Section 8 - Great Faith is Necessary.
This total abandonment is as simple as its effects are marvellous.
Such then is the straight path to sanctity.
Such is the state of perfection, and of the duties imposed by it;
such the great and incomparable secret of abandonment; a secret
that is, in reality, no secret, an art without art.
God, who exacts it of all, has explained it clearly, and made it
intelligible, and quite simple. What is obscure in the way of pure
faith is not necessary for the soul in that way, to practise;
there is, in fact, nothing more easy to understand, nor more
luminous; the mystery is only in what is done by God.
This is what takes place in the Blessed Eucharist. That which is
necessary to change bread into the Body of Jesus Christ, is so
clear and so easy that the most ignorant priest is capable of
doing it; yet it is the mystery of mysteries, where all is so
hidden, so obscure, so incomprehensible that the more spiritual
and enlightened one is, the more faith is required to believe it.
The way of pure faith presents much that is
similar. Its effect is to enable one to find God at each moment;
it is this that makes it so exalted, so mystical, so blessed. It
is an inexhaustible fund of thought, of discourse, of writing, it
is a whole collection, and source of wonders. To produce so
prodigious an effect but one thing is necessary; to let God act,
and to do all that He wills according to one's state. Nothing in
the spiritual life could be easier; nor more within the power of
everyone; and yet nothing could be more wonderful, nor any path
To walk in it the soul has need of great
faith, all the more so as reason is always suspicious, and has
always some argument against it. All its ideas are confused. There
is nothing in it that reason has ever known or read about, or been
accustomed to admire; it is something quite new. "The Prophets
were saints, but this Jesus is a sorcerer," said the Jews. If the
soul following their example, is scandalised, it shows but little
faith, and well deserves to be deprived of those wonderful things
that God is so ready to work in the faithful soul.