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Posted April 14, 2011

Book: Inner Peace: Wisdom form Jean-Pierre de Caussade
Editor: Kathryn Hermes, SFP.
Pauline Books and Media. Boston, MA. 2011. Pp. 80

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

How do I find peace of mind in my stressed-out life?

It can be hard to hold on to trust in God when we’re stretched and stressed by responsibilities, deadlines, and expectations. Caussade gently yet persistently tells us not to fret over the past nor worry about the future. We are given only the sacrament of the present moment in which God reveals himself to us. God is secretly at work for our good in the midst of every duty and every event.

An Excerpt from the Book:

How to Bear Trials

I feel keenly, my dear Sister, the painful nature of the trial to which God has subjected you and the sadness of your heart at receiving these daily wounds.

It is true, I own, that it is necessary to be very holy to be able to let such things pass unnoticed, without feeling any kind of resentment. However, if you cannot attain such perfection at least try during these times of trial, first, to dismiss as far as you are able all those thoughts, feelings, and that language likely to embitter your mind, and second, if you cannot succeed in doing this, at any rate, say interiorly in the superior part of your soul, “My God, you have permitted this, may your adorable will and divine decrees be accomplished in all things. I sacrifice to you this affliction and its consequences according to what pleases you. You are the Master, may you be blessed by all and in all things.” Then add, “I forgive, Lord, from the bottom of my heart for the love of you the persons who cause my sufferings, and to show the sincerity of my feelings about them, I ask for them all sorts of graces and blessings and every happiness.” When the heart is inclined to resist say, “My God, you see my misery, but at least I desire to have all these feelings and I beg this grace of you.” Having done this think no more about it, and if uncharitable feelings still attack you, be resigned to endure this torment in conformity to the divine will which permits it, contenting yourself with renewing your offering in the higher part of the soul. This is one of the ways by which we can share the chalice of Jesus Christ, our Good Master.

I am surprised, my dear Sister, that with the help of the rules I have so often given you, you are not even yet able to recognize the hand of God in the misunderstandings that arise among people with the best intentions. “God,” you say, “does not inspire anything that brings trouble.” That,, in one sense, is true, but is it not also true that God has permitted, and often permits his servants to be given to mistakes and illusions which are intended to try them, to exercise them, and, in this way to sanctify them by the trouble they cause each other? We see hundreds of examples of this in the lives of the saints. . .Try to judge, not by human judgment, weak, narrow, and blind as it is, but by divine judgment which alone is upright, sure, and infallible. In this way you will improve, and not have the peace of your mind and heart disturbed.

Excerpt from two undated letters written to Sister Marie Therese de Viomenil.

Table of Contents:

1. Sanctity found in fidelity

2. A hidden treasure

3. Uncomplicated sanctity

4. God’s action

5. Enlightened by faith

6. The will of God

7. Love’s hidden work

8. The present moment

9. Allow God to act

10. Trust in God

11. Given over to God

12. All-sufficient love

13. Peace in turmoil

14. Liberty of spirit

15. Recourse to providence

16. Dependence on God

17. The goodness of God

18. Annoyances

19. How to bear trials

20. Why torment yourself?

21. The happiness of resignation

21. Peace and confidence