Daily Thought For March 29, 2021

To Possess God

Saint Jane’s advice to a soul suffering from spiritual trials:

Remain, I beg of you, unshaken in the assurance I give you on God’s part that your faith, hope, and charity are more alive and more perfect than they have ever been. Think no more whether you possess them or possess any virtue. With a mental loving glance at your resolutions, abide in this surety. Carefully avoid any desire to be delivered from your trouble and deprivation. It is a grace that God gives you in order to perfect in you all virtues. It is a reward and not a chastisement. Have no doubt of this.

God wills that you should bear this trial patiently, in absolute submission to him, without allowing your mind to seek either sight or knowledge of what is passing within you. Forbid all disputation or reflections on your temptations whatever they are, and do not ask yourself why this trial is given you. Make no effort to analyze or to subdue your sufferings, temptations, troubles, sorrows, darkness, obscurity, anxieties, embarrassments, extravagant thoughts, or anything whatsoever that exists or passes in your inner life, however painful and tormenting it may be. Neither get alarmed, or be surprised, or voluntarily make any reflections thereon, and do all this absolutely, with no reservation. Regard them all as cruel temptations, hold yourself above them, feign not to see them, however keenly you may feel them. Speak of them neither to God nor to yourself. Look at God and let him act. This alone is all you have to do, and this is the only exercise God requires of you and to which he attracts you. And besides, this is what our blessed Father invariably commanded me to practice and which I, on his part, recommend to you.

Entertain no desire to see, to feel, or to meditate actively, but abide in tranquility, repose, trust, and patience in his presence. Give no thought to see how you are there, or what the soul is doing, has done or will do, or what will happen to it in any occurrence or event whatsoever. It must be absolutely immovable, must not stir, for this unique perception of God (regard en Dieu) comprises all and more especially in regard to suffering. You know this very well, and I, likewise, assure you of it. Remain then steadfast in this simplicity, and as soon as you perceive your mind going from it gently bring it back, without act, look, or reflection. One thing only is necessary to possess God.

Continue your communions and usual spiritual exercises, making no reflections how you perform them, and leave the care of your salvation and of your inner life to the guidance of God, as well as all else that concerns you. You have sacrificed everything and given all to him; leave to him the care of all. Amen.

—Excerpt from words addressed to one of the first Mothers of the Visitation Order

De Chantal, J. F. (2011). A Simple Life: Wisdom from Jane Frances de Chantal. (K. Hermes, Ed.) (pp. 73–75). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

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