Daily Thought For June 25, 2020

Fighting Discouragement

These moments of profound self-disappointment make us vulnerable to the machinations of the devil, who can easily lead us away from God on the path of discouragement. He does so by introducing us to the spiritual fallacy that we are the ones responsible for our own virtue and holiness. He convinces us to put confidence in ourselves and to ignore the true object of our trust in God. The antidote to this toxic and ruinous fallacy is to learn a new and authentic way of confidence. A most remarkable prayer of Saint Claude de la Colombière — An Act of Confidence in God —serves as a school of true trust:

My God, I am so convinced that you keep watch over those who hope in you, and that we can want for nothing when we look for all from you, that I am resolved in the future to live free from every care, and to turn all my anxieties over to you. "In peace, in the selfsame, I will sleep and I will rest; for thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope" (Psalm 4:9-10). Men may deprive me of possessions and of honor; sickness may strip me of strength and the means of serving you; I may even lose your grace by sin; but I shall never lose my hope. I shall keep it till the last moment of my life; and at that moment all the demons in hell shall strive to tear it from me in vain. "In peace, in the selfsame, I will sleep and I will rest." Others may look for happiness from their wealth or their talents; others may rest on the innocence of their life, or the severity of their penance, or the amount of their alms, or the fervor of their prayers. "Thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope." As for me, Lord, all my confidence is my confidence itself. This confidence has never deceived anyone, No one, no one has hoped in the Lord and has been confounded. I am sure, therefore, that I shall be eternally happy, since I firmly hope to be, and be-cause it is from you, O God, that I hope for it. "In. thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded" (Psalm 30:1). I know, alas! I know only too well, that I am weak and unstable. I know what temptation can do against the strongest virtue. I have seen the stars of heaven fall, and the pillars of the firmament; but that cannot frighten me. So long as I continue to hope, I shall be sheltered from all misfortune; and I am sure of hoping always, since I hope also for this unwavering hopefulness. Finally, I am sure that I cannot hope too much in you, and that I cannot receive less than I have hoped for from you. So I hope that you will hold me safe on the steepest slopes, that you will sustain me against the most furious assaults, and that you will make my weakness triumph over my most fearful enemies. I hope that you will love me always, and that I too shall love you without ceasing. To carry my hope once for all as far as it can go, I hope from you to possess you, O my Creator, in time and in eternity. Amen. from you to possess you, O my Creator, in time and in eternity. Amen.

This remarkable prayer draws us beyond the struggle with self and the struggle with the discouraging demonic voices that promise only doom. The prayer recenters our source of confidence in God and so enables us to be free of ourselves in a great act of surrender. 

From The Devil You Don't Know - Recognizing and Resisting Evil in Everyday Life By Louis J. Cameli pp.148-149.

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