French Mystic and Quietist Author
Madame Guyon, Jeanne Marie Bouvières de la Mothe Guyon
French Mystic and Quietist Author
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?
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.
Be so much the enemy of self as you desire to be the friend of God.
He that regards self only with horror, is beginning to be the delight of God.
In our solemn feasts, some strive to do something for Thee, O my God! and others, that Thou mayest do something for them; but neither of these is permitted to us. Love forbids the one and cannot suffer the other.
Prayer is the guide to perfection, and prayer delivers us from every vice, and gives us every virtue; for the one way to become perfect is to walk in the presence of God.
The ray of the creature is derived from the Sun of the Divinity; it cannot, however, be separated from it; and if its dependence upon its divine principle is essential, its union is not less so.
Besides the potent magnetism of the centre itself, there is, in every creature, a corresponding tendency to reunion with its own particular centre, and this is vigorous and active in proportion to the spirituality and perfection of the subject.
He who has a pure heart will never cease to pray; and he who will be constant in prayer, shall know what it is to have a pure heart.