Confidence and Prudence

Whoever serves God with a pure heart, and, setting aside all individual and human interests, seeks only His glory, has reason to hope for success in all he does, and especially under circumstances, when, according to human judgment, there is no help; for the divine works are above the sight of human prudence, and depend upon a loftier principle. -St. Charles Borromeo

This holy Cardinal was accustomed to have recourse to God in all his affairs, and commenced, continued, and completed all his undertakings with prayer. The more arduous and important anything was, the more prayer he gave to it. And if it happened that something appeared not only difficult but even hopeless, he did not recoil in the least, but urged himself forward with greater spirit and redoubled prayers. It was thus that he succeeded, to the wonder of all, in so many great affairs, that seemed to human judgment impossible.

This confidence of the Saint was altogether regulated by Christian prudence. He was most watchful in keeping himself from the vicious extreme of presumption. He never exposed himself to unnecessary dangers, or entertained extravagant plans, of little advantage to the service of God, and not weighed deliberately and wisely. He employed due diligence and precaution, and on certain occasions, he did not refuse human aid, not taking it, however, as his chief reliance, but in subordination to Divine Providence. All this is clearly to be seen in the prudent regulations that he made when the city of Milan was desolated by the plague, and on a thousand other well-known occasions.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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