Chapter Three Confidence in God and Our Temporal Necessities
God Provides for Our Temporal Necessities
Confidence, we have already said, is a heroic hope; it does not differ from the common hope of all the faithful except in its degree of perfection. It is, then, exercised upon the same objects as that virtue but by means of acts that are more intense and vibrant.
Like ordinary hope, confidence expects from our heavenly Father all the aids necessary for living a holy life here on earth and for meriting the happiness of Paradise. It expects, first of all, temporal goods, to the degree that these can lead us to our final end.
There is nothing more logical. We cannot proceed to conquer heaven as pure spirits; we are composed of body and soul. The body that the Creator formed with His adorable hands is our inseparable companion in our terrestrial existence, and it will also be the partaker of our eternal fortune after the general resurrection.We cannot act without its assistance in the battle for the conquest of our blessed life.
Now, then, in order to maintain itself and to fulfil its task completely, the body has multiple demands. It is necessary that Providence satisfy these demands, and it does so magnificently.
God takes upon Himself the responsibility of providing for our necessities, and this He does generously. He follows us with a vigilant eye and does not leave us in need. Amidst material difficulties, even anguishing ones, we must not become disturbed. With complete certainty we must hope to receive from the Divine Hands that which is necessary to maintain our lives.
“Therefore I say to you,” declares the Saviour, “be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat, and the body more than the raiment?
“Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of such more value than they? …And for raiment why are you solicitous?
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven God doth so clothe; how much more
you, O ye of little faith?
“Be not solicitous therefore, saying ‘What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed?’ For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things.
“Seek ye, therefore, first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.”1
It is not enough for us to skip lightly over this discourse of Our Lord. We must fix our attention on it for a long time in order to seek its profound significance and to imbue our souls deeply with its doctrine.