13 March 2013

Complete Trust in God's Holy Providence

From his sermon in 1622 for Laetare Sunday, St. Francis de Sales writes of the multitude who followed Jesus up the mountain, where they would benefit from the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes:

...consider the goodness of these people who accompanied Our Lord without any care or thought of themselves, leaving their homes and all they possessed, attracted by the affection and satisfaction which they found in listening to His words. Oh, what a good sign it is for a Christian to take pleasure in listening to God’s word, and to leave all to follow Him!  There is certainly no doubt that persons may aspire to and attain perfection by remaining in the world and doing carefully what pertains to their vocation.  Yet it is a most certain thing that the Saviour does not exercise for them so special a Providence, nor so personal and individual a solicitude, as He does for those who abandon all care of themselves to follow Him more perfectly.  These have a greater capacity than the others for understanding God’s word and being attracted by the charms of His loving kindness.  So long as we have a care for ourselves, I mean a care full of anxiety, Our Lord permits us to act; but when we abandon all to Him, He takes a tender care of us, and His Providence for us is great or small according to the measure of our abandonment.

… Consider, I beg you, this multitude who follow our dear Master even up the mountain.  See the peace and tranquility of spirit with which they follow Him.  There is not one murmur or complaint, although it must have seemed that they would expire from weakness and hunger.  They suffer much and yet they do not think of it, so attentive are they to their sole desire of accompanying Our Lord wherever He goes.  They who follow this Divine Saviour should imitate them in this, laying aside all the many cares and anxieties for their advancement, as well as all the many complaints because they see themselves as imperfect.  Oh, some are so soon wearied and exhausted, although they have labored only a little!  It seems to them that they will never enjoy that delicious banquet which Our Lord prepares for them up on the mountain of perfection.  We may say to these good people:  Have patience, lay aside a bit that anxious care of yourselves, and have no fear that anything will be wanting to you.  For if you trust God, He will take care of you and everything necessary for your perfection.  No one who hoped in Him and in His Providence has ever been disappointed.


Anonymous said...

He took his name from Francis of Assisi, not de Sales

thetimman said...

You will note that the post is written before the pope was elected.