Our hope is not in ourselves but in God the Most High; for God orders all things with power and disposes of them with gentleness. We must not look to human kind, but to the will of God which as Saint Alphonsus Liguori says, “sets all things to right.” The more helpless our situation, the more we should trust in God! Why? Because God created us out of nothing by His goodness alone. Every workman loves the work of his own hands. The nature of goodness is to expand, to express itself. It surrounds us to make us happy.
Our confidence should increase with the rage of the storm and our joy should be greatest when danger is present; because God is the protector of all who trust in Him. God will clothe us more beautifully than the lilies, feast us more sumptuously than the birds, esteem us to be of more value than the sparrows and not forget all of our wantsl. Not even a hair on our head falls to the ground without God’s notice. He will prepare us the right path when we are lost and be our defender in times of trouble. The Lord is our light, our hope, our strength, our life and our love. The Lord gives to those in need with superabundance. And in due season he will give us the fullness of our desires. The Lord is our protector of whom should we fear?
RESPONSE: FR. PAUL ROBICHAUD, CSP
“Our hope is not in ourselves but in God” says Servant of God Isaac Hecker. Before we congratulate ourselves for a job well done or get down on ourselves for problems we face, it is important for us to realize we are not alone. God is there watching over what God has created. Father Hecker reminds us that our origins are in God, for we are not only made in God’s imagwe, we were fashioned by God. Hecker writes, “every workman loves the work of his own hands.” That was brought home to me recently when a close friend of mine who restores classic cars took me out in his 1931 Packard roadster. He had spent 10 years rebuilding this beautiful automobile and on a magnificent summer day we motored through small towns in southern New England. It was evident to me that my friend and his car had become one entity. So it is with God and us, God made us, is within us and acts through us. God seeks to unite with us if only we open ourselves to Him.
Father Hecker goes further for he encourages us to trust in God’s presence, especially in when we face critical and difficult moments. The greater the danger the more we need to trust. This fundamental trust in God is not just something Father Hecker writes about but it comes out of his life experience. Hecker has been characterized as a man of incredible hope. As he often said, the best times lie ahead and not behind. He speaks poetically paraphrasing Matthew 6:28. God will clothe us more beautifully than lilies and answer all of our wants. So let us be people of hope. Let us take seriously the promise of Jesus that he has overcome the world – and that includes our personal worlds. Let God be our hope and sour strength, our light and our love.
Paulist Father Paul Robichaud CSP is 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.