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Better to take refuge in the Lord than trust princes

Sit at his feet like Mary and you will glow with pure happiness no worldly pleasures can match

Better to take refuge in the Lord than trust princes

Young people attend the ‘Youths: Faith and Life’ seminar on Feb. 12. (Photo courtesy of tonggiaophanhanoi.org)

Published: March 03, 2022 04:05 AM GMT

Updated: March 03, 2022 04:48 AM GMT

How does faith influence your life? What will your life be like if you do not believe in God? And if you do, what happens to you?

Working with young couples attending catechism courses on marriage preparation, half of whom hold no belief in God, I always talk with them about the value of religious faith.

When people do not believe in God, they will believe other people. For example, pagans put their trust in soothsayers who tell them the best time they should build houses, hold weddings and funerals, and do other things in their life.

I tell them that if people knew for sure that couples would be happy, there would never be marriage breakdowns and divorces in the world. If people knew everything in advance, they would not need to do anything.

All miseries and sorrows in this life prove that no one can predict what lies ahead.

Believing in God helps us to get rid of all irrational beliefs and properly control our lives. We know where we are from and where we are going. We know this world is only temporary, so we will not hold on like grim death to it.

There is a close relationship between faith and life. Life without religious belief only plunges people into total confusion and fear

We know that the Lord cares for and loves us and no matter what happens it is always a way to show God's love to us. Therefore, we are never crestfallen but will live peaceably and happily when we place absolute trust in God.

Some years ago, a man told me that he was about to build a house and asked me to give him a date to begin construction. He is from a Catholic family but has a naive belief. He still has a tendency to seek advice from fortune-tellers. I told him that the construction should be started on the first Sunday of the month. A few minutes later he called me again, asking me to give him a good time to start work. I gave him a start time. A little while later he asked me again to tell him who was the first to take a shovel.

I told him that my answers above were just for his peace of mind and that "the best thing to do would be to not follow the way of the world. You should put complete trust in God and [he] will dispel all your fears. Faith in God will help you walk more calmly in life. It doesn't matter what day is or who is the first to work, but it is essential that you always trust in God, and you will see that everything is fine."

There is a close relationship between faith and life. Life without religious belief only plunges people into total confusion and fear. There is no guarantee of our happiness and peace on this earth. Psalms teach us: It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans; it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

A Christian pastor said that before he knew and believed in God, his life was like a television screen without an antenna. Since he placed his faith in God, he has lived life to the fullest and his life has been like a screen with an antenna. The screen is no longer noisy but becomes sharp.

Faith is so valuable, so why do people lose faith? Losing faith is losing everything.


A painting of Jesus and Mary by an unknown artist 

The reason we feel less certain about our faith is that we have no inner life, run after the noisy life outside, and fail to have any moment with ourselves. That is why our lives are upside down and unstable. 

Many young representatives from parishes in Hanoi Archdiocese attended the archdiocese’s pre-synod seminar on an interesting theme of "Youths: Faith and Life" at So Kien Minor Basilica in mid-February.

The phrase "connecting with God" was repeated over and over again by presenters and attendees. God cannot meet people in noisy places but can only come to us when our hearts are peaceful and quiet.

We tend to run around like Martha and can hardly sit in silence at Jesus' feet to listen to his teaching like Mary. God never praised but chided Martha. Only Mary was commended for choosing the good portion, which would not be taken away from her.

To re-establish a good relationship with God and to have true faith, I would like to invite you to sit at the Lord's feet like Mary and to let the quietness envelop you. You will positively glow with pure happiness that worldly pleasures are unable to match.

If you have some times of quiet for yourself every day, I am sure that your inner life will be deeper and deeper, and consequently, your faith will become so strong that no forces can destroy or shake it.

Father Joseph Ta Xuan Hoa is from Hanoi Archdiocese. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News. This article was summarized and translated by a UCA News reporter from a Vietnamese article published by tonggiaophanhanoi.org here.

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