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Letter XXXII.—Patience with the Faults of Others.

To Sister Marie-Thérèse de Vioménil. On bearing with your neighbour and yourself.

My dear Sister,

It is a great grace to see others behaving badly without feeling bitterness, indignation, impatience, or even disturbance. If, for good reasons, you speak about it, watch over your heart and your tongue, so that nothing may escape you that would not 172be approved by God: and have good motives for whatever you say. Humble yourself quietly and lament in peace those faults that may have crept in during such talks. Often ask God to give you great charity and circumspection, and then remain tranquil. Keep yourself in the holy desire to belong entirely to God; pray with faith, confidence and resignation, and above all humble yourself profoundly before His divine Majesty. It is for Him to finish the work He has begun in you; no one else would be able to succeed in it, but know that there are many sacrifices to be made before God can take possession of our hearts by the ineffable delights of His pure love. Let us sigh for this happiness, and let us never weary of begging for it; let us purchase it by generous sacrifices, we shall never be able to pay too much for it. As our hearts cannot exist without love, shall we not go to the Heart of our God to derive from it the sustenance that alone can appease our hunger? May this divine love come then, and take possession of our hearts, may it sustain them, set them on fire and transform them into itself. Let us abandon ourselves without reserve to God and not interfere with His loving providence but think only of keeping straight in the road that God has marked out for us from all eternity, and in which we find ourselves at the present moment. One can dispute unendingly about predestination, and such arguments can only serve to make salvation seem more difficult; what is, however, undeniable is that there is no better expedient to ensure predestination than the actual and continual accomplishment of the will of God.

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