Section 3 - The Generosity of God.
The more God seems to despoil the soul that is in the state of
abandonment, the more generous are His gifts.
Let us continue to advance in the knowledge
of the divine action and of its loving deceptions. That which it
withdraws from the perception, it bestows incognito, as it were,
on the goodwill. It never allows it to want for anything. It is as
if someone who had maintained a friend by bounties bestowed
personally upon him, should suddenly, for the welfare of this same
friend, pretend that he could no longer oblige him, yet continues
to assist him without making himself known. The friend, not
suspecting any stratagem in this mystery of love, feels hurt, and
entertains all sorts of ideas and criticisms on the conduct, of
When, however, the mystery begins to be revealed, God knows what
different feelings arise in the soul; joy, tenderness, gratitude,
love, confusion and admiration; followed by an increase of zeal
for, and attachment to the benefactor. And this trial will be the
means of strengthening the soul, and accustoming it to similar
The application is easy. With God, the more one seems to lose the
more one gains. The more He strikes off of what is natural, the
more He gives of what is supernatural. He is loved at first for
His gifts, but when these are no longer perceptible He is at last
loved for Himself. It is by the apparent withdrawal of these
sensible gifts that He prepares the way for that great gift which
is the most precious and the most extensive of all, since it
embraces all others.
Souls which have once for all submitted
themselves to the divine action, ought to interpret everything
favourably. Yes, everything! even the loss of the most excellent
directors, and the want of confidence they cannot help feeling in
those who offer themselves for that post.
In truth those guides who, of their own accord, run after souls,
deserve to be distrusted. Those who are truly inspired by the
spirit of God do not, as a rule, show so much eagerness and self
sufficiency. They do not come forward until they are appealed to,
and even then they proceed with caution. May the soul that has
given itself entirely to God pass without fear through all these
trials without losing its balance. Provided it is faithful to the
divine action, this all-powerful action can produce marvels in it
in spite of every obstacle.
God and the soul work in common, and the success of the work
depends entirely on the divine Workman, and can only be spoilt if
the soul prove unfaithful. When the soul is well, all is well,
because what is from God, that is to say, His part and His action
are, as it were, the counterpoise of the fidelity of the soul. It
is the best part of the work, which is done something like
beautiful tapestry, stitch by stitch from the wrong side. The
worker employed on it sees only the stitch he is making, and the
needle with which he makes it, while all the stitches combined
form magnificent figures which do not show until, every part being
complete, the right side is turned outwards. All the beauty and
perfection of the work remain in obscurity during its progress.
It is the same with the soul that has
abandoned itself to God; it has eyes only for Him and for its
duty. The performance of this duty is, at each moment, but an
imperceptible stitch added to the work, and yet with these
stitches God performs wonders of which He sometimes allows a
glimpse to be seen, but which will not be visible in their
entirety till revealed on the great day of eternity.
How full of goodness and wisdom is the
guidance of God! He has so entirely kept for His own grace, and
His own action, all that is admirable, great, exalted and sublime;
and so completely left to our souls, with the aid of grace, all
that is little, light and easy, that there is no one in the world
who cannot easily reach a most eminent degree of perfection in
accomplishing lovingly the most ordinary and obscure duties.