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SECTION XI.—Everything is Supernaturalised by the Divine Action.
The divine action incites souls to aim at the most eminent sanctity; all that is required on the part of the soul is abandonment to this action.
It is only from want of knowing how to make use of the divine action that so many Christians pass their lives in anxiously pursuing a multitude of methods which might prove useful if ordained by this divine action, but which by preventing a simple union with it, become positively harmful. All this multiplicity fails to impart that which can only be found in the principle of all life, that which is continually present with us, and which stamps each of its tools with a character of its own and makes it work 31with an incomparable fitness. Jesus is sent to us as a Master to whom we do not sufficiently attend. He speaks to every heart, and to each He utters the word of life, the only word applicable to us, but we do not hear it. We want to know what He has said to others and do not listen when He speaks to ourselves. We do not sufficiently regard things as having been supernaturalised by the divine action. We should always accept them with the perfect confidence they merit; with an open mind and with generosity, and be sure that nothing will harm those who act thus. This vast activity, which is in itself ever the same from the beginning to the end of time, is employed with every moment, pouring its immensity and virtue on the souls which adore it, love it, and rejoice in it alone.
You say you would be delighted to find an opportunity of dying for God, and would be completely satisfied with some such action, or with a life leading to the same result. To lose all, to die forsaken, to sacrifice your life for others, these are indeed charming ideas! But as for me, Lord, I glorify in all things the might of Your will in which I find all the happiness of martyrdom, austerities, and good works for others. Your will is enough, and I am content to live and to die as it decrees. In itself it is more pleasing to me than all the attributes of the instruments of which it makes use, or than their effects, because it pervades all, makes all divine, and changes all into itself. It is all heavenly to me, and every one of my moments is a genuine divine action, and living or dying I shall always be satisfied with it. Yes, divine Love, I shall no longer single out times or ways, but shall welcome You always and in any fashion. It seems to me, O divine Will, as if You had revealed Your immensity to me; I will therefore take no steps save in the bosom of Your infinity, You who are the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. The unceasing torrent of graces has its rise in You. It is from You that it flows, is carried on, and made active. Therefore it is not within the narrow limits of a book, or the life of a saint, or in some sublime idea that I ought to seek You. These are but drops of that ocean which is poured out over every creature and in which they are all immersed. They are mere atoms that disappear in this deep abyss. I will no longer seek this action in the thoughts of spiritual persons. I will no longer beg my bread from door to door, nor pay court to creatures, but I will live as the child of an infinitely good, wise, and powerful father whom I desire to please, and to make happy. I wish to live according to my faith, and since the divine action is applied by every single thing and at every moment for my perfection, I will live on this immense fortune, this certain income, and in the most profitable manner.32
Is there any creature whose action can equal that of God? Why then should I go to creatures for help since all that happens to me is the work of His uncreated hand? Creatures are powerless, ignorant, and without affection and I should die of thirst rushing like this from one fountain to another, from one stream to another when there is a sea at hand, the waters of which encompass me on every side. All that happens to me therefore will be food for my nourishment, water for my cleansing, fire for my purification, and a channel of grace for all my needs. That which I might endeavour to find in other ways seeks me incessantly and gives itself to me through all creatures.
O Love of God! how is it that all creatures do not know how freely you lavish Yourself and Your favours on them while they are seeking You in byways and corners where You are not to be found? How foolish to refuse to breathe the open air! to search for a spot on which to place the foot when there is the whole countryside before you; to be unable to find water when there is a whole deluge at your service, nor to possess and enjoy God, nor to recognise His action when it is present in all things. You search for hidden ways of belonging to God, good people, but the only way is that of making use of whatever He sends you. All leads to union, to perfection, except what is sinful or not a duty. All that is necessary is to accept everything, placing no obstacle in the way of its action but letting it accomplish its work. All things are intended to guide, raise, and support you, and are in the hand of God whose action is vaster and more present than the elements of earth, air, and water. Even by means of the senses God will enter, provided they are used only as He ordains, because everything contrary to His will must be resisted. There is not a single atom that goes to form part of your being, even to the marrow of the bones, that is not formed by the divine power. From it all things proceed, by it all things are made. Your very life-blood flows through your veins by the movement this power imparts to it, and all the fluctuations that exist between strength and weakness, languor and liveliness, life and death, are divine instruments put in motion to effect your sanctification. Under its influence all bodily states become operations of grace. From this invisible hand come all your opinions, all your ideas on whatever subject they may be formed. What this action will effect in you, you will learn by successive experiences, for there is no created heart or mind that can teach it to you. Your life flows on uninterruptedly in this unsounded abyss in which each present moment contains all that is best for you, and as such must be loved and esteemed. It is necessary to have a perfect confidence in this action which of itself can do nothing but what is good.33
Yes, divine Love! to what heights of supernatural, sublime, admirable and incomparable virtue would all souls arrive if they would but be satisfied with Your action!
Yes, if they would leave the matter in this divine hand they would attain to an eminent degree of perfection! Everyone would arrive at it because it is offered to all. No effort is required because the work accomplishes itself. Every soul possesses in You an infinitely perfect model, and by your action which works ceaselessly to this end, is rendered like this model. If all souls were faithful copies of this divine example they would all speak, act, and live divinely. They would not require to copy each other, but would be singled out by the divine influence, and each would be rendered unique by the most simple and ordinary things.
By what means, O my God, I can make your creatures appreciate what is offered to them? Must I who possess so great a treasure with which I could enrich the whole world, see souls perish in poverty? Must I behold them withering like plants in a desert when I can show them the source of living waters?
Come, foolish souls, you who have not an atom of sensible devotion, you too who possess no talent nor even the rudiments of education, you who cannot understand a single spiritual term, who stand astonished at the eloquence of the learned whom you admire; come, and I will teach you a secret which will place you far beyond these clever minds. I will make perfection so easy to you that you will find it everywhere and in everything. I will unite you to God, and make you walk hand in hand with Him from the moment that you begin practising what I will teach you. Come, not to study the map of the spiritual country, but to possess it, to walk in it at your ease without fear of losing your way. Come, not to study the theory of divine grace, nor to find out what it has accomplished in the past and still continues to accomplish; but to become simply subject to its operations. It is not necessary that you should understand what it has said to others, nor to repeat the words intended only for them and which you have overheard, but you, yourself, will receive from it what is best for you.
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