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Letter IV.—Different Temptations.

To Sister Marie-Thérèse de Vioménil. On different temptations.


I see clearly by your letter, my dear Sister, that in the midst of your interior troubles and trials, you have made unknowingly very solid progress.

1st. To understand the value of the interior life, and of peace of mind, and to endeavour to acquire them through all your perplexities and drawbacks, is a good step in advance, the rest will follow in time and will be the result of your gentleness towards yourself and others. Let us accustom ourselves to accept everything in a right spirit from the hand of divine Providence, and to bless Him in all things, and for all things, whatever they may be. If we do this we shall find that what causes us most grief will, in the end, be most advantageous to us. Let us trust God and never be wanting in confidence; if necessary let us make more sacrifices, and thus we shall obtain continually fresh graces from Him, and shall increase our riches in Heaven.

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2nd. Thoughts and feelings against our neighbour, if not consented to interiorly, nor shown outwardly, are matter for merit, and are not sinful. Guard carefully the virtue of charity and gradually all this will subside and come to an end. If some interior or exterior fault should escape you, be content to humble yourself before God without trouble, but peacefully, and generously repair whatever pain you may have caused, or bad example you may have given. You will gain more by this apology than you have lost by the fault.

3rd. Hardness and want of feeling in the reception of the Sacraments is certainly very painful; bear it with patience and humility; do what is in pour power gently in the spirit of pure faith; it is the greatest penance that God allots to any soul to purify it from self-seeking and the satisfactions of self-love.

4th. Try during the day to make of everything a help for raising the heart to God, but without effort or eagerness. Observe the most filial submission to the different arrangements of divine Providence about everything; you will gain more by doing so than by all the spiritual exercises that you perform to please yourself. Above all make your perfection consist in willing exactly what pleases God, and in the way it pleases Him. His good pleasure is, in fact, the rule of all good will, and the principle of all perfection whether in Heaven or on earth.

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