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THE virgin St. Catherine, being once in ecstasy, saw and clearly understood that the Lord God, who is supreme Goodness, created man out of His ineffable charity, and that in the same charity and burning love He gives to man, or allows to happen, all things, whether consolations or tribulations, bestowing them both with no other aim than to provide for his salvation. Wherefore those are very blind and foolish who reprehend the works or the judgments of God, and murmur against Him, being scandalized and disturbed by the things which come to pass. But blessed are those who, understanding and believing in the holy Providence of God, humbly receive all things as best from the Hand of God, and give thanks for them, ever firmly hoping and trusting in the Lord.

St. Gertrude heard from our Lord that every pious and faithful soul ought to give up its own will utterly to God, committing itself fully to His good pleasure, and implicitly trusting that of His most gracious 269mercy, He, wills in all things to bring about its salvation. Hence when Jesus, her beloved Spouse, appeared to her, bearing in His right Hand health, and in His left sickness, and desiring her to choose which she would, she turned away from both the Hands of our Lord, saying: “O Lord, I desire with my whole heart that Thou shouldst not regard my will, but accomplish Thy good pleasure in all things.” He who desires to please God must commit himself and all belonging to him to the divine disposal with such perfect confidence, that he should even love to be ignorant of what the Lord wills to do in his regard, that so he may know the good pleasure of the divine Will to be more entirely accomplished in him.

Our Lord said also to St. Gertrude: “Whosoever wishes Me to come freely to him, must resign to Me the key of his own will. And if it happens to him through human frailty to take back the key he had given up to Me, by doing his own will in anything, let him wipe out the fault by penance, and again give up his will to Me; and the right hand of My mercy will receive him, and bring him forth with inconceivable honour to the kingdom of eternal glory.”

The blessed Augustine says: “A man may wish something, while God wills otherwise. This is granted to human frailty and to human weakness. It is difficult for thee to avoid having a wish of thy own. But consider that God is above thee, and thou art under Him; He is the Creator, thou the creature: He the Lord, thou the servant; and correcting thyself, and submitting thy will to His Will, say with Christ, ‘Not 270as I will, but as Thou wilt, my Father’ (Matth. xxvi. 39). For thus shall thy heart be upright, and not perverse.” Wherefore St. Gertrude, by divine inspiration, read three hundred and sixty-five times these words of the Gospel, “Not my will, but thine be done, most loving Jesus” (St. Luke xxii. 42). And this she felt to be most pleasing to the Lord.

We read of the same virgin Gertrude, that neither dangers, nor tribulations, nor losses, nor any other difficulties, nor even her own sins or defects, could ever overcloud the constant and secure confidence she felt in the most gracious mercy of God. For she most certainly trusted that all things, adverse as well as prosperous, were turned to her good by the divine Providence. And to this virgin the Lord .spoke thus, “The certain confidence which any one has in Me, believing that I have truly the power, the knowledge, and the will to be faithfully with him in all things, pierces My Heart, and dues such violence to My loving-kindness, that I can in no wise abandon or fail such a man.”

Our Lord said to St. Mechtildis; “It is very pleasing to Me that men should trust in My goodness and rely upon Me. When any one has humbly trusted in Me, and rightly believed in Me, I will be with him in this life, and will reward him beyond all his merits after death. How much soever any one may trust in Me, and piously expect from My goodness, so much and infinitely more shall he obtain; since it is impossible that a man should not receive what he has piously expected and hoped for. Therefore it is good 271for man to trust rightly in Me, hoping for great things from Me.” Also when St. Mechtildis sought to know from our Lord what ought to be believed concerning His ineffable goodness, our Lord answered; “Believe with certain faith that I will receive thee after death, as a father receives his most dear son, and that no father ever divided his inheritance with his only son so faithfully as I shall communicate all My good things and Myself to thee. He shall be blessed who shall firmly and with humble love believe this of My goodness.”

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