June 6, 2001
“And if you have nothing more to thank God for than that He bears with you and spares you and waits for you and is so utterly forbearing about all your unruly ways, which never give Him a chance to achieve all His great designs in you, surely in this alone, you have abundant cause for gratitude.” (John Tauler)
Keep up good courage. Evil thoughts have come? Then let them come and let them go. Be at peace; think no more about it, but turn your heart straight to God. Make no parley with your temptation, but just let it alone. By debating about it in your mind, you shall suffer more misery than the demon itself has caused you. All this trouble comes from excessive despondency, which may end by his suggesting despair, and saying: Everything you do is vain and useless–you are lost forever.
The thing to do in such a case is to cast “all care upon God” and rest in him. Turn to the eternal God with unshaken trust in his goodness and mercy. Do as mariners do when threatened with shipwreck -cast your anchor deep down to the bottom of God’s love and grace. Place your confidence firmly in God our Lord. If it comes even to the end of life, and a man in deep distress shall but anchor all his hopes in God and die in that mind, it is truly a happy and a holy death.
Children, be well assured that a really godly man must dwell in the practice of divine hope just as much as in any other of the divine virtues; and that is a great help to him when at last he comes to meet death. But this must not be a false and deceitful confidence in God, trusting in which a man presumes to lead a sinful life; for whosoever trusts in God and on the strength of that lives wickedly, sins against the Holy Spirit. The confidence in God that I mean springs from the depths of true humility and love. It is based on consciousness of one’s helplessness; it is a most reasonable recognition of the need of God’s help; it is part of a true and full and joyful conversion to God; for whosoever gives himself up to God loves and trusts God sincerely.