Jean-Pierre de Caussade: The Unction of the Name of God is Diffused by the Holy Spirit in the Centre of the Heart Tuesday, Mar 16 2010 

The state of abandonment is a certain mixture of faith, hope, and charity in one single act, which unites the soul to God and to His action.

United, these three virtues together form but one in a single act, the raising of the heart to God, and abandonment to His action.

[…] It is only by means of these three virtues that the possession and enjoyment of God and of His will can be attained.

This adorable object is seen, is loved, and all things are hoped for from it.

Either virtue can with equal justice be called pure love, pure hope, or pure faith, and if the state of which we are speaking is more frequently designated by the last name, it is not that the other theological virtues are excluded, but rather that they may be understood to subsist and to be practised in this state in obscurity.

There can be nothing more secure than this state in the things that are of God; nothing more disinterested than the character of the heart.

On the side of God is the absolute certitude of faith, and on that of the heart is the same certitude tempered with fear and hope.

O most desirable unity of the trinity of these holy virtues! Believe then, hope and love, but by a simple feeling which the Holy Spirit who is given you by God will produce in your soul.

It is there that the unction of the name of God is diffused by the Holy Spirit in the centre of the heart.

[…] This impress of the Holy Spirit in souls inflamed with His love, is called pure love on account of the torrent of delight overflowing every faculty, accompanied by a fulness of confidence and light.

But in souls that are plunged in bitterness it is called pure faith because the darkness and obscurity of night are without alleviation.

Pure love sees, feels, and believes. Pure faith believes without either seeing or feeling. In this is shown the difference between these two states, but this difference is only apparent, not real.

The appearances are dissimilar, but in reality as the state of pure faith is not lacking in charity, neither is the state of pure love lacking in faith nor in abandonment; the terms being applied according to which virtue prevails.

The different gradations of these virtues under the touch of the Holy Spirit form the variety of all supernatural and lofty states. And since God can rearrange them in an endless variety there is not a single soul that does not receive this priceless impress in a character suitable to it.

Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751): Abandonment to Divine Providence, 2,1,3.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade: The Life of God in the Soul Saturday, Jan 16 2010 

When God lives in the soul it ought to abandon itself entirely to His providence.

[…] Nothing is provided for the future, no road is marked out, but it is like a child which can be led wherever one pleases, and has only feeling to distinguish what is presented to it.

[…] Its dwelling is in darkness, forgetfulness, abandonment, death and nothingness. It feels keenly its wants and miseries without knowing from whence or when will come its relief. With eyes fixed on Heaven it waits peacefully and without anxiety for someone to come to its assistance.

[…] This soul, forsaken by creatures but in the enjoyment of God by a very real, true, and active love (active although infused in repose), does not attempt anything by its own impulse; it only knows that it has to abandon itself and to remain in the hands of God to be used by Him as He pleases.

Often it is ignorant of its use, but God knows well. The world thinks it is useless, and appearances give colour to this judgment, but nevertheless it is very certain that in mysterious ways and by unknown channels, it spreads abroad an infinite amount of grace on persons who often have no idea of it, and of whom it never thinks.

In souls abandoned to God everything is efficacious, everything is a sermon and apostolic. God imparts to their silence, to their repose, to their detachment, to their words, gestures, etc., a certain virtue which, unknown to them, works in the hearts of those around them.

And, as they are guided by the occasional actions of others who are made use of by grace to instruct them without their knowledge, in the same way, they, in their turn, are made use of for the support and guidance of others without any direct acquaintance with them, or understanding to that effect.

God it is who works in them, by unexpected and often unknown impulses; so that these souls are like to Jesus, from whom proceeded a secret virtue for the healing of others.

There is this difference between Him and them, that often they do not perceive the outflow of this virtue and even contribute nothing by co-operation.

It is like a hidden balm, the perfume of which is exhaled without being recognised, and which knows not its own virtue.

Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751): Abandonment to Divine Providence, 2,1,1.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade: Conformity with God’s Will Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

At the beginning of each day, and of meditation, Mass, and Communion, declare to God that you desire to belong to Him entirely, and that you will devote yourself wholly to acquiring the spirit of prayer and of the interior life.

Make it your chief study to conform yourself to the will of God even in the smallest things, saying in the midst of the most annoying contradictions and with the most alarming prospects for the future:

“My God, I desire with all my heart to do Your holy will, I submit in all things and absolutely to Your good pleasure for time and eternity; and I wish to do this, Oh my God, for two reasons:

“first: because You are my Sovereign Lord and it is but just that Your will should be accomplished;

“secondly: because I am convinced by faith, and by experience that Your will is in all things as good and beneficent as it is just and adorable, while my own desires are always blind and corrupt.

“They are blind because I know not what I ought to desire or to avoid, and they are corrupt because I nearly always long for what would do me harm.

“Therefore, from henceforth, I renounce my own will to follow Yours in all things; dispose of me, Oh my God, according to Your good will and pleasure.”

This continual practice of submission will preserve that interior peace which is the foundation of the spiritual life, and will prevent you from worrying about your faults and failings.

You will put up with them instead, with a humble and quiet submission which is more likely to cure them than an uneasy distress, only calculated to weaken and discourage you…

…To escape the distress caused by regret for the past or fear about the future, this is the rule to follow: leave the past to the infinite mercy of God, the future to His good Providence, give the present wholly to His love by being faithful to His grace.

Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751): Spiritual Counsels, 1.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade: Mary’s Fiat Wednesday, Oct 28 2009 

In the first ages, when souls were more simple and straightforward,…for those who led a spiritual life, each moment brought some duty to be faithfully accomplished.

Their whole attention was thus concentrated consecutively like a hand that marks the hours which, at each moment, traverses the space allotted to it.

Their minds, incessantly animated by the impulsion of divine grace, turned imperceptibly to each new duty that presented itself by the permission of God at different hours of the day.

Such were the hidden springs by which the conduct of Mary was actuated. Mary was the most simple of all creatures, and the most closely united to God.

Her answer to the angel when she said: “be it unto me according to thy word” contained all the mystic theology of her ancestors to whom everything was reduced, as it is now, to the purest, simplest submission of the soul to the will of God, under whatever form it presents itself.

This beautiful and exalted state, which was the basis of the spiritual life of Mary, shines conspicuously in these simple words, “be it unto me”.

Take notice that they are in complete harmony with those which Our Lord desires that we should have always on our lips and in our hearts: “thy will be done.”

It is true that what was required of Mary at this great moment, was for her very great glory, but the magnificence of this glory would have made no impression on her if she had not seen in it the fulfilment of the will of God.

In all things was she ruled by the divine will. Were her occupations ordinary, or of an elevated nature, they were to her but the manifestation, sometimes obscure, sometimes clear, of the operations of the most High, in which she found alike subject matter for the glory of God.

Her spirit, transported with joy, looked upon all that she had to do or to suffer at each moment as the gift of Him who fills with good things the hearts of those who hunger and thirst for Him alone, and have no desire for created things.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751): Abandonment to Divine Providence 1,1,1.