Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence by Father Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure
In Adversity and Disgrace

We ought to conform to the will of God in adversity as well as in prosperity, in humiliation as well as in honor, in disgrace as well as
in respect. We should willingly accept all things as being the ordering of Providence, so as to give God by our submission the honor due to Him, and at the same time attain without fail our greatest good. When David left Jerusalem to escape the attack of his son

Absalom, the Ark of the Covenant was carried after him by the order of Sadoc the High Priest so that it might serve as a safeguard for the king in his imminent danger and be a pledge of his safe return. But David told Sadoc to take the ark back, because God would see to his

return if He so wished, and then he added: But if the Lord shall say to me: 'Thou pleasest me not' -- I have withdrawn my favor from you, I will not have you reign longer over my people, I will take away your power and give it to your enemy -- I am ready. Let him do that which is good before Him.' 62

We should say the same in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, and above all take care not to refuse on the specious
pretext that we are not capable of such heroic resignation. God Himself will accomplish it in us provided we do not oppose resistance
to His grace.

This is the point of the story that Cassian tells us about the old man who was attacked by a mob of pagans in Alexandria. He
remained calm and unruffled in spite of insults and blows. Someone asked him mockingly what miracles Christ had worked. "He has just
worked one" the old man replied, "for in spite of all you have done tome, I haven't been angry with you or the least bit upset."

In Defects of Nature

Our conformity to the will of God should extend to our natural defects, mental ones included. We should not, for example,
complain or feel grieved at not being so clever or so witty or not having such a good memory as other people. Why should we
complain of the little that has fallen to our lot when we have deserved nothing of what God has given us? Is not all a free gift of His
generosity for which we are greatly indebted to Him? What services has He received from us that He should have made us a human being
rather than some lower animal? Have we done anything to oblige Him to give us existence itself?

But it is not enough just not to complain. We ought to be content with what we have been given and desire nothing more.
What we have is sufficient because God has judged it so. Just as a workman uses the shape and size of tool best suited to the job in
hand, so God gives us those qualities which are in accordance with the designs He has for us. The important thing is to use well what He
has given us. It may be added that it is very fortunate for some people to have only mediocre qualities or limited talents. The
measure of them that God has given will save them, while they might be ruined if they had more. Superiority of talent very often only
serves to engender pride and vanity and so become a means of perdition.

Sickness And Infirmity

We ought to conform to the will of God in sickness and infirmity and wish for what He sends us, both at the time it comes
and for the time it lasts and with all the circumstances attending it, without wishing for one of them to be changed; and at the same time do all that is reasonable in our power to get well again, because God wishes it so. "For my part" says St. Alphonsus, "I call illness the touchstone of the spirit, for it is then that the true virtue of a man is discovered." If we feel ourselves becoming impatient or rebellious we should endeavor to repress such feelings and be deeply ashamed of any attempt at opposition to the just decrees of an all-wise God.

St. Bonaventure relates that St. Francis of Assisi was afflicted by an illness which caused him great pain. One of his followers said
to him, "Ask Our Lord to treat you a little more gently, for it seems to me He lays His hand too heavily upon you." Hearing this the saint gave a cry and addressed the man in these words: "If I did not think that what you have just said comes from the simplicity of your heart without any evil intention I would have no more to do with you, because you have been so rash as to find fault with what God does to me." Then, though he was very weak from the length and violence of his illness, he threw himself down from the rough bed he was lying
on, at the risk of breaking his bones, and kissing the floor of his cell said "I thank you, O Lord, for all the sufferings you send me. I beg you to send me a hundred times more if you think it right. I shall rejoice if it pleases you to afflict me without sparing me in any way, for the accomplishment of your holy will is my greatest consolation."

And in fact if, as St. Ephraim observes, a mule-driver knows how much his mule can carry and does not try to kill it by
overloading it, and if the potter knows how long the clay should bake to be suitable for use and does not leave it longer in the kiln than is necessary, then it would show very little appreciation of God to venture to think that He who is wisdom itself and loves us with an infinite love would load our backs with too heavy a burden or leave us longer than is necessary in the fire of tribulation. We can be quite sure that the fire will not last longer or be hotter than is necessary to bake our clay to the right point.

62 2 Kings 15:26

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RE: Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence by Father Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure - by Hildegard of Bingen - 02-28-2021, 09:11 PM

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