Practical Reflection 3

Man in the state of innocence would have perfect love, because all within him would have submitted without difficulty to His orders; but in the state of sin in which we now are we cannot serve Him without continually fighting against ourselves; nor can we love Him without hating ourselves; we can do but little for Him but what we do against ourselves. Hence we should humbly submit to the dryness, disgust, and irksomeness which we frequently experience in our exercises of piety; we should enter into the designs of Almighty God, make a merit of seeking to please Him without gratifying ourselves; and willingly consent to become victims of His love, and to sacrifice all for His honor. Did the truly Christian soul know how far a state of suffering may be made a holy and sanctifying state, a state of proved and purified love for God, in a word, a state in which we neither seek nor find ourselves in anything but purely God, how would that soul esteem it! What care would it not take to profit by it, that is, to suffer patiently, to support the Lord with courage, and to neglect nothing, whatever uneasiness might arise. Were we thoroughly persuaded of, and deeply impressed with a conviction of the continual merit of a life of dryness when supported without dejection, we should without doubt endeavor to correspond with the designs of God, who would thus oblige us not to seek ourselves in anything, but to endeavor only to please Him, and to make a real merit of His good pleasure. We should esteem ourselves happy in sacrificing to God the gratifications of our hearts, in yielding ourselves up to Him, and in doing our duty, even without the satisfaction of knowing that we please Him!

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