“May it please You, O Lord, to deliver me; for, poor wretch that I am, what can I do and where shall I go without You.” (IC 3,29,1) | “I am afflicted and in pain; let your saving help, O God, protect me.” (Ps 69:30)

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XXIX: “How God must be Invoked and Blessed in Time of Tribulation” (second entry)

The disciple realizes his own wretchedness so in his time of trial he knows that only the Lord, ultimately, is his safe refuge. Without God’s help he can do nothing good and would be without a reliable moral compass.

|Today’s responsorial psalm: Ps 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34

Psalm 69 is one of David’s songs of lament. A great king, but also a great sinner, he repented whole-heartedly, with an unblinking look at his own despicable actions. He feels about to drown and he is scorned by all. Yet he appeals to the Lord for salvation, fully trusting in the Lord to rescue him and his people.

|Reflection

Kempis’s disciple and David both have precisely the correct perspective and impulse. They are lowly, filled with humility, recognizing their own weakness, their inability, by their own power, to redeem themselves. They immediately appeal to God for help, begging his mercy, acknowledging Him as protector and guide.

So it should be with each and every one of us. While conversation with God should be an important event in our daily routine, it is in times of particular trouble or distress that our appeals to the Lord tend to be most intense. And that’s okay. Jesus longs for us to communicate with Him and tell Him of all those matters that weigh most heavily on our heart. What are true friends for (see Jn 15:15)?

Jesus, I place my trust in you.

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