Abandonment to Divine Providence
Jean-Pierre de Caussade
The world is full of infidelity. How unworthy are its thoughts of God! It complains continually
of the divine action in a way that it would not dare to use towards the lowest workman about his trade. It would reduce God to act only within the limits, and following the rules of its feeble reason. It presumes to imagine it can improve upon His acts. These are nothing but complaints and murmurings. We are surprised at the treatment endured by Jesus Christ at the hands of the Jews, but, O divine love! adorable will! infallible truth! in what way are you treated? Can the divine will ever be inopportune? Can it be mistaken? “But there is this business of mine! I require such a thing!
The necessary helps have been taken from me. That man thwarts all my good works, is it not most unreasonable? This illness comes on just when my health is most necessary to me.” To all this there is but one answer—that the will of God is the only thing necessary, therefore what it does not grant must be useless. My good souls! nothing is wanting to you. If you only knew what these events really are that you call misfortunes, accidents, and disappointments, and in which you can see nothing but what is irrelevant, or unreasonable, you would lie deeply ashamed and excuse yourselves of your complainings as of blasphemies; but you never think of them as being the will of God, and His adorable will is blasphemed by His own children who refuse to acknowledge it.
When You were on earth, O my Jesus, the Jews treated You as a demonaic, and called You a Samaritan; and now, although it is acknowledged that You live and work through all the centuries of time, how is Your adorable will received? that will worthy of all benediction and praise for ever. Has one moment passed from the creation to the present time, and will one moment pass even to the day of judgment in which the holy name of God will not deserve praise; that name which fills all the ages, and everything which takes place in the ages, that name by which everything is sanctified? What! can the will of God do me harm?
Shall I fear, or fly from the will of God? And where shall I find anything better if I dread the divine action in my regard, or regret the effect of His divine will? We ought to listen attentively to the words uttered in the depths of our heart at every moment. If our sense and reason do not understand nor enter into the truth and goodness of these words, is it not because they are incapable of appreciating divine truths? Ought I to wonder that my reason is bewildered by mysteries? When God speaks it is a mystery, and therefore a death-blow to my senses and reason, for it is the nature of mysteries to compel the sacrifice of both. Mystery makes the soul live by faith; for all the rest there is nothing but contradiction. The divine action by one and the same stroke kills and gives life; the more one feels the death to the senses and reason, the more convinced should one become that it gives life to the soul. The more obscure the mystery to us, the more light it contains in itself. This is why a simple soul will discover a more divine meaning in that which has the least appearance of having any.
The life of faith is a continual struggle against the senses.