Sunday, December 7, 2014
A book that for many years has been voted a must-read by spiritual directors is Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence. De Caussade was a 17th century Jesuit in France. I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes from this book.
“Every moment we live through is like an ambassador that declares the will of God to us.” There is no more infallible way to seek the will of God than moment by moment to see that what this moment offers me is the grace of God. If we did nothing more than that, de Cassaude says, we would attain the highest levels of transformation. Everything in life is to be welcomed as somehow the expression of the will of God. Your reaction to whatever happens has to be “as if” it were the will of God, or you can’t respond to it graciously. De Caussade writes, “We must accept what we very often cannot avoid, and endure with love and resignation things which could cause us weariness and disgust. This is what it means to be holy.” I think all of us shrink from his challenge because we know we can’t do it on our own. We only succeed by God’s grace now and then.
De Caussade says, “True mystics seek the real; we seek the ephemeral. They want God as God is; we want God as we imagine or would like God to be.” The greatest ally of God is what is. God can always work with what is. That is why there can be no real obstacle to union with God except our own resistance. God can and will use everything, absolutely everything, even the worst things—which is the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
De Caussade continues, “We find all that is necessary in the present moment.” Perhaps a summary sentence in his teaching is this: “If we have abandoned ourselves to God, there is only one rule for us: the duty of the present moment.” “What does this moment ask of me?” is always the right question.
Adapted from The Eternal Now—and how to be there!
Gateway to Silence:
What this moment offers is the grace of God.
Source: Fr. Richard Rohr