Book: Spiritual Letters of Jean-Pierre de Caussade
Translated by: Kitty Muggeridge
Morehouse-Barlow, Wilton, Connecticut, pp. 148
Excerpt from Forward:
The central theme of de Caussade's spiritual teaching is abandonment of self and the act of submission to the will of God. It is the remedy he prescribed for all the afflictions and suffering of which the sisters [he was spiritual director to] complained in their letters to him. . . . . de Caussade's doctrine of self-abandonment to Divine Providence, and his view that suffering is not only to be endured but welcomed as the will of God . . . present a valuable and hopeful alternative to the prevailing doctrine of "self-fulfillment," and contain a powerful message for today's material society, which sees suffering as totally unacceptable.
Suffering is the condition of our existence on earth.
Excerpt from Book:
Sufficient to each day is the evil thereof. Everything that happens is ordered by Divine Providence. So let us remain humble and obedient in every event, great or small, to all that God wishes or allows. Oh! How blind we are when we wish for anything except for what God wishes! He alone knows the future and everything that is going to happen. I am firmly convinced that we should all be lost if God granted our own wishes. That is why, said St. Augustine, God in mercy and compassion for our blindness, does not grant us what we desire and ask for. Often he gives us the very opposite as being in the end the best for us. Truly, it seems to me that we in the world are like poor invalids who, in a frenzy of delirium, beg for precisely that which will bring about our death.. Their requests are refused in pure charity and for the best intentions. O, my God! If this truth were once recognized what delightful obedience, what total abandonment of self to God's will and to His Divine Providence would we have? What peace of mind and heart in everything and for everything! I say the same about the various aspects of the soul. Since even when it is our own fault, God has so willed it and we must submit, let us detest our sin and accept the painful and humiliating consequence, said Francis de Sales! Oh, if this were once well understood, how this would abolish the useless trouble and worry so destructive to peace within us and to our spiritual progress.
Table of Contents:
1. Peace Within
2. Carrying the Cross
The Cross of Sickness
The Cross of Communal Life
Work and Employment
The Cross Within
3. Spiritual Poverty
The Feeling of Misery
Doubts and Scruples
Dryness and Darkness
4. Father de Caussade's Abandon