CH. XLI. THAT WE MUST NOT YIELD TO THE WISH TO BE DELIVERED FROM THE TRIALS WE ARE PATIENTLY ENDURING, AND HOW WE ARE TO REGULATE ALL OUR DESIRES SO AS TO ADVANCE IN HOLINESS.
WHEN you shall find yourself in any painful position, and bear it patiently, take heed lest the devil or your own selflove persuade you to desire deliverance from it; for you may thereby incur two great evils.
1st. If this desire should not rob you at once of the virtue of patience, it would at least gradually dispose you to impatience.
2d. Your patience would become defective, and would be rewarded by God only according to the duration of the suffering; whereas if you had not desired to be freed from it, but had committed yourself wholly to His Divine goodness, your sufferings, though but of an hour's duration, or even less, would have been accepted by your Lord as an enduring service.
In this, then, and in all things, make it your unvarying rule to keep your wishes so far removed from every other object that they may tend simply to their true and only end, the Will of God. For thus will they be ever right and true; and in any crossaccident which may occur, you will be not only tranquil but content, because, as nothing can happen without the Supreme Will, by willing the same you will come at all times both to will all that happens and to possess all that you desire.
This must not be understood either of our own sins or those of others, for God wills not these; but it applies to every chastisement arising from them or from any other cause, though it be so keen and searching as to reach the very bottom of the heart, and to wither the very roots of the natural life: a cross wherewith God is sometimes pleased to favor His nearest and dearest friends.
And what I say of the patience which you are bound to practice on all occasions, is to be understood of that portion of any trouble which still remains after we have used all lawful means of relief, and which it is the will of God that we should endure. And in the use of these means we should be guided by the will and disposal of God, who has appointed them to be used, not to please ourselves, but because He so wills; nor as loving or desiring deliverance from suffering beyond what is required for His service and by His will.
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