French Mystic and Quietist Author
Madame Guyon, Jeanne Marie Bouvières de la Mothe Guyon
French Mystic and Quietist Author
This action of the soul is accompanied with the utmost tranquility. When she lives selfishly the act is forced and constrained; and, therefore, she can easily perceive it: but when she lives under the influence of the Spirit of grace, her action is so free, so easy, and so natural, that it almost seems as if she did not act at all.
Why should we complain that we have been stripped of the divine virtues, if we had not hidden them away as our own? Why should we complain of a loss, if we had no property in the thing lost? or why does deprivation give us so much pain, except because of the appropriation we had made of that which was taken away?
To contend with them, in any other way, only serves to irritate rather than appease them.
Would you exert all your powers to attain Divine Union? Use all your strength for the destruction of self.
To seek after God in the right way is easier and more natural than breathing.
To take and receive all things not in ourselves, but in God, is the true and excellent way of dying to ourselves and living only to God.
We can rest assured that God will never give up with us until we are totally given over to God. Then He will kill off in us anything that remains alive but which ought to be put to death.
We have to dedicate the present moment to God since this brings with it God?s eternal order, and is an infallible declaration of His will which has to be carried out and is incumbent on everyone. We must attribute nothing that happens to us as if it came from man but see God?s hand in everything.
We must cooperate with and help to bring about God?s purposes which tend to strip us of all our own self-effort so that God may be enthroned in our lives. Let this be done in you; and do not allow yourself to be attached to anything, however good it may appear.
We must forget ourselves and all self-interest, and listen, and be attentive to God.
When at any time the passions are turbulent, a gentle retreat inwards to a present God, easily deadens and pacifies them.
When thou canst not find thyself, nor any good, then rejoice that all things are rendered unto God.
When we suffer aridity and desolation with equanimity, we testify our love to God; but when He visits us with the sweetness of his presence, He testifies his love to us.
Whenever we endeavor to bring about our own perfection, or that of others, by our own efforts, the result is simply imperfection.
Which is the harder lot for a soul that has known and loved God, not to know whether it loves God, or whether God loves it?
Which of the two would the perfect soul choose, if the choice were presented, to love God, or to be loved by Him?
While our abandonment blesses or spares us, we shall find many to advise it; but let it bring us into trouble, and the most spiritually-minded will exclaim against it.
Who can comprehend the extent of that supreme homage which is due to the will of God?
Do not turn to prayer hoping to enjoy spiritual delights; rather come to prayer totally content to receive nothing or to receive great blessing from God?s hand, which ever should be your heavenly Father?s will for you at that time. This will enable you to live close to God in times of sadness as well as in times when you are being comforted by God.
How can they be delivered from the life of self, who are not willing to abandon all their possessions? How can they believe themselves despoiled of all, who possess the greatest treasure under heaven? Do not oblige me to name it, but judge, if you are enlightened; there is one of them which is less than the other, which is lost before it, but which those who must lose everything have the greatest trouble in parting with.
Know this fundamental truth as you begin [praying]? remember that He said, ?the kingdom of God is within you.
Salvation consists in a total change of the whole person as he turns from his outer life to his inner life.
Go to your place of prayer not only to enjoy spiritual delights, but simply to please the Father. God allows suffering, but never allows wrong.
How rare is it to behold a soul in an absolute abandonment of selfish interests, that it may devote itself to the interests of God!
Let no one ask a stronger mark of an excellent love to God, than that we are insensible to our own reputation.