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Letter VI.—Alone with God.

To the same Sister. Abandonment ameliorates the wearisomeness of solitude.

My dear Sister,

You are giving yourself unnecessary trouble about me. You have persuaded yourself that I look upon the isolation in which I live as a misfortune, whereas this is far from being the case. Every day I bless God for this happy stroke of His providence. I learn by it to die to all things in order to live to God alone. I was not so shut away at ——. There, many events both within and without kept me up, and made me feel alive; now, there is nothing of that kind. I am in a veritable desert alone with God. Oh! how delightful it is! Great interior desolation is joined to this exterior solitude. However painful to nature such a state may be, I bless God for it because I have no doubt that it is good for me. It is a universal death to all feeling even about spiritual matters, a sort of annihilation through which I must pass in order to rise again with Jesus Christ to a new life, a life all in God, a life stripped of everything, even of consolation, because in that the senses take part. God wishes to leave me destitute of all outward things, and dead to all to live only to Him. May His holy will be done in all things, and for ever! This is the strong pillar to which we must remain firmly fastened, this is the solid immovable foundation of all our perfection. You see, my good Sister, how little I require your compassion, since the subject on which you pity me most is precisely the subject of my joy. I must own, however, that the extreme solitude in which I found myself here so suddenly did not at first appear at all pleasant to me except in the superior part of my soul, but very soon my whole soul participated in it. Once more have I learnt by experience that we cannot do better than to follow step by step the course appointed by divine Providence. That is my great attraction, and more than ever am I resolved to devote myself to it blindly, without reservations and in all things, such as places, employments, seasons, in fine for everything. For a long time I have contented myself with asking God for one single grace, which is that I may have no other desire than to please Him, and no other fear than to offend Him. If He gives me this grace I shall be rich indeed both for time and 114eternity. I wish for you as for myself, only this. What can one fear who abandons oneself entirely to God? Besides the peace of mind it brings we shall find our perfection therein. If greater merit is gained in sacrifice what can be more meritorious than the entire sacrifice of our own will even in those things that seem to be most reasonable and holy, to the fulfilment of the will of God alone? Let us then have no other employment, no other ambition but that of uniting our will to the most merciful will of God, and let us be well assured that this will be our salvation even when we imagine that all is lost.

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