Section 11 - The Strength of Simplicity.
The soul in the state of abandonment knows how to see God even in
the proud who oppose His action. All creatures, good or evil,
reveal Him to it.
The whole practice of the simple soul is in
the accomplishment of the will of God. This it respects even in
those unruly actions by which the proud attempt to depreciate it.
The proud soul despises one in whose sight it is as nothing, who
beholds only God in it, and in all its actions. Often it imagines
that the modesty of the simple soul is a mark of appreciation for
itself; when, all the time, it is only a sign of that loving fear
of God and of His holy will as shown to it in the person of the
No, poor fool, the simple soul fears you not at all. You
excite its compassion; it is answering God when you think it is
speaking to you: it is with Him that it believes it has to do; it
regards you only as one of His slaves, or rather as a mask with
which He disguises Himself. Therefore the more you take a high
tone, the lower you become in its estimation; and when you think
to take it by surprise, it surprises you. Your wiles and violence
are just favours from Heaven:
The proud soul cannot comprehend itself, but the simple soul, with
the light of faith, can very clearly see through it.
The finding of the divine action in all that occurs at each
moment, in and around us, is true science, a continuous revelation
of truth, and an unceasingly renewed intercourse with God. It is a
rejoicing with the Spouse, not in secret, nor by stealth, in the
cellar, or the vineyard, but openly, and in public, without any
human respect. It is a fund of peace, of joy, of love, and of
satisfaction with God who is seen, known, or rather, believed in,
living and operating in the most perfect manner in everything that
happens. It is the beginning of eternal happiness not yet
perfectly realised and tasted, except in an incomplete and hidden
The Holy Spirit, who arranges all the pieces on the board of life,
will, by this fruitful and continual presence of His action, say
at the hour of death, "fiat lux," "let there be light" (Gen. i.
14), and then will be seen the treasures which faith hides in this
abyss of peace and contentment with God, and which will be found
in those things that have been every moment done; or suffered for
When God gives Himself thus, all that is common becomes wonderful;
and it is on this account that nothing seems to be so, because
this way is, in itself, extraordinary. Consequently it is
unnecessary to make it full of strange and unsuitable marvels. It
is, in itself, a miracle, a revelation, a constant joy even with
the prevalence of minor faults. But it is a miracle which, while
rendering all common and sensible things wonderful, has nothing in
itself that is sensibly marvellous.
Section 11 - The Triumph of Humility.
To the souls which are faithful to Him, God promises a glorious
victory over the powers of the world and of hell.
If the divine action is hidden here below
under the appearance of weakness, it is in order to increase the
merit of souls which are faithful to it; but its triumph is none
the less certain.
The history of the world from the beginning is but the history of
the struggle between the powers of the world, and of hell, against
the souls which are humbly devoted to the divine action. In this
struggle all the advantage seems to be on the side of pride, yet
the victory always remains with humility.
The image of the world
is always presented to our eyes as a statue of gold, brass, iron,
and clay. This mystery of iniquity, shown in a dream to Nabuchodonosor, is nothing but a confused medley of all the
actions, interior and exterior, of the children of darkness. This
is also typified by the beast coming out of the pit to make war,
from the beginning of time, against the interior and spiritual
life of man. All that takes place in our days in the consequence
of this war. Monster follows monster out of the pit, which
swallows, and vomits them forth again amidst incessant clouds of
The combat between St. Michael and Lucifer, that began in
Heaven, still continues. The heart of this once magnificent angel,
has become, through envy, an inexhaustible abyss of every kind of
evil. He made angel revolt against angel in Heaven, and from the
creation of the world his whole energy is exerted to make more
criminals among men to fill the ranks of those who have been
swallowed up in the pit. Lucifer is the chief of those who refuse
obedience to the Almighty. This mystery of iniquity is the very
inversion of the order of God; it is the order, or rather, the
disorder of the devil.
This disorder is a mystery because, under a false appearance of
good, it hides irremediable and infinite evil. Every wicked man,
who, from the time of Cain, up to the present moment, has
declared war against God, has outwardly been great and powerful,
making a great stir in the world, and being worshiped by all. But
this outward semblance is a mystery. In reality they are beasts
which have ascended from the pit one after another to overthrow
the order of God. But this order, which is another mystery, has
always opposed to them really great and powerful men who have
dealt these monsters a mortal wound. As fast as hell vomits them
forth, Heaven at the same time creates fresh heroes to combat
them. Ancient history, sacred and profane, is but a record of this
The order of God has ever remained victorious and those who
have ranged themselves on the side of God have shared His triumph,
and are happy for all eternity. Injustice has never been able to
protect deserters. It can reward them only by death, an eternal
Those who practise iniquity imagine themselves invincible. O God!
who can resist You? If a single soul has the whole world and all
hell against it, it need have no fear if, by abandonment, it takes
its stand on the side of God and His order.
The monstrous spectacle of wickedness armed with so much power,
the head of gold, the body of silver, brass, and iron, is nothing
more than the image of clay; a small stone cast at it will scatter
it to the four winds of Heaven.
How wonderfully has the Holy Spirit illustrated the centuries of
the world! So many startling revelations! so many renowned heroes
following each other like so many brilliant stars! So many
All this is like the dream of Nabuchodonosor, forgotten on
awaking, however terrible the impression it made at the time.
All these monsters only come into the world to exercise the
courage of the children of God, and if these are well trained, God
gives them the pleasure of slaying the monsters, and sends fresh
athletes into the arena.
And this life is a spectacle to angels, causing continual joy in
Heaven, work for saints on earth, and confusion to the devils in
So all that is opposed to the order of God renders it only the
more to be adored. All workers of iniquity are slaves of justice,
and the divine action builds the heavenly Jerusalem on the ruins