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AN ENGLISH NUN IN EXILE TRANSLATES

THE SPIRITUAL LETTERS OF

ARCHBISHOP FENELON TO MADAME GUYON

BIBLIOTHQUE MAZARINE, MS 1202, IIB
 

Archbishop Fnelon of Cambrai

Madame Jeanne Marie Bouvires de la Mothe Guyon
 

 
130 [bis]  Spirit: Leters

heart of man never speaks soe
perfectly as when it shows, & presents
itself simply to god. s exposition
to the divine regard & abandonment
to the whole will of the beloved,
is to say all without any distinct
word. in e same maner god says
all without speach when he shows
his truth & his love. Love & you hve
said all. leave your self to the infi-
nite Love & you have heard all,
and comprehended all.
  29 Abandonment to e Sole will
  of God, & disengagementyourfrom all things
elce, is the hapiest of all states, and
the only means to be happy in any state.
 

     Bishop of cambray          131

   24 how to suffer well
~ Suport in peace your interiour
crosses. the exteriour ones without
those of the interiour would not be
crosses: the wud be but continuall
victories, with a flattering hope of
of our invincible force. such crosses
would poison the heart & charm our
self love. to suffer well, one must
suffer as weak and feeling ones weak
ness: one must see one self without
resource within one self: one must
be upon the cross with Jesus Chist
and say as he did: my god, My God, how
have you abandon'd me? O that the
peace of the will in s dispair of the self


132    Spirit: leters of the

love is precious in his eyes who caus-
-es it in us without showing it to us!
Nourish your self with s speach of
Saint Augustin, which is soe much
e more viv Enlivening as it brings
to the heart a totall death of self lo-
-ve: Nihil in me reliquatur mihi
nec quo respiciam ad me ipsum:
let there be nothing left in me of my
self nor where with to cast again one
regard upon my self. doe not hearken
to your imagination, nor to te refflec
tions of a human wisdom. let all fall
and remain in the hands of the beloved,
tis will and his glory which ought to
occupy us.
 

     Bishop of Cambray       133

25 Upon ambition.
~ be a true nothing in all and every
where; but you must add nothing to
this pure nothing. tis upon nothing
that noe hold can be taken. it can
lose nothing. the true nothing never
resists, & it has not a Self to be occupied
about. be then nothing, and nothing
beyond; and you will be all without
thinking of the being. suffer in peace:
abandon your self: goe like abraham,
without knowing where. receive from
men e Solace & asistance which god
shall give you by them. tis not from m
but of him by them that you must rec-
eive itthem. mix nothing with aban-


134     Spirit: leters of

donment noe more then with nothing.
that sort of wine ought to be drunk
pure & without mixture: one drop
of water takes from it all its ver
-tue. one loses infinitly desiring
to reserve the least self resource.
Noe reserve I conjure you.
We must love the hand of God which
strikes us, & which destroys us. the
creature was made but to be destroyd
at his good pleasure who made her
for himself. O hapy use of our substance!
our nothing Glorifies the enternall be
-ing as the All of god. May all then
perish which self love would soe fain
conserve! Let us be the Holocaust wch
 

     the Bishop of cambray         135

the fire of Love reduces to ashes. trou-
ble never comes but from self love
Devine love is all peace and aband-
onment. there is but to sufer, to let
fall, to lose, to retain nothing, never
to stop soe much as one moment the
crucifying hand. this non-resista-
nce is greivous to nature: but god
gives it, the beloved sweetens it,
he measures all temptations.
My God, what a hapy thing to perform
ones purgatory in s world! MNature
would neither have it in s life nor
in the other. but god prepare it in
this world, and tis we who by our re
sistances make two instead of one.
 

136     Spirituall leters

we render this so unprofitable by
not submiting to it, that all is to
be begun again after death. we shud
be even from s life as the souls of
purgatory quiet & suple. In the hand
of God to abandon ourselves to it,
yeilding to be destroy'd by the reven
ging fire of love. Hapy the soull
that suffers thus.
I love and respect you more, & more
under his hand who crushes you, to
purify you. O how precious is this
state! the more you find your self
empty & deprived of all, the more
you appear to me replenished With
god and the object of his complaisance.
 

   of the Bish: of Cam:    137

When one is fastned upon the cross
with Jesus Christ, one says as he
did O God, My God, how have you ab-
andoned me! but this sensible aban-
donment, which is a kind of dispair
in grosse natura, is the more pure
union of the spirit, and the perfecti
on of love.
What imports it that god deprives us
of sensible or perceived suports and
gusts, provided he dos not let us fall.
the prophet Habacuc was not he well
suported when the Angell transpor-
ted him with soe much impetuosity
from Judea to Babilon, holding him
by one of his hairs! he went without
 

138      Spirit: leters of the

knowing where, & not knowing by
wt suport. He went to feed Daniell
in the lions Den: he was taken up by
the invisible spirit, & by the vertue
of faith. hapy those who goe in this
maner by a path unknown to human
wisdom, & without touching the ground
with their feet.
You have but to suffer & to let yourself
by consumed by litle, & litle, in the
cruscible of love. what is there to
doe? nothing, but never to push back
which des the invisible hand wch des-
troys & new melts all. the farther
one advances, the more one must
yeild to the entire destruction. tis
 

   Bish: of Cambray,       139

necesary that a living heart be
reduced to ashes. we must die and
not see our death: for the death
we shud perceive, would be the -
most dangerous of all lives. You are
dead, says e apostle, & your life
is hiden with Jesus christ in
god. the death must be hiden to hide
the new life. which this death oper-
ates, one lives noe more but of death
as Saint Augustin speaks, but that one must
be simple & without return to let
this destruction of the Old man be
finish'd! I beg of god to make of you
a holocaust, which the fire of the
Alter may consume without reserve.
                          8

  Spirit: letters of

25 to live in pure abandonment.
~ You know you must cary the cross
and cary it in full darkness. perfect
love neither seeks to see nor feell
tis content to suffer without know
ing if it suffers well. and to love
without knowing if it loves. O that
abandon without any return or sec-
ret fold is pure and worthy of god!
it alone is more destroying then a
thousand, and a thousand austere
vertues, sustain'd by a perceptable
regularity. one would fast like St
Simon Stilite, standing whole ages
upon a pillar: one would spend a
hunderd years in the desert as St
 

     Bish: of cambray       141

Paull hermit, in fine wt would
one not doe of mervelous and worthy
to be writen, sooner then lead a
plain & simple life, which is a to-
tall & continuall death in this sim-
ple, leaving one self to the good plea-
sure of god? liven then of this death;
let it be your only quotidian bread.
I preent you that which I will eat
with you.
Be simple and a litle child. tis in
infancy that unalterable peace
dwells and is proof against all. all
the regularities where a person pos-
ses his vertue are subject to ilusion
and mistakes. tis only those who ne-
 

142     Spirit: leters of

ver reckon that are subject to noe
miscount. only the soulls dispropri
-ated by the evangelicall abnegation
have no more to lose. only those w
doe not seek for any light are not de
ceived. tis only litle children who
find in god the wisdom which is not
in the great and wise ones, soe much
admired.
30 to suport abandon, dispoilment
               and Death
~ all contributes to your triall; but
God who loves you, will not permit yu
to be tempted above your strength.
he will make use of the temptation
to advance you. but you must not
 

     Bish: of Cambray        143

curiously look to see in your self
neither your advancement, nor yr
strength, nor the hand of god, which
is not less helping when it renders
it self invisible. tis in hiding it
self that it principaly operates:
for we should never die to ourselves
if he sensibly show'd us that hand
always aplied to help us. in s case
god would sanctify us in light, in life,
& in spirituall cloathing us with all
spirituall ornaments: but he would
not sanctify us upon the cross, in dark-
ness, in privation, in nakedness, in
privation death. Jesus Christ does
not say: if any one will come after
 

144    Spirit: leters of

me, he must posses himself, and
revest himself with ornaments, &
be inebriated with consolations
as peter upon thabor, enjoying me
and himself in his perfection, Seing
himself and having full assurance
in seing that he is perfect: but one
the contrary he says, if Anny man
will come after me; this is the
way by which he must walk; let him
renounce himself, take up his
cross & folow me. in the path sur-
-rounded with precipices where he
shall behold nothing but death. St
Paull sais that we would be over-
cloath'd, & that one the contrary we
 

         The Bish: of Cam:          145

must be stript to the most extreme
nakedness, to be afterward revest-
ed with Jesus Christ.
let yourself then be dispoiled even
to e last ornaments of self love
and to the last veils with which
it endeavours to cover himitself,
afterwards to receive the robe wch
is whitened but in the blood of the
Lamb, and which has noe other pu-
rity but his. A Soull too happy wch
has noe more anything of her own
who has even nothing borow'd noe
more then proper, & who leaves
herself to the beloved being desi-
rous to have noe more beauty but
 

146          Spirit: let: of the

him alone! O Spouse you will be
truly beautiful when there remains
to you noe ornament of your own! you
will be the whole complaisance of
the divine spouse when he alone shall
be all your beauty. then he will love
you without measure, because it
will be only himself that he will
love in you. hear these things & be
lieve them. this food of pure truth
will be at the first bitter in your
mouth & in your entrailles; but
it will nourish your heart, and it
will nourish it with that death wch
is the only life. believe this and
doe not listen to your self. the self
 

          Bish: of cambray           147

is a great seducer: he deceives
more the serpent seducer the Eve,
haply the soull who hearkens in all
simplicity to that which hinders
her from listening to her self and
from being tender to herself.
Why can I not be with you! but god
dos not permit it. what doe I say?
God does it invisibly, and he unites
us a hunderd times more intimatly
in himself, center of all his, then if
were incesantly in the same place.
I am in spirit quite close to you;
I bear with you your cross & all yr
languishment. but if you would
have the Child Jesus cary them
 

148      Spirit: leters of

with you, let him hide himself
from your eyes, leave him to goe
and come with all freedom. he
will be all powerfull in you if you
are very litle in him. One demands
socour to live & posses one self. and
one needs no more but to expire, &
to be disposes'd of one self without
resource the true sucour is the mor-
-tall blow; tis the stroke of grace.
it is time to die to one self, to the
end the death of Jesus christ may
operate a new life. I would give
mine to take yours from you. and
to make you live, that of God.
 

     the Bishop of Cambray     149

  27 Upon e dificulty of abandon
  in pure faith to gods imperceptible op-
  eration. ~  What I wish you
above all is that You doe not alter
your grace by looking for it. would
you that death should make you live.
and posses your self in abandonment:
that would be the most manifest
ilusion. you must want all food to
compleat your death. tis a cruelty
and treason to let you breath, & nou
rish you to prolong your agony one
the torture. die: is the only word t
remains to me for you.
What then have you sought for in e
way wch god has open'd for you? if
 

150  Spirit: letters of

you would live, you had but to
nourish yourself with all. but
how many years is there that you
have dedicated your self to the
obscurity of faith, to death, & to
abandonment? was it upon condi-
-tion to doe it in apearance, and to
find a greater security in abandon
it self? if it was soe, you would
have bine very cuning with god.
this would be the height of Illusion.
if one the contrary, you only sought
(as I doubt not but you did) the total
sacrifise of your spirit and will,
why doe you draw back when god
makes you at last find the only
 

        Bish: of cambray            151

thing you sought for, will you take
yourself back assoon as god would
posses you, & disposses you of your
self? will you thro fear of the sea,
and tempest cast yourself against
the rocks, and suffer shipwreck in
the haven? renounce to all securi
tys: you can never have any but
falce ones. tis the unfaithfull search
of sureties which causes your pain.
far from conducting you to repose,
you resist your grace: how can you
find peace.
I own you must folow what god puts
in the heart: but two things are to
be observed: one is, that the atract
 

152    Spirit: leters of

of god which inclines the heart
is not found by the nice, & perplex'd
refflections of self love: the other
that alsoe tis not found by such
express motions as to bring with
them the certitude that they are
divine. this refflected certitude
of which the soull would render
account to herself, and upon wch
she wud relye, would destroy the
state of faith, render all death im
posible and imaginary, changing
abandon, & nakedness, into possesion
and propriety without bounds; in
-fine it would be a perpetuall fana
-tisme; for one would imagin one
 

            the Bish: of camb             153

self incesantly inspired of god for
all that one should doe each moment,
there would be no more neither
direction, nor docility, but as much
as the interiour motion, indepen
dant of all exteriour authority, should guide
each one therto. s would be to
overthrow e way of faith & death.
all would be light, possesion, life
and certitude in all these things.
tis then to be observ'd that one ought
to folow the motion; but not desire
to assure oneself of it by reflection,
and say to one self to enjoy ones cer
-titude; yes, tis by inspiration t
I act
 

154    Spirit: letters of

the motion is but the grace or int-
eriour atract of the holly Ghost, wch
is comon to all the just: but more
nice, more profound, less percepta-
-ble, & more intimate in soulls al-
ready disengaged, and of whose disa-
propriation god is jealous. this
motion brings with it a conscience
very simple, very direct, very rapide,
which sufises to act uprightly, and
to reproach e soull with her infid-
elity in e moment she resists to
it. but tis the trace of a fish in e
water; it is effaced as soon as tis
form'd, & there remains nothing of
it: if you would be hold it, it disa-
 

       the Bish: of Cam:     155

pears to confound your curiosity.
how doe you pretend that god will
let you posess this gift, since he
only grants it to you, to the end you
may posses your self in nothing.
the holly patriarchs, Prophets, and
apostles &c: had besides miracu-
lous things a continuall atract
which push'd them to a continual
death: but they did not make them-
selves judges of their grace, & they
folow'd it simply: it would have es
-caped from them whilst they had
bine reasoning upon it to make m
selves judges of it. you are our
ancient; but tis your eldership
 

156  Spirit: leters of

which makes you owe more to god
then all the rest. you are our eldest
Sister; it belongs to you to be the
example of all the others to streng
then them in the paths of darkness
and death. walk then like Abra-
-ham without knowing where. goe
out of your land, which is your heart,
folow e inspiration of grace: but
doe not seek the certitude of it by
reasoning, if you seek it before yu
act, you make your self Judge of yr
grace instead of being docile unto
it & yeilding your self up to her as
the Apostles did. they were deliv-
-erd up to the grace of god says Saint
 

          Bish: of Cambray          157

Luke in e Acts. if one the contrary
you seek this certitude after having
acted, tis a vain consolation you
look after thro a return of self love;
instead of going still forward with
simplicity according to the atract
and without looking behind you.
this looking back interupts the
course, delays e progress, weakens
& blurs e interiour operation tis
a frequent retaking of oneself,
tis undoing with one hand that wch
one dos with the other. from thence
it comes that one pases soe many
years languishing, doubting, and
turning all round one self.
 

158   Spirituall leters of

I neither lose the sight of your
long pains, nor of your trialls, nor
of the mistake of those who talk of
your state without knowing it well.
I agree alsoe that tis easier for me
to speak then for you to doe. & that
I fall into all the faults, where I
propose to your not to fall. but infine
we are more endebted to god then
all the others becausegod demands
of us things more advanced; and
perhaps we are proportionably e
most backward. let us not be dis
couraged; god only desires to see
us faithfull. let us begin again, and
in begining anew we shall soon fi
 

    Spirit let:  B Cam:       159

-nish, let us, let all fall, and
gather up nothing, we shall goe
very fast and in great peace.
32 to avoid distraction, & activity
~ In the name of God, avoid disipa-
tion, be affraid of your imagination
too lively & your gust of the world.
tis not sufficient that you see but
few people; you must also hinder
your vivacity from being too much
excited by any: you must retrench
long conversations, & even in the
shortest your must cut of a certain
activity of spirit which incompa
tible wth recolection. I doe not dem
-and a certain recolection procured
 

160    Spirit: leters of

by strife and industry which is
not seasonable: I ask of you e
union of all simple, & from e fund,
with god which his grace gives us
when we let fall our activity wch
disipates us, & makes us savour
the amusement of creatures, sin-
-cerely unless you are faithfull to
let fall all this activity, which pro-
ceeds both from nature, & custom,
you will insensibly lose all your
interiour; & not withstanding al
your pious intentions you will
find yourself reduced to a devotion
of passing & superficiall sentiments
with great frailties, as a great
 

          Bish: of Cambray     161

mixture of things contrary to yr
ancient grace.
29 Daily Crosses, & deaths,
Let us bear e cross, e greatest
is our selves, we shall not be out of
our selves till we look upon our sel-
-ves simply as a neighbor which we
must suport with patience. if we
let our selves die every day of our
life, we should not have much to
dy at the last, and that which
gives us soe much terour afar of
would cause us litle near hand pro-
-vided we doe not exagerate it, by
our perplexed fore-seings of self
love, bear with your self and
 

162     Spirituall letters

infantlike consent to be born wth
by others O that the litle deaths
which are daily endured, take
away force from e great death.
~ Tis Gods will that in the works
he enjoins us, we unite together
two things very proper to make us
die to our selves: one is, to act as
tho all depended upon e asiduity
of our labour: the other is tobe so
disabuse our selves of our labour
and after tis finish'd, to reckon
there is nothing yet begun. after
we have work'd very well god
pleases himself, to take away all
our work before our eyes, as the
 

           Bish: of Cambray       163

stroke of a broom sweeps away a
cobweb. after wch if he pleaces he
dos the work, we not being able to
say how; for which he had made us
take so much pains seeming unprofi-
table. make then cobwebs, God
will sweep them away, and after
having confounded you, he will we
work alone his own fashion.
I am not astonish'd at your miseri-
-es you deserve m as long as they sur-
prise you, tis arogantly to expect
something from oneself, when we
wonder to find our selves in fault.
this surprise only proceeds from a re-
mainder of confidence.
 

162 [bis] Spirit: leters of  e

30 to conceal nothing, as of Dist
-ractions, & drinesses
~ You canot tell me things too
simply. be not in pain for the thoughts
of vanity which importune you, in
relation to the dispositions of your
heart which you explicate unto
me. God will not permit the ven
-om of pride to corupt that which yu
doe of necesity to goe directly un-
to him. moreover there is always
less to be pleased wth & to be proud of
then cause of being humbled, and
confounded in the things one is
obliged to say of one self, one must
relate with simplicity the good
 

       Bish: of Cam:      163 [bis]

like the bad, to the end the pers-
on in wm one confides may know
all, as a physician, & may give re-
medies proportionable to the ne-
cesity. the question is not what
you feell against your will, nor the
thoughts which present themselves
to your mind, nor the unvoluntary
distractions which tire you in yr
prayer: tis suficient, that your
will dos never consent to be distrac-
ted, that is to sayt that your dont
have always an upright, & sincere
intention to make prayer, & to let
fall the distractions assoon as you
perceive them, in this state dis-
 

164       Spirituall leters of

-tractions will only doe you good:
then will fatigue, humble, and
accustom you, to live of bread dry
and black in the house of god; you
will remain faithfull to love and
serve god, & to unite your self to
him in prayer without tasting
in it the sensible consolations, wch
one often seeks there more then
himself. Ilusion is to be feared
when a person seeks god, but with
a tasted pleasure. this pleasure
may flatter self love, but when a
soull remains united to god, in e
darknesses of pure faith, and in
the drinesses of distractions, she
 
 

        the Bish: of Cambray      165

folows him carying the cross for his
love, when sweetnesses come rec-
ceive them to manage your weak-
ness, when god weans you from them,
as a child is wean'd from the breast
to be nourished with bread, you must
content your self without this sen-
sible sweetness to love god in an
humble & mortified state. take
heed when in s state that you
doe not draw back from your comu-
nions, prayer, & comunion, will
walk an equall pace, without plea-
sure, but with a pure fidelity. God
is never soe well served, as when
we serve him, (as I may say) at our
 

166     Spirit: leters of

cost, without having any sensi-
-ble profit of it, upon the spot.
31 Upon tepidity disgusts,
  interiour silence.
I doe not wonder at your tepidity.
one is not always in fervour, god
dos not permit it to be continuall:
tis good to feell by inequalities t
it is a gift of god, wch he bestows, &
withdraws as he pleases. if we were
in fervour without cease, we shud
feell neither crosses, nor our weak-
-ness, temptations would not be
such in reality, tis necesary we
be tried by the interiour revolt
of our corupted nature and that
 
 

         the Bish: of Cam:         167

our love be purified by our dis-
gusts, we are never so much gods
as when we stick to him noe more
by sensible pleasure, but remain-
ing faithfull, by a will quite naked,
being fastned one the cross. the ex-
teriour pains, would not be true
pains, if we were exempt from e
interiour ones. suffer then patient-
ly your disgusts, and they will be
more profitable to you, then a gust
accompanied with a confidence in
your state, disgust sufferd by a faith
full will is a good penance, it hum
bles, makes one diffident of one
 

168      Spirit: leters of

self, causes the soull to feell her
frailty, & compels her to have more
frequent recourse unto god. behold
great benefits. s unvoluntary
terpidity, & s propension to seek
all which may flatter self love, ought
not to hinder you from comunion.
You would run after a sensible
gust of god, which is neither his
love, nor prayer. take this gust
when god gives it you, & when he
dos not, love, & endeavour to make
prayer as if s gust did not faill
you, tis to have god to expect him.
one the other side you doe well, not
 

           the Bish: of Cam:        169

to ask of god gusts & consolations,
but as much as he shall please to
give them you, if god will sanctify
you by the privation of these sensi-
bilities, you ought to conform your
self to this mercifull designes, &
suport drinisses: they will be most
profitable by humbling you, and
making you die to your self; which
is the work of god.
Your pains come only from your -
self: you cause them by hearkening
to Your self, tis a niceness, and a
sensibility of self love, which you
nourish in your heart, by tendring
 

170     Spirit: letters of

your self, upon your self. instead
of bearing faithfuly the cross, and
fulfiling your duties carying this
burthen of others to help them to
suport it, and to redress those per-
-sons God has confided unto you;
you shut your self up within your
self, only employ'd witho your
discouragment. Hope in god; he
will uphold you, & render you use
full unto others provided you doe
not doubt of his help, & that you
doe not spare your self in this
labour.
take care you doe not interupt yr
prayer: you would doe your self
 

     the Bish: of cambray    171

infinite preiudice. the silence
wch you speak of is excelent as
often as you find your self drawn
unto it. leave it to employ you
self in more distinct verities wn
you can easily & with gust: but
fear not s silence when it opera
tes in you in a more faithfull attenti
on to god for the rest of the day.
remain free with god in the best
maner you can, provided your will
be united to him, & that you in all
things seek to perform his will, at
the cost of your own.
32 to declare ones interiour pains
~ I am not at all surprised at your
 

172  Spirituall leters of the

pains tis naturall that you shud
feell them. they only ought to
serve to make you feell you un
powerfulness, & to make you have
knowlbe humble recourse to god.
when you feell your hert overcome
by the pain. be not ashamed to dis
-cover your weakness, & demand
asistance in s presing necesity,
be simple, & ingenuous to tell it.
this practis will acustom you to
simplicity, Humility & dependence..
it will very much destroy self love
which lives only upon disembling
to cary a good face, when tis in
despair. one the other side seek
 

    Bishop of cambray   173

to amuse your self wth all the
things which may sweeten your
solitude & arm you against tedious
ness without pasionating you, or disi-
-pating you with the gust of the wo-
rld. if you should keep them upon
your heart these your pains they would
encrease and swell continually, &
would surmount you at last. the
falce courage of self love would
cause you infinit evills. the ven
-om which strikes in is mortall:
that wch comes out dos no great
harm. one must not be ashamed
of the stink which comes out of e
 

174   Spirit: leters of e

wound of the heart. I doe not
in e least stop at certain words
which escape from you, & which e
excessivness of the pain, makes
you say contrary to the fund of yr
true will. tis sufficient that these
salyes makes you feel learn that
you are weak & that you consent
to see your weakness, & to let it
be seen by others.
33 Upon e same subject, & how to
converse with God
~ Nothing is better then to tell all.
One opens ones heart, one cures
ones pains, in not keeping them:
and one uses one self to simplicity
 

      Bishop of Cambray  175

and dependence: for one reserves
only the things, Upon which one
is afraid to subject one self: infine
one humbles one self; ffor nothing
is more humbling then to manif-
est the secret folds of the heart
to discover all ones miseries; but
nothing draws so much benediction.
Not that we must make to our sel
-ves a method and rule. to relaxe
with a scurpulous exactitude all
that we think of: we should never
have done, & one would be always
in perplexity & uneasiness, for fear
of forgeting something. tis sufficient
to reserve nothing thro want of
 

176    Spirituall leters

simplicity & by an evill shame of
self love, w would never let it
self be seen but In its finest colours
tis enuff that yu have noe designe,
not to say all according to the oc-
-casions: after that one says less
or more without scruple as the
occasions & thoughs are offer'd.
though I am much employ'd & often
perhas very dry, s simplicity of
grace will never weary me: on
the contrary it will augment my
Wisdom, & my Zeall. tis not ques-
-tion of feeling but of wiling, the
sentiment very often dos not de-
pend upon us. God expresly takes
 

      Bishop of Cambray      177

it from us, to make us feel
our poverty, & to use us to the cross
by the interiour aridity, and to
purify us, in holding us fastned
unto him without s sensible con-
solation. afterwards he gives us
back s solace from time, to time
to compasionate our weakness.
be with god; not in a tyed up con
-versation, as with those people
one visits in ceremony, & to whom
one makes studied & measured
compliments; but as with a good
freind, who constrains you in noth-
-ing & whom you doe not constrain
neither. one sees one another
 

178     Spirit: leters of

one speaks to each other, one
listens, one is silent, one is con-
-tented to be together without
any mutual discourse: the two
hearts repose themselves, to see m
selves in each other, to make but one
heart: they doe not measure wt
they say, they have noe care to
insinuate nothing or to forethink
any thing; all is said by simple sen-
-timent, & without order; they neither
reserve, nor turn, nor fas Compose
any thing: they are as contented
the day they have spoke litle, as
that they had much to say. One is
never in s maner, but imperfectly
 

         Bishop of Cambray      179

with e best friends: but wth god
one is perfectly soe when one does not
wrap one self upp in the subtilities
of ones self love, you must not goe
to make visits to god, to render him
a passing duty; you must remain
wth him in e privacy of domesticks
or to say beter, of children. be wth
him as your daughter is with you:
this is the means not to be tired.
Make triall of s simplicity, and
Give me news of it.
34 Profit of Crosses & Faults &ctra
~ I hold to wt you say, which is t
you continually resist you the will of
god. the impresion he gives you is
 

180  Spirit leters of

to be employ'd about him, but
the refflections of your self love
occupy you only about your self.
since you know that you should
be more in repose, if you did not
without cease try by your endeav-
-ours & striving to atain to an ele
-vated prayer, & shine in devotion
why doe you not seek s repose?
be content to folow god, & doe pre-
-tend that God shud folow your gust
to flater you. Make prayer like
the Grosest beginers, & the most
imperfect if need be: accomodate
your self to gods atract & to your
necesity. tis true one must not be
 

        Bish: of Cambray             181

troubled for feeling in one self
the corupted motions of self love
it does not depend upon us not to f
feell them, but we must give noe
maner of consent unto them by
the will, & let fall these unvolun-
tary sentiments by turning one self
imediatly simply towards god.
this conduct provided, you must
comunicate, & you must even com-
-unicate to be able to hold it. if
you should wait for comunion till
you were perfect, you would never
have neither comunion nor perfec-
-tion: for we become perfect but by
comunicating, & one must eat
 

182          Spirit: leters of

the bread descended from heaven
to arive by little, & little, to a life
wholy celestiall.
as for your crosses, you must take
them as the penance for your sins,
and as the exercise of death to yr
self wch will lead you to perfection.
O that crosses are good! O what
need have we of them! wt should
we doe wthout crosses! we should
be given up to our selves, & be in-
-tosticated with self love. tis need
-full that we have crosses, & even
faults which god permits for to
humble us, we must put all to pro-
-fit; avoid faults in the occasion,
 

     Spirit: Let. B. Camb:      183

and make use of them to conf-
-ound one self as soon as they
are comited: We must cary the
crosses with faith & look upon them
as most wholesome remedies.
Dread Haughtiness: be diffident
of that wch the world calls good
pride: tis a hunderd times more
dangerous then e most foolish. e
most subtill poison is the most mor
-tall. be then mild, patient, com-
-pasionate to the weakneses of oth-
ers, incapable of all mockery, or
critique. Charity believes all
the good she may believe, and su-
-ports all the evill she canot hind-
 

184     Spirit: leters of

-der seing in her neigbor. but
to be thus dead to the world, one
must live to god: & s interiour
life can be obtain'd but in prayer.
Silence & the presence of god are
the nourishment of the soull
35 Evangelicall renunciation
~ I have received your Last leter
by it I perceive that God dos you
great favours; for he enlightens
you, & persues you very much: it
belongs to you to corespond therto.
the more he gives, the more he
demands, & the more he requires
the more tis just we should give
him. you see he withdraws his
 

          Bish: of Cambray           185

consolatons, & the atract of recol-
-lection as soon as you let yourself
goe to the enjoying of creatures w
disipate you. Judge therby of gods
Jealousy, & of that wch you ought
to have against your self to be noe
more your own, & to give your self
wholy to him wthout reserve.
You have good reaspm to believe t
the self abnegation, which is requ-
ired in the Gosple, consists in the
sacrifise of all our thoughts, and of
all the motions of our heart. the
self to wch we must renounce is
not a certain I know not what
 

186      Spirit: leters of

or a Phantom in the Air; tis our
understanding which thinks, tis
our will, wch wills according to its
one fashion, by self love: to re-
-establishe the true order of god.
we must renounce to this corupt
self, by thinking nor wiling but
according to the impresion of e
spirit of grace.
this is the state where god com-
-unicates himself familiarly.
as soon as one goes out of this
state, one resists the spirit of
god, & one contristates it, and
one renders one self unworthy
of his comerce. tis by mercy that
 

     the Bish: of Cambray     187

God rebukes you, & makes you -
feell his privation when you turn
your self towards creatures.
tis because he will reproach yu
with your fault, & humbling you
for it, would corect you of it, and
to render you more cautious for
the future. then you must come
back Humbly, & patiently to him.
never vex yourself? that it is your
stumbling block: but reckon that
silence, recolection, simplicity,
and flight from the world are
for you, that wch the nurses -
breast is for the infant.
 

188     Spirit: leters of

36 The instinct of the fund, pres:
of god, Inocent diversions.
I believe you may ought to be in
repose for your prayer: it apears
good to me; You have but to cont-
-tinue it with confidence in him
from wm it proceeds, & wm you
are in it.
as for wt you call instinct, tis a
secret seed of love, & of the pres-
-ence of god, which you must have
care to nourish, because tis t
which nourishes all e rest in your
hert. the maner of cultivating s
instinct is wholy simple. you
must (first) avoid disipation wch
 

      the Bish: of Cambray    189

would weaken it: (2) folow it by
the return to silence, & recolecti-
-on as often as this fund awakes
and makes you perceive your dis-
-traction: (3) yeild to s instinct in ma
king the Sacrifices it demands in
each occasion, to make you die to
your self.
We must not think that the pres-
-ence of god is imaginary unless it
gives us great lights to say fine things.
this presence is never more reall
& more mercifull then when it
teaches us to be silent, to humble
ourselves, not to hearken to our
 

190      Spirituall leters of

our self love, & to remain with
litleness & fidelity, in the Darkness &
of faith. this intimate gust of
self renunciation, & of litleness,
is much more profitable, then
resplendant lights, & lively sen-
-timents.
As for that sensible presence of
god which yo have less then here-
tofore, it dos not depend of you.
god gives it & takes it as he pleases.
tis sufficient that you doe not
fall into a voluntary disipation.
there is amusements of passion &
of vanity which disipate, & cause
some distance between god & us.
there are other amusements wch

obscurities, vertically in margin
 

      the Bishop of Cambray       191

one takes but by simplicity, & in e
order of god, to divert one self, to
employ e activity of the imagina-
whilst the heart has a more inti-
mate occupation. one many amuse
one self wth this second sort in those
times of the day, wherein one could
not continue prayer wthout being
tired; then tis a half prayer, wch
is sometimes worth as much as the
even e prayer that one makes
expresly.
37 of interiour sentiments good & bad
~ You must think of repairing
the disorder of wch you complain, in
your interiour. the maners too
 

192     Spirit: leters of

naturall of others revives all t
is too naturall in us, they make us
goe out of a certain center of the
life of grace: but we must re'enter
into it with simplicity and difficence
of one self. hardness, injustice,
& deceit, are found in our heart as
to sentiments. then when we find
ourselves with persons who show
our self love, but tis sufficient t
our will dos not folow s inclina-
tion. we must profit of our deff-
ects by an entire diffidence of our
heart.
I am very glad that you find in
you noe ressource to suport the
 

          the bishop of Cam:          193

kind of life you have undertaken.
I should fear all for you if you find
yourself confirm'd in the good, and if
you promis'd to yourself perseve-
-rance in it: but I hope all when
I see that you sincerely dispair of
your self. O that one is weak wn
one believes one self strong. O that
one is strong in god, when one finds
one is weak in oneself! the senti-
-ment does not depend of you: alsoe
love is not in the sentiment. tis
the will which depends of you & wch
demands. the will must be folow'd
by action: but often god does not re
quire great Work works of us
 

195    Spirit: letters of the

Regulate ones family, put ord-
er to ones affairs, bring up ones
children, bear ones crosses, leave
the vain joys of the world, flater
ones pride in nothing, repress ones
naturall haughtiness, labour to
become simple, ingenious, litle,
silent, recolected, accustome one
self to a life hiden wth Jesus christ
in god: these are the works with
which god is contented.
You say you would have crosses to
expiate your sins & to prove your
love to god, content your self with
the present crosses; before you
seek for others bear these well:
 

          Bishop of Cambray       196

hearken neither to your gusts
nor to yr repugnances; keep your
self in this generall disposition
of dependance without reserve
of the spirit of grace in all occas-
ions. this is the continuall death
to oneself. doe not refuse anny
thing to god, & prevent upon no-
-thing for the things one which yu
doe not as yet see his will. each
day will bring its crosses, & its
sacrifices. when god would make
you pass into another state, he
will insensibly prepare you for
it. I shall wilingly be your instru-
ment of death by s dependance
 

197     Spirit: leters of the

of grace. I wish god may conti-
-nualy persue all life of self love
in you.
38 to receive equally from god
tranquility, or driness in prayer
~ You ought not to be in pain for
the tranquility which god gives
you in prayer. when it comes yu
must take it without any scruple:
it would be to resist god, if under
pretext of Humility & of penance
you should reject this atract of grace.
to occupy your self with your mis
-eries. the sight of them will come
back sufficiently in due time, but
when you find a propension and a
 

         Spirit let: of B. Cam:    198

facility to be in a sweet presence
of god, nothing is soe good as to
remain therin, you confess that
out of s tranquility in gods pre-
-sence you doe not know what pra-
-yer is. take care then not to goe
out by your own choice of a dis-
position, out of which you say
your prayer is lost.
One the other side: when a cert-
-tain sweetness fails you in that
state, doe not imagin that all is
lost. God only takes that pleasure
from you, to wean you by litle &
litle as a child, & to use you to
eat dry bread instead of milk.
                       11
 

        Spirit: leters of

the Child must be wean'd though
it cryes;: for tis better to let it
cry & wean it, to give it stronger
nourishment, & make it grow. the
privation of this sensible sweet-
-ness dos not destroy prayer one
the contrary it purifies it. tis
having god without god, as you -
said yesterday, that is to say, god
alone, without his gifts which ren-
-der his presence sweet, sensible,
and consolating: tis even god in
a state of more pure faith: tis
god conceal'd, but still god: tis god
who tries your love: no more god
charming our gust, and sparing
 

        Bish: of Cambray          200

our weakness. One must experi-
-ence e change of these two states
not to be tyed to one, nor discour
-aged in the other, we must be
disengaged from the one, and re-
-main firm in the other; we must
be indiferent for both, and not
not alter in these changes. we
must be assured we canot give our
selves the consolating gust: tis
god alone w gives it how and
when he pleases. we ought to
let our selves be deprived of it
& sacrifise to god his gifts wn
he withdraws them, as a faith-
full spouse lets herself patient
 

201     Spirit: leters of

ly be deprived of the Jewells, &
caresses of her spouse, to conf-
-orm herself to his will. tis -
much more perfect to hold fast
to god when he humbles & strips
as when he tries us, then to hold
fast to him, when he enriches,
charms, & caresses us.
leave your faults: tis sufficient
to see them when that light is
offerd. & not to spare your self
in their corection. your tempta-
-tions will turn to profit. the true
union with god, which is a simple
and humble love, diminishes les
Diminishes imperfections. remain
 

          Bish: of Cambray         202

then united to god, & suffer all
he gives of crosses and traills
39 Why God makes us perceive
& feell our deformities.
~ You rejoice thro Jealousy for at e
deffects of M. whome you suport
most impatiently: you are more
shocked at his good qualities, then
at his faults. all this is very ugly
& very shamefull. this is what
comes out of your hert, so full it
is: this is what god makes you
feell, to teach you contempt of
your self, & never to reckon up-
-on the goodness of your own heart.
yr self love is in dispair when
 

203  Spirit: leters of

one the one side you feell within
your self a jealousy so lively &
soe base. & when on the other side
you feell nothing but distraction,
aridity, tediousness, & disgust for
god. but the work of god is wrought
in us, but in dispossesing us of our
selves by force of taking away all
resource of confidence, & complai-
sance from self love, you would
feell your self good, upright, strong
and incapable of all evill. if you
found yr self soe, you would be e
worse by how much you thought yr
self assured of being well. We must
find see our selves poor, feell our
 

            Bish: of Cambray       204

selves corupted & unjust, find in
one self nothing but misery, have
it in horour, despair of one self,
hope no more but in god, and sup-
-ort oneself wth an humble pati-
-ence void of flatery. as to the
rest, as these are but unvolunta-
-ry sentiments tis sufficient the will
dos not consent to them. by that
you will draw from them the prof-
-it of Humiliation without having
the infidelity of adhering to such
corupted sentiments.
doe not cease from communicating
Comunion is the remedy for soulls
 

205      spirit leters of

who are tempted, who would
live of Jesus christ notwithstan-
ding all e repugnance of self love.
Comunicate & labour to corect
your self. live of Jesus christ
and live for him. the most capit-
all point for you is not force, but
litleness. let your self then be made
litle, reserve nothing thro cour-
age & by human wisdom. learn to
suport others by the nesesity you
are reduced to in bearing with yr
self, but experience will
show you, t tis a self love cloudy,
vexatious, & contradicting wch
 

    the Bishop of Cam:    206

posseses you. I hope that here-
after you will think noe more of
posessing your self, and that yu
will leave your self to be posesed
by god.
           40 Diversity of sentiments
  in prayer & how to conduct one
  self therin.
~ is to be suposed that a great
deal of imagination, feelings, &
even sensibilities of self love is
mixt with our prayer. from nce
it proceeds that we are charm'd
when our imagination gives us
fine images, & sentiments of plea-
-sure, and that we are discourag-
 

207       Spirit leters of

-ed as soon as these images and
flatering sentiments fails us. but
this confidence in the good time
and this discouragment in the bad
are but pure Illusion. one should
neither be elevated when prayer
is sweet, nor dejected, wn it becoms
dry & obscure, the fund of prayer
remains always the same provided
one has always the same will to
be united to god, without raising
oneself for sensible gifts, nor being
cast down at their privation. God
by these sensible gifts sometimes
eases of our imagination, he aids
our spirit, he sustains our will
 

         Bish: of Cambray    208

weak & ready to yeild. he alsoe
frequently withdraws these succ-
-ours to hinder us from apropria-
-ting them to our selves with a vain
confidence, & to accustom us to
his presence notwithstanding dis-
-tractions, & aridities. prayer
is never so pure as when tis con-
-tinued by fidelity, without pleas-
ure or gust.
it is true if this presence is faci-
-litated to you, but the methodi-
-call consideration of some per-
ticular truths, you must aply
your self unto these verities to


209     Spirit: leters of

nourish your heart, but if they
doe not serve to facilitate to e
presence of god, & if it be only
a scrupulous perplexity, it would
but puzle & entangle you to lis-
ten to yourself.
It does not depend of you to disip-
ate unvoluntary distractions,
irksomness & disgust & obscurities,
that which depends of you by the
help of gods grace is patience in
this tediousness, & a quiet return
to the presence of god when you
perceive e surprisall of distrac-
-tions, & fidelity to remain fast-
ned to god without pleasure by
 

    Spirit leters of the     210

a will dry, & naked.
let fall the thoughts of vain com-
-plaisance as well as those of dejec-
-tion, & still goe one your way. the
tempter only seeks to stop you: and
by not stoping you will overcome e
temptation in a simple and quiet
maner.
    41 Come back to god by prayer &
   leaving all other projects.
~ What ever it costs you, set yr
self again to prayer, & comunion.
you have dry'd up your heart by yr
vivacity in desiring an affair wth
out knowing if it was gods will. s
is the source of all yr evil. you hve
 

211     Spirit: leters of

pased infinit time, in the infid-
elity of forming projects which
were cobwebs, a breath of wind
disipates them. you have insen-
sibly withdrawn yrself from god;
& god has retired from you. you -
must return to him, and abandon
all unto him without reserve. you
will have peace but in this aband-
-onment. leave all your designes:
god will doe with them wt he pleases.
when even they should succeed by
human ways god would not bless m:
but if you sacrifise them entirely to
him, he will turn all according to
his counsells of mercy, whether
 

        Bish: of Cambray      212

it be that he dos wt you have desi-
-red, or that he never doe it. the
esentiall point is to begin prayer
again wt ever aridity, distraction,
or tediousness, you experience in
it at the first, you well deserve to
be rebuked by god, after having ne
glected him so long a time, for
creatures. s patience will draw
him to aproach unto you.
  42 the maner of serving god
I much rejoice to find by yours
that you are in obedience, and in
the peace of god which is inseper-
-able from it. God will ever care
 

213        Spirit: leters of e

of all, & you must only seek his
will, be fastned to him alone:
you will find in him, all that shall
be acording to his true spirit.
remember that the way of faith
and disengagement you have soe
much desir'd to folow, is solid but
in as much as it unties us from
persons, books, helps, in a word
from all that which is not god &
his will, the graces you have re-
-ceived would render you very
faulty, if you obstinate your-
self in a thing wch of it should
preserve us, from all obstinacy.
Obey then like a little child. I ask
 

            Bish: of Cambray             214

of you but what I desire for my self.
I should believe I was a divell,
& not a priest, if I have not the will
to be as simple, docill, & litle, as
I conjure you to be. Obey then,
once again. show that the just
are (as e scripture says) A nat
-ion of Obedience, & Love, be sil-
lent as much as you can. this sil-
-ence ought not to be a disimula-
-tion: it must be recolection, difi-
-dence in your self, renouncing to
your own lights, & docility for those
of others. remember t you are
wanting to god, as often as you
 

215  Spirit: leters of

hesitate to sacrifise unto him
all the consolations you are dep-
rived of. the service of god cons-
-ists neither in fine words, not in
sensible affections, fine imagina-
-tions nor great thoughts, but in
good works, in being silent, obeying,
constraining one self, renouncing
to ones gust as well as to ones will
in all occasions even the most
difficult, not to be discouraged
nor yet flater one self, to embra-
-ce the cross, & reckon that god
is found only by it; behold Madam
the truth of gods reigne within us.
s is the adoration in spirit and
 

     Bishop of Cambray     216

verity. Observe your Rule tis
the pure Gospell for you: heark-
-en to your superiours; they are
for you God himself.
 Are you in e world to seek your
own content? Jesus christ, says
St Paull, would not please him-
self; ah who are you then to desire
it? you seek the will of god: and
when you can fulfill it better than
when you deny your own? Prayer
is only solid in as much as tis death
to one self, to ones gusts, & even to
ones perfection in as much as we
look upon it as our proper excel-
-lency, and not as the pure will


217       Spirit: leters of

of god: all is done for you pro
-vided you obey, & cary others
to doe the same. when you have
any repugnances, open your heart
simply not to be managed, nor
flaterd, but that you may have
noe reserve. afterwards hear-
-ken noe more to your self. repug
-nances come from self will, and
being tyed to our own sence. we
must bend to all, & even crush
& bruise oneself till we become
suple in all senses, for your faults
I am not surprised at them; but
I thank god for that you know m
without either flatering or dejec-
 

          Bishop of Cam:       218

ting your self. take always -
new courage, & never cause desi-
ring to overcome yourself. but
doe it without trouble, eagerness,
nor confidence in your self. pro
-fit by the humiliation of your faults
and the experience of your infid-
-elity, without growing tired or
being negligent in labouring for
amendment.
Doe not in e desert wish for the
Onions of egipt. e daily manna
will suply all the necesities of yr
heart, & you have but to walk in
the spirit of faith towards the
land of promiss, hearken to god
                       12
 

219  Spirit: leters

but never listen to your self:
be submisive & docill: love and
sufer much: speak litle: let the
salt of wisdom be in your words,
I say that wisdom which is accor-
-ding to god.
43 t grace is never wanting.
there is no soull, which ought
not to be convinced that she
has received graces for her con-
-version & sanctification, if she
would consider in her heart all
the mercies she has received,
there remains but to admire &
praise god, contemning & conf-
-ounding one self. we must con
 

    of the bishop of Cam  220

-clude from these great graces
received, that god is infinitly
liberall, & we horibly unfaith-
full to him.
You must avoid disipation not
by a continual constrait of spi-
-rit which hurts e head; but
by two means simple & calme:
one is to cutt of from dailly amu-
sements all e sources of disipati-
ion wch are not necesary to rec-
-creat e spirit proportionably
to reall necesity, the other is to
come back sweetly, & with pati-
-ence to e presence of God as
often as you perceive you hve
 

221        Spirit: letters of

lost it.
it is not necesary always to fix
all e exercises of piety, in for-
mall acts made with reflection
it suffises to have a habituall &
generall attention, with an up-
-right and sincere intention to
folow e end which one ought to
propose to one self therin. the
distractions which are indeed un-
-voluntary doe not preiudice the
will, which has noe part in m.
tis the reall tendance of the will
wch is the esentiall point.
conserve without scruple the
simple peace t you find, in yr
 

         Bish: of Cambray       222

uprightly seeking god alone. e
love of god gives a peace without
presumption: self love gives
trouble wthout fruit. doe each
thing in e best maner you can
for the beloved, behold all that
is wanting to you; without either
flatering or dejecting yourself,
then abandon al to god, labouring
sincerely to corect your self.
the more you shall be empty of
your proper goods, & human res-
ources, e more you will find a
light & intimate force which
will suport you in necesity, in leting
you always feel yr weakness as
 

223     Spirit: leters of

tho you were going to fall at
every step. but doe not expect
s socour as due unto you. you
would deserve to lose it, if you
should presume you had merited
it. we must think our selves
unworthy of all, & caste our selves
humbly into e hands Arms of
God.
When tis love that draws yu,
leave your self to love, but do
not reckon upon that which may
be sensible in s atract, to make
of it to yourself a flatering su-
-port. s would be turning gods
gift into illusion. true love is
 

       Bish: of Cambray           224

not always that wch one feells
& which charms: tis that which
humbles, disengages, & which -
makes e soull litle, simple, do-
-cile, patient under crosses, and
ready to let herself be corected.
44 to live in faith, & simplicity
~ Walk in the obscurities of
faith & in the evangelicall sim-
-plicity, without stoping your self
either at gusts, sentiments, lights
of reason, nor at extraordinary
Gifts. content your self to believe,
to obey, & to die to your self accor-
-ding to e state of life in which
 

225 Spirit: leters of

God has placed you.
You ought not to discourage
your self for your unvoluntary
distractions, wch proceed only
from e imagination and a cus-
tom of thinking upon your
affairs. it suffises that you doe
not give occasion to these dis-
-tractions wch hapen during yr
prayer, by giving your self a
voluntary disipation in e day
time, we extrovert our selves
too much; sometimes we even
doe our good works with to much
eagerness, & activity; we folow
too much our gusts, & consolations

vivacity of e vertically in margin
 
 

         Bish: of Cambray          226

for all which god punishes us in
our prayer. we must accustom
our selves, to act in peace, & wth
a continuall dependence of the
spirit of grace, wch is a spirit of
death to all the most secret lives
of self love.
the Habitual intention which
is the tendance of e fund towa-
rds god, suffises. tis walking in
the presence of god. Occurences
would not find you in s scituati-
-on were you not in it. abide thare
in peace, & do not lose wt you hve
at home, to run a great way of
affter t which you will not find.
 

227    Spirit leters of

I add that you must never
neglect thro disipation to hve
an attention more distinct:
but the intention which is not
distinct is good. the peace of e
heart is a good sign when besides
that, e soull is sincerely willing
to obey god thro love, with jea-
-lousy against self love.
Profit by your imperfections
to disengage you from your self,
and to fasten you to god allone.
labour to aquire vertues, not
for to seek therin, a dangerous
complaisance, but to accomp-
-lish e will of e beloved.
 

      Bishop of Cambray        28

Remain in your simplicity cut-
-ing of all perplexd returns one
your self, which self love inces-
antly furnishes you with under
fine pretexts. they will but dis-
-tub your peace, & lay snares
for you, when one leads a life re-
colected, mortified, and of dep-
-endance by e true desire of lo-
-ving god, e niceness of s love
interiorly reproaches all that
wounds it, we must stop quite -
short as soon as we feell s wound
& s reproach in e heart. Once
more remain in Peace.
 

229   Spirit: leters of

75 Simplicity, not to seek for
  assurance, & avoid vain fears.
~ You have said nothing to
me which ought to cause you e
least pain. tis not to substract
oneself from e sufferance that
one explicates one path state: tis by
pure & simple fidelity: tis not
to hearken unto self love, who
under fine pretexts would con-
-ceall its miseries. tis only true
that s simplicity is often pro-
fitable, to ease the heart tho
it be not practis'd in view of
ease. if you did not conserve

wch according to god vertically in margin
 
 

       Bish: of Cambray        239

at e botom of your heart, a
vain esteem of wit, you would
not be soe afraid of wanting it,
and of not showing as much as
others: you would not even beli-
-ieve that I have that gust for
wit, which is so ugly, so corup-
-ted, & so unworthy the spirit
of god. I have ever remarked
that e esteem of witt is inrooted
in your heart, & that you doe
not let it fall. tis nevertheless
what e spirit of grace most
extinguishes, when one lets it
act freely. to live of prayer and
 
 

231  Spirit: leters of

love is incompatible with
t depraved gust gust of self
love. tis now question of your
going to confesion, but to yeild
to god with litleness for to quiet
you.
I know in you the two persons
which you see there. You must
suffer one with patience with-
-out hearkening voluntarily
unto it: e other must remain
in its simplicity. Comunion,
silence, sufferance, as you say
are that which is proper for
it. when she has faill'd she
abandons her fault to god,
 

       Bish. of Cambray     232

& gives her self up to him in e
spirit of love. you would suffer
much less if you let your imagi-
-nary and unvoluntary sentim-
-ents pass, without making any
account of them, and not seeking
to assure yourself of positively
resisting them. s positive resis-
-tance is a seeking after your
own security, & an activity of
self love, which is against your
grace. tis s painfull labour wch
god does not require of you, one
e contrary he would have you
to supress it. can you wonder
 

233     Spirit: leters of

that you suffer when you give
your self continuall contorsi-
-ons to assure your self of seing
what god will not have you see
in s life, wth that security?
One can never have peace, in
resisting him.
Doe wt you say very well, and
you will endure much less. wn
you are affraid of failing, sim-
-ply abandon it all to god. a Simple
love will secure you much beter
from sin then that eager strife
in which you seek your self. s
vain aprehension of an imagi-
nary sin casts you into a state
 

       Bish: of Cambray      234

really hideous, in which you
tempt god, in wch you are only
ocupied about your self, in wch
you kill yourself, in which you
put your self in a violent temp-
-tation against e atract of grace:
tis not God then who makes yu
suffer: one the contrary tis ag-
-ainst his will that you martir-
ise your self. O my Dear daugh-
ter, seek peace in the place
where it is. you will find it in
the simple non-consentment
to your unvoluntary sentiments
of Jealousy, & in the patient
 

235     spirit leters B.C.

suporting these shamefull sen-

-timents.

Part of a leter, by M.M.
  Upon H. Com:
If I was atentive, Dear Str
to consider e litle Dispositi-
-on t is in me, & my extream
insufficiency, to answer of my
self to the questions you make
me, and to give you the coun-
cells you demand of me; so you
are atentive to consider your
litle disposition, & your unwor-
-thiness to aproach to Holly Com-
-union, I should Not take upon
me to answer, or advise you
 

       spirit let. M.M.       236

since I am a poor nothing,
wholly incapable of answering
or counceling myself. but as
without any reflection upon
all my unworthiness I simply
abandon myself unto the spi-
rit of god, w has caused you
to address your self to me, and
who inspires me with that wch
he would have say unto you:
thus ought you, with refflect-
-ting upon your litle disposition
and upon you extream unwor-
-thiness, to abandon your self to
the voice of God w calls you to
 

237      Spir: let: M.M.

the Holly table, tho you have
no more sensible love that ex-
-cites you to it.
the litle disposition which you
find in you, proceeds without
doubt from s that you have
noe more that sensible love for
our Lord which you had former-
-ly; and you then thought that
your sensible love was a dispo-
-sition thus you imagin'd to find
your disposition in your self:
amd went to receive the holly
comunion, esteeming you was
well disposed by your sensible
devotion. but as your devotion
 

         Spir. let. M.M.

to sensible love did not ren-
-der you worthy to aproach it,
because noe creature can ever
be worthy of it; also your in devoti-
-on or insensible love dos not at
present make you unworthy. Noe
person can present himself to it
as worthy, none being worthy of
soe great an honour; and none
ought to withdraw himself for
unworthiness, unless he finds in
himself some sin. for s reason
Saint Paull says, let a man
prove himself: that is let him
be careful that he has not some
sin, which renders him unworthy
 

239         Spirituall let:

to eat of s living bread: be
-hold all the disposition, or pre-
-paration which god demands
on our side: tis for him by his
mercy to suply all the rest of
our unworthiness. but in the
mean time if we have purg'd
ourselves from sin by confesion,
and by a sincere desire to con-
-vert our selves entirely to god,
and never more by his grace
to offend him, he would have
us aproach to his table, thro
love, & by e obedience Which we
owe to his loving voice, which
calls us unto it, Come to me
 
 

            of M.M.           240

all you that labour, & are
burthen'd, & I will refresh you.
now we all labour in this pain-
full live, & we are without cease
loaden with miseries: for which
reason we have very often need
to be suported by this divine food,
in which alone we ought to seek
for strength & not in our selves.
Although your love for our
lord is noe more sensible, doe
not think you love him less, on
the contrary you love him much
more, loving him purely, spiri-
-tualy, & divinly, above all inte-
-rest of your sensibility, which
 

241     Spirit: leters

delighted your nature: and
god has bine pleased to raise
your love to e spirit, without
giving any more a share of it, to
the inferiour or sensi sensitive
part. notwithstanding you ima
-gin that your love diminishes
more, & more, because it becomes
more & more insensible, and I
one the contrary find that it
more and more augments, because
it becomes more & more spirit-
-tuall & divine.
however you say that if love
made you aproach to it formerly,
tis e same love which causes
you now to abstain. you know
 

                    of M.M.

then that you have still some
love: but how can the same love
be contrary to itself, making
you abstain from s heavenly bread
to which it formerly made you
aproach? love dos not estrange
nor grow cold: one the contrary
it enflames, it aproaches, it un-
-ites: but when tis habituall
and wholy spirituall, one feels
it noe more though tis greater
then ever.
All your pain my Dear Sister
proceeds only from an unprofi-
-table refflection which you
make upon yourself to discover
 

243          Spirit: leters

in your self, if you are worthy
to aproach it: and it is certain
that in regarding your self yu
will always find that you are
unworthy. but look only upon
our Lord, w is there ready and
disposed to be eaten by you; &
hearken only to his amorous
voice w invites you so amor
sweetly: and if you doe look
upon your self, regard only e
great want you have of being
suported by this heavenly food:
but you would doe much beter
not to regard your self at all
but to goe to his holly table:

often vertically in margin
 

       of M.M.              244

you may say that you are
not worthy as the most holly
say: but you shall not faill to
receive him as the most holly
receive him unworthy as they
are, Comunicate then the oft-
-nest you can like e Saints, and
with the simplicity of Saints.
   other Colections out of e
 Bishop of Cambray
   for e feast of pentecost
You have begun, O Lord, by taking
from your apostles that which ap
-peard e most proper to suport,
consolate and perfect them, I
would say, e sensible presence of

our lord vertically in margin
 

245      for e feast of

Jesus your son: but you have des-
troy'd all, to establish all: you hve
taken all away to repay all with
usury. such is your method. you
take pleasure to overthrow e
order of human sence.
after having taken away this sen-
-sible posesion of Jesus christ, yu
have given your holly spirit. O
privation that you are precious
and full of vertue, since you even
operate more then the posesion
of e son of God himself! O Coward.
-ly soulls, why doe you think your
selves so poor in privation, since
it enriches more then e possesi-
-on of the greatest treasure?
 
 

            Pentecost                    246

blesed are those who want all,
& w want even God himself, that
is to say God tasted, and perceiv'd?
happy those for wm god Jesus hides
and conceals and withdraws him-
self! the spirit consolator will
come upon them: he will apease
their sorrow, & will have care to
dry up their tears. unhapy those
who find their consolation out one
of God the earth, who find out of
god the repose, suport and atache
to their own will. the good spir-
-it promised to all those who beg
it, is not sent for them. e Comforter
sent from heaven is but for soulls
 

247    for the feast of

who are fastned neither to e
world nor to themselves.
Alas lord where is he then this
spirit which ought to be my life?
he shall be the soull of my soull.
but where is he? I neither feell
nor find him. I experience in
my sences only frailty, in my
spirit but disipation & lying,
in my will nothing but incons-
-tancy, & division betwixt yr
love and a thousand vain amuse-
ments. where is he then your
holly spirit? why does he not come
and creat in me, a new heart
according to heart yours? O my
God, I comprehend that tis in s
 

             Pentecost               248

impoverish'd soull that your
spirit vouchsafes to dwell pro-
-vided she opens her self to him
without measure. tis this sensi-
-ble absence of our sariour and
of all his gifts, which draws the
holly Ghost. Come then O holly
spirit! You can find nothing mo-
-re poor, more dispoilled, more
naked, more dispoilled, more
naked, more abandon'd, nor more
weak then my hert. Come bring
peace unto it. not that peace of
abundance which flows like a ri-
-ver: but that dry peace, this peace
of patience and of sacrifise; s
bitter peace, but nevertheless
 

249    for the feast of

true peace & by so much the more
pure, more profound, more lasting,
as tis founded by upon an unli-
-mited renounciation renunci-
-on.
O Spirit! O love! O verity of
my god! O Enlightning love! O
love wch teaches e soull with-
-out speaking, w makes all be
understood without saying anny
thing, w requirest nothing of
the soull, and who drawest her
by silence to all sacrifices! O
love, w dost disgust from all
other love, w causes one to hate
one self to forget, to abandon
one self. O Love, which waters
 

             Pentecost                   250

the heart like the fountain
of life, who can know you, unless
him whoom you shall be? be sil-
ent, blind men; love is not in yu.
You know not what you say: you
see nothing, you understand noth-
ing. the true Doctor has never
taught you.
it is him w fills the soull with
truth, and without anny distinct
science. tis him w makes arisse
at the fund of the soull those truths
which e sensible word of Jesus
Christ had only exposed to the
eyes of the mind. e soull tasts -
she nourishes herself, she becomes
 

251     for the feast of

one thing with verity, which is
no more seen as an object out
of us: tis her that becomes our
selves, & which we feell intimat-
-ly as the soull feels her self. O
what powerful consolation, wth
-out seeking to be consolated! one
has all without having anny thing.
there one finds in unity the
father, the Son, and the holly Ghost:
the father creator, w creates
in us all he would doe there to
render us children like to him:
e Son word of god, w becoms the
word & intimate speech of the
soull, w is silent to all, to let
only god speak:
 

            of Pentecost               252

infine the spirit w breaths
where he pleases, who loves the
father, & the son, in us. O my
love who art my God, Love yr
self, Glorify your self in me, my
peace, my joy, my life are in yu,
who art my all, and I am no more
but nothing.
            for e same feast,
Unless I Goe, e Paraclete
will not come to you Joh: 16 v 7
these are your words O Lord by wch
you express Unto us very surpris-
-ing things. and very hard to com-
-prehend. Unless you goe the -
 

253     for the feast

Consolator will not come.
but rather O my god who can -
consolate us if we lose you? but
one the contrary if you remain
with us, who can afflict us? are
not you yourself our perfect con-
solation? are not you our only
good, and our soveraigne hapi-
-ness. what can one desire when
one posseses you? and without
you, wt can we posses capable of
satisfying our desires? Your dis-
-course surpases e bounds of hu-
-man wit, e interpretation of
it, must needs be imposible unto
it, unless if sought but in its own
feeble lights! and where elce
 

             of Pentecost               254

can we find it but in you? how n
can we understand it, and what
comforter pretend unto, if you
leave us? till e present we have
placed our hopes in you alone.
nothing can resist you: the sea, &
the winds obey you, Death hears
your voice, and submits it self to
your orders; life is not less subject
unto you; hell trembles under your
laws, and it acknowledges in you
the soveraigne of heaven it self.
You only love to doe good, and your
desires know noe obstacle. e
prodigies of your power wch have
so often struck our eyes, have drawn
 

255          for e feast

our confidence. if we are some
times surounded by enimies, and
if anything seems to conspire our
distruction we behold in you an
infallible socour, and we have not
the least room to expect anny but
from you, wt can we doe in your
absence, & to whom can we adress
ourselves? wt other can come to
us, and repare our loss? your holly
word is for us a divine milk which
nourishes our soull in a maner full
of sweetness, & pleasure. what
will become of the children sepera-
-ted from their mothers milk? Ah
Lord: you would say unto us that
we have been long enuff fed with
 

              of Pentecost              256

with this sweet & agreeable food;
and that as children it has at
last brought us to a state of force
sufficiently advanced to suport
one more hard.
You judge that tis time to wean
us, and you prepare us another
maner of living, wch demands t
you should absent your self from
us, you learn us that the aimable
view sight of your holly humani-
-ty, wch preserves from all desola-
-tion, and e Happy presence of
the bridegroom during which we
canot weep, must be taken from
us, that we may begin to eat the
 

257          for the feast

bread of tears, with out which
we canot be consolated. for when
there is not affliction, consolati-
-on has no place. what is it then
you anounce to us lord, by these
divine words: unless I goe the
consolatior will not come to yu
You teach us that certainly we
are going to suffer. but your bounty
is so great that you only mark us our
suffrings by the consolation. you
formerly show'd them unto us by
more openly, without fear of
daunting us by the proposition of
torments: but to day that you
are ready to leave us, it seems t
your tenderness redoubles and
 

               of Pentecost            258

thus not being able to resolve
itself to foretell us our evills by
their own names, it expresses m
unto us, by e exposition of the re-
-medy it promises unto us. what
then lord we must leave you, and
we must endure the affliction of
soe sad a parting, & absence, to re-
-ceive the divine abundance of
the consolations it will furnish
us with. tis not enuff for us that
we have left all, parents, freinds,
goods, for to folow you: tis alsoe
necesary to make our disengage-
ment compleat, that we should
leave even him, for wm we have
quited all. a strange thing!
                   14
 

259        for the feast

to perfect us, we must seperate
ourselves in such sort from all, t
even the source itself of perfection
must be removed from us, to the
end s seperation may cause us to
make the last step, for to teach us
to unty ourselves from another
object wch perhaps hetherto we
have loved still more then you, and
s object is our own selves. tis
necesary lord that you deprive
us of your adorable person, wch
we love; that the piercing darts
of so afflicting a loss, exciting e
our stupidity of our security, may
oblige us to abandon all to reunite
us more strictly unto you, so far
 

              of Pentecost              260

as to seperate us from our selves
without which e happy union
canot be perfect. but who can
cause us to find again our saviour
when we shall noe longer see him,
and who will guide our steps to
goe to you, since you say your self
that we know not where you
goe? without doubt O my God,
it will be the comforter whoom
you promiss to send us, since it
would be imposible for him to
consolate us, unless he gives us
again s Dear Master who will
absent himself from us. you say
that he shall teach us all truth
he will learn us then where you
 

261     for the feast of

goe, and the way we must take
to arive there to. he will then
make us conceive how great a
misfortune it is to be without
you. thus O my God, when one shu'd
be enforced to goe by e Division
of the soull and body, by wheells
and flames, there would be noe
pain which would not apear to us
light in comparison of so great
a good. how easy and sweet ought
the renouncing to all things of
the earth, to our life, to our soull,
to our body, to all that is in us, ap-
-pear to him who knows you, and
who having lost you, hopes therby
to recover your blesed sight again!
 

             of Pentecost            262

what object can stop anny lon-
-ger his heart, w was able with-
-out dying to see himself depri-
-ved of your presence and of the
infinit pleasures wch the hapi-
ness of entertaining oneself with
you, and your blesed conversation
affords?
if it was needfull for our good, to
deprive us of so Holly an engage-
-ment, wt other tye can there be
upon the earth, wch is not dang-
-erous? since your Oracle has
pronounced that we shall nev-
-er have your holly spirit, if the
visible presence of your adorable
flesh was not taken from us,
 

263     for the feast of

in wt blindness are those who
think to draw their felicity from
some sensible thing? tis then a
truth thus taught by your self t
we ought never to expect our
consolation from sence, and t
we canot be happy unless if we
fasten our selves only to that wch
they offer us and that we doe not
penetrate e fund which faith dis-
-covers.
O God who hast thought, w hast
so carefully declared unto us that
twas necesary for us, to absent yr
self from us, being no more visibly
present unto us, and who for our good
wouldst make so hard a seperation;
 

             of Pentecost             264

with how much greater reason
is it necesary for us to be sepera-
-ed from our selves. lord make
this seperation wch is the most
important for us. Grant it to our
prayers you who made the other
without being desired. break those
chains which bind me not only to
all that wch seems to me bad, but
alsoe to all that, wch I may ima-
-gin to be indifferent, since you hve
judg'd it expedient for the good
of your desciples, and the whole
church, to break those which held
them fastned to e most adorable
and most divine thing in the world.
 

265     for the feast of

and if it was needfull for to ren-
-der us hapy that our senses should
lose his dear presence who makes
the eternall hapiness of the Saints
Grant at least that we may find
him again, and that we may be
carefull to seek him in the place,
where he is still pleas'd to rem-
-ain here below for us, I would say
in the most blesed sacrement wch
your love has instituted to abide
with us till the consumation of
the world; where mysterious
appearances, deceiving our sences
hides from them what they ought
not to perceive, and shows to
our hearts, and understandings
 

               of Pentecost           266

under e shades of faith, all the
charms and all the treasure wch
are only taken from our body to
enrich our soulls that they may
guide us to the enjoyment of a
spirituall vision, which is to
fill us with an unalterable beati-
tude. send us therfore O my god
s promis'd comforter, who filing
us with wisdom, understanding,
force, knowledge, piety, and a
wholesome fear, may produce in
us charity, joy, peace, patience,
clemency, goodness, Couragious
perseverance, sweetness, faith,
modesty, continence, and chastity.
 

267            for the feast

may s Divine dispenser of
graces, add to all these the gift
of being able to declare them to
make them be known, and desir'd
by all those w are ignorant of m
to make the holly Ghost be ador'd
w distributes them; to make you
be ador'd your self lord with yr
heavenly father who with you is the di-
-vine source of this Divine and
desirable flood: or if he dos not
work in me, as he did heretofore
in the apostles, that my mouth
speaking all languages of the
world may teach all peoples, and
learn them his glory which is
yours: at least by his powerful
 

            of Pentecost           268

influence may my actions, be-
-com an universall language
speaking to all eyes, and making
itself understood to all the nati-
-ons of the earth, publishing his
mercies, and declaring to all those
who shall see them, the true maner
in which he would be served.
May s violent transformer, s
worker of wonders, s breath wch
nothing can resist, who makes all
things new, and who in a moment
changes weeping, into joy, Ice into
fire, hatred into love, Death into
life, work in me that wch seems im-
posible; soften  my hardness how
 

269      feast of Pentecost

Great soever it can be, purify
the inumerable multitude of
my imperfections, change into
vertues the horour of my crimes;
may he excite in me the noise,
the impetuosity, and the fire in
which he came; that s noise
may awaken the sleepiness of
my soull, t this impetuosity may
animate the sleepiness motions
of my heart, and that this fire
consuming all that wch weighs me
down, may raise me by his love to
the celestiall abode where you
raigne one only God, the father
the son, & the holly Ghost, in an inef-
-able Glory for all eternity Amen.
 

   for e feast of e Circumcision
                                                     270
My God I come to adore you, and
hold myself at your feet like Mary
Martha's Sister. O how seet is yr
presence, happy w tasts this man-
-na, it satiates my heart. I believe,
lord, I love, I expect, doe in me
according to your designs. O good
spirit come, and take from me
mine.
O Jesus! I adore you under the
knife of Circumcision. O how I
love you in s abjection, and in
this weakness! I behold you all
coverd with shame, and put in e
rank of siners, subjected to an hum-
bling law, suffring lively pains,
                    15
271       for the feast

and already from the first days
of your infance sheding the earnest
penny of that blood which upon
the cross shall be the price of the
whole world.
You then enter into the world but
to suffer, you take imediatly the
name of saviour Jesus, wch signi-
-fies Saviour; and tis to save
siners that you put your self in e
number of suffering sinners. with
what consolation, O infant Jesus
doe I behold you sheding tears and
blood! here begins the mistery of
affliction and Ignominy. O pre-
cious victime! you will grow;
but only to make e marks of yr
 

      of e Circumcision       272

love grow with you. you delay yr
sacrifise, but to render it greater,
and more rigorous.
but Alas O Jesus wt is it I behlld
in your pains? is it an object wch
ought to excite in me a tender -
compasion? Noe, for tis upon my
self, and not upon you, that I ought
to weep. I canot consider your hu-
-miliations and your sufferings
without imediatly perceiving t
you only suffer, & humble your self
for my necesities. tis to expiate
my sins of pride, and sensuality,
tis to learn me to suffer, and bear
the confusion wch I deserve. Na-
ture vain & cowardly shrinks at
 

273       the feast of Our

the sight of its savious w is ani-
-hilated and suffering; she finds
herself crush'd by the authority
of s example.
One must then prepare ones heart
to confusion, and to biterness.
yes, I consent, O Jesus! I take the
cross to walk after you. let People
contemne me, they will have ~
reason. the contempt I have to
myself is only sincere in as much
as it makes me consent to be dis-
-pised by others. what injustice
to desire that what apears low
base and unworthy to us should
seem great to our neighbors! I
ofer myself then, O Jesus to all
 

        Lords Circumcision     274

the oprobrys you shall send me,
I refuse none! and there can be
no one wch I doe more deserve.
O worm of the earth is it to thee
that honour is due? O sinfull soull
what have you deserved but to
be the scum of the world? can I
ever be put too low, I who by my
nature am but nothing, and by
proper will but sin? soull vain
and ungratefull to thy God, bear
then without murmuring the con-
-fusion wch is thy portion, no
more honour, no more decency,
no more reputation, all these
fine names ought to be sacrifis'd
to a saviour fill'd with oprobrys.
 

275     for the feast of

what hast thou in thy self wch
does not require humiliation? is
it thy pride? ah tis thy pride it
self which renders ee still more
contemptible and unworthy of
all honour.
but alass O Jesus! how far is it
betwixt generall sentiments of
Humiliation, & the practis! we
salute the cross affar of, but hve
horour of it near hand. I now
promiss you to walk upon the bloody
traces wch you leave me, that I
may folow carying the cross
after you: but when the oprobry
and the pain of the cross shall
apear all my courage will aban
 

    Our Lords circumcision   278

-don me. then wt vain pretexts
of decency! wt shamefull nicenesses!
wt Diabolicall Jealousies! My
god, I speak Gloriously of the cross
and yet would only know it by name!
I dread it, I fly from it, its only
sight afflicts me. wt ailles you O
my soull! from wnce comes it t
you murmur, that you fall into
discouragement. that you goe about
to beg of all your freinds a little
consolation? ah tis because god
humbles me and loads me with
crosses. well is not this wt you pro-
mis'd him to love? what ailes yu
then? wt is it that troubles yu?
ought the christian to be out of him-
 

277         feast of our L. Cir:

-self, when he has what he desir'd
and when he is made like to Jesus
suffring? O Child Jesus! gove me
the simplicity of your infancy
in pain. if I shed tears, if I sigh,
at least may I never resist your
crucifying hands. Cut to the quick,
burn, burn: the more I fear suff-
ering, the greater need I have
of it.
for the feast of Our lad: purification
Moyses to conserve the remem:
brance of Gods favours, had ord
-ain'd the Israelites should offer
their first born, and afterwards
redeem them; because he had
conserv'd miraculousy all the
 

   Our lad: Purification     278

first born of Israell, whilst the
Angell struct the first born of
Egipt. according to this law, O
Jesus you are offer'd today in the
temple; and the rule which was
only made for the children of men.
is accomplished by the son of god.
O divine infant, permit me to
offer myself with you. I will be
like you in the pure hands of Mary
and Joseph; I will be no more but
the same child with you, and but
the same victime. but wt doe I
see? they redeem you as they red-
eemed the children of the poor;
two Doves are the price of Jesus.
O imortall king of all ages! soon yu
 

279    feast of Our Ladies

will not have so much as a place
to repose your head. You will
enrich the world with your pove-
-ty, and already you apear in e
temple in e quality of poor. hapy
who ever makes himself poor wth
you! happy who has nothing at
all, as w dos not desire to have anny
thing! happy who has lost in you
and at the feet of your cross all
possesion, & w posseses not soe
much as his own heart, who has
no more self will; w far from
having anny thing is no more his
own! O rich & blessed poverty! O
treasure unknown to the falce -
wise ones! O nakedness which
is above all the most resplendant
 

           Purification                280

riches! thanks be to you O child
Jesus, I consent to lose all, even
to my own heart, even to the least
self desire, even to the last remains
of my will. I run after you naked
and a child, as you are your self.
I suficiently comprehen by the
horour I have of myself, how I
am an impure victime, and unwor-
thy of your father. I dare not n
offer my self unto you but in as -
much as I am noe more my self;
and that I make but one and the
same thing with you. O who will
comprehend it! but tis nevertheless
true, that one is worthy of god but
as much as one is out of himself,
 

281       Our Bld Ladies

and lost in him. tear me then from
myself. no more returns of self
love, no more anxious desires,
no more fear nor hope for my own
interest. My self to which I ren-
-ted all heretofore, must be anihi-
-lated for ever. let me be put
high or low, rememberd or forgot
en, prais'd, or blam'd, confided
in or suspected, even unjustly;
left in peace, or cross'd, wt signifies
it, tis no more my affair. I am no
more my own, to interest myself
in all they doe to me. I am his
who makes all these things be done,
according to his pleasure: his
will is accomplish'd and that is
 

             Purification           282

enuff. if there was still a rem
ainder of my self, to complain, &
murmur my sacrifice would not
be perfect. this distruction of the
victime, which ought to anihilate
all self existence, answers to all
the revolts of nature.
but this usage they give me is un-
just, but s accusation is falce
and malicious; but s freind is
Unfaithfull, and ungratefull;
but s loss of goods overwhelms
me; but s privation of all sensi-
ble consolation is too biter; but
triall in wch god places me, is too
violent; but those people of worth
                        16
 

283  feast of Our B. Lad:

from whoom I expected socour, hve
for me only reserve, and indiference;
but God himself rejects me, and
withdraws himself from me. what
then, weak soull, cowardly soull,
soull of litle faith, are not you con
-tent with all that pleases god, are
you his or your own? if you are still
yours, you have reason to complain
and to seek for what is agreable
to you. but if you will be noe
more your own, why still hearken
to your self. wt have you to say in
favour of s miserable self to
wch you have renounced without
reserve and for ever? let it per-
-ish, let all resource be torn from
 

          Purification           287

it, so much the better, there is
the true sacrifice, all the rest is
but the shadow of it. tis there-by
that the victim is consumed, and
god worthily adored. O Jesus, wth
whoom I offer myself, give me e
courage no more to count myself
for annything, and to leave in me
nothing of myself.
You were redeemed by two Doves;
but s was not to free you from e
sacrifice of the cross one which yu
was to dy: one the contrary, your
presentation, was the begining &
first fruits of your offering upon
calvary. thus lord all the exteri-
 

285     Our ladies Purif:

iour things wch I give you not
being able to redeem me; I must
necesarily give myself entirely,
and must dy upon the cross. lose
repose, reputation, Goods, life,
s is yet nothing; I must lose my
self, love myself no more, give
myself up without pity to your
justice, become a stranger to my
self, & have no other interest but
Gods to whoom I belong.
           Conversion of St Paull
My God, I give you a thousand thanks
for having set before my eyes, e
persecutour saull, wm you convert,
and w becomes the apostle of
nations. tis for the Glory of your
 

           Con: of St Paull,             286

grace that you have done it. you
ow'd to your self so great an exam-
ple, for to consolate all sinners.
Alas what chastisements have
not I deserv'd from your justice?
I have forgot you, O you who made
me, and to whoom I owe all that
I am: I have joined obduratness
to ingratitude; I have contemn'd
your graces; I have bine insen-
sible to your promises; I have ab-
used your mercies; I have contrist
-tated your holly spirit; I have
resisted its wholsome inspirati
ons; I have said in my rebelious
heart: no I will not cary the yoke
of our lord.
 

287     the Conversion

I fled when you persued me;
I have sought pretexts to estrange
myself from you. I have bine af-
-fraid to see too clearly and to
know certain truths wch I would
not folow. I have iritated my -
self against the crosses which serve to
disengage me from life, I have
critisized vertue, impatiently
suporting it as being my condemna-
-tion. I have bine ashmed to ap-
-pear good, and have Gloried in be-
-ing ungratefull. I have walked
in my own ways, according to my
pasions & pride.
O my God, wt would become of me
at the sight of so many infidelities,
 

              of St Paull             288

but to be seized with horour for
my self? noe I could no longer
suport myself, nor hope in you, if
I did not behold saull incredulous,
a Blasphemer, & persecutor of yr
saints, of whoom you make a ves-
sell of Election. he falls impious,
and he rises a man of god. O fath-
-er of mercies, how good are you!
the malice of man canot equall
your fatherly tenderness. tis n
true that you have still treasures
of graces, and patience for me, poor
sinner, who have so many times,
trampled underfoot, e blood of
your Son. you are not yet weary
 

289      Conversion of St P.

of expecting me, O patient God,
O God w fearest to strike too soon,
O God w canot resolve your self
to strike s eathen vesell, form'd
with your own hands. this patience,
which flaterd my impatience and
my cowardliness, tenders, and moves
me. Alas! shall I then be always
wicked because you are good? is
it because you love me so much,
that I shall think myself dispensed
from loving you? Noe, Noe, lord
you patience excites me: I can
no longer behold myself one only
moment contrary to him who ren-
ders me good for evill: I detest even
to the least imperfections: I make
 

           Con: of St Paull,        290

no reserve: let all perish wch
delays my sacrifice! tis no more
than to Morow of a cowardly soull,
who ever flies her conversion:
to day, to day: wt remains to me
of life is not too long to deploe
so many lost years: I say like
Saull, Lord wt would you have
me doe?
Methinks I hear you answer me,
I will have you love me, and be
happy in loving me: Love & doe
what you will: for in trully loving,
you will doe nothing but wt pure
love makes those soulls perform w
are disengaged from themselves:
 

291    Conversion of

You will love me, and make me
be beloved by others, you shall
have no other will but mine.
thereby my raigne shall be accom-
-plish'd: there by I shall be ado-
-red in spirit and verity; by that
means you will sacrifise to me
the delights of corupted flesh, and
the pride of the mind agitated by
vain fantoms: the whole world
will be as nothing to thee, thou
thyself wouldst no more be any
thing, to the end I may allone be
all things: behold wt I would hve
you doe. but how shall I doe it,
Lord? this work is above man. Ah,
you answer me att the bottom of my
 

             St Paull                    292

heart: Man of little faith, look
upon saull and doubt of nothing:
he will say to you; I can doe all
in him that strengthens me. he
who breath'd nothing but blood and
slaughter against the church, he
now breaths nothing but the love of
Jesus Christ: tis Jesus Christ w
lives tryumphingant in his apostle dead
to all human things: behold him such
as god has made him! the same hand
will make thee such as thou oughtest
to be: thy pride hid in the last folds
of thy heart, stealls itself by all its
subtilitys from all persutes; vain
 

293   Conversion of St Paul

complaisance corupts the best
actions; the flesh stubornly re-
volts; e spirit seems extinguish'd
evill shame keeps back; Customs
are tiranicall; e humour, and
constitution brings to nothing e
best resolutions: but God can doe
all; and he will doe all to make
you his. Well then, Lord, work
in me the conversion of Saull.

 
 
JULIAN OF NORWICH, SHOWING OF LOVE I, II, III

DAME MARGARET GASCOIGNE, DAME BRIDGET MORE

DAME BARBARA CONSTABLE, UPHOLLAND MANUSCRIPT

'COLECTIONS', MAZARINE 1202,  I AND III

SPIRITUAL LETTERS OF ARCHBISHOP FNELON TO MADAME GUYON, MAZARINE 1202, IIA

SPIRITUAL LETTERS OF ARCHBISHOP FNELON TO MADAME GUYON, MAZARINE 1202, IIB

DAME GERTRUDE MORE'S DEFENSE OF FATHER AUGUSTINE'S WAY OF PRAYER, 'COLECTIUONS, MAZARINE 1202

DAME CATHERINE GASCOIGNE'S DEFENSE OF FATHER AUGUSTINE BAKER'S WAY OF PRAYER, 'COLECTIONS', MAZARINE 1202, IV

AUGUSTINE BAKER WEBSITE Link


 

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