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Letter XI.—To Seek God’s Help Alone.

To the same Sister. On the deprivation of human assistance.


You think yourself greatly to be pitied, my dear Sister, because God has deprived you of the helps that up to now He has contrived for you. You are indeed to be pitied, but only on account of your want of resignation to the arrangements of divine Providence. Is it not deplorable that a soul chosen by God, and which He had taken into His service and overwhelmed with graces, instead of being contented with Him, ardently sighs after the little helps it receives from fellow creatures? These helps are all very well if God allows them, but when He takes them away, how much better it would be to rely upon Him alone! With what joy a soul that truly loved Him would repeat over and over again, “My God, You are my all! Lord! I have only You, but You are enough for me, and I desire nothing but what You give me.” The almighty hand of God will then take the place of a weak and worthless reed in regard to this soul. With this certainty how can you possibly consider yourself unhappy and abandoned? That which terrifies you is, that in future you can have no advice until too late. For my part I must say that, after so much advice and so many letters from the most enlightened directors you ought to be able to advise others. Besides, even though in certain circumstances you should have a serious doubt, is that any reason to despair? Raise your heart to God and He will not refuse to guide you when all other guidance is taken away from you; and then choose, unhesitatingly, what you believe, in good faith, to be the most suitable, the most useful to souls, and the most in conformity with the Will of God. Whatever may be the result, you must believe that you have acted rightly because, under the circumstances, you could not have done better. Do you really think that God demands impossibilities? No! God, Who is infinitely good, loves straightforwardness and simplicity, and is satisfied when we have done all in our power after having asked with confidence for His divine light.

279

You tell me that in your isolated condition you can see nothing that is not a subject of trouble and affliction. Oh! what a grace is this! It should have produced, or will necessarily produce in you, a complete detachment from all created things. Does not God give such a grace only to those souls He most loves? Oh! daughter of little faith, but daughter beloved of God, complain after this if you dare! “Only God,” you say again, “can know all that I suffer.” If you are not exaggerating, I congratulate you with all my heart. It was thus that the blessed Mother St. Teresa spoke during her great spiritual difficulties. It is a good sign to find life sad and bitter. Death is terrifying because of the judgment that follows: but unless this terror causes disquiet, it comes from the Holy Spirit. I should fear much for anyone who did not feel this salutary dread.

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