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Letter IV.—Liberty of Spirit.

My dear Sister;

I am touched at your wish to share in my trials, but I am happy in being able to reassure you. It is true that, at first, I felt a keen pain at finding myself loaded with a multitude of business affairs and other cares quite contrary to my attraction for silence and solitude; but notice how divine Providence has managed about it. God has given me the grace not to attach myself to any of these affairs, therefore my spirit is always at liberty. I recommend the success of them to His fatherly care, and this is why nothing distresses me. Things often go perfectly, and then I return thanks to God for it, but sometimes everything goes wrong and I bless Him for that equally and offer it to Him as a sacrifice. Once this sacrifice is made God puts everything right. Already this good Master has, more than once, given me these pleasant surprises. As regards having time to myself, I have more here than elsewhere. Visits are rare now, because I only go where duty obliges me, or necessity calls me. The Fathers themselves knowing my tastes, soon left me alone, and as they are aware that I do not act in this way out of pride or misanthropy, they do not take exception to my conduct, and indeed many are edified by it. Nevertheless I am not quite so dead as you seem to think, but God has given me grace not to care how discontented people are with me for following my own bent. It is He alone whom we ought to have any great interest in pleasing; as long as He is satisfied that is enough for us all, other things are a mere nothing. In a short time we shall appear before this great and sovereign Master, this infinite Being. Alas! of what avail will it be to us then for eternity to have done anything except for Him and inspired by His grace, and His holy Spirit? If one became more familiarised with those simple truths, what repose would not our hearts and souls enjoy during this present life? From how many idle fears, foolish desires and useless anxieties should we not be delivered; not only concerning 112this life, but also the next. I assure you that since my return to France I begin to look forward more than ever with great peace and tranquillity to the end of this sad life. How could I experience aught but joy at seeing the end of my exile approaching?

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