Welcome to the My Sisters the Saints Book Club! We're reading My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir, by Colleen Carroll Campbell.

Saints Book Club rect

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverb 3:5

Our God is a Father we can trust.  We can trust his love, his mercy, his forgiveness, his wisdom and his impeccable sense of timing and detail! Our God is a God of generosity, compassion and beautiful surprises all lavished splendidly on his faithful children.  In Chapter 3, Colleen shares her story of love, prayer, surrender, trust, and the magnificent mercy of Jesus.

This chapter begins with unexpected romance and an unexpected opportunity to use both her God-given talents and her ever deepening commitment to her faith and, of course, an unexpected Sister Saint to travel with her through it all.

I think God does his best work when we aren’t expecting it! I suppose he likes to catch us by surprise sometimes, just to demonstrate that he really can handle things perfectly without our planning or assistance.  I was reminded of that fact so many times throughout this chapter, and I’m hopeful that the truth of it all might wash over me and actually stick!

In my early twenties there was a three year stretch of time when we buried my brother, my mother, my grandmother, a 20-year-old cousin, and an uncle.  I truly did have some days when I questioned the mercy and wisdom of God during those three years.  I knew he had a plan and I knew he would reveal it to me if I remained faithful but there were struggles.

Out of the blue one day I got a phone call from an old boss encouraging me to apply for a job with the State Department of Education in Michigan.  I was a small town Kansas girl and had no desire to leave my family and my home.  There was too much healing that needed to be done. I couldn’t go anywhere because I thought my family needed me too much and after wading through three years of grief it was my job to put everybody back together.

Fueled completely by a desire to end the conversation I agreed to fax my resume that afternoon and I was certain that as soon as I hit the “send” button this whole ordeal would be forgotten. I remember a brief conversation with God as I tapped that green button in which I simply said, “OK, God, this is yours, but may I remind you that I love Kansas and I don’t even know where Michigan is nor do I particularly care! I trust you Father.”

Two hours later I was on the phone scheduling an interview and buying a plane ticket for that interview which would take place five days later.  After the interview I hopped back on a plane, and by the time my plane landed in Kansas City that evening they were calling to offer me the job.

I wanted to scream NO, but I kept hearing the words I had spoken just a few days earlier, I trust you God; now it was time to prove it.  Two weeks later I remember kissing my dad goodbye and telling him I’d be home in a year or two.  Little did I know my move and my trust would lead to an amazing husband, a fabulous family, twelve years home raising babies, and, in God's perfect timing, a finished Master’s degree and a job as a Catholic Elementary School teacher, speaker, and writer living in Michigan.  Those things were NEVER on my to-do list and I continue to be overwhelmed daily by the graces and blessings that have flowed from trusting him with that one decision.

The simple wisdom of St. Faustina had a profound impact of Colleen in this stage of her journey.  Her message is an important one for all of us.  Many thought this quiet saint seemed to be unqualified, unequipped, and unworthy to entertain such powerful messages and visions from Jesus himself.  As we unpack the power of this humble, holy Sister Saint a fundamental truth is right there ready to jump up and punch us in the nose.  Like Faustina herself, the words are simple and steeped in the mercy of Jesus…God can do anything he wants!  The question is, will we let him?

To Ponder, Reflect, and Discuss:

  1. St. Faustina often prayed with the simple words “Jesus, I trust in you.” What are the things in your life that prevent you from completely meaning those words when you say them? What are you afraid of surrendering completely to the Fathers providence?
  2. Give some prayerful thought to the questions; When have I surrendered a troublesome situation to God? What was the outcome? Did things turn out better than you expected? What were the graces and blessings that flowed from that situation?
  3. St. Faustina did not rely on the respect or approval of the world to carry out the mission Jesus communicated to her. She relied completely on the mercy of Jesus and the fruit of her trust is the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Colleen began each White House morning by praying this beautiful devotion, so, taking her example as our own, stop and rest for a bit and pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet. Ponder the need for trust, surrender, and Jesus’ Divine Mercy in your own life.

Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week's reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions.

Next week, we'll cover Chapter 4, "A Mother at Heart." For the complete reading schedule and information about our Book Club, visit the My Sisters the Saints Book Club page.

Copyright 2014 Sheri Wohlfert