A Year with the Saints – 16 December


One of the principal effects of holy abandonment in God is evenness of spirits in the various accidents of this life, which is certainly a point of great perfection, and very pleasing to God. The way to maintain it is in imitation of the pilots, to look continually at the Pole Star, that is, the Divine Will, in order to be constantly in conformity with it. For it is this will which, with infinite wisdom, rightly distributes prosperity and adversity, health and sickness, riches and poverty, honor and contempt, knowledge and ignorance, and all that happens in this life. On the other hand, if we regard creatures without this relation to God, we cannot prevent our feelings and disposition from changing, according to the variety of accidents which occur. Saint Francis de Sales

Taulerus relates that there was once a great theologian who for eight years in succession prayed to God to show him someone who would teach him the way of truth, and that finally, when he was one day offering this prayer with great fervor, he heard a voice from Heaven saying to him, “Go to the temple, and there you shall find him!” He went, and found a poor beggar on the church steps, half-clothed with a few rags, and covered with sores. Moved with compassion, he saluted him kindly with the words, “God give you good day, my good man!” “I never have a bad day,” said the beggar, with a cheerful look. “God give you good fortune!” went on the theologian. “I have never experienced any misfortunes,” answered the other. “How is this!” exclaimed the theologian; “you have never had bad days, and never experienced misfortunes, loaded as you are with woes and miseries!” “I will tell you,” replied the mendicant. “I have cast myself wholly upon the Divine Will, to which I so conform my own that whatever God wills, I will also. So when hunger, thirst, cold, heat or sickness molest me, I do nothing but praise God, and whatever happens to me – whether it be prosperous or adverse, whether it be pleasing or unpleasant – I take all from the hand of God with great gladness, as that which can but be good, since it comes from a Cause which can produce only what is best.” “But,” went on the theologian, “if God should choose to send you to Hell, what would you do?” “I would immediately plunge into it,” returned the beggar. “For, see! I have two arms: one is humility, by which I keep myself always attached to His most sacred humanity; the other is love, which attaches me to His Divinity. Now, if He were to cast me into Hell, I would cling to Him so tightly with these two arms, that He would be obliged to come with me, and with such companionship it would not grieve me much even to be in Hell.” “Who can you be?” wondered the theologian. “I am a king,” was the answer. “And where is your kingdom?”

“In my soul, for I know so well how to rule my faculties, both interior and exterior, that all the powers, inclinations, and affections of my soul are completely subject to me.” “Tell me, how did you learn such great perfection?” “By recollection, meditation, and union with God. I was never able to find peace in anything less than God before I succeeded in finding Him, and since then I enjoy continual peace.” “And where did you find Him?” “Where I left affection for all other things.”

MLA Citation