"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "

Thomas á Kempis

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"Obedience is a short cut to perfection."

St Philip Neri

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"If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel."

Thomas á Kempis

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Fr Jean-Pierre de Caussade, SJ   (1675 - 1751)




by Fr Jean-Pierre de Caussade, SJ

Book 2  - On the state of abandonment

Ch 1. On the nature and excellence of the state of abandonment

Section 7 - Divine Favours Offered to All.

Every soul is called to enjoy the infinite benefits contained in this state.

Therefore do I preach abandonment, and not any particular state. Every state in which souls are placed by Your grace is the same to me. I teach a general method by which all can attain the state which You have marked out for them. I do not exact more than the will to abandon themselves to Your guidance. You will make them arrive infallibly at the state which is best for them.

It is faith that I preach; abandonment, confidence, and faith; the will to be subject to, and to be the tool of the divine action, and to believe that at every moment this action is working in every circumstance, provided that the soul has more or less good-will. This is the faith that I preach.

It is not a special kind of faith, nor of charity, but a general state by which all souls can find God under the different conditions which He assumes; and can take that form which divine grace has marked out for them. I have spoken to souls in trouble, and now I am speaking to all kinds of souls. It is the genuine instinct of my heart to care for all, to announce the saving secret far and wide, and to make myself all to all.

In this happy disposition I make it a duty which I fulfil without difficulty, to weep with those who weep, to rejoice with those who rejoice, to speak foolishly with the foolish, and with the learned to make use of more learned and more scholastic terms. I wish to make all understand that although they cannot aspire to the same distinct favours, they can attain to the same love, the same abnegation, the same God and His work, and thence it follows naturally, to the highest sanctity.

Those graces which are called extraordinary and are given as privileges to certain souls, are only so called because there are so few sufficiently faithful to become worthy of receiving them. This will be made manifest at the day of judgment. Alas! it will then be seen that instead of these divine favours having been withheld by God, it has been entirely by their own fault that these souls have been deprived of them. What untold blessings they would have received through the complete submission of a steadfast goodwill.

It is the same with regard to Jesus as with the divine action. If those who have no confidence in Him, nor respect for Him, do not receive any of the favours He offers to all, they have only their own bad disposition to thank for it. It is true that all cannot aspire to the same sublime states, to the same gifts, to the same degree of perfection; yet, if faithful to grace, they corresponded to it, each according to his degree, they would all be satisfied because they would all attain that degree of grace and of perfection which would fully satisfy their desires. They would be happy according to nature, and according to grace, because nature and grace share equally in, the ardent desire for this priceless advantage.