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SECTION VI.—Submission a Free Gift to God.

The state of abandonment includes the merit of every separate operation.

Abandonment as practised interiorly contains every possible variety of operation, because, the soul giving itself up to the good pleasure of God, this surrender, effected by pure love, extends to all the operations of this good pleasure. Thus the soul practises at each moment an abandonment without limit, and in its virtue are comprehended all possible qualities and every method. It is, therefore, by no means the business of the soul to decide what is the object of the submission it owes to God; its sole occupation is to submit at all times and for all things.

What God requires of the soul is the essential part of abandonment. The free gifts He asks are abnegation, obedience, and love, the rest is His business. Provided that the soul carefully fulfils the duties of its state; provided it quietly follows the attraction given to it, and submits peacefully to the dealings of grace as to body and soul, it is in this way exercising interiorly one general and universal act, that of abandonment. This act is by no means limited by time, nor by the special duty of the moment, but possesses in the main all the merit and efficacy which a sincere good will always has, although the result does not depend upon it. What it desired to do is done, in the sight of God.

If God’s good pleasure sets a limit to the exercise of particular faculties, it sets none to that of the will. The good pleasures of God, the being and essence of God are the objects of the will, and by the exercise of charity its union with God has neither limit, distinction, nor measure. If this charity ends in the exercise of the faculties for certain objects, it is because the will of God only goes so far; it contracts itself, so to speak, restricting itself to the exigencies of the present moment from whence it passes to the faculties, and then to the heart. Finding the 43heart pure, free, and without reserve, it communicates itself fully to it on account of the infinite capacity which charity has effected, by emptying it of all created things, thus rendering it capable of union with God. O heavenly purity! O blessed annihilation! O unreserved submission! through you is God drawn into the centre of the heart. Let the faculties then be what they will, provided, Lord, that I possess You. Do what You will with this insignificant creature; whether it works, becomes inspired, or becomes the subject of Your impressions, it is all one. All is yours, all is from You and for You. I have no longer anything to look after, anything to do. I have no hand in the arrangement of one single moment of my life, all is Yours. I ought neither to add to, nor to diminish anything, neither to seek after, nor to reflect upon, anything. It is for You to regulate everything. Direction, mortification, sanctity, perfection, and salvation are all Your business, Lord; mine is to be satisfied with Your work, and not to appropriate any action, or any state, but to leave all to Your good pleasure.

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