress: I stand firm.

In God alone is my soul at rest.

In God is my safety and glory,
the rock of my strength.
Take refuge in God, all you people.
Trust him at all times.
Pour out your hearts before him.

In God alone is my soul at rest.

Psalm 61:2-3,6-9

The Psalm at Mass tomorrow – of Sunday of the 8th week in Ordinary Time, of the last Sunday before Lent – calls us to peace, to know rest in the Lord, and to find confidence and security there.

There are maybe two remptations with regard to trust in God.

The first is to say we trust, and in fact only to trust in ourselves.

The second is to trust in God but have very particular idea of just how God has to respond to our trust in him. There is a famous joke that demonstrates this attitude:

A man named Jack was walking along a steep cliff one day, when he accidentally got too close to the edge and fell. On the way down he grabbed a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall. He looked down and to his horror saw that the canyon fell straight down for more than a thousand feet.

He couldn’t hang onto the branch forever, and there was no way for him to climb up the steep wall of the cliff. So Jack began yelling for help, hoping that someone passing by would hear him and lower a rope or something.

HELP! HELP! Is anyone up there? “HELP!”

He yelled for a long time, but no one heard him. He was about to give up when he heard a voice. Jack, Jack. Can you hear me?”

“Yes, yes! I can hear you. I’m down here!”

“I can see you, Jack. Are you all right?”

“Yes, but who are you, and where are you?

“I am the Lord, Jack. I’m everywhere.”

“The Lord? You mean, GOD?”

“That’s Me.”

“God, please help me! I promise if, you’ll get me down from here, I’ll stop sinning. I’ll be a really good person. I’ll serve You for the rest of my life.”

“Easy on the promises, Jack. Let’s get you off from there; then we can talk.”

“Now, here’s what I want you to do. Listen carefully.”

“I’ll do anything, God. Just tell me what to do.”

“Okay. Let go of the branch.””What?” “I said, let go of the branch. Just trust Me. Let go.”

There was a long silence.

Finally Jack yelled, “HELP! HELP! IS ANYONE ELSE UP THERE?”

  • What helps you to trust?
  • What enfeebles your trust?

On his holidays. John Singer Sargeant. In the collection of Lady Lever Gallery, Liverpool. Photograph (c) 2007, Allen Morris

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