Today I received two books and a letter from Sister M--, who is
preparing to make her profession. She desires the prayers of your
holy society, and yours in particular. I think she greatly values
your support. Please do not disappoint her. Pray to God that she
may take her vows in view of His love alone, and with a firm
resolution to be wholly devoted to Him. I will send you one of
those books about the presence of God; a subject which, in my
opinion, contains the whole spiritual life. It seems to me that
whoever duly practices it will soon become devout.
I know that for the right practice of it, the heart must be empty
of all other things; because God will possess the heart alone. As
He cannot possess it alone, without emptying it of all besides, so
neither can He act there and do in it what He pleases unless it be
left vacant to Him. There is not in the world a kind of life more
sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with
God. Only those can comprehend it who practice and experience it.
Yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive. It is not
pleasure which we ought to seek in this exercise. Let us do it
from a principle of love, and because it is God's will for us.
Were I a preacher, I would above all other things preach the
practice of the presence of God. Were I a director, I would advise
all the world to do it, so necessary do I think it, and so easy
too. Ah! knew we but the want we have of the grace and assistance
of God, we would never lose sight of Him, no, not for a moment.
Believe me. Immediately make a holy and firm resolution never more
to forget Him. Resolve to spend the rest of your days in His
sacred presence, deprived of all consolations for the love of Him
if He thinks fit. Set heartily about this work, and if you do it
sincerely, be assured that you will soon find the effects of it.
I will assist you with my prayers, poor as they are. I recommend
myself earnestly to you and those of your holy society.