Extract From Book of Confidence (Chapter 2)

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Do not be discouraged when the mirage of human assistance fades away. To count on nothing but the help of heaven, is this not already a most high virtue?

Even so, the vigorous wings of true confidence rise to even more sublime regions. It reaches them by a kind of refinement of heroism. Then it attains the highest degree of its perfection. This degree consists in the soul rejoicing when it finds itself stripped of all human support, abandoned by its relatives, its friends, and all the creatures who do not wish to or cannot help it, who cannot give it counsel or assist it with their talents or credits, who have no means left to come to its aid.17

What a profound wisdom this joy denotes in such cruel circumstances!

To intone the Canticle of Alleluia under blows which are, naturally speaking, sufficient to break our courage, one must know the Heart of Our Lord to Its depth; one must believe blindly in His merciful and fatherly love and His omnipotent goodness; one must have absolute certainty that He selects for His intervention the hour of the desperate situations.

After his conversion, Saint Francis of Assisi despised the dreams of glory that had dazzled him previously. He fled from human gatherings, withdrew into the forest in order to surrender himself to a long period of prayer, and gave generous alms. This change displeased his father, who, dragging his son before the diocesan authority, accused him of dissipating his goods. Then, in the presence of the marvelling bishop, Francis renounced his paternal inheritance, removed the clothing that had come to him from his family, and stripped himself of everything! Then, vibrant with supernatural happiness, he exclaimed: “Now, yes, O my God, I can call Thee more truly than ever, ‘Our Father, Who art in heaven’!” Behold how the saints act.

You souls wounded by misfortune, do not murmur over the abandonment in which you find yourselves reduced. God does not ask of you a sensible joy, impossible to your weakness. Just rekindle your faith, have courage, and, according to the expression dear to Saint Francis de Sales, in the “innermost point of your soul,” try to have joy.

Providence will eventually give you the right sign by which you shall recognise Its hour; It deprived you of all support. Now is the moment to Resist the distress of nature. You have reached that hour in the office of the interior of the soul in which you should sing the Magnificat and put incense to burn. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice… The Lord is nigh!”18 Follow this counsel, you will feel the benefit of it.

If the Divine Master did not allow Himself to be touched by such confidence, He would not be the same Person shown by the Gospel to be so compassionate, the One who trembled with painful emotion at the sight of our suffering.

Our Lord once said to a saintly religious, who died in the odour of sanctity: “If I am good to all, I am very good to those who confide in Me. Dost thou know which souls take the greatest advantage of my goodness? They are those who hope the most. Confident souls steal my graces!” Source



About the Author

Fr. Raymond Thomas de Saint- Laurent, descended from an ancient and noble family of southern France, was born in Lyons on May 7, 1879. Ordained in 1909, he led a productive priestly life, quickly distinguishing himself as a preacher and writer and carrying out prodigious apostolic activity.

Appointed to head the parish of Saint Perpetua in Nîmes a year after his ordination, he was named honorary Canon of the Cathedral of Nîmes in 1920 and became chaplain of the Carmel of Uzès five years later, serving in the last two capacities for more than twenty years.

A doctor of theology and licentiate in letters, Fr. Thomas de Saint-Laurent published over a dozen notable books on psychological themes.

Fr. Thomas de Saint-Laurent died in Uzès on November 11, 1949.
 
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