Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence
FR. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure
IN REVERSES OF FORTUNE
We should accept with the same conformity to the will of God the loss of employment or money and all other set-backs in our temporal affairs, repeating with faith the words of Job: The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away; as it has pleased the Lord, so is it done. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
What does it matter why those who are the instruments of your reverse of fortune have acted as they have done? The revolt of Absalom and the curses of Semei were directed against David for a political purpose but this did not prevent him from attributing them,
rightly, to the will of God. The misfortunes of Job were brought about by the devil because he was a just and God-fearing man.
In the times of persecution Christians were deprived of rank and position, despoiled of their possessions, torn from their families, thrown into prison and sent to execution all for their religious convictions and faith in Christ. Far from complaining, they went their way, like the apostles, rejoicing that they had been counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the
name of Jesus.
Whatever the excuse for the persecution you may be made to suffer, and especially if it is because of your religion, accept it all without hesitation as coming from the understanding and paternal hand of your Father who is in heaven. It is the same with regard to money matters. You may find yourself obliged to make a payment
you consider unjust -- something you have already paid but cannot prove, the forfeit of a security you have given for someone, or taxes you consider excessive, or anything of this nature.
If the payment can be, and is, lawfully required of you, then it is the will of God you should pay it. It is He who is asking you for the money and it is to Him you are really giving it when you bow to the necessity in a spirit of submission to His will. Those who act in this way can be assured of His manifold graces.
Let us take the case of two persons. One, out of a spirit of conformity perhaps excessive, perhaps quite unfair, but which his creditor has the power to demand. The other, of his
own free choice, gives an equal sum to charity. It is well known what great advantages, even in this life, are to be gained from giving to charity, but the person who makes a sacrifice of his money not of his own accord or to some one he chooses to give it, but out of a spirit of conformity to God's will, is performing an even more profitable act.
By the very fact that it is against his will, the act is purer and more agreeable in the sight of God, and if it can be said that from the experiences of all ages charity brings down upon man the abundant blessing of God, it can also be said without exaggeration that such an act as has been described brings down still more abundant blessings.