God and the devil each want us to have a type of security and also a type of insecurity. But those securities differ dramatically—as do those insecurities.
The (false) security the devil wants us to have—placing our trust in the goods of this world and slacking-off from our duties
Because of our fallen human nature, there is a false feeling of security in which we place our trust in the goods of this world. This bad security leads us to slack-off from our efforts and, instead, to over-indulge ourselves. This bad type of security derails our efforts to save our souls and to be prepared for death and Judgment.
Our Lord warns about this false security of placing our trust in the goods of this world—which leads to focusing on enjoying this world and not using our lives to gain heaven. Here are His words:
[Christ] spoke a similitude to them, saying: The land of a certain rich man brought forth plenty of fruits. And he thought within himself, saying: What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said: This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and will build greater; and into them will I gather all things that are grown to me, and my goods. And I will say to my soul: Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thy rest; eat, drink, make good cheer. But God said to him: Thou fool, this night do they require thy soul of thee; and whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?
St. Luke’s Gospel, 12:16-20.
The devil is the father of lies. He wants us to have this false sense of security. The devil knows that, if we have this (false) security, we will “let down our guard” and not be prepared for his attacks. We will also not be prepared to fight the allures of the sinful temptations of the world and the flesh.
St. Paul warns us that the devil and his servants will try to encourage us to feel this (false) sense of security. Here are St. Paul’s words:
For when they shall say, peace and security; then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape.
1 Thessalonians, 5:3 (emphasis added).
St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, warns us about this false security, which weakens our efforts for heaven. Here are his words:
Let us then not be ever seeking security here, in order that we may enjoy security there; but let us accept the labors which are on behalf of virtue, and cut off superfluities, and seek nothing more than we need, and spend all our substance on those who want.
Another (false) security the devil wants us to have—being confident we will go to heaven
In the spiritual realm, the devil encourages us to have a false sense of security about our salvation. That false security is the sin of presumption, which weakens (or destroys) our “labors which are on behalf of virtue”—(as St. John Chrysostom exhorts us above).
The liberal, “new” SSPX promotes this false security about our salvation (the sin of presumption) in these words:
Faith makes us know God: we believe in Him with all our strength but we do not see Him. Our faith, therefore, needs to be supported by the certitude that some day [sic] we will see our God, that we will possess Him and willl [sic] be united to Him forever. The virtue of hope gives us this certitude by presenting God to us as our infinite good and our eternal reward.
The N-SSPX’s certitude that we will go to heaven (“see our God”) is substantially the same presumption that Martin Luther heretically taught. Here is Luther’s presumptuous heresy:
Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.
What the teaching of Luther and the N-SSPX have in common is that they both assure us that we will certainly go to heaven. This is the devil’s work! This false security makes us relax and take our salvation for granted. For we do not work hard every day to obtain something which we believe we are already certain to receive.
The insecurity God wants us to have about our salvation
Much different is the wholesome insecurity God wants us to have about our salvation. St. Paul warns Catholics to “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” This is very far from the security which the devil wants us to have and the certitude of salvation that Luther and the liberal N-SSPX promote!
Our Lord will come as a thief in the night. He warns us not to feel secure, not to relax, but to carefully live each day so as to be ready for His coming. Here are His words:
And as in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered into the ark, and they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away; so also, shall the coming of the Son of man be. ...
Watch ye therefore, because ye know not what hour your Lord will come. But know this ye, that if the goodman of the house knew at what hour the thief would come, he would certainly watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Wherefore be you also ready, because at what hour you know not the Son of man will come. ...
Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord shall come, he shall find so doing. ... But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: my lord is long a coming: and shall begin to strike his fellow servants, and shall eat and drink with drunkards: the lord of that servant shall come in a day that he hopeth not, and at an hour that he knoweth not: and shall separate him, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Conclusion of this part of the article
Let us follow Our Lord and St. Paul and not follow Luther and the liberal N-SSPX! Let us watch and pray, without relaxing our vigil! Let us distrust ourselves and for this reason, remain in a constant state of insecurity for the salvation of our souls!
The (different type of) security that God wants us to have—about His help for our salvation.
As shown above, there is an evil security which the devil wants us to have, viz., that we are certain to go to heaven.
But there is also a good and true security which God wants us to have. This is the Theological Virtue of Hope and is complete trust in Divine Providence.
St. Paul infallibly assures us that God will not fail us and be the cause of our damnation (although we might go to hell because we fail ourselves). Here are St. Paul’s reassuring words about God’s help:
All things work together unto the good for those who love God.
This confidence—that is, security—in God’s help should be unlimited and complete, viz., that we will not be damned because God failed to help us. Our unlimited and complete Hope is not deceived or vain, because, although we should have total security in God’s help, we should be insecure (fear) that we might fail to use His help. In other words, with the virtue of Hope, we should have a total security and peace that God will not fail us, although, of course, we should be insecure and fear that we might fail ourselves. This fear is filial fear.
The insecurity the devil wants us to have—to make us anxious about our material needs
The devil wants us to live in constant insecurity (fear) of losing the goods of this world or never receiving them. He stirs up our worries:
“Suppose I cannot find a job when I am finished with school.”
“Suppose I lose my job.”
“Suppose people tell lies about me and ruin my reputation.”
“Suppose I cannot find a wife (or husband) to marry.”
“Suppose my wife (husband) dies today.”
“Suppose I cannot give my children a good Catholic education.”
“Suppose a burglar breaks into my home today, while I am gone.”
“Suppose I contract a fatal disease like cancer or diabetes.”
The security God wants us to have about material goods—He will provide
When we have those insecurities (worries) about material goods, it shows that we do not have enough Faith and Hope. Although God expects us to take reasonable care of the gifts He has given us (including the gift of our own life), the insecurities (worries) beyond that, are from the devil.
When we suffer any harms to our temporal concerns, those harms work for our good, provided we did not cause them by our own unreasonable conduct. Thus, for example, if our reputation is ruined by lies or if our temporal interests are harmed by the malice or carelessness of others (i.e., not through our fault), then these harms are for our good. So why should we worry about them?
St. Vincent de Paul exhorts us to this complete confidence and security about our temporal affairs, because they are in God’s Hands. Here are St. Vincent’s consoling words:
Let us place our confidence in God and set ourselves in complete dependence upon His Providence. Then we need not worry about what others say of us or do to us, for it will all turn out to our advantage.
Of course, God expects us to do our duties. For example:
If a young man is called to the marriage state, he should trust entirely that God will send him a good Catholic wife—but he should actively look for (and pray for) that future wife in the way God would want him to do so.
If a young lady is called to the marriage state, she should likewise trust entirely that God will send her a good Catholic man—but she should pray for, and conscientiously make herself available to be found by, that future husband.
If a young man (or young lady) is called to the religious state, he (she) should trust entirely that God will send him (her) a good, uncompromising seminary (convent, or novitiate)—but he (she) should thoroughly prepare for this vocation and diligently search out an uncompromising way to fulfill this vocation. (Joining a compromise group because “that is all which is available” is as wrong as marrying a bad spouse because that is the only type supposedly available.)
We should be secure in God’s Providence even when God delays sending us what we need
One way we manifest a bad insecurity from the devil, is when we are anxious because God delays sending us what we need. St. Vincent de Paul urges us to patient confidence in God, even when God does not quickly answer our prayers and provide what we need. Here are St. Vincent de Paul’s consoling words:
Let us rest assured that when God wants an affair to succeed, delay will do no harm and furthermore, the less there is of what is ours in the matter, the more there will be of the Divine.
Any such delays (if they were to occur) would do no harm and would even be to our advantage, provided we do our best. Therefore, why worry about them?
We should not have any insecurities (worries) even about the basic necessities of life
It seems most natural that we would be insecure and fear losing the basic necessities of life: food, clothing, and shelter. But even these fears are from the devil. God does not want us to have these fears. Our Lord assures us He will provide for us. Here are His words:
I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labor not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is to day, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith? Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself.
Thus, we should have complete security and peace, knowing that if we do our duties, God will provide for us all of the basic necessities of life. We should put our complete trust in God and not worry or feel insecure in the least!
Conclusion of the entire article
Let us have complete security and confidence in Divine Providence! He will take perfect care of our needs, both spiritual and temporal!
Let us be careful not to slack-off, but instead, let us do our duties with a strong and confident heart!
Let us not have the false security which is the heretical presumption that we are certain to go to heaven!
Let us not be concerned about anything which could harm us in the temporal or spiritual realm, in matters which are out of our control!