Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

The Rug Under My Feet

So today I decided to try to read Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence, by Fr. De Caussade, S.J., again. In doing so, I came across this passage (2.2.2):

To Arrive at the State of Self-Abandonment, the Soul Must Strip Itself of All Created Things

This state presents nothing bu sweetness when attained, but many agonies have to be passed through on the road. The doctrine of pure love can only be learnt by God’s action, not by any effort of our own spirit. God instructs the heart not by means of ideas, but by pains and contradictions. The science of this state is a practical knowledge by which one tastes God as the sole good. In order to possess it, we have to be disentangled from all particular goods, and to reach that state of disentanglement we have to be really deprived of them. Thus, it is only through a continual self-contradiction and a long series of all kinds of mortifications, trials, and strippings that one can be established in the state of pure love. We have to arrive at the point at which the whole created universe no longer exists for us, and God is everything. For that prpose it is necessary that God should oppose himself to all the particular affections of the soul, so that when it is led to some particular form of prayer or idea of piety or method of devotion, when it proposes to attain perfection by such and such plans or ways by the direction of such and such people, in fact, when it attaches itself to anything whatever, God upsets its ideas and permits that instead of what it thought it would do, it finds in it all nothing but confusion, trouble, emptiness, folly. No sooner has it said: that is my path, there is the person I ought to consult, that is how I should act, than God immediately says the contrary and withdraws his power from the means chosen by the soul. So, finding in everything only deception and nothingness, the soul is constrained to have recourse to God himself and be content with Him.

Happy the soul that understands this loving severity of its God and corresponds to it faithfully! It rises above all that is transitory to rest in the unchangeable and infinite. It no longer lets itself go forth by love and confidence to created things, it admits them only by duty, by the command of God and a special application of his will. It lives above the alternations of abundance and deprivation in the plenitude of God who is its permanent good. God finds such a soul quite empty of individual inclinations, movements, or choice. It is dead and buried in a universal indifference. The Allness of the Divine Being thus appearing in the depth of the heart spreads over the surface of creatures a tint of nothingness which absorbs all their distinctions and variety. Creatures by themselves are without power or efficacy and the heart lacks any tendency or inclination towards them because the majesty of God fills all its capacity. A heart that thus livs for God is dead to everything else and everything is dead to it. It is for God who gives life to everything to vivify the soul and other creatures in regard to it. This life is God’s design.

Great, that at least explains why I so frequently feel as if, in my interior life, the rug is pulled out from under my feet. God is teaching me to trust and love Him, and His creatures only for His sake, according to His plans. Great. I hope that one day I will be able to say, with Mary, with my whole heart, “Be it done unto me according to Thy word.” I guess this is what it takes.

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