“It is very good to mistrust ourselves, but what good will that do unless we place all our confidence in God and wait his mercy? And even if we do not feel such confidence, we must not cease to make acts of confidence and say, “Even though I have no feeling of confidence in You, I know that You are my God, that I am totally Yours and have no hope except Your goodness; therefore I abandon myself entirely into Your hands.” …And it is on these occasions and in these very difficulties that we give witness of our fidelity to God.” –Saint Francis de Sales
When we, or family members struggle with episodes of a mental condition or even a lack of self-confidence in general it is easy to wonder if God is with us. It is also easy to ruminate, “Can we parent well, volunteer, teach, preach, administer, or serve well in any way?” These thoughts can especially grip us when all seems futile and our emotions are strong.
Here St. Francis is talking to St. Jane Frances de Chantal who often felt an extreme lack of self-confidence and sometimes fell into depression, resentment, feelings of unworthiness, and doubts of God’s very existence and love. She did this throughout her life. We, like her, must heed St. Francis’s advice and stand firm in faith and do the work we are pretty sure we are called to do, at least until evidence suggests otherwise. Our feelings don’t matter. What matters is our choice to believe.
Let’s give thanks to God for the grace He always provides to help us persevere.
from Golden Councils of St. Francis de Sales. Edited by Mary Paula McCarthy, VHM and Mary Grace McCormick, VHM. Translated by Peron Marie Thibert, VHM. Copyright 1994 by Monastery of the Visitation, St. Louis Missouri, Pgs. 9-10. Origionally from St. Francis de Sales, St. Jane Frances de Chantal: Letters of Spiritual Direction, Paulist Press, NY. Copyright 1988 by Peron Marie Thibert, Wendy M. Wright, and Joseph Marie Power
Picture is by DeFranoux, published in the US before 1923 and public domain in the US.