Section 8 - Experimental Science.
can only be well instructed by the words which God utters
expressly for us. No one becomes learned in the science of God
either by the reading of books, or by the inquisitive
investigation of history. The science that is acquired by such
means is vain and confused, producing much pride. That which
instructs us is what happens from one moment to another producing
in us that experimental science which Jesus Christ Himself willed
to acquire before instructing others.
In fact this was the only
science in which He could grow, according to the expression of the
holy Gospel; because being God there was no degree of speculative
science which He did not possess. Therefore if this experimental
science was useful to the word incarnate Himself, to us it is
absolutely necessary if we wish to touch the hearts of those whom
God sends to us.
It is impossible perfectly to understand anything
that experience has not taught us, by suffering or by action. This
is the school of the Holy Spirit who in this way speaks
life-giving words to the soul, and those which He speaks to us
through others come from the same source.
Reading and seeing become fruitful and possess virtue and light
only by the acquisition of this divine science, otherwise they are
like dough to which leaven is necessary, and the salt of
experience to season it. And since without this salt, we have only
vague ideas to act upon, we are like visionaries, who, though
knowing the roads that lead to all the towns, yet lose their way
going to their own house.
We must listen to God from moment to moment to become learned in
the theology of virtue which is entirely practical and
experimental. Do not attend therefore to what is said to others,
but listen to that which is said to you and for you; there will be
enough to exercise your faith because this interior language of
God exercises, purifies, and increases it by its very obscurity.
Section 9 - The Will of God in the Present
Moment is the Source of Sanctity.
O, all you who thirst, learn that you have
not far to go to find the fountain of living waters; it flows
quite close to you in the present moment; therefore hasten to find
Why, with the fountain so near, do you tire
yourselves with running about
after every little rill? These only increase your thirst by giving
only a few drops, whereas the source is inexhaustible. If you
desire to think, to write, and to speak like the Prophets, the
Apostles, and the Saints, you must give yourself up, as they did,
to the inspirations of God.
O unknown Love! it seems as if Your
wonders were finished and nothing remained but to copy Your
ancient works, and to quote Your past discourses! And no one sees
that Your inexhaustible activity is a source of new thoughts, of
fresh sufferings and further actions: of new Patriarchs, Apostles,
Prophets, and Saints who have no need to copy the lives and
writings of the others, but only to live in perpetual abandonment
to Your secret operations.
We hear of nothing on all sides but
"the first centuries," "the time of the Saints." What a strange
way of talking! Is not all time a succession of the effects of the
divine operation, working at every instant, filling, sanctifying,
and supernaturalising them all? Has there ever been an ancient
method of abandonment to this operation which is now out of
season? Had the Saints of the first ages any other secret than
that of becoming from moment to moment whatever the divine power
willed to make them? And will this power cease to pour forth its
glory on the souls which abandon themselves to it without reserve.
O Love eternal, adorable, ever fruitful, and ever marvellous! May
the divine operation of my God be my book, my doctrine, my
science. In it are my thoughts, my words, my actions, and my
sufferings. Not by consulting Your former works shall I become
what You would have me to be; but by receiving You in everything.
By that ancient road, the only royal road, the road of our fathers
shall I be enlightened, and shall speak as they spoke. It is thus
that I, would imitate them all, quote them all, copy them all.