Writing more than a century and a half ago, Cardinal Manning explains in his first chapter the importance of confidence in our interior lives, especially in modern times when dangers to the spiritual life are on the increase, and when the Church herself is threatened more than ever before:
It seems . . . in season to speak of confidence in God, for it is a grace of which we all stand in need; and especially in times like these, when the days are drawing on towards the last trial of the Church, and the faith of many shall hardly endure to the end.
Later on in the same chapter the Cardinal explains the exact nature of this confidence and its relation to the virtue of hope:
Hope matures into confidence, and confidence ends in the fruition of God. Confidence, therefore, has a two-fold motive. It arises, first, from an appreciation of God; that is, from a perception of His goodness, beauty, compassion, sanctity, and justice, together with an adherence of the heart to God in these perfections; and next, from an experience of the operations of His grace, love, and peace in the soul. These two uniting together, create in the heart the loving trust which we will call confidence.
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