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Letter XIX.—The Happiness of Resignation.

On the happiness of souls that abandon themselves to God in their afflictions.

It does not astonish me, my dear Sister, that you find it difficult to understand the ways of divine Providence. Neither do I understand them any better than you, but what I know and what you know as well as I, is that God arranges and disposes of all things as He pleases, and makes use of whom He will to carry out His designs at the time and moment He has decided upon. Let us learn then to resign ourselves in all and everything with submission and confidence in Him Who can do all things, and Who disposes of all things according to His own plans. If we could only attain to this state of holy submission we should wait patiently for things to happen at the appointed time, instead of at the time that, in our impatience, we expect them. Abandonment to God’s holy providence binds Him, in a way, to find a remedy for everything, and to provide for and console us in all our needs. Remind yourself of this great saying, “Everything passes away, God alone remains.” Abandon yourself and all who are dear to you, therefore, to His loving care. In public disasters as in all others we should, by our confidence, glorify His infinite goodness, and then we shall be able to say with David, “We have rejoiced for the days in which thou hast humbled us; for the years in which we have seen evils.” Suffering patiently endured, is the lot and the seal of the elect; let us say also with the same prophet, “I was dumb, and I opened not my mouth, because thou hast done it.” There is no greater consolation in our trials than a lively faith in the goodness of Him Who sends them, an expectation of that eternal happiness these trials have merited for us, the remembrance of our sins that they 292help to expiate, and the contemplation of the sufferings that Jesus Christ underwent for love of us. Impatience would only serve to aggravate the evil, while patience has the great power of lightening them. God has different chastisements for each country and these are like so many different rods with which He threatens us and punishes our sins, but always with a fatherly love, since He only threatens and punishes us in this world in order to be able to save us with greater certainty. May He be blessed for ever!

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