Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Divine Providence

Yesterday I had a “day off” from taking care of my grandparents and spent the day up the lake at our neighbour's float cabin. I knew that much of the day would be spent lying around on their deck in the sun so I decided to bring along some reading material. As I scanned my bookshelf this morning I grabbed Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence: The Secret of Peace and Happiness by Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint Jure, S.J. and Saint Claude de la Colombiere, S.J.

Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence is a little book that was given to me by a friend back in November last year but I hadn't actually taken the time to read it before yesterday. Perhaps I wasn't ready to read it back then. It goes beyond the age old question of “Why do bad things happen to good people?” to say that not only do so called bad things happen because of God's permissive will and the free will given to each individual person, but furthermore these “bad things” are in fact positive in that they have a role to play in God's divine plan for our us. They shape us and form us to become more and more like Christ. That's something that I, like most people I think, sometimes struggle to accept. I found though that reading this little book helped me to make more sense of this difficult and mysterious topic of God's divine providence.

I spent most of the day laying in the sun reading this book (yes I got a sunburn) cover to cover. I'll have to go back and read over it again taking the time to particularly reflect upon certain parts, but here are some of the passages that really struck me:

“A glove is not more fitted to a hand or a sword to a scabbard than what He does and ordains in us and for us is suited to our strength and capabilities, so that everything may serve to our advantage and perfection if we but cooperate with the designs of His providence.”
Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint Jure, S.J. (p. 31)

“Should we attribute it to God when we are unjustly persecuted? Yes, He is the only person you can charge with the wrong you suffer. He is not the cause of the sin the person commits by ill-treating you, but He is the cause of the suffering that person inflicts on you while sinning.”
Saint Claude de la Colombiere, S.J. (p. 96)

“The happiness of the person whose will is entirely submitted to God's is constant, unchangeable and endless.”
Saint Claude de la Colombiere, S.J. (p. 104)

“Whatever the manner of our life we should always accept adversity joyfully. If we are leading a good life adversity purifies us, makes us better and enables us to acquire greater merit. If our life is sinful it serves to bring us to repentance and obliges us to become good.”
Saint Claude de la Colombiere, S.J. (p. 116)

“It would be hating you, not loving you, to take away your cross before giving you the virtues you lack.”
- Saint Claude de la Colombiere, S.J. (p.121)