Forget the Usual Ways of Doing Things; Simplify and You Can Leave Them Behind

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 95

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

–1 Peter 4:19 (ESV)

The more darkness you encounter, the greater is your faith and confidence. It increases with every abyss, pitfall, death, wilderness, fear, persecution, drought, famine, trouble, anguish, despair, purgatory, and hell. All you need to do is direct your eyes to God, and you will be assured in the greatest perils. Forget the recommended spiritual paths and their supposed benefits. Forget yourself; abandon yourself altogether to the wisdom, goodness, and power of your guide. The only thing you need to remember about yourself is that you should love God, fulfill your duties, and flee from sin—not only obvious sin, however slight it might be, but all that would bear its appearance. This is all that God leaves to his children to be concerned with; the rest, he takes care of himself.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

“Forget the recommended spiritual paths and their supposed benefit.” This is the advice Jean Pierre de Caussade gives us here. But please note the context. He is describing how to survive times of great suffering, and how to increase your faith and confidence even in extreme trials. At such times, you might lack the energy or concentration to pray like you have been told to pray. It might take all your strength just to get through another day. If so, use your faith to get through the day, and you will find it to be more than enough.

Suffering simplifies. Let it simplify your abandonment to God. Few things are truly essential. Jean Pierre de Caussade reduces it to three: “love God, fulfill your duties, and flee from sin.”

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.