A Prayer of Trust

Lord Jesus, I believe that you are able and willing to deliver me from all the care and unrest and bondage of my Christian life. I believe you did die to set me free, not only in the future, but now and here. I believe you are stronger than sin, and that you can keep me, even me, in my extreme weakness, from falling into its snares or yielding obedience to its commands. And, Lord, I am going to trust you to keep me. I have tried keeping myself, and have failed, and failed, most grievously. I am absolutely helpless. So now I trust you. I give myself to you. I keep back no reserves. Body, soul, and spirit, I present myself to you as a piece of clay, to be fashioned into anything your love and your wisdom shall choose. And now I am yours. I believe you accept that which I present to you; I believe that this poor, weak, foolish heart has been taken possession of by you, and that you have even at this very moment begun to work in me and to do of your good pleasure. I trust you utterly, and I trust you now.

–Hannah Whitall Smith, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life

Don’t Be Afraid

The one thing we owe to our Lord is never to be afraid. To be afraid is doubly an injury to him. First, it means that we forget him; we forget he is with us and is all powerful. Second, it means that we are not conformed to his will; for since all that happens is willed or permitted by him, we ought to rejoice in all that happens to us and feel neither anxiety or fear. Let us then have the faith that banishes fear.

–Charles de Foucauld, Meditations of a Hermit

I’m not there yet, especially with that rejoice in all circumstances thingy.

Revenge (1)

Paul warns us to avoid anger, especially because anger so often is the chief cause of sin. Someone who is motivated by wrath will demand more than the cause of the sin merits or will put himself out to do more harm while seeking revenge. In the end he will destroy someone when he could have corrected and restored him instead.

–Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Paul’s Epistles

The Most Characteristic of God

It is known that there is nothing more characteristic of God than to be, because that itself which is does not belong to things which will one day end or to those which had a beginning. But that which combines eternity with the power of unending happiness could never not have been, nor is it possible that one day it will not be, because what is divine is not liable to destruction, nor does it have a beginning.

–Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity 1.5

Confessing Jesus

[When Peter confesses Jesus as Messiah, he] had learned that Christ is the Son of God. But he had not learned of the mystery of the cross and the resurrection. Do you see how correct Jesus was in forbidding [the disciples] not to declare his identity publicly? For if it confounded the disciples, who were being made aware of it, who knows what the response of others might have been?

–John Chrysostom, The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 54.5-6