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Letter IX.—On Excessive Fervour.

To Sister Marie-Thérèse de Vioménil. On excessive fervour of good desires.

My very dear Sister,

The desire about which you have consulted me is very good in itself, but I fear lest it may become too strong. If you wish that it may not be hurtful to you under the appearance of good, you must manage to be always submissive and resigned about it, and consequently, peaceful. You know how, in even our best desires, nature and passion get mixed, making them violent, restless, hasty and wild. For this reason, and to preserve us from this danger, and also gradually purify our desires, even those that are most saintly, God defers granting them for a long time. For the wild desires of our natural inclinations do not deserve to be answered, only those desires formed by the Holy Spirit deserve to be heard by God, and these are always quiet, gentle and peaceful. Keep yourself, as much as possible, in a state of peace and even of a holy joy in order to be fit to receive holy impressions. You know that grace more easily makes way in hearts that are calm and free than in those that are full of uneasiness and trouble, for the latter are more exposed to be under the influence of the evil spirit.

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