Saturday, January 16, 2010
"Lack of confidence, whatever be its cause, does us much harm and deprives us of great blessings.
When Saint Peter, in his eager desire to meet Our Lord, jumped from his boat into the lake, he walked upon the waters with an assured step. But the wind blew violently. Soon the waves rose angrily, threatening to engulf him. Peter trembled with fear. He hesitated …and began to sink. ‘O thou of little faith,’ Jesus said to him, ‘why didst thou doubt?’
And so it is with us. In our moments of fervor, we remain tranquil and recollected at the feet of Our Lord. When the tempest comes, the danger engrosses our attention. We turn our eyes away from Our Lord to fix them anxiously on our trials and our dangers. We hesitate… and then we sink.
Temptation assails us. Our duties seem tiresome and disagreeable. Disturbing thoughts take possession of us. The storm rages in our intellect, in our sensibility, and in our flesh. Passion overcomes us; we fall into sin; we give way to a discouragement more pernicious than the sin itself. Souls without confidence, why do we doubt?
Trials come to us in a thousand forms. Our temporal affairs are in a dangerous state; we worry about the future. People slander us, and our reputation is injured. Death breaks the ties of our deepest, most tender affections. We forget then the fatherly care that Providence has for us. We murmur, we rebel; thus we increase our difficulties and the bitterness of our suffering. Souls without confidence, why do we doubt?
If we had clung to Our Lord with a confidence that grew in proportion to the apparent desperation of our situation, we would have suffered ho harm. We should have walked safely and calmly on the waves; we would have reached the tranquil and safe gulf without accident. Soon we would have found ourselves on the sunny shore that is illuminated by the light of heaven.
The saints struggled against the same difficulties; some of them committed the same faults. …More humble after the fall, they rose without delay, relying henceforth only on God’s assistance. They preserved in their hearts the absolute certainty that, trusting in God, they could do all things. And their hope did not confound them. Begin, then, to be confident souls. Our Lord exhorts you to this. Your interests demand it. And, at the same time, your souls will have light and peace."
-- The Book of Confidence by Fr Thomas de Saint-Laurent