No Share in Comfort
not hard to spurn human consolation when we have the divine. It is, however, a
very great thing indeed to be able to live without either divine or human
comforting and for the honour of God willingly to endure this exile of heart,
not to seek oneself in anything, and to think nothing of one's own merit.
it matter much, if at the coming of grace, you are cheerful and devout? This is
an hour desired by all, for he whom the grace of God sustains travels easily
enough. What wonder if he feel no burden when borne up by the Almighty and led
on by the Supreme Guide! For we are always glad to have something to comfort us,
and only with difficulty does a man divest himself of self.
holy martyr, Lawrence, with his priest, conquered the world because he despised
everything in it that seemed pleasing to him, and for love of Christ patiently
suffered the great high priest of
man must fight long and bravely against himself before he learns to master
himself fully and to direct all his affections toward God. When he trusts in
himself, he easily takes to human consolation. The true lover of Christ,
however, who sincerely pursues virtue, does not fall back upon consolations nor
seek such pleasures of sense, but prefers severe trials and hard labours for the
sake of Christ.
therefore, spiritual consolation is given by God, receive it gratefully, but
understand that it is His gift and not your meriting. Do not exult, do not be
overjoyed, do not be presumptuous, but be the humbler for the gift, more careful
and wary in all your actions, for this hour will pass and temptation will come
in its wake.
consolation is taken away, do not at once despair but wait humbly and patiently
for the heavenly visit, since God can restore to you more abundant solace.
is neither new nor strange to one who
this is the case with great saints, we who are weak and poor ought not to
despair because we are fervent at times and at other times cold, for the spirit
comes and goes according to His will. Of this the blessed Job declared:
"Thou visitest him early in the morning, and Thou provest him
what can I hope, then, or in whom ought I trust, save only in the great mercy of
God and the hope of heavenly grace? For though I have with me good men, devout
brethren, faithful friends,
have never met a man so religious and devout that he has not experienced at some
time a withdrawal of grace and felt a lessening of fervour. No saint was so
sublimely rapt and enlightened as not to be tempted before and after. He,
indeed, is not worthy of the sublime contemplation of God who has not been tried
by some tribulation for the sake of God. For temptation is usually the sign
preceding the consolation that is to follow, and heavenly consolation is
promised to all those proved by temptation. "To him that overcometh,"
says Christ, "I will give to eat of the Tree of Life." Divine
consolation, then, is given in order to make a man braver in enduring adversity,
and temptation follows in order that he may not pride himself on the good he has
devil does not sleep, nor is the flesh yet dead; therefore, you must never cease
your preparation for battle, because on the right and on the left are enemies
who never rest.