Taken from: HOLY ABANDONMENT
Rt. Rev. Dom Vitalis Lehodey, O.C.R.
Original Pub. 1934, Dublin
ON THE OBJECT OF HOLY ABANDONMENT
ON ABANDONMENT IN THE SPIRITUAL VARIETIES OF THE COMMON WAY:
CONSOLATIONS AND ARIDITIES
AT one time God is prodigal of His sensible consolations and spiritual sweetnesses; at another He bestows them with less abundance; then He withdraws them altogether, and the poor soul finds herself empty. The feelings become cold, the imagination giddy, the understanding dull and inactive; and often weariness and disgust overpower the will. The Saints themselves experienced these painful vicissitudes. Our holy father, St. Bernard, gives expression to his feelings in the following well-known passage: "How is my heart become as earth without water? So hard has it grown that I can no longer extract from it any tears of compunction. Psalmody, pious reading, and prayer have lost their attractions for me. My customary communings with God have ceased to be a source of light and consolation. Where now is that intoxication of soul? that tranquillity of heart? that peace and joy in the Holy Spirit?" 1 "I feel such dryness," says St. Alphonsus, "such spiritual desolation, that I can no longer find God either in prayer or in Holy Communion. Both the Passion of Our Lord and the Blessed Sacrament have lost their power to touch me. I have become insensible to all feelings of devotion. It seems to me that I am a soul without either faith, hope, or charity ------in a word, a soul forsaken by God." 2 This affliction can be very terrible when it is prolonged indefinitely. As a rule, however, it subsides and gives place to peace according as the soul detaches herself from enjoyment and clings to nothing but the good-pleasure of God.
How are we to receive consolations and aridities? This is a point where many souls turn out of the right path. To avoid going astray ourselves, we must keep our eyes constantly fixed on our objective. Now we are striving for the perfection of the spiritual life, which means the perfection of charity. Love is manifested by its activities. It is perfect when it has acquired sufficient power and mastery to establish us firmly in conformity with God's will in all its likes and dislikes, consequently in the resolution to accomplish promptly and generously everything that belongs to the signified will and to abandon ourselves unreservedly to all the dispositions of Divine Providence. This implies a love that is sincere, active, energetic, that gives itself absolutely to God and responds with perfect docility to the inspirations of His grace. It is what Sts. Francis de Sales and Alphonsus regard as "the only true devotion and genuine love of God, the only end, therefore, that we should propose to ourselves in our prayers, our Holy Communions, our mortifications, and all our other practices of piety." 3
But if "true devotion consists in the firm resolution to do nothing and desire nothing except what God wills," 4 it follows that consolations are not devotion, nor aridities indevotion. For this firm and steadfast resolution can remain deeply rooted in the soul in spite of aridities, whereas we may have only a superficial and inconstant imitation of it in the midst of consolations, as experience proves.
Consolations and aridities are not even a secure criterion, since devotion resides essentially in the will, not in the feelings. Consequently it must not be judged by our emotions, but by its activities, as the tree is judged by its fruit. The emotions resemble the blossoms: they make a beautiful show, full of generous promise. But how often, alas I will that promise fail to be fulfilled! To what illusions sensible devotion is exposed!
Consolations and aridities, duly sanctified, are a way which leads to our end; but they are not the only or the principal way. It is in the signified will of God we shall find the means that are fundamental, regular, and constant. We have already pointed them out. Consolations and aridities are but accidental and variable means which God provides us with according to His good-pleasure. They have a very real, sometimes even a decisive influence. But they should never cause us to forget the essential means. From all this it follows that we must not attach too great an importance to the presence or absence of sensible devotion. Our chief concern ought to be the end and the indispensable means. Let the second place be given to consolations and aridities.
Another consideration also worth pondering is this: consolations and aridities become a powerful support when duly sanctified, but a dangerous rock when abused, which happens not seldom.
Sensible devotion, and particularly spiritual sweetnesses, are very precious graces. They inspire us with horror and disgust for the pleasures of the world which constitute the attraction of vice. They give us the will and the power to walk, to run, to fly along the ways of prayer and virtue. Sadness contracts the heart, whilst joy dilates it. This dilation helps us powerfully to mortify our senses, to repress our passions, to renounce our own wills and to endure trials with patience. It urges us to greater generosity and more lofty aspirations. The abundance of Divine sweetness makes mortification a delight and obedience a pleasure: we rise promptly at the first sound of the bell; we miss no opportunity for practising virtue; all our actions are done in peace and tranquillity. "Nothing makes us suffer," says St. Alphonsus, "or rather injuries, afflictions, reverses, persecutions, in short, everything becomes a source of joy, because everything gives occasion for offering sacrifice after sacrifice to God, and for contracting with His Divine Majesty a union that is always growing more and more intimate." 5 According to St. Francis de Sales, consolations "excite the appetite of the soul, comfort the mind, give to the promptitude of devotion a holy joy and cheerfulness which render our actions beautiful and agreeable. The very least of the consolations of piety is more precious in every way than the sweetest of worldly pleasures." 6 Sensible devotion can consequently be called the sun of our spiritual life. Undoubtedly, promptitude, facility, and alacrity in the service of God are extremely desirable when they spring from the soul's thorough and universal detachment and long practice of virtue, that is to say, when they are the fruits of perfectly acquired virtue. But we should not despise the facility produced by heavenly favours and sensible devotion.
God forbid that we should say with Molinos: "Whatever sensibility we experience in the spiritual life is abominable, detestable, and unclean." This is one of his condemned propositions. "Spiritual persons," writes Suarez, "should not despise the feelings of devotion which they experience in the sensitive appetite. Such sensible devotion is not peculiar to beginners, because it can come from the most perfect and sublime contemplation. Besides, it assists and disposes the soul to practise contemplation with greater ease and constancy." 7 Our sensitive faculties are rightly ordered and their activities very useful when they carry us towards God. Then all our powers, superior and inferior, work in harmony and mutually support one another. And our prayer is more complete, inasmuch as we are praying with the whole of ourselves.
This is the attractive side of consolations; but there is another side. It is possible for one to become inordinately attached to them, to become greedy of them, like a spiritual epicure, or to make them an occasion of self-complacency and contempt of others. The danger is more serious if they come from either a natural or a diabolical source. It is true, when they have God for their author they incline us to obedience, humility, the spirit of sacrifice, in fact, to all the virtues. Nevertheless, even then, nature and the demon will endeavour to mingle their own activities with the Divine. This is not a sufficient reason for rejecting the consolations. Still, we must not forget that abuse and illusion are always possible.
With regard to aridities, observe, first of all, with St. Alphonsus, that they can be either voluntary or involuntary. They are voluntary in their cause when we allow our minds to become dissipated, our affections to attach themselves to created things, our wills to follow their caprices, and when in consequence we commit a multitude of little faults without making an effort to correct them. It is no longer a case of simple dryness of sensibility, it is languor of the will. "This state is such," says St. Alphonsus, "that unless the soul does violence to herself in order to escape from it, she will go from bad to worse. And God grant she does not fall after a time into the greatest of misfortunes! This kind of aridity resembles consumption, which never kills at once, but infallibly leads to death." 8 We must do all that depends on us to get rid of it; and if it persists in spite of our efforts, let us accept it resignedly as a merciful chastisement of our faults. "Involuntary dryness is that experienced by one who is endeavouring to walk in the ways of perfection, who guards against all deliberate sin, practises prayer," 9 and faithfully discharges every duty. It is of this we now desire to speak.
Spiritual aridities and sensible desolations constitute an excellent purgatory where we can pay our debts to Divine justice on easy terms. Still more truly can they be described as a crucible designed for the purification of souls. From an abundance of heavenly favours, the soul derives the courage to detach her affections from earthly objects and attach them securely to God. But she still seeks herself in many ways, and perhaps unconsciously: she makes her peace to depend upon the most unstable of all things: the emotions of her sensitive part; she is unduly attached to consolations; she deludes herself with the belief that she is rich in virtue; she is consequently too little emptied of self to be filled with God. Her condition is very pleasing to nature, which always desires to see, to know, and to feel; but it does not so well satisfy the requirements of Divine love which forgets self and finds all its contentment in what pleases the Beloved. The soul would therefore remain always weak, subject to many failings, and imperfectly emancipated from the toils of self-love, unless God in His goodness made her submit to a treatment as painful as it is persistent.
The first malady requiring to be cured is a spiritual gluttony which seizes on consolations with insatiable avidity, a refined sensuality which finds its most delicate aliments in the sweetness of devotion. God now comes and puts the invalid on a diet, and if necessary on a starvation régime, in order to weaken and extinguish this evil by the withdrawal of its nourishment, and in order that the soul may learn in time to dispense with enjoyment, to seek God purely, and to be less dependent on the emotions.
Another evil that clamours for remedy, and an evil still more subtle and dangerous, is spiritual pride. When God favours a soul with a flood of consolations, she easily comes to believe that she is further advanced than is really the case; vainglory and presumption take possession of her; she begins to look down upon others and to judge them with severity. Then God plunges her again and again, and as often as needful, into aridities, obscurities, and other such afflictions. According to our holy father, St. Bernard, "pride, whether of the present or of the future, is invariably the cause of the subtraction of grace." 10 God designs to prevent or to repress it, in order to deliver us from its poison. The consciousness of her impotence and misery will make the soul understand that she can do nothing without the Divine assistance, and that she is worth but very little even after receiving such an abundance of grace. She will accordingly humble herself to the dust before the awful Majesty of God; her prayer will be the prayer of the lowly; she will freely ask advice, and show herself in all things simple and docile; the knowledge of her own misery will render her compassionate to others. And this afflicting trial will be prolonged until it has so humbled her, so annihilated her in her own eyes, that nothing of self-complacency or presumption remains in her, nothing but distrust of self and confidence in God: until, therefore, it has emptied her of pride and filled her with humility.
Delivered thus from pride and sensuality, the two plagues of the spiritual life, the soul is accessible to grace and fully disposed to receive the beneficent action of Heaven. Now she will make sure and rapid progress in perfect, pure, and solid virtue. And if it has pleased God to reserve for her His noblest gifts, she is now in a condition to use them well: for, according to our holy father, St. Bernard, "great trials prepare us for the reception of great graces; the latter never come except in the wake of the former." 11
But instead of receiving such favours, she may find herself a prey to further affliction. Spiritual aridities and sensible desolations are indeed quite compatible with that generous resolution which is the essence of true devotion, and even with the promptitude, facility, and alacrity which denote perfectly acquired virtue. Nevertheless, by drying up the copious streams of pious thoughts and holy affections, they rob the soul of the supplementary strength and joy which consolations imparted, and leave in their place suffering and difficulties. They are not temptations in the strict sense of the word, because they do not directly incite the soul to evil. But the demon makes use of them in order to sow his cockle in the wheat-field of the Lord. God communicates no more lights, no more devotion: has He become indifferent, irritated, implacable? And nevertheless, it seems to us that we cannot do any better. Then come fear and diffidence. The clouds are gathering in the sky and threaten to burst in storm. Nature, obviously, cannot find her account in such a condition of things; she is weary of sufferings so protracted and the end not yet in sight; and she urges us to seek from creatures the consolation we no longer receive from God.
In this way, then, consolations and aridities are designed by God to play a very important part in the sanctification of souls. But they can also prove very dangerous. In their action on the soul, they supplement: and correct each other. Consolations enkindle the love of God, whilst aridities extinguish self-love: if the sense of Divine sweetness elevates us, the consciousness of our miseries casts us down again; if desolation breeds discouragement, sensible devotion inspires confidence. It is for God alone to send or to recall both the one and the other. He alternates or combines them in the manner most conducive to our interests, and with equal firmness and wisdom. As a rule, He begins with consolations in order to gain our hearts and support our weakness. When the soul has made some progress, and is strong enough to endure more energetic treatment, He sends her a preponderance of suffering. We have such need to die to ourselves! As St. Alphonsus remarks: "All the Saints had to suffer these aridities, these spiritual desolations. In fact, aridities were more usual with them than sensible devotion. God bestows transient favours of this kind only seldom, and usually on souls as yet very feeble, in order that they may not come to a stand-still on the road to perfection. As for the delights that are to be the reward of our fidelity, it is only in Paradise we can expect to enjoy them. . . . Whenever you feel forsaken, comfort yourself with the thought that you have the Divine Consoler with you. You complain of an aridity of two years' duration. But St. Jane de Chantal had to endure the trial during forty years. St. Marie-Madeleine de Pazzi for five years had to support continual pains and temptations without being granted the slightest relief." 12 St. Francis of Assisi spent two years in such desolation that he seemed to have been abandoned by God. But after he had humbly submitted to this terrible trial, the Saviour restored to him in an instant his usual happy tranquillity. Therefrom St. Francis de Sales concludes that "since the greatest servants of God were subjected to these afflictions, those who are the last and the least in His service should not be surprised if they feel something of them also." 13 God does not always the same path in conducting souls to sanctity. Generally speaking, it seems to be when they are approaching the consummation of their virtue that He sends them the bitterest trials. The more dearly He loves them, the more He cultivates and purifies them. But the most searching process of all He postpones until they are strong enough to endure its rigours. Let us now sum up what we have been saying on this subject, and draw the practical conclusion. The object we must aim at is perfect love, which unites the soul intimately to God by an absolute conformity of will. This is the only true, the essential devotion. With a holy ardour we must seek the means which depend upon us: they are indicated to us by the signified will of God. Consolations, even those of Divine origin, do not constitute devotion, nor does indevotion consist in involuntary aridities. Both consolations and aridities are providential helps, but by abuse we can make of them serious hindrances. Which of the two would be the more profitable for us? We cannot tell. Besides, the choice does not rest with us: God has reserved that to Himself. Therefore, our wisest course is to remove the voluntary causes of aridity, to make ourselves virtuously indifferent, and then to abandon ourselves unreservedly to the dispositions of Providence.
This doctrine has in its favour the multitude of Saints who made it the rule of their conduct. We shall cite only the two Doctors we have chosen as our special guides, and in the first place St. Francis de Sales. "It will happen," he writes, "that you will enjoy no consolation in your practices of devotion. That, undoubtedly, is the good-pleasure of God. Hence the necessity to remain absolutely indifferent to consolation or desolation. This self-forgetfulness implies abandonment to the Divine good-pleasure in all temptations, aridities, drynesses, aversions, and repugnances. For we can see that good-pleasure in all these states of soul, when they are not due to any fault on our part, and when they contain nothing sinful." He repeatedly counsels us to surrender ourselves fully and perfectly to the care of Divine Providence, as a little child abandons itself to the care of its nurse, or as the sweet Infant Jesus in the arms of His dear Mother. And he adds: "If consolations are offered you, receive them with gratitude; if they are refused, desire them not, but try to keep your heart ready to welcome whatsoever Providence may send, and as far as possible with the same satisfaction. . . . You must have a strong resolution never to give up prayer, no matter what difficulties you may encounter in that holy exercise. And you must never apply yourself to it, preoccupied with a longing to be consoled and favoured. For that would not be conforming your will to Our Lord's, Who desires that we should enter prayer resolved to suffer the affliction of continual distractions, aridities, and disgust, should this be His good-pleasure, and to be as content in this state as if we enjoyed a superabundance of consolations and perfect tranquillity. Provided we always accommodate our wills to the will of His Divine Majesty, remaining in an attitude of simple expectation and in a disposition to receive lovingly whatever Providence may ordain, whether in our prayer or outside it, He will see to it that everything is made conducive to our profit and pleasing in His sight." 14
It is in this sense the holy Doctor said: "I desire very little; and the little I desire I desire very little. In fact, I have hardly any desires. And if I were to be born again, I should prefer to have none at all. If God comes to me in consolations, I shall go to Him; if He does not will to come to me, I shall remain just where I am, and shall not attempt to go to Him" 15 -----by any voluntary desire of consolations. And in fact, "he practised this perfect indifference amidst aridities and consolations, disgust and dryness, activities and sufferings." Here is the testimony of St. Jane de Chantal: " He used to say that the proper way to serve God was to follow Him without any support from consolation or sentiment, without any light but that of pure and simple faith. That is why he loved dereliction, abandonment, and interior desolation. He once told me that he didn't mind whether he was in a state of consolation or desolation. When Our Lord granted him sensible devotion he received it with simplicity; if it were denied him, he thought no more of it. Nevertheless, it is true that, as a rule, he enjoyed great interior sweetness. And one could divine it from his looks." 16
The ideal of the holy Bishop, in the matter with which we are now occupied, was, then, that wise statue of his which desires neither to be put forward by consolations nor backward by aridities, but remains motionless in a peaceful indifference, ready to allow itself to be moved one way or another at the pleasure of its Master. 17 As a matter of fact, he did not demand of St. Jane de Chantal "that she should neither love nor desire consolations, but only that she should not set her heart on them. A simple desire is not contrary to resignation. But the same
cannot be said of the impatient desire that is characterised by a palpitation of the heart, a flapping of the wings of the soul, so to speak, and an agitation of the will." She might "complain of her afflictions to God lovingly and with moderation. Our Lord is pleased when we talk to Him about the tribulations He sends us, as little children to their dear mother when she has chastised them." But she must preserve that spirit of liberty which is attached neither to consolations nor even to spiritual exercises, and which accepts afflictions with as much meekness as the flesh will allow. "In this way, at the moment when it is necessary for her to drink the chalice of bitterness and, so to say, give the final sanction of her free consent, she will have sufficient indifference to say to God: Not my will but Thine be done." 18
The holy Doctor goes even somewhat further: "You wish to have a cross, but you would prefer one of your own choice. That is not the right disposition. The cross I desire both for myself and for you is none other than the cross of Jesus Christ. Let Him send us all the aridities He pleases, provided He preserves us in His holy love. We can never serve Him well unless we serve Him in the manner He requires to be served. Now, He requires that you serve Him without relish, without feeling, with repugnances and distress of mind. Such service does not give you much satisfaction, but it greatly pleases Him; it is not to your taste, but it is in accordance with His good-pleasure. Imagine that you were never to be delivered from your affliction. You would then say to God: 'Lord, I am Thine! If my sufferings give Thee satisfaction, increase both their number and their duration.' I have confidence in Our Lord that this would be your attitude, and that you would think no more about the matter. At least, you would not any longer worry. Adopt the same attitude now. Make friends with your troubles as if you were destined to live always together. And you will find that when you have ceased to think of your deliverance, God will think of it; and when you have suppressed these over-eager desires, He will hasten to help you." 19
In short, the Saint seemed to prefer suffering to consolation. In some passages he almost appears to solicit suffering both for himself and for his holy daughter in Christ. Generally, however, he recommends an absolute indifference with regard to all spiritual varieties. For himself, he would have wished to be without any desire, in order to conform himself the more perfectly to the adorable will of God, which was the well-beloved rule of his conduct. It is evident, and he acknowledges it himself, that he actually had extremely ardent desires for the salvation of souls and for his own advancement in virtue, because these are made obligatory by the signified will. But he desired even such objects only according to the will of God, neither more nor otherwise.
The doctrine of St. Alphonsus differs in no respect from that of the pious Bishop of Geneva. It may be summarised as follows:
I. -----When God consoles us by His loving visitations and makes us feel the presence of His grace, we must not refuse these favours, as certain false mystics have pretended to do. They are in truth more precious than all earthly riches and honours. We must rather receive them with gratitude. But we must not enjoy their sweetness with the greedy appetite of the spiritual epicure, nor must we consider ourselves so favoured as the reward of our superior merit. Such pride and sensuality would be displeasing to God and would oblige Him to withdraw and leave us in our misery. Let us humble ourselves by keeping before our eyes the sins we have committed in the past, and rather look upon these favours as the pure effects of the Divine bounty. God gives them to us in order that we may be better disposed to make the sacrifices which He intends to demand of us, or perhaps to support the trials which He is about to send. In consolation we must prepare for tribulation. "Let us therefore offer ourselves to endure all the interior and exterior sufferings in store for us, sickness, persecutions, or spiritual desolations, saying: Lord, I am entirely at Thy disposal. Do with me whatsoever Thou pleasest. Give me the grace to love Thee always and to accomplish Thy holy will: I ask for nothing more."
II. -----In spiritual desolation we must be resigned. "I do not pretend that we should suffer no affliction at seeing ourselves deprived of God's sensible presence. We cannot help being afflicted at such a loss, or even complaining of it, since our Divine Saviour Himself complained of it on the Cross." But we should imitate His perfect resignation and that of the Saints. "They had more experience of aridities than of sensible consolations; and what they longed and prayed for all their lives was rather spiritual fervour in suffering than sensible fervour in enjoyment." Are you in a state of aridity? Be patient, and do not neglect any of your ordinary devotions, particularly mental prayer. Do not imitate those persons who, when consolation leaves them, show how little supernatural they are by abandoning their pious enterprise, relaxing their austerities, and ceasing to guard their senses; so that they lose all the fruits of their former labours. Perhaps it appears to you that your aridities are the punishment of your faults? Then accept the merciful chastisement with humility, and do all in your power to remove the cause of your lamentable condition; that is, such or such a natural affection, a want of habitual recollection, an eagerness to see, to know, and to say everything. Remember that, if you received your desert, you would never more have experience of joy. Above all, practise resignation, and trust more than ever in the goodness of God. For now you are given a special opportunity of rendering yourself particularly dear to your Divine Spouse. Continue to seek Him, therefore, with good courage. Possibly He will not return with His consolations. What matter, so long as He gives you the grace to love Him and to accomplish all that He wills? "A strong love is more pleasing to God than a tender love." Let us humbly resign ourselves to the Divine will, and we shall discover that "desolation is more to our advantage than any sensible devotion." And the holy Doctor recommends us to recite this admirable prayer:
"Jesus, my hope, my love, the only love of my soul! I do not deserve that Thou shouldst impart to me Thy consolations and sweetness. Reserve them for the sinless souls who have always loved Thee. As for me, who have so often offended Thee: I am unworthy of them, and do not ask them of Thee. There is only one thing I desire of Thee, and it is this: Grant that I may love Thee, O my God! Grant that I may accomplish Thy will during my whole life, and then dispose of me in the manner that pleases Thee best. Unhappy me! I have deserved to be condemned to much worse darkness, terror, and desolation, in order to expiate the many injuries I have done Thee. Had I been given my desert, Hell would now be my portion, where, separated and banished eternally from Thee, I should have to join in the everlasting lamentations of the lost, deprived of the power to love Thee any more forever. Ah, my Jesus, save me from so horrible a doom. I am ready to submit to any other penalty. . . . Give me the grace to conquer my temptations, to conquer myself. I desire to be all for Thee alone. I consecrate to Thee my body, my soul, my will, my liberty. I no longer desire to live for myself, but only for Thee. Afflict me as it pleases Thee; give me only Thy grace and Thy love, and I shall be content to be deprived of everything else." 20
Are we not permitted, at least, to desire and even to importune Divine consolations or the cessation of aridities?
We may do so, but we are not obliged. We may do so, on account of the important support we find in sensible favours and the despondency in which persistent aridities might leave us. The Holy Spirit in the Psalms, and the Church in her liturgy put on our lips petitions of this kind, the legitimacy of which, therefore, no Catholic can question. But all spiritual writers recommend us to solicit such favours only with a pure intention, with a detached heart and a submissive will. However, if there is full agreement about the principle, with regard to the practice we find divergence enough. Alvarez de Paz, Louis de Grenada, and some other modern authors, are strongly in favour of the petitions. St. Francis de Sales, on the contrary, whilst permitting his Philothea to "pray God to remove this barren northwind which dries up our souls, and restore to us the gentle breeze of His consolations," urges us elsewhere to "an absolute indifference with respect to consolations and aridities." 21 St. Alphonsus expresses his opinion in formal terms: "Ought you to implore God to make you again experience the sweetness of His presence? Be careful to make no such petition. Rather solicit the strength you need to remain faithful." 22 As the Doctors thus differ, each of us is quite at liberty to follow whatsoever course he pleases.
We are not obliged to solicit consolations or the cessation of aridities. We regret having to contradict on this point some very estimable authors. But in asserting such an obligation they condemn St. Francis de Sales and St. Alphonsus, those two great Doctors of piety, who never recognised it and even repudiated it expressly in their teaching and practice. They likewise condemn the multitude of Saints and holy Souls who based their conduct on perfect indifference in this matter. Besides, what is the source of the alleged obligation?
Consolations, as we have said, are neither the essence of devotion, nor the only means of attaining to it, nor even a necessary means. Neither are aridities indevotion. And instead of being an insurmountable obstacle to progress, they are rather a help of which only too often we have need. The authors in question seem not to realise that if it is necessary to nourish the love of God, it is not less necessary to mortify self-love.
It has been objected that desolations are a malady the cure of which can be obtained only by asking for it. The contrary is the truth. No doubt, when we feel the need of consolations and implore them of God with childlike simplicity, such confidence honours Him, provided it is accompanied with perfect submission to His will. But we show much more confidence when we abandon ourselves entirely into His hands, when we peacefully await His good-pleasure, and accept in advance whatsoever He shall please to appoint. This is at the same time a superior prudence, a more perfect generosity. And what can be better qualified to touch deeply the heart of our Father in Heaven?
1. Serm. in Cant., liv.
2. Peines intér., 2.
3. St. Lig., Refl. pieuses, xxxix.
4. Id., Relig. Sanct., c. xiii.
5. Relig. Sanct., c. xiii.
6. Vie devoté, P. IV, c. xiii.
7. De Relig., T. IV, 1. ii, c. xviii, N. 4.
8. Peines intér., 2.
9. Id., loco cit.
10. Serm. in Cant., liv.
11. Serm. div., 91.
12. Conf., 5, 5, et Peines intér., 2.
13. Vie devoté, P. IV, c. xv.
14. Entret., ii, vi, xviii, xxi.
15. Ibid. xxi.
16. Vie, I, v, et append., Lettre de Ste. J.-F. de Chantal.
17. Am. de Dieu, I, vi, c. xi.
18. Lettres, 390, 391.
20. Relig. Sanct., c. xiii; Am. env., c. xiii; Conf., 5, 5.
21. Vie devoté, P. IV, c. xiv.
22. Relig. Sanct., c. xiii.