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Letter XV.—Heartfelt Prayer.

To Mother Louise-Françoise de Rosen on the same subject.

My dear Sister,

I see no cause for anxiety in the state of your soul as you describe it in your letter.

1st. The feelings of gratitude, of joy, and of self-effacement which keep you in union with God for entire days without any relaxation are the effects of one of those operations which you have already experienced. You have but to accept this gift with humble gratitude, and I can only congratulate you on the grace God has bestowed on you.

2nd. There is a language of the heart which only God can understand, and which is expressed by desires and other interior movements, as men converse with the void and articulate words. This is called heartfelt prayer altogether interior and spiritual. In this the Holy Spirit, in the inmost sanctuary of the soul, listens, speaks, instructs, silences, turns and forms it according to His pleasure. It is the work of the divine Spirit on 150the created spirit of which the soul hardly understands anything, apparently, and yet, nevertheless, is completely revived by the impressions made upon it. In this also, it only remains to receive in all simplicity the gift of God, and since it pleases Him to communicate Himself to the soul in secret, and as it were, “incognito,” it should carefully abstain from opposing His designs by eager investigations or indiscreet curiosity.

3rd. Your thoughts and feelings about the happiness of the saints are founded on truth, for it is of faith that the essence of that sovereign happiness is but the ebbing and flowing of the very happiness of God. A small share of this happiness He imparts to certain souls here on earth, to attract them to Himself, and to inspire them with a distaste for all else; so transitory impressions have their good effect, for which reason we are permitted to desire, and to enjoy them with interior moderation and sobriety.

4th. The comparison of the stone which has to be cut with blows of the hammer on the chisel, and afterwards to be polished, is very just. You have only to allow yourself to be shaped and modelled, and to be careful not to destroy the form and shape given by the divine Workman, by thoughts and actions that obviate His industry.

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