Saturday
July 9, 2005
vol 16, no. 190

"To Be Sure of God as of a Family Friend"

by Father Yves le Roux

    Only by trusting totally in God can we fend off the fiery arrows of the satanic archer that constantly peppers hearts and souls into thinking they can achieve holiness on their own.

        "We must banish the distrust that renders sterile the graces received and that makes us to draw so little fruit from our exercises of piety. We are still counted among those men slow to believe and to love, and the virtues of faith, hope and charity are still in an embryonic state in our souls. Those virtues are not totally lacking in us, but they do not play the role they should in our lives, on account of our insufficient trust in God. And this lack of trust affects the exercise of all the other virtues – there is no virtue without trust."

    When we are lost, we do not hesitate to ask directions from a complete stranger and then follow them exactly. This trust, which we automatically give to someone who may well be an inveterate liar or a downright scoundrel, we usually deny God.

    This distrust of God is an effect of our pride which drives us to want to know, to rule, to foresee – in a word, to control. Although we are obliged to submit to the innumerable vagaries of our existence, it is still hard for us to adore God in humility and blindness, in ignorance and submission, dependent on multiple events over which we have no power.

    On top of this, the devil, lying in wait, watches us. As soon as we suffer any contradiction, he falls upon us as a vulture and worsens our deception by whispering words of discouragement to lead us away from God and His love. Wounded in our pride, we easily allow ourselves to be deceived and make satanic thoughts of distrust our own. Let us be on our guard! This dulling anxiety that so easily invades our soul comes from Satan. He tirelessly multiplies his efforts to undermine our trust, aiming at our heart. When a soul loses its trust in God, there is the devil, ready to lead it to embrace his own eternal despair.

    We must repeat, as a courageous appeal to combat, the cry of St. Paul: "Scio Cui credidi! – I know in Whom I have believed!" Trust is not a feeling; quite the contrary. It is a peaceful certainty, anchored in the soul as a precious gift – the certainty that God is God and our Father. We trust God precisely because He is God, and not because of the happy coincidence of some favorable circumstances. We have the bloody testimony of the Cross, against which our proud distrust is shattered. We do not base our trust on some passing euphoria. No, our trust is in the solidity of the Cross, it is the impulse that seized the prodigal son wallowing in the mire. It is our most intimate joy, our force and our honor. We must not be surprised, then, by the intensity of the diabolical attacks attempting to uproot that trust from the depths of our soul! It is a priceless grace -it may happen that everything else is lost, but we must never lose our trust.

    On the contrary, we must cultivate with great care the grace we have received, understanding the mystery of God's love for us – Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Intensifying our intimacy with Him through prayer, we will penetrate the secrets of His Heart, and we will understand that He inclines towards us with mercy. He desires that we give ourselves to Him, that we believe in His love, that we do not doubt of His tenderness, and that we cease to look at Him out of self-interest; all so that we may learn to love Him simply for Himself. Let us thus go, in trust, to Our Lord, and He will fill our souls with His divine Presence.

    We must banish the distrust that renders sterile the graces received and that makes us to draw so little fruit from our exercises of piety. We are still counted among those men slow to believe and to love, and the virtues of faith, hope and charity are still in an embryonic state in our souls. Those virtues are not totally lacking in us, but they do not play the role they should in our lives, on account of our insufficient trust in God. And this lack of trust affects the exercise of all the other virtues – there is no virtue without trust.

    Most particularly, there is no fortitude without trust, because we do not really rest upon Our Lord. Thus, we are never capable of keeping our resolutions, because they are no more than the natural results of our own ideas and not the total and trusting surrender of our souls to God.

    Our whole spiritual life is marked by this distrust. We do not have sufficient faith in the love of Christ, in His will to bring us to identification with Him by the power of His grace. We remain fixed in our own proud notions of holiness, and we expect to work out our salvation by counting only on our own forces, so that one day, in the sunset of our life, we arrive into the presence of God with great honor and the riches of our successes...

    Pride and distrust go hand in hand. When we follow the voice of our pride, it does not take long for us to fall into that lack of trust, and this in turn increases our pride. The distrust we show towards God is the expression of our refusal to acknowledge our faults and to accuse ourselves before Him, seeking His pardon in virtue of the Blood of His Son. We prefer to proudly turn in on ourselves. This closing of the soul against the mercy of God is certainly much worse than our previous faults. No matter how horrible those faults may have been, they can be attributed to our fundamental misery. But the refusal to acknowledge our condition as sinners and to confess humbly those sins is a crime without equal. Not only do we offend the divine Majesty by our sins, but we add an insult to the divine Goodness by our proud distrust.

    If by misfortune we fall into sin, we must not hesitate nor delay to confess, truly trusting in the mercy of God, Who forgives the repentant sinner and opens to Him the riches of His Heart. The devil will try to create obstacles to our confession, even suggesting a sacrilegious confession. After leaving the confessional, he will pursue us, tempting us with vain thoughts of distrust. Let us vigorously resist this diabolical strategy. Let us approach our Redeemer without fear. Let us learn to despise the vain thoughts of distrusting God that the devil has suggested to us. Let us react with faith.

    Let us keep our trust in God as our most precious good, in spite of all the efforts of the devil. Let us pray to Our Lady to teach us, in Renι Bazin's words, "to be sure of God as of a family friend, and to prove it by refusing to be sad."

In Christo Sacerdote et Maria,

Father Yves le Roux


      Editor's Note: The above article is from Father le Roux's Letter to Benefactors of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, Minnesota, the SSPX's major seminary for North America.



    July 9, 2005
    vol 16, no. 190
    TRADITIONAL THOUGHTS