Section 4 - Abandonment a Source of Joy.
The state of abandonment comprises the most heroic generosity.
There is nothing more generous than the way
in which a soul having faith, accepts the most deadly perils and
troubles, beholding in them something divine of the spiritual
life. When it is a question of swallowing poison, of filling a
breach, of slaving, for the plague-stricken; in all this they find
a plenitude of divine life, not given to them drop by drop, but in
floods which inundate and engulf the soul in an instant.
If an army were animated by the same ideals it would be
invincible. This is because the instinct of faith is an elevation
and enlargement of the heart above and beyond all that is
presented to the senses.
The life of faith, and the instinct of faith are one and the same.
It is an enjoyment of the goods of God, and a confidence founded
on the expectation of His protection, making everything pleasant
and received with a good grace. It is indifference to, and at the
same time a preparation for every place, state, or person.
Faith is never unhappy even when the senses
are most desolate. This lively faith is always in God, always in
His action above contrary appearances by which the senses are
darkened. The senses, in terror, suddenly cry to the soul,
"Unhappy one! You have now no resource, you are lost," and
instantly faith with a stronger voice answers: "Keep firm, go on,
and fear nothing."
Section 5 - The Great Merit of Pure Faith.
By the state of
abandonment and of pure faith the soul gains more merit than by
the most eminent good works.
Whatever we find extraordinary in the lives
of the saints, such as revelations, visions and interior
locutions, is but a glimpse of that excellence of their state
which is contained and hidden in the exercise of faith; because
faith possesses all this by knowing how to see and hear God in
that which happens from moment to moment.
When these favours are
manifested visibly it does not mean that by faith they have not
been already possessed, but in order to make the excellence of
faith visible for the purpose of attracting souls to the practice
of it; just as the glory of Thabor, and the miracles of Jesus
Christ were not from any increase of His intrinsic excellence, but
from the light which from time to time escaped from the dark cloud
of His humanity to make it an object of veneration and love to
That which is wonderful in the saints is the constancy of their
faith under every circumstance; without this there would be no
sanctity. In the loving faith which makes them rejoice in God for
everything, their sanctity has no need of any extraordinary
manifestation; this could only prove useful to others who might
require the testimony of such signs; but the soul in this state,
happy in its obscurity, does in no way rely on these brilliant
manifestations; it allows them to show outwardly for the profit of
others, but keeps for itself what all have in common, the will of
God, and His good pleasure. Its faith is proved in hiding, and not
in manifesting itself, and those who require more proof have less
Those who live by faith receive proofs, not as such, but as
favours from the hand of God, and in this sense things that are
extraordinary are not in contradiction to the state of pure faith.
But there are many saints whom God sets up for the salvation of
souls, and from whose faces He causes rays of glory to stream
for the enlightenment of the most blind. Of such were the Prophets
and the Apostles and all those saints chosen by God to be set in
the candlestick of the Church. There will ever be such, as there
ever have been.
There is also an infinity of others who, having been created to
shine in the heavens give no light in this world, but live and die
in profound obscurity.