Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales
St Francis de Sales had a wonderful devotion to the Providence of God. He would say that if something happens to you that you cannot change, that is the will of God. Even if it is something that hurts us, He will bring something good from it. God’s Will is His love for us. In the last analysis we should never be afraid of his will. God is love and the only thing he can do to us is to love us. Our sins punish us, but we never have to be afraid of God’s plans for us. God is in control of all reality. "In whose hand is the life of every living thing" Job 12:10
One of the beautiful images of God’s providence is taken from Gen 22. This is the story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. "And Isaac said to his father Abraham, "My father!" And he said, "Here am I, my son." He said, "Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Abraham said, God will provide it himself." Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide.
Our Good shepherd will see to it that: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." Ps 23 There is a Native American tradition that a young man is to be lead out of the village with a blindfold on dark night to a remote area and is expected by his father to remain alone with blindfold all night. He thinks he is there all alone with wolves, mountain lions, bears and creatures of the night. But unknown to him the father is close to watch over him. We also live in a scary world, but unknown to us Our Father is close at hand to watch over us. He gives us the opportunity to grow in faith. We call to mind the beautiful last words of Matthew’s Gospel: "behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
"Each new today is a gift. That is why we call it the present! And each tomorrow is another present we have not yet unwrapped! I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future."
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.