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Letter XXIV.—The Call of God a Sign of Predestination.

To the same person.


You are quite right to consider the design with which God has inspired you as one of the greatest graces. It is the surest sign of the predestination of a soul by God when He calls it to His divine service. On this, not only its eternal salvation depends, but even temporal happiness, since experience proves that peace and true contentment in this world can only be found in the service of God. Besides, the depravity of the times is so great, that it is very difficult to serve God perfectly out of religion. It costs so much to serve God in the world, that people often lose courage and give up their good intentions. You must, therefore, thank our Lord without ceasing for the gratuitous grace He has given you, in preference to so many others who are lost in the world while leading in it a life full of sorrow and disappointment. In the second place you must trust in the goodness of God, and firmly hope that the design with which He has inspired you, He will bring to a successful conclusion. It is often for our greater advantage that He defers the accomplishment of our most holy desires. His providence can by hidden, but infallible means, cause things to succeed in 164spite of every obstacle, even when success seems absolutely impossible. God often allows His work to be thwarted in order to make the exercise of His power more striking, and to show us that He is absolute master of all, and that, as without Him we can do nothing, so with His assistance we shall be able to accomplish what appears impossible in our eyes. In the third place you must resign yourself entirely to whatever is the will of God, telling Him frequently that you wish to depend on Him for everything, and that you will have no other will but His. In this way when anything happens to cross your, apparently, most just desires you must, before all, make the sacrifice of them, and then remain in peace, for nothing is so opposed to the Spirit of God and to the marks of His grace, than interior distress, produced by a too great eagerness for even the best and holiest things. Moderate this indiscreet zeal, this too impetuous impulsiveness, and direct all your efforts to the fulfilment of the holy will of God in all things, renouncing your own will however holy and reasonable it may appear to you. There is, truly, no solid virtue nor true sanctity apart from an entire resignation to, and acquiescence in the will of God. If you feel an occasional repugnance to submit yourself to what God ordains, you should go to Him at once interiorly by prayer, and implore Him to subject your will to His in all things, and to give you strength to overcome your repugnance and your self-love which desires its own satisfaction in even the holiest things. Nevertheless, as it is God’s rule that we should do all in our power to cause the good desires with which He has inspired us to succeed, this is what you ought to do.

1st. Frequent the Sacraments as often and as well as you can.

2nd. Live in a great purity of conscience by avoiding the slightest fault that might keep God at a distance from you.

3rd. Every day, at your convenience, spend some time in spiritual reading which will take the place of meditation when you are unable to make it.

4th. During the course of the day raise your mind and heart to God as often as possible, especially when you experience pain, weariness, disappointment, or any repugnance. Offer them to Him as a continual sacrifice. In this way you will obtain constant fresh graces and heavenly inspirations, to which it is of infinite importance that you should be faithful, because it is particularly to this fidelity that God usually imparts His greatest gifts, and above all, that of perseverance.

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