Confidence – Twenty-Sixth Day of October
“Have confidence.” — St. Mark 6:50.
No matter how great or how multiplied the sins may be we have committed, we should never despair of our salvation nor lose confidence in God, because the divine clemency is infinitely greater than the malice of man. — St. John Chrysostom.
St. Bernard, being sick, was tempted to despair.” I have done nothing,” he said, “to merit heaven.” In order to banish this thought, which was ever present to his mind, he addressed himself to God, and said: “O my God, I know that I have not earned Paradise by my works. I am not worthy of this great happiness, but two things make me hope for a place therein — I am Thy child, and Jesus Christ has died for me.”
“Have confidence,” said a priest to a sinner who despaired. “Have confidence. Jesus Christ is continually before His Father occupied in interceding for our salvation. Each time that we soil our hearts by criminal thoughts He offers in expiation his most pure heart; each time we sin by our actions He offers His pierced hands. We never commit a sin that He does not immediately seek to appease His divine Father, so that if we sincerely repent we obtain pardon.”
At the remembrance of his grievous sins a criminal fell into despair and obstinately refused to confess them. St. Vincent Ferrer hastened to visit him. He said to him, “My dear brother, you know that Jesus Christ died for you, and yet you despair of His mercy! What an insult you offer to His goodness towards you.” The unfortunate man replied in a manner worthy of a demon: “I wish to be damned to displease Jesus Christ.” “And I,” said the saint, “to please Him, will save you.” Turning to those who were around, he asked them all to say the rosary to obtain through the intercession of the Mother of God the conversion of this obstinate sinner. Their prayers were not unheeded. Mary showed her great influence with her divine Son; the heart so hard was softened, and the criminal was perfectly converted. The man so near final impenitence confessed to the saint, and died the death of a holy penitent.
My God, I hope in Thee, though there is nothing in me to merit heaven. I hope in Thee because Thou art my Father and I am Thy child; because Jesus Christ has died for me, and because I offer Thee His merits. For me He offers Thee His pure heart.