Ma shucha (worry not!)

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In Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna makes an open declaration –

सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।

अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः ॥

Abandon all kinds of religious process and just surrender unto me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not worry. 

Despite the clear assurance given by Lord that a surrendered being does not need to bother for anything, we often miss out on being free with the Gracious one.

-Shri Vinod ji Agarwal

St. Therese of Leisux too vouches for God’s mercy through her words-

“Ah! since that day love penetrates me and surrounds me; this Merciful Love each moment renews and purifies me, leaving in my heart no trace of sin. No, I cannot fear Purgatory; I know that I do not merit even to enter with the Holy Souls into that place of expiation, but I know too that the fire of Love is more sanctifying than the fire of Purgatory, I know that Jesus cannot will needless suffering for us, and that He would not inspire me with the desires I feel if He were unwilling to fulfill them.”

– Story of A Soul, Chapter VIII

The saint believed that the people of her time lived in too great fear of God’s judgment. The fear was stifling and did not allow people to experience the freedom of the children of God. She once wrote that she could not understand how anyone could be afraid of a God who became a child. St. Therese felt that she would never be perfect. Therefore, she went to God as a child approaches a parent with open arms and a profound trust.

This was her ‘Little way’, based on two fundamental convictions:

  1. God shows love by mercy and forgiveness.
  2. She could not be perfect in following the Lord.

Saint Therese never had an easy life, but she did live with a great sense of peace and joy. What made such joy possible? Fundamentally, she found that love could only be captivating when a person trusts completely in a loving God. That trust has to be stated every day in the way we pray and live out the responsibilities and demands of our lives. She found the power of love in her relationship to Jesus Christ.

So she adopted simplicity – talking to God and Jesus in direct, personal and heartfelt ways. She did not like long prayers and rosary. She fell asleep during community prayer about which she noted that just as parents love their children as much while asleep as awake, God loved her even though she often slept during the time for prayers. She prayed from her heart as a child speaks honestly and trustingly to a parent they love. God calls us to respond to Divine Love in a childlike relationship of love, trust and bold confidence to “Abba” (which literally means ‘Dad’), and by doing the simple things for others, well and with love. In fact, St. Therese wrote that often enough a word from God, an insight, a sense of direction, a response to a situation came to her not during the hour of prayer but when she was about her daily work.

– Fr. John F. Russell, O.Carm. Seton Hall University

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