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Letter I.—Happiness and Peace of Abandonment.

To Sister Elizabeth Bourcier de Monthureux.

The happiness and peace of a soul entirely abandoned to God.—Perpignan, 1732.

Madame and very dear Sister. You do well to give yourself up entirely and almost solely to the excellent practice of an absolute abandonment to the will of God. In this lies for you all perfection, this is the straight path leading most quickly and surely to a profound and unchangeable peace; it is also a secure safeguard to preserve this peace in the depths of the soul even in the midst of the most violent storms. Far from doing it harm, these storms will serve infallibly, not only to increase its merits, but also to strengthen more and more this union of the created will, with the divine will, and it is this which renders the peace of the soul unchangeable. Oh, what happiness! what grace! what a certainty as to the life to come, and what unalterable peace does she possess who belongs to God alone, who has no being out of God; who has no other support, no other help, no other hope but God alone.

What a beautiful letter one of your Sisters has written to me on this subject! She says that for a whole month this one thought consoled, sustained and encouraged her so strongly that instead of reluctance to practise this virtue, she felt it a source of peace, and of an inexplicable joy. It seemed to her that God took the place of director, of friend, and will to be all things to her Himself. The more we become accustomed to these thoughts, the more settled will be our peace; and the fixed determination to seek God only, and to unite our will to His, is, in the best sense of the word, that “goodwill” to which peace has been promised.

How can created things trouble a soul which neither desires nor fears them? Let us endeavour to arrive at this state and then our peace will be firmly established. Let us imitate the holy Archbishop of Cambray who said of himself, “I endure all until the worst comes to the worst, and then, finally, I find peace in complete self-renunciation.”

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