St. Pius X was particularly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the specific title of Our Lady of Confidence; his papal encyclical Ad Diem Illum expresses his desire through Mary to renew all things in Christ, which he had defined as his motto in his first encyclical. St. Pius X believed that there was no surer or more direct road than by the Virgin Mary to achieve this goal.
We find an example of Mary’s teachings in the “City of God” by Mother Mary Agreda of what keeps souls from this confidence. Our Lady tells her that the folowers of Jesus and the Apostles, although they were with Christ, they lacked certain confidence because they were not perfect in virtue and were weak in faith and that they were less constant and fervent than was due to their vocation and to the graces they had received. It is because of this that Jesus appeared at one time as a gardener, at another as a stranger and why He did not always make Himself known at first sight. They were not prepared for the immediate effects of the full knowledge and presence of their Master. In this paternal love, He therefore created in them the proper dispositions by enlightening them and enkindling them with words of eternal life before He manifested Himself to them. When their hearts had been prepared by faith and love, He made known and communicated to them the abundance of His Divinity together with other admirable gifts and graces by which they were renewed and raised above themselves. Our Lady teaches us that we must moderate our constant fears and ask for more confidence in God because these fears pass from doubt to obstinacy and to slowness of heart in giving thanks and acknowledging God’s presence. It is also important to always know that Our Lord responds tenderly and quickly with immense charity to those who are confident of His goodness and are contrite and humble of heart. He is ready to assist those who seek Him in love.
An example to contemplate these lessons is St. Peter’s contrition and humility as well as how immediately the Lord commissioned the women to tell - especially Peter - of His Resurrection and shortly after, He visited him, confirmed him in faith and filled him with joy and the gifts of grace.
As in the case of Peter, Jesus always offers us graces of repentance and conversion. We can accept or refuse them. It is for us to decide between good and evil. Jesus does not only offer us His grace, He does more: He says “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Now then, if Christ and all the infinite merits of His works and sufferings and death belong to us, then how can we lose our courage or confidence in His love? By giving us His Son, the Father of Heaven gave us the plenitude of all goods.
Let us confidently, with Mary, ask for all that we need to overcome our faults and failings. Mary’s motherly Heart is closest to the Heart of Jesus. She shared in His sufferings at the foot of the cross and She understands His eagerness to forgive us. Can He refuse Her anything?
This confidence that we should have is explicitly demanded of us by our Lord. He makes it the essential condition for His benefits. May we abandon ourselves into the hands of His Providence. May we confide our concerns into the hands of Mary that She may place them in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And, like the beloved Apostle John, who rested his head upon the breast of Jesus, may we too rest upon the Sacred Heart; and according to the words of the Psalmist, there shall we sleep in delicious peace, because, O Jesus, we shall be rooted by You in unshakable confidence.
Our Lady of Good Confidence - pray for us.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!