There is not a moment in which God is not present with us under the cover of some pain to be endured, some obligation or some duty to be performed, or some consolation to be enjoyed.
All that takes place within us, around us, or through us involves and conceals his divine hand.
God's hand is really and truly there, but it is invisibly present, so that we are always surprised and do not recognize his operation until it has ceased. If we could lift the veil, and if we were attentive and watchful, God would continually reveal himself to us, and we would see his hand in everything that happens to us, and rejoice in it. At every event we would exclaim, "It is the Lord!" and we would accept every fresh circumstance as a gift from God.
We would consider physical causes as very feeble instruments in the hands of an all-powerful Workman, and we would easily find that we lack nothing, and that God's watchful care disposes him to supply whatever we need at every moment. If only we had faith we would be grateful to all the external means he uses. We would cherish them, and be thankful for them in our hearts, because in the hand of God they have been so useful to us, so favorable to the work of our perfection.
If we lived an uninterrupted life of faith, we would be in uninterrupted fellowship with God and speak to him face to face. Just as the air transmits our words and thoughts, so would all that we are called to do and to suffer transmit the words and thoughts of God to us. All that came to us would be only the embodiment of his word, and in all external events we would see nothing but what is excellent and holy. The glory of God makes this the state of the blessed in heaven, and faith would make it our state on earth. There would be only the difference of means.
Faith is God's interpreter. Without the light of faith, creation speaks to us in vain. It is a writing in coded symbols in which we can find nothing but confusion, a mass of thorns from which no one would expect to hear the voice of God. But faith reveals to us, as it did to Moses, the fire of divine love burning in the midst of the thorn bush. It gives the clue to the coded symbols, and reveals to us in the midst of confusion the wonders of divine wisdom. Faith gives a heavenly face to the whole earth. By faith the heart is raised, is enraptured, and becomes conversant with heavenly things.
Faith is our light in this life. Faith alone grasps the truth without seeing it. By faith we touch what we cannot feel, and see what is invisible to the eye. By faith we view the world as though it did not exist. It is the key to the treasure house, the key to the depths of divine wisdom, the key to the knowledge of God.
Father Jean Pierre de Caussade, S.J. "God's Will, Our Joy." excerpt from The Joy of Full Surrender (Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2008).
Reprinted with permission from Paraclete Press.
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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