We Must Not Be Anxious About the Future ~ The Book of Confidence


by Fr. Thomas de St. Laurent, The Book of Confidence

We Must Not Be Anxious About the Future

God provides for our necessities. “Be not solicitous,” says our Blessed Lord.

What is the exact meaning of this counsel? Must we, in order to obey our Divine Master, completely neglect the care of our temporal affairs?

We do not doubt that, at times, divine grace requires from certain souls the sacrifice required by the observance of strict poverty and total abandonment to Providence. Nevertheless, it must be admitted such vocations are rare.

All others, be they religious communities or individuals, possess some earthly goods; they must look after these prudently.

The Holy Ghost praises the valiant woman for having ruled her house wisely. He shows her to us in the Book of Proverbs rising early to appoint to each of her servants the daily task and working with her own hands as well. Nothing escapes her vigilance.

Her family need not fear; thanks to her foresight, they will have all that is necessary to them, all that makes life pleasant, and even a moderate amount of luxury. Her children proclaim her blessed, and her husband exalts her virtues.

The Truth would not have praised this woman so magnificently if she had not fulfilled her duties. It behooves us, then, not to afflict ourselves. Thus, not to be solicitous, means that whilst we give reasonable thought and care to our affairs we are not to let ourselves be troubled with gloomy forebodings of the future, and that we are to rely confidently on God’s assistance.

Let us not deceive ourselves on this point! Such confidence supposes great strength of soul. We must avoid a twofold snare: too much and too little.

He who through negligence takes no interest in his affairs, cannot, without tempting God, expect exceptional aid from heaven.

On the other hand, he whose chief thought and anxiety is for temporal matters, who relies more on himself than on God, is mistaken, perhaps, even more grievously.

He deprives God of the place in our lives which belongs to Him by right. In medio stat virtus–Our duties lie between these two extremes.

When we have taken prudent care of our worldly affairs, to be anxious about the future is to disregard the omnipotence and the goodness of God.

During the long years that St. Paul the Hermit lived in the desert, a raven brought him half a loaf of bread every day. One day Saint Anthony came to visit the illustrious hermit. The two solitaries, wholly engaged in conversation on heavenly things, forgot their need of food, but Divine Providence thought of them. The raven came as usual, but this time carrying a whole loaf.

The heavenly Father created the whole universe with one single word. What difficulty could He have in helping His children in their hour of need.

Saint Camillus of Lellis incurred a debt in order to help the sick and the poor. His fellow religious were alarmed. “We must never doubt Divine Providence,” said the saint to reassure them; “Is it so difficult for Our Lord to give us some of the temporal gifts which He has given in such abundance to the Jews and to the Turks who are the enemies of our Faith?”

The saint was not mistaken in his confidence. A month later one of his protectors, upon dying, bequeathed to him a large sum of money.

To be anxious about the future constitutes a lack of confidence that offends God and provokes His anger.

When the Israelites, after their flight from Egypt, found themselves lost in the desert, they forgot the miracles which God had worked in their favor. They were afraid and murmured, saying, “Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? . . . Can He also give bread or provide a table for His people?”

God was angry when He heard these words and sent down fire from heaven upon them. His wrath fell over Israel, “because they believed not in God; and trusted not in His salvation.”

Let us not give way to vain anxiety; our heavenly Father is watching over us.

To write books of devotion, to compose the most sublime poetry is of less worth than the least act of renunciation,

Establishing clear-cut family rules requires complete agreement between father and mother. Few things disturb a child more than when his father establishes one standard of conduct and his mother makes continuous exceptions to it. Once a father and mother agree, neither should change the rules without consulting the other, or the child will not know what is expected of him. And both father and mother must share in enforcing them. – Rev. George Kelly, 1950’s

“Death will come when God permits it to come, and not before; and if we are Christ’s own when it comes, then it cannot come otherwise than as the one truly tremendous and permanent victory of our life… An article from The Family and the Cross by Joseph Breig, 1959

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