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Letter V.—Recourse to Providence.

To the same Sister.—Perpignan, 1741.

I am constantly experiencing here the action of divine Providence, for no sooner do I make a sacrifice of everything to Him than He rectifies and makes it all turn out for the best. When I find myself at the last resource I place all my needs in the hands of that good Providence from whom I hope all things. I have recourse to Him always. I thank Him without ceasing for all, accepting all from His divine hand. Never does He fail those who put their whole trust in His protection. But how do people usually act? They substitute themselves, blind and powerless as they are, for that divine Providence infinitely wise and infinitely good. They build on their own efforts and thus withdrawing themselves from the ruling of divine love they deprive themselves of the helps they would have received had they kept within its shelter. What folly! How can we doubt that God understands our requirements better than we do ourselves, and that His arrangements in our regard are most advantageous to us although we do not comprehend them? We might make use of the small amount of sense we possess to decide that we will allow ourselves to be guided by that sweet Providence even though we cannot fathom the secret activities it employs, nor the particular ends it desires to attain. Should you remark that if it is sufficient for us passively to submit to be led then what about the proverb, “God helps those who help themselves”? I did not say that you were to do nothing—without doubt it is necessary to help ourselves; to wait with folded arms for everything to drop from Heaven is according to natural inclination, but would be an absurd and culpable quietism applied to supernatural graces. Therefore while co-operating with God, and leaning on Him, you must never leave off working yourself. To act in this way is to act with certainty and consequently with calmness. When, in all our actions we look upon ourselves as instruments in the hands of God to work out His hallowed designs, we shall act quietly, without anxiety, without hurry, without uneasiness about the future, without troubling about the past, giving ourselves up to the fatherly providence of God and relying more on Him than on all possible human means. 113In this way we shall always be at peace, and God will infallibly turn everything to our good, whether temporal or eternal.

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