“Do not be satisfied with little things, because God wants great things!” – St. Catherine of Siena

What do you experience when you read this quote?  Do you experience a rush of joy as you remember the great things God has done for you?  Do you experience a stirring in your soul as you imagine the great things God still has in store for you?  Is your faith strengthened?  Is your hope renewed?

Or do you, like many people, experience temptation?  Are you are tempted to doubt?  I know so many people who believe in a loving God but see themselves on the outside looking in. Maybe you feel this at times – doubting God’s love for you. Maybe you feel you don’t deserve the great things God has for you. Maybe you feel at times that God is able to bless you but not willing to do so. I know there have been times in my own life where the promises of God seemed empty and definitely not meant for me.

If you feel this way, don’t beat yourself up. This is the great deception that has been with us since Adam and Eve.  Satan attacked Adam and Eve’s fundamental trust in God when he tempted them in Eden.  As the Catechism teaches us in paragraph 397:

Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

It is the story of man.  But it is not the end of the story.

Throughout the Old Testament, God sought to redeem man’s trust through mighty works.  He created a nation from the faith of Abraham and Sarah. He delivered His people from Egypt by allowing them to cross through the Red Sea.  He saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace.  He did these great things in order to show the world that He has the power to save through His love.

In the fullness of time, God sent His only begotten Son.  The one St. Paul described as, “the image of the invisible God.”  When we see Christ, we see the fullness of God’s love for each one of us.  Jesus came to redeem our broken trust and help us to believe.  Here are a few Scriptures that point to the absolute confidence we should have in God’s love and providence:

“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” – Luke 11:9

“Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” – John 14:13

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24

It’s as if Christ was pleading with great urgency – trust in my Father.  Have faith.  Do not doubt.  Believe in His love.   For us to have faith and the certainty that Christ had, we need to have communion with God.   God is not the heavenly ATM that we can visit only when we need things.  We need to grow in our love for Him and let His love into every part of our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6 teaches us:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Our trust in God only grows in our communion with Him.  When we are right with God, we are in the right place to receive all the great things He has for us.  We are able to hear His voice and He is able to guide us to perfect happiness.  If your faith is weak, ask for the help of the Holy Spirit.  In Luke 11 after Jesus tells us, “Ask, and it will be given you,” He says in verse 13:

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Our God is most desirous to give us the Holy Spirit to experience God’s perfect love and strengthen our trust in God’s goodness.

This summer, we are expecting God to do great things in the lives of everyone who comes to a Steubenville Conference.  Why?  Because we have seen over and over again for the past four decades, that God is faithful and full of love.  We know He is able to do great things in the lives of those who come.  Do not let doubt hold you back from God’s love and goodness.  Expect great things and you will not be disappointed.