He Reigns! Hallelujah!
Going back a few years for this one from the Newsboys.
As we begin the ten days of preparation for Pentecost and anticipate the Holy Spirit's activity, which is always new, I'd like to encourage readers to bookmark this thread as a place for prayers that need to be attended to in the long term as opposed to those occasional petitions that are given in the weekly threads and then immediately prayed through. It's important to pray alongside whoever passes through this forum, but, for those in our lives that we anticipate continuing to know in the long term, we ought to hold out continuing hope for the breakthroughs that they seek. This is accomplished by means of presenting our requests regularly before the Lord.
This ongoing thread asks for prayers on substantial matters as long as there is likely to be continued ability to test whether the answer has come or not. Further, by posting your significant requests here rather than in the weekly threads, I ask that you commit that you will do your best to tell us when the answer comes, if the forum lasts that long. In that way we can rejoice with one another when the answer comes, and we can post updates when circumstances indicate a change in the prayer or the means of answering. There are likely also to be some questions about logistics and about how God answers prayers, and they are welcome too.
I'm focusing on things like salvation and meeting of minds with those in our lives who do not give evidence of belonging to Jesus, including both personal contacts and a few of our forum contributors; healing of sicknesses of believers; means of providing for themselves and their families; resolutions of standing conflicts with others in our lives, especially those in authority; and these kinds of general, ongoing prayers for breakthroughs in areas where we know the Lord's will is to relieve the situation and we are asking "How long?" Anything that George Muller would have power to track in his prayer journal is appropriate.
If focusing on a particular user would give that person undue attention, such as someone who appears conflicted about following Jesus, do not give the username. Have discretion and stick to people that are likely to continue interacting with us where their need for prayer is clear to a broad group.
While we stand in faith confident of his answer, we are aware that the Lord's answer does not always take the form we anticipate. We cannot demand that God raise one from the dead when he is indicating that it is not time, nor can we suggest that he not raise from the dead when it really is time, as Martha found out! We can be confident that God will heal all disease in all his own, though sometimes he removes the disease through death and resurrection; we can be confident that he will give us salvation for all those who will accept it, though sometimes someone we think should accept it dies and is revealed to be someone who never wanted it; we can be confident that he will provide all our needs, though sometimes we need a little privation or suffering. This tension is a great challenge, as we are not to "cop out" by saying God has no need to give us anything, nor are we to "claim it" by demanding that God answer everything according to our understanding. Rather, we are to trust that he will do everything perfectly; sometimes he reveals to us how we are to modify what we are asking for (sublimating one of our desires with a greater and deeper one), and sometimes he reveals to us what to say and do to bring about what we are asking for (including speaking words out given by the Spirit as we hear his voice). Therefore this is merely to explain the tension present in petitioning the Most High Sovereign with our transitory requests that his scheme of things comply with our little details, and yet still approaching our Loving Father who has greater things for us than we imagine. That tension remains, but, as you see how he works in experiencing your and others' prayers in close watch over time, you'll learn where he is going with the direction of the tension in each case.
This thread will eventually be indexed but is likely to be harder to find over time. You should always be able to find it by remembering to search the word "Journal" or "Journaling", but when there are significant answers it is fitting to share them in the current weekly thread with link back to this one.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
This passage continues the passage exposited by u/Andy_Man45 previously, and tracks the further activities of the two great "signs" in heaven, the woman and the dragon (and her seed and his angels). Don't forget the context of verse 5, about which some discussion is also still ongoing: And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.
(I never realized that some translations take part of the next KJV verse, 13:1, and call it 12:18 instead, so Revelation has one extra verse in some translations but the same text. Shaking my head.)
Please share your thoughts about the meaning of these things, and mine will follow in time.
Heavenly Father, sometimes we get so caught up in what is going on that we just don't recognize your moving things for us. Thank you for being forgiving and patient with each of us and never giving up! Thank you for sending Jesus to cover our sins, short comings, and failures. We appreciate you. Please continue working on us as we go from glory to glory.
Not stopping at that idea of God as Clockmaker, but starting there, would anyone object to it? Let me explain why I ask.
In the thread "Atheist Confessions" I began my refutation of atheism with insults (based on science's failure with the plandemic) but out of them was born a solid argument, namely:
The belief in a God who created the world as external to himself and to operate according to fixed rules is a necessary precondition to science being able to function properly.
This is why the early scienticists who did real science were Christians and Christian Deists (and Muslims may count a bit too, and even Jews who at that time weren't majority atheists at that time). The "Abrahamic" conception of God is a God who created the world as external to himself (ex nihilo) and to operate according to fixed rules.
Eastern Mysticism which believes God creates inside himself (or approaches being atheistic in having a non-personal god which is a force that creates within itself) cannot enable science to work because then everything is God brimming with divine creative force and spawns random change constantly, does not operate according to laws, so the concept of seeking to discover the laws that the universe runs on (i.e. science) fails, and mutates into Quantum Mechanics, the lie that everything is both true and false at the same time until someone looks and then a random answer is randomly chosen by randomness and it becomes either true or false exclusively (for the moment anyway). So Fauci looks, and all the rules are different today than yesterday; today masks don't work, tomorrow they do, then they don't, then they do, because of quantum flux, a ruleless universe run on random divine energy because it is pantheistic and made of the divine essence itself.
So I conclude:
Unless a God is presupposed as creating a universe external to himself and setting it up to operate according to fixed laws, there can be no science properly so called because real science is precisely the discovery of those laws. Messages from God or no messages from God, at the very least the Clockmaker God of the Deist is needed for science to work. Throw that out and you get Quantum Chaos leading to Societal Chaos and fake pandemics and ever changing lockdown rules.
I know that some Calvinists object to the idea of God being a clockmaker, i.e. making an external world that runs in accordance with laws. They would rather have God in direct control of the weather (angrily, of course) rather than create the water cycle. But in arguing for such a god they show why no great scientist was ever a Calvinist! Fauci could be a Calvinist, i.e. God predestined masks to not work today, to work tomorrow, to not work the next day, to work the next, etc. Its the same arbitrary capriciousness as Quantum, or as the Buddhist Sunyata or Hindu brahman. Its an assertion that the universe does not operate by fixed rules, that (really this is what I thibk the Calvinist thinks) that God was too weak to establish an external universe and had to create an internal one (just like in Hinduism). That unless he literally controls everything at every moment (which removes fixity of law in the operation of nature) then it wouldn't "work."
But we see that such random and capricious conceptions of the universe are those of the Fauci'ite transhumanist Satanist jailers of Prison Planet. A true Christian WILL believe in God as Clockmaker who makes an external universe that operates according to fixed laws, and will be the only proper candidate to be called a true scientist! Not that he will only believe in God as clockmaker as if he made a clock and then left it and went on vacation not caring anymore about it, but like one who wears it on his wrist, looks at it constantly, and even polishes it.
1 Corinthians 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
Do you think the founding fathers had this in mind with E Pluribus Unum? Is E Pluribus Unum and the body of Christ the same concept?
Obedience (Lat. obêdire, "to hearken to", hence "to obey") is the complying with a command or precept. It is here regarded not as a transitory and isolated act but rather as a virtue or principle of righteous conduct. It is then said to be the moral habit by which one carries out the order of his superior with the precise intent of fulfilling the injunction. St. Thomas Aquinas considers the obligation of obedience as an obvious consequence of the subordination established in the world by natural and positive law.
Not Opposed To Freedom
The idea that subjection of any sort of one man to another is incompatible with human freedom — a notion that had vogue in the religious and political teachings of the post-Reformation period — he refutes by showing that it is at variance with the constituted nature of things, and the positive prescriptions of the Almighty God.
Special Virtue Of Obedience
It is worthy of note that whilst it is possible to discern a general aspect of obedience in some acts of all the virtues, in so far as obedience stands for the execution of anything that is of precept, it is contemplated in this article as a definitely special virtue. The element that differentiates it adequately from other good habits is found in the last part of the definition already given. Stress is put upon the fact that one not only does what is actually enjoined, but does it with a mind to formally fall in with the will of the commander. It is in other words the homage rendered to authority which ranks it as a distinct virtue.
Obedience Among Other Virtues
Among the virtues obedience holds an exalted place but not the highest. The distinction belongs to the virtues of faith, hope and charity which unite us immediately with Almighty God. Amongst the moral virtues obedience enjoys a primacy of honour. The reason is that the greater or lesser excellence of a moral virtue is determined by the greater or lesser value of the object which it qualifies one to put aside in order to give oneself to God. Now amongst our various possessions, whether goods of the body or goods of the soul, it is clear that the human will is the most intimately personal and most cherished of all. So it happens that obedience, which makes a man yield up the most dearly prized stronghold of the individual soul in order to do the good pleasure of his Creator, is accounted the greatest of the moral virtues.
As to whom we are to obey, there can be no doubt that first we are bound to offer an unreserved service to Almighty God in all His commands. No real difficulty against this truth can be gathered from putting in juxtaposition the unchangeableness of the natural law and an order, such as that given to Abraham to slay his son Isaac. The conclusive answer is that the absolute sovereignty of God over life and death made it right in that particular instance to undertake the killing of an innocent human being at His direction.
Limitations Of Obedience
On the other hand the obligation to obedience to superiors under God admits of limitations. We are not bound to obey a superior in a matter which does not fall within the limits of his preceptive power. Thus for instance parents although entitled beyond question of the submission of their children until they become of age, have no right to command them to marry. Neither can a superior claim our obedience in contravention to the dispositions of higher authority. Hence, notably, we cannot heed the behests of any human power no matter how venerable or undisputed as against the ordinances of God. All authority to which we bow has its source in Him and cannot be validly used against Him. It is the recognition of the authority of God vicariously exercised through a human agent that confers upon the act of obedience its special merit.
Sin Of Disobedience
No hard and fast rule can be set down for determining the degree of guilt of the sin of disobedience. Regarded formally as a deliberate scorning of the authority itself, it would involve a divorce between the soul and the supernatural principle of charity which is tantamount to a grievous sin. As a matter of fact many other things have to be taken account of, as the greater or lesser advertence in the act, the relatively important or trifling character of the thing imposed, the manner of enjoining, the right of the person who commands. For such reasons the sin will frequently be esteemed venial.
An interesting greeting, grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ. I love the always good intent of our faith. People get an understanding of grace, as they grow in the lord. They kind of feel like God likes them, favors them, enjoys them. God loves you becomes an inner knowing in the relationship they have with our Lord. God's grace in the person of Jesus Christ completely covers, and indwells us. It's a great feeling.
1 Corinthians 7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
Paul believed Jesus was returning to judge the world soon. Paul was wrong. I believe Paul was a wise master builder of the church of Jesus Christ, but he was wrong about God's soon coming judgment, unless you take the preterist veiw that the judgment befell the Jewish nation in 70 AD.
I don't think it's a big deal for the apostle and master builder of the church to be wrong about God's judgment, but it must be taken into consideration when reading Paul. Paul was not infallible, nor should we expect him to be.
When atheism took over it was not a true social movement. After thousands of years we changed our environment. It made Christianity untenable and lose ground but not all ground.
Creationists are easy to defeat and then I slayed them. Religion answers all the questions that cannot be answered, the hardest problems, so it relies on the imagination.
Science answered many questions usually left to the minds eye but not all yet they want to treat it like now if science can't answer the question it's invalid.
After defeating all the bad Christians I was left with the good ones. A true meritocracy. True combatants fighting the hard fight.
Atheists today are never what we would have wanted. Times changed. We need a new religion.
However theirs represents the worse religion has to offer. Today the average fellow atheist is no true comrade. They want everything served on a platter and black or white.
Modern atheism is not what we envisaged and it's a failure. We need something new for a new environment but this isn't it. They obsess about science and only science because they can't deal with anything more. They beat up Christians when they are down because they could.
These are new times. In Christianity some lessons are timeless and some are not. People get confused thinking it's all God who is timeless when it's both. The Bible is a story about both so be careful.
Atheists who say agnosticism is a cop out make me sick. Day to day I live by atheism and though I do not respect your answer I respect the question and they are so full of themselves a question they cannot answer they think beneath them.
We have to formulate a new religion looking at both the old and new but first and foremost the present.
They have failed. We tried to create a new religion and failed. Yet they still cling to it as the tide drops.
We have masters of old and nothing more. Then we have masters of new nothing more. Both are bound to fail in the face of change.
It's time to no longer be ignorant of the old nor of the new. It's time for superior people, the best atheism has to offer and theism to come and fight on the cusp of our understanding of reality.
Dawkins failed when he tried to integrate morality with evolution. We feel pain for real. Even if evolution plays with that you're ignoring the piece on the board for the player.
Ironically atheism was all about accepting uncertainty back then. They have turned it into the opposite, they think it's all a certainty.
Just as we swept away bad Christians so must we now sweep away bad atheists. Theism failed then atheism failed. So what is next? New heights and new lows!
That entire chapter is just beautiful! Wife and I have been discussing the Holy Spirit, Trinity, etc, and this was the last verse of the chapter. Just beautiful!
Have you ever considered the gap between the Old Testament and the New? I've been doing some reading, and I've learned a few things about what went on in Israel in that time. It sort of puts the New Testament into perspective, so I thought I'd share. For simplicity's sake I'll just be referring to the region as Israel, even though it had multiple names depending on who was controlling it at the time.
Most of us who have any familiarity with the Old Testament know that following the death of Solomon, Israel split into 2 kingdoms. The north was conquered by Assyria, and the south was conquered by Babylon. Then Persia conquered everything, and Persia was ultimately conquered by Greece.
We need to pick up with the death of Alexander the Great. When he died, his empire collapsed into a number of petty kingdoms ruled by his former generals. Israel was shuffled back and forth between these Greek kingdoms for many years, ultimately settling into the hands of the Seleucid Empire. Where Persia had allowed the region some degree of autonomy, allowing Jews to reclaim their homeland and rebuild Jerusalem, the Seleucids kept them on a much shorter leash. The Greeks were big on converting conquered peoples to their way of life. They built new cities with Greek forms of government and worship. Israel was a tough nut for them to crack, so in 167 BC, Judaism was banned and the temple in Jerusalem was turned into a temple of Zeus.
This spurred the famous Maccabean Revolt, led by Judas Maccabeus. Jewish rebels tried to overthrow the Seleucids. Rome actually supported the rebels, because they wanted to undermine the Seleucids and destabilize the region to make it ripe for their own conquest. Eventually, Judas' brother Jonathan manipulated the Seleucids into rescinding the ban and installing him as High Priest in Jerusalem. With all of the chaos in the empire, Israel became a quasi-free state again. On paper, it still belonged to the Seleucids, but they more or less gave up on the area.
In 63 BC, Rome seized on some political strife in the region, and made Israel a Roman province. They knew from the Maccabean Revolt that religion was the key to controlling these people, and they appointed a puppet High Priest in Jerusalem. Political leadership was granted to Antipater, a Jewish Edomite who had once saved the life of Julius Caesar. Things went well for a few decades. The region prospered, and cities that had been destroyed over the past century of infighting were rebuilt. Also of note, Israel was considered to be something of a backwater province, primarily existing as a buffer zone to keep the Parthians from attacking the fertile Nile River delta in Egypt.
In 40 BC, the Parthians conquered the entire region. The Romans offered Antipater's son, Herod, kingship of the region if he could reclaim it from the Parthians. He succeeded. Now we really get to the meat of things. Herod was despised by the Jews. In their view, his father had sold them out to the Romans. He took them from an independent kingdom to a second rate suburb of Syria. Plus, Herod's mother wasn't a Jew, and there were serious questions about Herod's piety. He was completely in thrall to Rome, going so far as to construct a new city named Caesarea, in honor of Caesar, and placing a Roman eagle on the temple gate, effectively putting Rome above God.
This explains why Herod was so threatened by the news of Jesus birth. He was an immensely unpopular ruler. His own father had been assassinated. Herod was so unpopular among his own people, he had to import bodyguards from the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire. The historian Josephus lists Thracians, Celts, and Germans among Herod's personal guard. The last thing he would have wanted to face was a populist uprising. Hearing that a prophetic King had been born outside of his bloodline was practically a death sentence for him.
Additionally, this gives some insight into why the Pharisees were so hostile to their Messiah. The Hasmonean dynasty, from Jonathan Maccabeus onwards, were theocratic dictators. The religious leaders held absolute power. Rome emasculated them and installed their own puppet as the chief religious authority. Jesus further challenged them. They wanted a Messiah to restore the power and authority they once held, not to bring them lower. The meager scraps they held, they were only able to retain by bending the knee to Roman officials, and they were not giving that up without a fight.
We also see why Rome considered Christianity a threat. I always thought it was strange that, in a culture with temples dedicated to dozens of different gods, they would object to this One. The fact is, the Romans knew full well how dangerous the Jews could be when their religion was threatened. After all, Rome funded the Maccabean Revolt.
So really, it all boils down to selfish men scrabbling for power.
Heavenly father here I am again, asking for mercy. Your patience is infinite with us, guide our feet while we walk through shadowy places, give us the strength to persevere in the good ways, the ways of your liking. Master in heaven keep us near to you, we want to shine your light to all our family members specially in trying times. Let us be generous with our time and our manners. Everyday you show us the better paths, the pleasant ways. Fill us with courage Lord to withstand and stand fast and ready, and the wisdom to be effective carriers of your message of peace.
I often wonder about this, especially given the stories amongst the Eastern (Thomasine and other) branches of Christianity that posit a time of wandering in foreign lands, imagine the impact he (could have) had! But that’s just me, do you ever wonder about the years left off the page? I can see an easy route to offense with this topic, so don’t think I’m calling the Bible lacking because these years were not pertinent to its message, I’m not saying that, this is a discussion of curiosity purely
How many times did he basically say "we aren't doing things the old way anymore?" My favorite exchanges with the pharisees always boiled down to "hey! You're not supposed to do or say that! It's against these rules we have written down!" And he'd reply "aren't those rules written by GOD himself?" I don't think a lot of them got it back then lol
I just found out that my wife of 13 years has been having an affair since Easter and I'm devastated right now. we have 2 children, 6 & 11. they're going to suffer the worst. I always promised them I would raise them in a two parent household, my father was in prison and hers were divorced. it's killing me that I cannot uphold that promise.
the marriage cannot be saved, we are for sure splitting up. being alone is hard for me, I have emotional problems I guess. I'm also an addict but I'm hanging on for dear life.
I'm terrified and crushed and hurt right now and I've been praying but I can't help but feel like no one's listening right now.
- but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)
- Then they will cry to the Lord, but he will not answer them; he will hide his face from them at that time, because they have made their deeds evil (Micah 3:4)
- The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous (Proverbs 15:29)
- When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. (Isaiah 1:15)
Edit : I should have said "Reminder : OUR sins prevent OUR prayers from being heard"
A meme brought up this question, about treating your body as a temple. Why are so many abused kids compelled to desecrate their bodies? Everything seems to be done impulsively, from scarring/tattoos, to unprotected sex and other reckless/dangerous behavior like drug use (as they become adults). Kids who are abused often lash out at people close to them, some even hurt other living things for pleasure/entertainment.
Demons are real. But, do they naturally occur within somebody, or are they instilled through the abuse itself? Since a kid has limited knowledge and experience in the world, does it make them totally open to a spiritual attack/takeover?
Is this why some of these evil people in charge are so obsessed with children, and destroying their innocence? Are they creating vessels for demons?
Noah and company also descended from Adam and Eve.
So the races must have "evolved" from Noah's time until today, didn't they?
A literal reading of the story of the Flood was that the whole world was destroyed except for Noah and a few others, so then the different races that we see today must have genetically come from this lineage.
Does anyone have any more understanding or info on this topic?
UPDATE: Deluge Catholic Encyclopedia article admits some other possibilities, for example:
Besides, the oldest Egyptian monuments present the Negro race just as we find it today, so that even at that remote age, it was wholly different from the Caucasian race.
Considerations like these have induced several Catholic writers to regard as quite tenable the opinion that the Deluge did not destroy all men outside the ark.
This just moves the question back to how the races descended from Adam and Eve though
Father, Thank you for bringing more and more of your precious children together! Thank you for building us up and creating places where iron can sharpen iron! Bless us in all we do! We know that it is you that causes us to prosper! Bless This place abundantly! Give the mods wisdom, direction, discernment, and all the help they need to keep this place a light in these dark times! Cause us all to shine brighter and brighter so we may show the world that your ways are greater than their ways! In Jesus name, Amen!
Please join us at 5pm PDT for one minute of prayer!
Love you all as Christ has loved me!
I started researching the 10 Lost tribes just as a history nerd thing, but some of the theories are rather fascinating. Some theories seem a little conspiracy theory tinfoil hat territory, but does anyone know of concrete archeological, geneological evidence of where they went?
The Rev. Jean Pierre de Caussade was one of the most remarkable spiritual writers of the Society of Jesus in France in the 18th Century. His death took place at Toulouse in 1751. His works have gone through many editions and have been republished, and translated into several foreign languages.
The present book gives an English translation of the tenth French Edition of Fr. de Caussade's "Abandon a la Providence Divine," edited, to the great benefit of many souls, by Fr. H. Ramiere, S. J.
A portion of this remarkable work in English has already appeared in America, but many readers, to whom this precious little book has become a favorite, will welcome a complete translation, especially as what has already appeared m the English version may be considered as merely the theoretical part, whilst the "Letters of Direction" which form the greater portion of the present work give the practical part. They answer objections, solve difficulties, and give practical advice. The book thus gains considerably in value and utility. It is divided into two unequal parts, the first containing a treatise on total abandonment to Divine Providence, and the second, letters of direction for persons leading a spiritual life.
The " Treatise " comprises two different aspects of Abandonment to Divine Providence; one as a virtue, common and necessary to all Christians, the other as a state, proper to souls who have made a special practice of abandonment to the holy will of God.
The "Letters of Direction," now for the first time translated into English, were addressed to Nuns of the Visitation at Nancy. Fr. de Caussade had been stationed in this town for some time, and when later he was called away, his letters to the Nuns carried on the powerful influence he had exercised over them. They were treasured and preserved with religious care, and thus have come down to our own days. Fr. de Ramiere, S. J., collected these letters, and edited them with painstaking labor.
These "Spiritual Letters" are completely suited to the present time; Catholic spiritual life being ever the same, there is nothing in them which might require alteration or revision. Directors of souls will find them an answer to the daily and constantly recurring difficulties and trials of the interior life, from the initial difficulties of beginners to the hidden trials of souls of great sanctity. Whilst the "Letters," from the fact that they were originally written for the direction of Nuns, are chiefly intended for Religious, yet earnest people living in the world will derive from their perusal a most efficacious means for the attainment of resignation and peace in the midst of the worries and anxieties of life.
The leading idea in the letters of Fr. de Caussade is abandonment, complete and absolute, to Divine Providence. This was the mainspring of his own spiritual life, and the key-note of his direction of souls. He promises peace and holiness to every soul, however simple, that follows his counsel, if it has an upright intention, and a good will. The following extract is from Fr. H. Ramiere's preface to the Letters:
"That which renders Dr. de Caussade's letters especially valuable, and makes them useful in an eminently practical manner, is the circumstance that they are, for the most part, addressed to persons suffering under different kinds of darkness, desolation and trials; in a word, to those whom God designs for a high degree of sanctity. To all the doubts submitted to him, and to all the sufferings exposed to him by his correspondents, the holy Director applied but one and the same solution and remedy-abandonment; but, with perfect tact he adapts this practice to the particular nature of the trial, and proportions its exercise to the degree of perfection to which each soul has attained.
The same method of direction he applies in a hundred different ways, and therefore this correspondence can be justly compared to a ladder by which the soul ascends by successive degrees from a still very imperfect state, to one of the most intimate union with God, and to the most heroic abandonment. To whatever degree a soul has attained we can safely promise that it will find in these letters suitable advice and a solution of the difficulties by which it is beset. Even those who look upon the spiritual life as an inextricable labyrinth will receive from the hands of Fr. de Caussade the clue which will enable them to escape from the darkness that envelopes them, and to enjoy peace in the midst of their uneasiness. May it prove this to all those poor souls who are troubled, and who 'tremble for fear where there is nothing to fear.' (Ps. 13). May this book realize the message of the Angels, and bring peace to souls of a good will."
The "Abandonment to Divine Providence" of Fr. de Caussade is as far removed from the false inactivity of the Quietists, as true Christian resignation is distinct from the fatalism of Mohammedans. It is a trusting, childlike, peaceful abandonment to the guidance of grace, and of the Holy Spirit: an unquestioning and undoubting submission to the holy will of God in all things that may befall us, be they due to the action of man, or to the direct permission of God. To Fr. de Caussade, abandonment to God, the " Ita Pater " of our Divine Lord, the " Fiat " of our Blessed Lady, is the shortest, surest, and easiest way to holiness and peace. Fr. de Caussade's work must be read with a certain amount of discretion, as naturally every advice he gives does not apply to all readers indiscriminately. Some of his counsels may be appropriate for beginners; others for souls of a more advanced degree of spirituality. No one, however, can fail to recognize in his writings the sure tone of a "Master," who has united practical to theoretical knowledge of his subject.
Every page is redolent with the unction of the Spirit of God, and readers will find in his doctrine a heavenly manna, a food of unfailing strength for their souls. The present work has been carefully translated into readable English, and more regard has been paid to the meaning than 'to the literal exactness of the sentences. The elevated, noble style of the author has been preserved throughout. It is a real contribution to the spiritual literature of England.
I am aware that our English word "Abandonment " does not adequately render the meaning of the French word "Abandon," but we have no better expression. The translation has been undertaken solely for the purpose of helping souls to follow the hidden paths of the spiritual life, and to surrender themselves entirely to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Dom Arnold, O.S.B., Buckfast Abbey. (Feast of All Saints, 1921.)