« FöregåendeFortsätt »
“ death?” To which he replies, “ I thank “ God, it is done through JESUS CHRIST our “ Lord.” It is he who conquers death in us through his own life. Then there is no longer a sting in death, or thorn in the flesh, capable of paining or hurting any more.
Ar first indeed, and for a pretty long time after, the soul sees that nature wants to take some part with it in its. trials : And then its fidelity consists in withholding it, without allowing it the least indulgence, till it leaves every thing to go on with God in purity as it comes from him. Till the soul be in this state, it always sullies, by its own mixture, the operation of God, like those rivulets which contract the corruption of the places they pass through; but, flowing in a pure place, they then remain in the purity of their source. Unless God through experience make known this guidance to the soul, it can never comprehend it.
Oh if souls had courage enough to resign themselves to the work of purification, without having any weak and foolish pity on themselves, what a noble, rapid and happy progress would they make! But few are willing to lose the earth. If they advance soine steps; as soon as the sea is ruftled, they are dejected, they cast anchor, and often desist from the prosecution of the voyage. Such disorders doth selfish interest and self-love occasion. It is of consequence not to look too much at one's own state, not to lose courage, not to afford any nourishment to selflove, which is so deep-rooted that its empire is not easily demolished.-Often the idea which a man falsely conceives of the greatness of his advancement in divine experience makes him
want it to be seen and known of men, and to wish to see the very same perfection in others. He conceives too low ideas of others, and too high of his own state. Then it becomes a pain to him to converse with people too human; whereas a soul truly mortified and resigned would rather converse with the worst, by the order of Providence, than with the best, of its own choice; wanting only to see or to speak to any as Providence directs, knowing well that all beside, far from helping, only hurt it, or at least prove very unfruitful to it.
What then renders this soul so perfectly content? It neither knows, nor wants to know, any thing but what God calls it to. Herein it enjoys divine content, after a manner vast, immense, independent of exterior events; more satisfied in its humiliation, and in the opposition of all creatures, by the order of Providence, than on the throne of its own choice.
Oh thou who alone conductest these souls, who canst teach ways so hidden and lost, so contrary to the usual spirit of devotion, which is full of itself and its own virtues ;-bring hither souls innumerable, which may love thee in the utmost purity. Every other love however vehement and ardent, is not the pure love, but a love mixed with selfishness. . These souls are the delight of God, who delights to be with the children of men, (Prov. 8. 31.) that is with souls child-like and innocent, such as are set free from pride, ascribing to themselves only nothingness and sin. They are one in God, to such a degree, that they look at him only, and every thing else in him. Beautiful is that passage of JEREMIAH, “ He sitteth alone, and
keepeth “keepeth silence because he hath borne his yoke “ upon him.” Lam. iii. 28.
What makes the perfection of one state, is only the weak and imperfect beginning of that which follows it, as in the mounting up from a lower class to a higher. The child's state has its beauties and charms in its season, as have all the succeeding stages of the divine life, when rightly disposed and directed. St. Paul says, The Law was our School-master to bring us unto Christ. (Gal. iii. 29.) But when we are come to him, that master is then rendered of no use. It is he who brings into the perfect liberty of the Sons of God, which liberty flows from the Spirit of God. But what are those souls designed for, which are so dear to him? To be conformed to the Image of his Son. (Rom. viii. 29, 30.)
It is here that the apostolic life begins.-But is every one called to that state?-Very few, indeed, as far as I can comprehend; and, of the few that are called to it, fewer still walk in true purity. There is a way of lights, gifts and graces, a holy life in which the creature appears all admirable : As this life is more apparent, so it is more esteemed of such at least as have not the purest light. The souls which walk in the other path are often very little known, for a length of time; as it was with Jesus Christ himself, till the last years of his life. Oh if I could express what I conceive of this state! But I can only stammer about it--I have wandered far from my story, but am not capable of doing otherwise.
BEING, as I have said, with the Ursulines at
Toron, after having spoken to the Bishop of Geneva, and seeing how he changed, just as others turned him, I wrote to him and to Father La Mothe; but all my pains were useless. The more I endeavoured to accommodate matters, the more the Ecclesiastic tried to confound them. I ceased to meddle.
I had a dream that I drew a cord which seemed at first of diamond; but afterwards it appeared to be of iron. I saw storms coming on every side; yet I rested in a profound peace, waiting for the strokes which I could not avoid. I beheld the tempest descend impetuously, without my having done the least thing to contribute to it, or seeing any thing for me to do but peaceably to suffer. One day I was told that the Ecclesiastio had won over the good girl whom I dearly loved. So strong a desire I had had for her perfection that it had cost me much. I should not have felt the death of a child so much as her loss: At the same time I was told how to hinder it, but that human way of acting was repugnant to
pugnant to my inward sense ; and these words arose in my heart, Except the LORD build the House, foc.,
And indeed he provided herein himself, hindering her from yielding to this deceitful man, after a manner to be admired, and very thwarting to the designs of him and his associates. As long as I was with her she still seemed wavering and fearful: But oh the infinite goodness of
God, to preserve without our aid what without his we should inevitably lose !--I was no sooner separated from her, but she became immoveable,
As for me, there scarce passed a day but they treated me with new insults; their assaults came on me at unawares, The new Catholieks, by the instigation of the Bishop of Geneva, the Ecclesiastic, and the sisters at Ger, stirred up all the persons of piety against me, I had but little uneasiness on my own account: If I could have had it on any, it would have been on that of Father La Combe, whom they vilely aspersed, though he was absent. They even made use of his absenee, to overset all the good he had done in the country, by his missions and pious labours, which was inconceivably great. At first I was too ready to vindicate him, thinking it jutice to do it. I did not do it at all for myself; and our LORD shewed me that I must cease doing it for him, in order to leave him to be more thoroughly annihilated; because from thence he would draw a greater glory, than ever he had done from his own reputation,
Every day they invented some new slander. No kind of stratagem, or malicious device in tlieir power, did they omit. They came to surprize and ensnare me in my words; but God guarded me so well, that therein they only discovered their own malevolence. I had no consolation from the creatures. She who had the care of my daughter behaved roughly to me. Such are the persons who regulate themselves only by their gifts and openings. When they don't see things presently succeed, as they regard them only by their success, and are not willing to have the affront of their pretensions