How do we grow in confidence? Let’s keep things simple. God desires our salvation incomparably more than we do. Those who offer their lives and wills to God have nothing to fear; they have every reason to be confident in- and to love- the incomprehensibly good God who inspired them to make this generous offering!
“Some complain of their want of confidence in God; but they do not perceive that their lack of confidence arises from the weakness of their resolution to serve God.” – St. Alphonsus
Most of us probably hold something back from God. Why? There are many reasons. Rather than analyse them, let us resolve to give everything to God, or at least, to serve God more faithfully each day. A vague resolution will not suffice; we must make concrete resolutions. For example: this week, I will ask God for the grace to remain silent when I am tempted to gossip.
God longs to grant us His grace! Blessed Dina Belanger reminds us that “To give God a chance to exercise His mercy by our repentance and confidence causes Him joy.”
“Most dear to me is the soul that strongly believes in my goodness and has complete trust in me. I heap my confidence upon it, and give it all it asks.”
– Jesus to St. Faustina (453)
Perhaps we are familiar with some of the more challenging writings of the Saints, and we feel that salvation is almost unattainable. Dear friend, even if a handful of souls were saved, this does not reflect the infinite longing of God to save sinners. The sufferings of Blessed Alexandrina were said to have saved thousands of sinners; the sacrifices of St. John Vianney were said to have saved 80,000 sinners; St. Gertrude was encouraged by Our Lord to pray for the salvation of a “prodigious number” of sinners; the sacrifices of St. Faustina converted thousands… how much confidence, then, should we have in Our Lord, who created us solely to love Him (and our neighbour) and be loved by Him!
God is always good in all His dealings with us. It is not for us to question God. Let us follow the example of the Blessed Mother who never doubted God’s goodness, but rather, faithfully followed God’s inspirations, and was inflamed with love for God at every moment of her existence.
Those who genuinely devote themselves to God’s service will be rewarded with great love, joy, confidence and peace. We read in the lives of many Saints that, at the hour of death, they were greeted by Our Lord, Our Lady and the Saints.
Some examples (from St. Alphonsus):
+ Leonard the Dominican, as we read in the chronicles of his order, who was accustomed to recommend himself two hundred times a day to this mother of mercy, when he was on his death-bed, saw one beautiful as a queen by his side, who said to him: “Leonard, do you wish to die and come to my Son and me?” “Who are you?” answered the religious. “I am the mother of mercy,” replied the Virgin; “you have many times invoked me, and now I come to take you: let us go to paradise.”
+ A pupil had been instructed by his master to salute the most holy Virgin in these words: “Hail, oh mother of mercy.” When he was at the point of death Mary appeared to him, and said: “My son, do you not know me ? I am that mother of mercy whom you have saluted so many times.” Then this servant of the Virgin extended his arms as if to follow her, and gently breathed his last.
Every desire of our hearts is found in the Heart of God. He will bring us safely to our eternal Home if we let Him.
“Prayer to Obtain the Grace of Boundless Confidence”
“My sweetest Jesus, God infinitely merciful, Most tender Father of souls, especially of the weakest, the most miserable, the most infirm, whom Thou bearest with singular tenderness in Thy divine arms, I come to beg of Thee through the love and the merits of Thy Sacred Heart, the grace to confide in Thee, the grace to confide more and more in Thy merciful goodness, the grace to repose securely for time and eternity in Thy divine and loving Arms.”
– Given by Our Lord to Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero