Moments of Love with Mary
– The Spiritual Letter Box –
I am turning to you with regard to my spiritual progress. A few years ago, I started to write, from time to time, whatever came to my mind, not as “interior words” but as “forms of thought” which I was often inclined to believe to be of divine inspiration. Also, I sometimes refused to pay any attention to these thoughts or to write them down, for fear of illusion or of being, myself, mistaken. I often went through periods of doubt and then moments of certitude concerning this matter.
Since 1961, particularly, these “forms of thought” have enabled me to make interior progress in detachment, a change of mind or mentality, renunciation of the human attitude – reasoning and judgment –, in order to adhere, in faith, to divine Wisdom, and live with more confidence in, and resignation to, the mercy and the will of the Lord. I was invited or drawn by something to forge ahead, to transcend myself. A profound liberation and an ever greater peace were gradually and continually realized in me.
Lately, I reread what I had written about two years ago, and then I was more sure that these thoughts could not have come from me. Often, I did not quite understand what I was setting down, or else, these thoughts would surprise me when they came to my mind. With the passage of time, I can see that their fruit and fulfillment are peace, serenity, growing confidence and an unquestioning surrender, more confident, total and absolute, in the mercy of God.
Many unforeseen facts and circumstances – persons, readings, etc. – confirm my belief that these “forms of thought” are really a kind of communication from the Lord.
But I experience doubts and fears… and then afterwards I live with assurance, confidence and growing peace. Personally, I find that the Lord manifests His will to me, a will that surpasses my human logic and invites me to give up my all-too human and narrow way of thinking, of judging, of considering things, in order to see everything from the point of view of divine wisdom.
Since 1961, I have been finding an ever greater liberation in a growing light, and profound peace and serenity. On the other hand, I also have a tendency to believe that, at present, there still is in me, the fear of being mistaken… It is a struggle, a kind of conflict, a profound suffering because I wish to conform to the Lord’s will, be His joy, not sadden Him with my doubts, or lack faith in, or adherence to, His will. I would not want to be duped by personal desires or ideas.
Maybe, all too humanly, I want the assurance of being on the right path or in conformity with the Spirit and the will of the Lord, to have confirmation from someone else…
Can you help or advise me? I would be very grateful to you.
You have been living thus since 1961, alternating between doubt and certitude, between fear and hope, in a progression which little by little has stripped you of self, bringing you to experience peace, serenity in a total abandonment to God’s will – blessed fruit that has led you onto the ascending path with the most pure joy and fulfilling love that it brings.
To want to be reassured in such circumstances is quite normal and even necessary. Nevertheless, this consolation being given you is an invitation to continue on your way in a wise manner, faithful to the impulses of grace, while remaining prudent. Not the kind of prudence which, without any consideration, tends to reject all possibility of divine intimacy because of the dangers that this could entail, but that prudence which helps you discover the source of the inspiration and makes you go ahead in all security through the gift of counsel.
Here are a few criteria that will help you to see where you are.
At the beginning when the Lord manifests Himself, either by “interior words” or under “forms of thought”, etc., His divine touch is so delicate that it is difficult for the soul, at times, to grasp immediately this choice favor, unless this soul is habitually recollected or silent and has effected within itself detachment and emptiness.
If there is the perception of a grace, the soul experiences immediately the happy fruit of peace, sweetness and serenity.
But the Evil One is on the watch and quickly perceives the divine favor. So, he provokes doubt in order to confuse the soul and lead it away from these marvelous ways whereby it is enabled to go forward rapidly, according to the use it makes of these gifts.
If the perfidious Evil One works unceasingly to make you doubt, do not dwell on this but maintain your peace. Besides, this is what I notice in the account you give.
God, who sees your fears and doubts, in order to reassure you, gives you further confirmation by placing certain persons along your way at the right moment, or by some passage from a book of your choice or one offered providentially – a book that you open at random to have the surprise of a precise detail which helps you believe in the divine favors with respect to yourself, etc. This, then, is a great consolation which keeps you going in a straight line, even though your fears make you dread a personal intervention or the influence of the infernal enemy.
It is always good to exercise great caution with regard to interior impulses. Nevertheless, with the years, as the soul drinks each day from the Spring of living waters, is nourished by the Eucharist and submits to inevitable purification, it becomes like crystal and recognizes, with greater facility and assurance, God’s intervention which is no longer manifested by a divine touch, but rests on a permanent contact.
Then, these souls come to think, not as the world does, but to judge with a supernatural regard. The horizon changes and takes on universal proportions; facts and events take on a significance which surpasses human concepts and echo something of eternity.
However, when the soul is plunged into periods of obscurity or “nights”, a spiritual director is absolutely necessary. Now if a spiritual director is not available, a precious help is the book, I Want to See God written by Father Marie-Eugène, O.C.D. It contains a condensation of the works of Saints John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila and Thérèse of the Child Jesus. Remain confident, united to the One who is Love, and you will never be deceived even if it is difficult to go through certain phases. The Lord is there and He watches over you. A great fidelity leads to the summit.
(Review, “L’Armée de Marie”, volume IV, no. 2)