The Joy of Full Surrender

SURRENDER: Especially For Us by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

February 8, 2018

From The Joy of Full Surrender We can be truly instructed only by the words that God speaks to us personally. No one grows in knowledge of God either by reading books or by curious historical research. These means give us only a vain and empty knowledge, which serves only to confuse us and inflate us with pride. That which truly instructs us is what comes to us by the will of God from moment to moment. This is the knowledge gained through experience, which Christ himself was pleased to acquire before teaching others. In fact, this was the only knowledge in which he could grow, according to the expression of the holy gospel, (Luke 2:52). This is because, being God, there was no degree of speculative knowledge that he did not already [...]

SURRENDER: The Hidden Work Of Divine Love by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

February 1, 2018

From The Joy of Full Surrender What great truths are hidden from the eyes even of Christians who think that they are the most enlightened!  How few among them understand that every cross, every circumstance, every leading of the will of God, gives us God himself in a way that can best be explained by comparing them with the most majestic mystery of all, the Holy Eucharist. Yet what is more certain?  Does not reason as well as faith reveal to us the presence of divine love in all creatures, and in all the events of life, just as indisputably as the words of Jesus Christ and of the church reveal the presence of the sacred flesh of our Savior under the Eucharistic elements?  Do we not know that by all created things, and by every event, [...]

SURRENDER: Christians’ Disregard Of God’s Action by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

January 25, 2018

From The Joy of Full Surrender What unfaithfulness there is in the world!  How unworthy are human thoughts of God!  We constantly complain of God’s action in a way we would not use toward the lowest of workmen about his trade.  We would reduce God’s action to the limits and rules of our feeble reason.  We presume to imagine that we can improve on his acts.  These are nothing but complaints and murmurings. We are surprised at the treatment endured by Jesus at the hands of the Jews.  Divine love! adorable Will of God! infallible truth! in what ways are you treated?  Can God’s will ever occur at other than the proper time?  Can it be mistaken?  “But there is this business of mine!  I require such and such a thing!  The [...]

SURRENDER: God’s Word Written On The Heart by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

January 18, 2018

From The Joy of Full Surrender “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever,” says the Apostle, (Hebrews 13:8).  From the beginning of the world he was, as God, the source of the life of righteous souls.  From the first moment of his incarnation, his humanity shared this prerogative of his divinity.  He is working within us throughout our whole lives.  The time that will elapse till the end of the world is only as a day, and this day abounds with his action.  Jesus Christ lived and lives still.  He began in himself and he continues in his saints a life that will never end. Life of Jesus! including and extending beyond all the ages of time! life working new wonders of grace at every moment!  If no one is capable of [...]

SURRENDER: God Revealed In Ordinary Circumstances by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

January 11, 2018

From The Joy of Full Surrender The written word of God is full of mystery.  His word expressed in the events of the world is no less so.  These are two sealed books, and of both it can be said, “The letter kills.” God is the center of faith.  All that emanates from this center is hidden in the deepest mystery.  This word and these events are, so to speak, feeble rays from a sun obscured by clouds.  It is vain to expect to see with our mortal eyes the rays of this sun.  Even the eyes of our soul are blind to God and his works.  Obscurity here reigns rather than clear light; knowledge itself is ignorance, and we see without seeing.  The Holy Scripture is the mysterious Word of an even more mysterious God.  And the events of the [...]

SURRENDER: Finding The Will Of God by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

December 21, 2017

From The Joy of Full Surrender If we are able to greet each passing moment as the manifestation of the will of God, we will find in it all our heart can desire.  What could there be more reasonable, more perfect, more divine than the will of God?  Could any change of time or place or circumstance alter or increase its infinite value?  If you possess the secret of discovering it at every moment and in everything, then you possess all that is most precious and worthy to be desired.  What is it that you are searching for, you who desire to become holy?  Give full scope to your longings.  Your wishes need have no measure, no limit.  However much you may desire, I can show you how to attain it, even though it may be infinite.  There is [...]

SURRENDER: Recognizing God’s Hand By Faith by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

December 14, 2017

From The Joy of Full Surrender Those who are enlightened by faith judge things in a very different way from those who have only their senses to guide them and ignore the inestimable treasures they conceal.  One who knows the king in disguise treats him very differently from another who, judging by appearances alone, fails to recognize his royalty and treats him as a commoner.  In the same way the soul that recognizes the will of God in even the smallest circumstances, even in those that are most distressing and fatal, receives them all with equal joy, pleasure, and respect.  That soul throws open all its doors to receive with honor what others fear and fly from in horror.  The outward appearance may be humble and contemptible, but [...]

SURRENDER: God’s Hand Present Everywhere, by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

November 30, 2017

From The Joy of Full Surrender All creatures are living in the hand of God.  The senses perceive only the physical causes, but faith sees God’s hand in all things.  Faith believes that Jesus Christ lives in all things, that his divine operation continues to the end of time, and that every passing moment and the tiniest atom contain a portion of this hidden life and mysterious action.  The physical creation is a veil concealing the profound mysteries of the divine work.  After the Resurrection, Jesus took his disciples by surprise in his various appearances.  He showed himself to them under forms that they did not recognize, and, in the very act of making himself known to them, disappeared from their sight.  This same Jesus, ever [...]

SURRENDER: Holiness Made Easy by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

November 16, 2017

From The Joy of Full Surrender I believe that if those who are seriously striving after holiness were instructed as to the conduct they ought to follow they would be spared a good deal of trouble.  I speak as much of laypersons as of religious.  If the former (that is, laypersons) could realize the merit concealed in the actions of each moment of the day – I mean in each of the daily duties and actions belonging to their state of life – and if the latter (that is, those who are members of religious orders) could be persuaded that holiness is found in what seems unimportant to them, they would all indeed be happy.  If, in addition, they understood that the crosses sent them by Providence – crosses that they constantly find in the [...]

SURRENDER: Who Is The Most Holy? by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

October 26, 2017

From The Joy of Full Surrender The will of God gives a supernatural and divine value to everything for the soul that is submitted to it.  All the duties God’s will imposes, all those contained in it, all the matters it touches, become holy and perfect, because the will of God is unlimited in power and makes everything it touches divine. But in order not to stray either to the right or the left, we should follow such inspirations we believe we have received from God only if we are sure that they will not take us from the duties of our state of life.  These duties are the most certain manifestations of God’s will, and we should prefer nothing above them.  In them there is nothing to fear, nothing to exclude, nothing to be chosen.  [...]

SURRENDER: Attaining Lasting Peace by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

October 19, 2017

From The Joy of Full Surrender The soul who is not committed to the will of God alone will find neither its satisfaction nor its sanctification in the various methods – not even in the most excellent devotional exercises.  If that which God himself chooses for you does not satisfy you, from whom do you expect to receive what you desire?  If you turn from the food prepared for you by God’s own will, what food could satisfy a taste so depraved?  A soul can be nourished, strengthened, purified, enriched, and made holy only by the fullness of the present moment.  What more would you have?  Since you can find all that is good here, why search for it anywhere else?  Do you know better than God?  Since he ordains it this way, why do [...]

SURRENDER: The Limited Use Of Intelligence, by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

October 12, 2017

From The Joy of Full Surrender The mind with all its powers would like to hold first place among all the instruments employed by God, but it must, like a dangerous slave, be reduced to the lowest place.  It might be of great service if made use of in a right manner, but it can do much injury if it is not kept in subjection.  When the soul longs for outward supports, grace whispers to the heart that God’s invisible work is enough.  When the soul wishes to forego created means of help at the wrong time, God shows it that such help should be received and used with singleness of heart, in keeping with his established will.  We should use such means as tools, not for their own sake, but as though we did not use them, and when we are [...]

SURRENDER: The Limited Use Of Reading And Other Exercises by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

September 28, 2017

From The Joy of Full Surrender All we need to know is how to recognize God’s will for the present moment.  Any reading we might choose without regard to the will of God is harmful to us.  The will of God and obedience to his leading brings us grace, and this grace is what does the work in the depths of our hearts through reading or anything else we do.  Without God, books are only vain appearances, deprived of God’s life-giving power as far as we are concerned, and they succeed only in emptying the heart by the very satisfaction our reading brings to the mind. God’s will, working in the souls of simple and ignorant persons through suffering or through a few very ordinary actions, produces an abundance of supernatural life in those [...]

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

September 21, 2017

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 [...]

SURRENDER: The Work Of Making Us Holy by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

September 14, 2017

From The Joy of Full Surrender If the work of making us holy seems such a hard and impossible task, it is because we do not have the right idea of what it truly is. In truth, holiness consists of one single thing: faithfulness to the will of God. Now, this faithfulness is within the reach of everyone, whether it calls for active or passive practice of our faith. Active faithfulness means fulfilling the duties that are ours by the general laws of God and of the church, or by our particular state of life. Passive faithfulness consists in the loving acceptance of all that God sends us each moment. Is either of these practices beyond our ability? Not active faithfulness, because any duties it might impose are no longer duties when we do not [...]

SURRENDER: Shadows That Veil The Hand Of God by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

September 1, 2017

From The Joy of Full Surrender The power of the Most High will overshadow you, said the angel to Mary. This shadow, behind which is hidden the power of God for the purpose of bringing forth Jesus Christ in the soul, is the duty, the attraction, or the cross that is offered to us at each moment. These are, in truth, only shadows like those in nature that, like a veil, cover the objects of our senses and hide them from us. In the same way, in the moral and supernatural realm, the duties of each moment, like dark shadows, conceal the only thing that should hold our attention: the reality of God’s will in them. This was the way Mary perceived them. As these shadows spread themselves over her mind, far from deluding her, they only increased [...]

SURRENDER: Holiness Means Faithfulness To God’s Will, by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

August 24, 2017

From The Joy of Full Surrender God speaks today in the same way he spoke to our ancestors. There were no spiritual directors, then, and spiritual methods were not so clearly defined. Spirituality simply consisted of faithfulness to the will of God. It was not reduced to an art, minutely explained, containing so many directions, maxims, or instructions as there are today. Our present needs may require this, but in those earlier days, when God’s people were more simple and upright, it was enough to see that each moment brought a duty to be faithfully fulfilled. Their whole attention was fixed on that duty, like the hour hand of a clock that moves its necessary distance minute by minute. With their mind and spirit constantly moved by the [...]