Gregory the Great: The Wandering of the Heart the Inpouring of the Holy Spirit Friday, Aug 9 2013 

St-Gregory-the-DialogistWho made a weight for the winds and weighed the waters by measure (Job 28:25).

Souls receive weight, that they should not henceforth with light motion glance off from their aim at God, but be made to settle into Him with immoveable weightiness of constancy.

Still was that people lightly moved to and fro, of which it is said by the Prophet, And he went on frowardly in the way of his own heart.  I have seen his ways: and I let him go (Isaiah 57:17,18).

But weighty counsel in heart banishes all inconstancy of wandering.

There are souls, that with light motion are now after one set of objects, now after another.

Almighty God, because He does not estimate lightly these very light waverings of men’s minds , by abandoning passes judgment on the wandering of the heart.

But when through grace He regards the wandering mind, He fixes it into stedfastness of counsel.

And so it is rightly said now, And made weight for the winds. Because when God deigns to regard with mercifulness the light motions of the mind, He directly fashions that mind to matureness of constancy.

[…]  Whence it is also subjoined; And he weigheth the waters by measure.

[…] By water we have the Inpouring of the Holy Spirit represented, as when it is said in the Gospel, He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Where the Evangelist following on added; But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive (John 7:38,39).  Again, by water sacred knowledge is denoted, as it is said; And give him the water of wisdom to drink (Sirach 15:3).

By water likewise not only the tide of peoples drifting away, but also the minds of good men that follow the preachings of faith, are denoted, as the Prophet saith, Blessed are ye that sow upon all waters (Is. 32:20).

And it is said by the Psalmist; The voice of the Lord is upon the waters (Psalm 22[29]:3).  In this place, then, what is denoted by the title of ‘waters,’ saving the hearts of the Elect, which by the understanding of Wisdom, have now received the hearing of the heavenly voice?

Touching whom it is rightly said; And weigheth the waters by measure. The Saints, so long as they are in this life, are transported on high by the Holy Spirit bearing them up.

In order that they may not swell high with any self-elation, they are kept down by certain temptations. And in order that they may never have the power to advance as much as they have the wish – lest they should be exalted by pride – there takes place in them a kind of measure of their very virtues.

Gregory the Great (c.540-604): Reflections (Moralia) on Job, 19, 7-9 (on Job 28:25) @ Lectionary Central.

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.