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Confidence in God’s Providence

True and perfect confidence consists in that tranquil security of mind that arises from the conviction that God never abandons those who love Him. This type of holy confidence is reflected in the words of Scripture: “No one hoping in the Lord has ever been confounded. And has there ever been anyone who followed His precepts, and was abandoned?”

A person with this confidence will be certain that God is always present whenever he faces trials and tribulations, and, what is more, that He is ever-ready (at the appropri­ate time) to free him from his troubles and to bestow His glory upon him. This is in accordance with the verse of the psalm, in which the Lord promises, “When he is in trou­ble, I will rescue him, and I shall glorify him.”

Daniel exhibited this type of confidence when he was cast into the lion’s den, as did Noah in his ark, and Joseph when he was thrown into a well by his brethren. The same invinci­ble confidence was displayed by the three young men when placed in the burning furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar. And all of these were safely liberated from their predicaments and plights by the mighty and merciful hand of the Lord.

Hence it is that Saint Peter writes, “The Lord knows well how to rescue the just from tribulation.” Similarly, in the book of Tobit, Sarah says, “But this every one is sure of that worships You—that his life, if it be under trial, shall be crowned: and if it be under tribulation, it shall be delivered therefrom: and if it be under correction, it shall be allowed to come to Your mercy. For You are not delighted in our being lost, O Lord. After a storm, You bestow tranquility and calm, and after tears and weeping, You grant joy to the heart.”

A person blessed with the virtue of holy confidence will never doubt that his prayers and supplications are always heard by God. Saint John Chrysostom writes of this con­fidence, saying, “If you approach the Lord with this mind­set, and say, ‘I will not depart until my prayer has been answered,’ then your prayer will be answered—assuming you ask for something which it befits God to bestow, and which it is appropriate for you to receive.”

Complete confidence is a most praiseworthy virtue, and extremely meritorious in the sight of the Lord. The apostle Saint Paul testifies to this when he says, “Do not lose your confidence, for it will earn for you a great reward.”

If we consider the immense generosity of God and the fact that He very often bestows upon us more than we dare to ask for, we will soon be led to this virtue of pious confi­dence. God the Father created us in the divine image of the Holy Trinity. God the Son conferred on us His own sacred body as food, and His own most precious blood as drink. He even gave up His very life as the price of our redemp­tion! Who, indeed, could possibly ask for or imagine more stupendous evidence of God’s generosity towards us?

The recollection of Christ on the cross ought to inspire us all to unwavering confidence. Concerning this, Saint Bernard wrote, “Who should not be filled with hope and confidence in the generosity and goodwill of the Lord to­wards him, if he considers the disposition of Christ upon the cross? For His sacred head was lowered, that He might offer us His kiss. His arms were extended so that He could embrace us all. His hands were pierced so that He could give more freely of His graces and blessings. And His side was opened by a lance so that His love might flow forth from His Sacred Heart without restraint or hindrance. His whole body was stretched out, as if He willed to give us Himself—and, in giving Himself, to give us everything!”

This article is taken from a chapter of The Paradise of the Soul by St. Albert the Great, which is available from TAN Books.

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