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Letter X.—The Use of Faults.

To the same person. On weariness and idleness.

My dear Sister,

I see nothing in your present state that should alarm you. This weariness, idleness, and indolence that we experience occasionally in spite of ourselves has no culpability about it, provided we suffer it with resignation, and do not curtail any of our exercises of piety in spite of the disinclination we feel to perform them. If, with this want of feeling about everything else we experience a strong desire for the Sacraments and a great contrition for our faults, it is a sensible effect of the mercy of God Who makes use even of our faults to make us increase in fervour and humility.

There are two kinds of interior peace; one is sensible, sweet and delightful, and this kind does not, in any way, depend on ourselves, and is not at all necessary. And there is another which is almost imperceptible, which dwells in the depths of the heart in the most hidden recesses of the soul. It is usually dry and unfelt, and can be retained in the midst of the greatest tribulations. To recognise it would require the most profound recollection, you would say it was hidden in a deep abyss. It is there that God dwells, and He fashions it Himself in order to dwell there as in an atmosphere of His own in the inner chamber of our hearts from whence He works marvellous but inscrutable things. These can only be recognised by their effects, as, when, by His beneficent influence you feel yourself capable of remaining firm in the midst of trials, violent shocks, great pain, and unforeseen misfortunes. If you find that you possess this dry 238peace and a sort of quiet sadness, you ought to thank God for it; this is all that is necessary for your spiritual progress. Guard it as a most precious gift. As it gradually increases it will one day become your greatest treasure, but this will not be till after many battles and many victories.

I congratulate you on having adopted my favourite motto, “God wills it! God be praised in all things.” Oh! what consolation there is in these few words! St. Francis of Sales said it was a tonic for the heart by virtue of which it would never give way; a strong potion which would enable us to digest iron, steel, and any other hard or revolting object that we were obliged to swallow, a balsam that could soothe and heal the most poisonous wounds. Oh! my dear daughter! let us make use of this remedy against the weakness of nature which opposes everything that is contrary to our inclination. By the use of this simple recipe you will find bitter things become sweet and everything will seem good and pleasant; nothing could better cheer the heart.

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