From 'The Practice of the Presence of God: The Best Rule of Holy Life'
Faith working by love. * Outward business no detriment. * Perfect
resignation the sure way.
He told me, that the foundation of the spiritual life in him had been a high
notion and esteem of GOD in faith; which when he had once well conceived, he
had no other care at first, but faithfully to reject every other thought,
that he might perform all his actions for the love of GOD. That when
sometimes he had not thought of GOD for a good while, he did not disquiet
himself for it; but after having acknowledged his wretchedness to GOD, he
returned to Him with so much the greater trust in Him, by how much he found
himself more wretched to have forgot Him.
That the trust we put in GOD honors Him much, and draws down great graces.
That it was impossible, not only that GOD should deceive, but also that He
should long let a soul suffer which is perfectly resigned to Him, and
resolved to endure everything for His sake.
That he had so often experienced the ready succors of Divine Grace upon all
occasions, that from the same experience, when he had business to do, he did
not think of it beforehand; but when it was time to do it, he found in GOD,
as in a clear mirror, all that was fit for him to do. That of late he had
acted thus, without anticipating care; but before the experience above
mentioned, he had used it in his affairs.
When outward business diverted him a little from the thought of GOD, a fresh
remembrance coming from GOD invested his soul, and so inflamed and
transported him that it was difficult for him to contain himself.
That he was more united to GOD in his outward employments, than when he left
them for devotion in retirement.
That he expected hereafter some great pain of body or mind; that the worst
that could happen to him was, to lose that sense of GOD, which he had
enjoyed so long; but that the goodness of GOD assured him He would not
forsake him utterly, and that He would give him strength to bear whatever
evil He permitted to happen to him; and therefore that he feared nothing,
and had no occasion to consult with anybody about his state. That when he
had attempted to do it, he had always come away more perplexed; and that as
he was conscious of his readiness to lay down his life for the love of GOD,
he had no apprehension of danger. That perfect resignation to GOD was a sure
way to heaven, a way in which we had always sufficient light for our
That in the beginning of the spiritual life, we ought to be faithful in
doing our duty and denying ourselves; but after that unspeakable pleasures
followed: that in difficulties we need only have recourse to JESUS CHRIST,
and beg His grace, with which everything became easy.
That many do not advance in the Christian progress, because they stick in
penances, and particular exercises, while they neglect the love of GOD,
which is the end. That this appeared plainly by their works, and was the
reason why we see so little solid virtue.
That there needed neither art nor science for going to GOD, but only a heart
resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him, or for His sake,
and to love Him only.
Creator: Lawrence, Brother (Nicholas Herman, c. 1605-1691)