Trusting in God: A Hecker reflection

August 4, 2014

undefinedTrusting in God

Servant of God Father Isaac Thomas Hecker wrote:

It is the delight of God’s tender and parental heart to care for his children, the work of his hands and the price of the blood of his only begotten Son. The more we trust in God, the more God will trust himself to us. All that God asks of us is to let him act with full freedom in our regard. All that God wishes is to make us like himself – infinitely holy and happy. God would have us forget ourselves; for self-forgetfulness is the beginning of the life of God in the soul. In God the soul places all its hopes and desires. “My God and my all” (St. Francis) is the language of the soul converted completely to Almighty God. It ignores, the past, present and future. It throws itself without reserve into the arms of God. 

Let it cost what it may. We must be willing to give up what is comfortable in our present and future to the infinitely wise action of Divine Providence (God’s will). Let us throw all care upon God and put all our confidence in him. This is what God wishes of us. What do we have today that we have not received by being faithful to God and trusting in his providence? God has not changed his providence towards us and we in turn should not change our conduct towards God. “Know that no one who has hoped in God has been confounded for God is a protection to all who seek Him in truth.” (Psalm 25) “Be stout-hearted and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27)


Commentary by Father Paul Robichaud, CSP

It is the delight of the Lord, writes Isaac Hecker, to care for us, his children. How important we are to God. Twice over he has spent out his love upon us having first created us and later redeemed us through his Son, Jesus Christ. When we are down and depressed, tired or sad, when we are sick or things are not going well, when we feel alone or we get down on ourselves – how we need to be reminded that we are important to God and how deeply God loves us.

What God asks in response to his love is for of us to trust him, for God is far from finished with us. God has a plan – or as Hecker calls it, a “providence” – for each of us, and at the heart of this “providence” is to make us “infinitely holy and happy.” God wishes to form his children into his own image, to make them like himself. But to do this we have to let go. As Hecker writes, “for self- forgetfulness is the beginning of the life of God in the soul.” It is letting go of self and yielding to God what ever the cost, real or imagined might be.

Trusting in God can be one of the most difficult things we do. Many of us only do it when there is no other alternative. It is only then when there are no other good choices left or that we feel we have nothing more to lose that we become resigned to God’s will. Hecker’s response to this is a challenge to us. The good life we know and are so afraid to lose has come from God. He asks: “What do we have that has not come by being faithful to God?” God has not changed his plan for us, which is to make us happy and complete. Should we not as children of the Father, trust that God’s providence is the way to the Father and follow.

It is said that one of Francis of Assisi’s favorite phrases was to say over and over in good times and bad, “My God and my All.” In these five words of prayer, the great saint of the 12th century reminded himself and his followers that God is all we need. From Francis to Hecker to us, nothing has changed. So be stout-hearted and wait on the Lord.


About this series

Father Paul Robichaud, CSP, is the historian of the Paulist Fathers and postulator of the Cause of Father Hecker. His office is located at the Hecker Center in Washington, D.C.

If you have asked Father Hecker to pray for you or another person who is ill and you believe something miraculous has happened, please phone Father Paul at 202-269-2519 or write to and tell him your story.