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The force of the faithful

  • FATHER JEAN PIERRE DE CAUSSADE, S.J.

A simple soul is more fully enlightened by a grain of pure faith than Lucifer by all his intelligence.

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Saint André Bessette
1845-1937

The knowledge possessed by a soul faithful to its obligations, quietly submissive to the intimate orders of grace, gentle and humble towards all, is worth more than the most profound penetration of mysteries ...

What is there among creatures that can resist the force of a faithful, gentle and humble soul?  If we would infallibly conquer our enemies we must oppose them with no other arms than fidelity, gentleness and humility.  Jesus Christ has put these in our hands for our defense; there is nothing to fear when we know how to use them.  We should not be cowardly but generous, for this is the only disposition in which we can use these divine instruments.  All that God does is sublime and marvelous and never can individual action at war with God resist one who is united to the divine action by gentleness and humility.

What is Lucifer?  He is a brilliant intelligence, the most enlightened of all, but an intelligence discontented with God and his order.  The mystery of iniquity is nothing but the result of this discontent manifested in as many ways as possible.  Lucifer, as far as lies in his power, wishes to leave nothing in the state in which God has ordained and placed it.  Wherever he penetrates, you will always find the work of God disfigured.  The more lights, knowledge and general capacity a person has the more he is to be feared, if he has not the foundation of piety which consists in contentment with God and his will.  It is the regulation of the heart that places us in union with the divine will; without that union, everything is but pure nature and, usually, pure opposition to the divine order; God has not, properly speaking, any instruments but humble souls.

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Acknowledgement

Father Jean Pierre de Caussade, S.J. "The force of the faithful." excerpt from The Joy of Full Surrender (Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2008).

Reprinted with permission from Paraclete Press.

The Author

Father Jean Pierre de Caussade, S.J. (1675-1751) was a French Jesuit priest and writer known for his work Abandonment to Divine Providence (also translated as The Joy of Full Surrender) and his posthumously-published letters of instruction to the Nuns of the Visitation at Nancy, Spiritual Letters of Jean-Pierre De Caussade, where he was spiritual director from 1733-1740. He also spent years as preacher in southern and central France, as a college rector (at Perpignan and at Albi), and as the director of theological students at the Jesuit house in Toulouse.

Copyright © 2008 Paraclete Press
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