...WHEN one thirsts after sanctity, the desire to know about it only drives it further away. Speculation must be laid aside, and everything arranged by God as regards actions and sufferings must be accepted with simplicity, for those things that happen at each moment by the divine command or permission are always the most holy, the best and the most divine for us. (Bk. 1.1,4)



WHETHER it be meditation, contemplation, vocal prayer, interior silence, or the active use of any of the faculties, either sensible and distinct, or almost imperceptible; quiet retreat, or active employment, whatever it may be in itself, even if very desirable, that which God wills for the present moment is best and all else must be regarded by the soul as being nothing at all. Thus, beholding God in all things it must take or leave them all as He pleases, and neither desire to live, nor to improve, nor to hope, except as He ordains, and never by the help of things which have neither power nor virtue except from Him. It ought, at every moment and on all occasions, to say with St. Paul, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9, 6) without choosing this thing or that, but “whatsoever You will. The mind prefers one thing, the body another, but, Lord, I desire nothing but to accomplish Your holy will. Work, contemplation or prayer whether vocal or mental, active or passive; the prayer of faith or of understanding; that which is distinguished in kind, or gifted with universal grace: it is all nothing Lord unless made real and useful by Your will. It is to Your holy will that I devote myself and not to any of these things, however high and sublime they may be, because it is the perfection of the heart for which grace is given, and not for that of the mind.” (Bk. 1,1.6)



[...] THE soul that recognises the will of God in every smallest event, and also in those that are most distressing and direful, receives all with an equal joy, pleasure and respect. [...] To be satisfied with the present moment is to delight in, and to adore the divine will in all that has to be done or suffered in all that succession of events that fill, as they pass, each present moment. Those souls that have this disposition adore God with redoubled love and respect in each consecutive humiliating condition; nothing can hide Him from the piercing eye of faith. (Bk. 1,2.2)



ALL that follows on this free consent is the work of God, and not of man. The soul should blindly abandon itself and be indifferent about everything. This is all that God requires of it, and as to the rest He determines and chooses according to His own plans, as an architect selects and arranges the stones for the building he is about to construct. It is therefore of the first importance to love God and His will, and to love this will in whatever way it is made manifest to us, without desiring anything else. The soul has no concern in the choice of different objects, that is God’s affair, and whatever He gives is best for the soul. The whole of spirituality is an abridgment of this maxim, “Abandon yourself entirely to the over-ruling of God, and by self-oblivion be eternally occupied in loving and serving Him without any of those fears, reflexions, examens, and anxieties which the affair of our salvation, and perfection sometimes occasion.” Since God wishes to do all for us, let us place everything in His hands once and for all, leaving them to His infinite wisdom; and trouble no more about anything but what concerns Him. On then, my soul, on with head uplifted above earthly things, always satisfied with God, with everything He does, or makes you do. (Bk. 2,2.1)



THIS science is a practical knowledge by which God is enjoyed as the only good. In order to master this science it is necessary to be detached from all personal possessions, to gain this detachment, to be really deprived of them. Therefore it is only by constant crosses, and by a long succession of all kinds of mortifications, trials, and deprivations, that pure love becomes established in the soul. This must continue until all things created become as though they did not exist, and God becomes all in all. To effect this God combats all the personal affections of the soul, so that when these take any especial shape, such as some pious notion, some help to devotion; or when there is any idea of being able to attain perfection by some such method, or such a path or way, or by the guidance of some particular person; in fine to whatever the soul attaches itself, God upsets its plans, and allows it to find, instead of success in these projects, nothing but confusion, trouble, emptiness, and folly. (Bk. 2,2.2)







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