The Zip Line of Faith

Blog by Sr. Amy McFrederick, OP

“It is not easy to entrust oneself to God’s mercy, because it is an abyss beyond our comprehension. But we must!”  –Pope Francis, March 2013

I read this quote the other day in one of the LCWR Prayer Journals, and it struck me as so true. I’m sure most persons of faith can think of times in one’s life when they feel they are standing on the brink of the great abyss of God’s mercy, and know their faith demands that they make that fearful leap into the incomprehensible. It’s a moment that puts their faith in God to test.

It could be during a retreat or moment of grace when one is gripped by a deep realization of one’s sin—whether in thought, word, deed, or omission—and is overwhelmed by feelings of confusion, guilt, the helpless need for forgiveness and mercy. The fearful choice is to stay paralyzed in unworthiness, self-loathing, and condemnation, or to leap into the abyss of God’s incomprehensible mercy. We question: do we dare believe that the God-Who-Is truly loves us unconditionally with infinite mercy, and is not the God-of-my-own-making who waits to punish?

For me, it was a little less than two months ago when I was about to undergo surgery for breast cancer. The doctors and nurses in making sure that I understood all that was going to happen, the risks, the possibilities, and all the choices that I would need to make, plied me with booklets, print-outs, and more information than I ever hoped to have. Having read it all, and making the best choices I could, I then faced the moment of truth, and was admitted to the surgery unit. I remember the feeling of being completely in the hands of others as I watched the surgery staff strap first the left arm, then the right to arm extensions, as others efficiently applied pressure wraps to my legs, and the anesthetist told me he was going to start the medication that would put me to sleep. It was the moment to leap into the abyss of God’s mercy, entrusting all…

Today as I imagine myself standing again and again at the brink of the abyss of God’s mercy, I am aware that I don’t just foolishly presume to leap recklessly from a high place to test God (as the devil would have Jesus leap from the tower, testing God to keep him from dashing a foot against a stone.) No, if I’m going to take such a leap, I want to make sure I have a trusted ZIP line to which I am firmly secured. My ZIP LINE is God’s Word and God’s Promises – especially the God preached by Christ in the Gospels; and it’s my FAITH in Christ, the unfolding Word of God – that attaches me firmly to that ZIP LINE. Only then can I confidently -though maybe a bit nervously – make that leap. And so far it has always proven to be quite a ride!

Posted in Associate Blog

7 responses to “The Zip Line of Faith

  1. Late reading this reflection. You have been in my prayers, Amy. It’s true – “Only in God will my soul be at rest!” Hope all is going well. God bless. Kathleen

  2. Thank you, Amy, for reminding all of us to take our own leaps of faith trusting that God’s mercy will carry us. Peace and love to you,

  3. God’s zip line surely took care of you, Amy. Hang on as I hope to do. Thanks for your good words.

  4. Thanks, Amy,your comments and courage are a wonderful support for when any of us facing life threatening illnesses and very hard choices in life.

  5. Wow! Thank you, Amy, for a most powerful reflection! What a lesson for me: Always to be firmly attached to God’s ZIP line.

    May your healing continue!

    Pat, OP

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