SURRENDER: Perfection Means Submission To God’s Will by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

There is no sprititual path more secure than that of giving yourself entirely to God.

Perfection Means Submission To God’s Will by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

From The Joy of Full Surrender

The designs of God, the good pleasure of God, the will of God, the action of God, and the gift of his grace are all one and the same thing in the spiritual life.  It is God at work in the soul to make it like himself.  Perfection is nothing more or less than the faithful cooperation of the soul with this work of God.  This work begins, grows, and is completed in our souls secretly and without our knowledge.

Theology is full of theories and explanations of how each soul is brought into this wonderful perfection to the fullest extent of its capacity.  We may know all the theories and understand the explanations of this work in the soul, speak and write about them beautifully, or instruct and direct others.  But if this knowledge is only head-knowledge, one who possesses it will be like a sick physician compared to simple people who enjoy perfect health, who live and act according to God’s designs, and who are guided by God’s holy will, even though they are ignorant of theories.  When a faithful soul accepts the designs of God and his divine will with simplicity, this holy effect is brought about in it without its knowledge, just as medicine taken obediently will produce health, although the sick person neither knows nor wishes to know anything about medicine.  Just as fire warms us, rather than philosophical discussions about fire or knowledge of its effects, so the designs of God and his holy will work in the soul to make it holy – not intellectual speculations concerning the principles or methods that produce holiness in our souls.

When we are thirsty, we must drink; theoretical explanations will not quench our thirst.  The desire to know only increases our thirst even more.  Therefore, when we thirst after holiness, the desire to know about it only drives it further away.  We must put speculation aside and drink in simplicity of all that the will of God sends us, both to do and to suffer.  Those things that happen at each moment by God’s command or permission are always the holiest, the best, the most divine thing that could happen to us.


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