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SECTION III.—Abandonment a Pledge of Predestination.

The state of abandonment contains in itself pure faith, hope, and charity.


The state of abandonment is a certain mixture of faith, hope, and charity in one single act, which unites the soul to God and to His action. United, these three virtues together form but one in a single act, the raising of the heart to God, and abandonment to His action. But how can this divine mingling, this spiritual oneness be explained? How can a name be found to 39convey an idea of its nature, and to make the unity of this trinity intelligible? It can be explained thus. It is only by means of these three virtues that the possession and enjoyment of God and of His will can be attained. This adorable object is seen, is loved, and all things are hoped for from it. Either virtue can with equal justice be called pure love, pure hope, or pure faith, and if the state of which we are speaking is more frequently designated by the last name, it is not that the other theological virtues are excluded, but rather that they may be understood to subsist and to be practised in this state in obscurity.

There can be nothing more secure than this state in the things that are of God; nothing more disinterested than the character of the heart. On the side of God is the absolute certitude of faith, and on that of the heart is the same certitude tempered with fear and hope. O most desirable unity of the trinity of these holy virtues! Believe then, hope and love, but by a simple feeling which the Holy Spirit who is given you by God will produce in your soul. It is there that the unction of the name of God is diffused by the Holy Spirit in the centre of the heart. This is the word, this is the mystical revelation, and a pledge of predestination with all its happy results. “Quam bonus Israel Deus his qui recto sunt corde” (Psalm 72, i). This impress of the Holy Spirit in souls inflamed with His love, is called pure love on account of the torrent of delight overflowing every faculty, accompanied by a fulness of confidence and light; but in souls that are plunged in bitterness it is called pure faith because the darkness and obscurity of night are without alleviation. Pure love sees, feels, and believes. Pure faith believes without either seeing or feeling. In this is shown the difference between these two states, but this difference is only apparent, not real. The appearances are dissimilar, but in reality as the state of pure faith is not lacking in charity, neither is the state of pure love lacking in faith nor in abandonment; the terms being applied according to which virtue prevails. The different gradations of these virtues under the touch of the Holy Spirit form the variety of all supernatural and lofty states. And since God can rearrange them in an endless variety there is not a single soul that does not receive this priceless impress in a character suitable to it. The difference is nothing, there are the same faith, hope, and charity in all. Abandonment is a general means of receiving special virtues in every variety of different impresses. Souls cannot all lay claim to the same sort, nor to a similar state but all can be united to God, all can be abandoned to His action, all can receive the impress that is best suited to them, all in fact can live under the reign of God and enjoy a share in His justice with all its advantages. In this kingdom every soul can aspire 40to a crown, and whether a crown of love, or a crown of faith, it is always a crown, always the kingdom of God. There is this difference, it is true—the one is in light, the other in darkness; but again what does this signify if the soul belongs to God and obeys His will? We do not seek to know the name of this state, its characteristics, nor excellence, but we seek God alone and His action. The manner of it ought to be a matter of indifference to the soul. Let us therefore no longer preach to souls about either the state of pure love, or of perfect faith, the way of delights, or of the Cross, for these cannot be imparted to all in the same degree nor in the same manner; but let us preach abandonment in general to the divine action, to all simple souls who fear God, and let us make them all understand that by these means they will attain to that particular state chosen and destined for them by the divine action from all eternity. Let us not dishearten, nor rebuff, nor drive away anyone from that most eminent perfection to which Jesus calls everyone, exacting from them submission to the will of His heavenly Father and thus making them members of His mystical body. He is their head only in so far as their will is in accordance with His. Let us continually repeat to all souls that the invitation of this sweet and loving Saviour does not exact anything very difficult from them, nor very extraordinary. He does not ask for talent and ingenuity, all He desires is that they have a good will and desire to be united to Him so that He could guide, direct and befriend them in proportion as they are so united.

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