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Letter XIII.—Reliance on God Alone.

To the same Sister.

I acknowledge that a visible guide endowed with all the requisite qualities for so difficult a position, is a grace of God, and a powerful help to the soul. But if Divine Providence should refuse us this assistance, or should take it away from us, if we could say with our whole heart, “My God, I have only You, You are all that I desire,” what we should obtain by doing so, would be worth all that we could obtain by means of a director. It is an undoubted fact that God often deprives us of all outside help in order that we may give Him our sole confidence. Oh! if we would but give it entirely to Him without sharing an atom of it with anyone, whoever it might be! how well repaid we should find ourselves! For the want of any help from creatures, we should experience a great liberty of spirit. If, however, you have such contrary feelings it is because you are still very far from having that purity of love which makes us seek God for Himself alone. In fact this is evident, because the extreme sorrow and trouble to which a soul deprived of exterior help abandons itself, can only proceed from an immediate attachment to these human helps.

This attachment excites the jealousy of God, particularly if souls that have been favoured behave in this way, as He desires all their confidence and affection. But take courage! as God has made you endure the severe trial arising from such an attachment, He wishes in this way and by means of this very pain to moderate it gradually, until finally you are freed from it altogether. Allow Him to effect in you this desirable purification, and compel yourself to fulfil His designs faithfully. This will be an operation of grace as salutary as it is painful. You must endure it patiently as you would endure the suffering of some painful remedy intended to cure certain serious complaints. However, if you cannot at once succeed in becoming completely detached, at least desire with all your strength to become so, and moderate as much as you possibly can, the sorrow of which you cannot entirely rid yourself. God will do the rest when He thinks fit. Offer yourself to Him to do with you as best pleases Him, and show Him simply and humbly all your misery and weakness; that will suffice; this good Master asks no more at present, because this is all that you can do. Rise quickly from your frequent falls, which, as far as this matter is concerned are not sins but merely imperfections. For the rest, be satisfied to go to confession for the sake of absolution, then go to Communion as usual; in other respects your only help will be God. 281The rules which have been given you on former occasions will suffice to guide you, provided that you allow God to animate them with His spiritual unction. The more you wish for something fresh, the more tormented will you become, and to no purpose; and you will also commit many imperfections which will impede your spiritual progress just as much as real sins prevent others entering the way of salvation. The fear of not knowing, or of passing over many interior sins is another temptation of the enemy to deprive you of peace, and to disturb you. I command you for God’s sake to make yourself quite easy in this respect, contenting yourself with mentioning in confession that which your conscience tells you is the most important. Leave all the rest to the very great mercy of God without worrying yourself at all about it. Thus your confessions will be unconstrained and peaceful, and in this way will also be very fruitful. If we give way to trouble, we derive hardly any fruit from our confessions, and this the devil knows very well. If you have any difficulty in finding positive sins that you know to be such, just mention some particular sin of your past life, and after be at peace. This is the usual practice of well-intentioned persons, and you will lose nothing by following it.

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