Daily Thought For May 27, 2015

Why Torment Yourself?

Believe me, my dear Sister, and put an end to all your fears and entrust all to Divine Providence who makes use of hidden but infallible means of bringing everything to serve his ends. Whatever others may say or do, they can only act by God’s will or permission, and everything they do he makes serve the accomplishment of his merciful designs. He is able to attain his purposes by means apparently most contrary, as to refresh his servants in the midst of a fiery furnace or to make them walk on the waters. We shall experience more sensibly this fatherly protection of Providence if we abandon ourselves to him with filial confidence. Quite recently I have had experience of this. Therefore, I have prayed to God with greater fervor than ever to grant me the grace never to have my own will, which is always blind and often dangerous, but always that his will, which is just, holy, loving, and beneficent may be accomplished. Ah! If you only knew what a pleasure it is to find no peace or contentment except in accomplishing the will of God, which is as good as it is powerful, you would not be able to desire anything else. Never look upon any pain, no matter of what kind, as a sign of being far from God; because crosses and sufferings are, on the contrary, effects of his goodness and love. “But,” you say, “what will become of me if …?” This is indeed a temptation of the enemy. Why should you be so ingenious in tormenting yourself beforehand about something which perhaps will never happen? Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. Uneasy forebodings do us much harm; why do you so readily give way to them? We make our own troubles and what do we gain by it? Rather we lose so much both for time and eternity. When we are obsessed in spite of ourselves by these worrying anticipations let us be faithful in making a continual offering of them to the sovereign Master. I beg you to do this, as in this way you will induce God to deal favorably with you and to help you in every way. You will acquire a treasure of virtue and merits for heaven and a submission and abandonment which will enable you to make more progress in the ways of God than any other practice of piety. It is possible for this purpose that God permits all these troublesome and trying imaginations. Profit by them then and God will bless you. By your submission to his good pleasure you will make greater progress than you could by hearing beautiful sermons or reading pious books. If you only understood this great truth thoroughly, you would enjoy great peace of mind and advance rapidly in the ways of God. Without this submission to his good pleasure, no spirituality counts for much. As long as people restrict themselves to exterior practices, they can but have a very thin veneer of true and solid piety which essentially consists in willing in all things what God wills and in the manner in which he wills it. When you have attained to this, the Spirit of God will reign absolutely in your heart, will supply for all else, and will never fail you in your need if you call with humble confidence for his help. This is faith, but is known to very few souls who are otherwise pious. Thus, for the want of this disposition we see them kept back and obstructed in the ways of God. What a pitiful blindness! All the business and complicated affairs in which we are immersed by God’s will and by the decrees of his Divine Providence, are equal to the most delightful contemplation, if one says from the bottom of one’s heart, “My God, this is your will, and, therefore, also mine.” Although this is said only in the higher part of the soul without the will seeming to take any share in it, still the offering is no less agreeable to God and meritorious for oneself. Keep with a firm determination to this practice and you will soon experience its excellent results. If you could also combine with it a certain peace and quietness of mind, a certain gentleness of manner toward others and also toward yourself, without ever showing signs of annoyance, worry, or vexation, what great and meritorious sacrifices you will have made!

De Caussade, J.-P. (2011). Inner Peace: Wisdom from Jean-Pierre de Caussade. (K. Hermes, Ed.) (pp. 79–82). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

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