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 lay persons as of religious. If the former (i.e., lay persons) 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 (i.e., the religious) 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 which they constantly find in the circumstances of their lives lead them to the highest perfection by a surer and shorter path than extraordinary states or spectacular works; that surrender to the will of God is the true philosopher’s stone that changes into divine gold all their occupations, troubles and sufferings, what consolation would be theirs! What courage would they derive from this thought: that in order to acquire the friendship of God and to arrive at eternal glory, they have only to do what they are doing, only to suffer what they are already suffering; and that what they waste and count as nothing is enough to bring them the greatest holiness, far more than any extraordinary state or wonderful works!
O my God! how much I long to be the missionary of Your holy will, to teach everyone that there is nothing so easy, so simple, so within the reach of all, as sanctity! Would that I could make people understand that just as the good and the bad thief had the same things to do and to suffer in order to be saints, so it is with two persons, one of whom is worldly and the other leading an interior and wholly spiritual life. One has no more to do than the other. The one who is sanctified gains eternal blessedness by submission to Your holy will doing those very things which the other, who is lost, does to please himself, or endures with reluctance and rebellion. The difference is in the heart.
O beloved souls who read this! It will cost you no more than to do what you are doing, to suffer what you are suffering. It is only your heart that must be changed. When I say heart, I mean the will. Sanctity, then, consists in willing all that God wills for us. Yes! sanctity of the heart is a simple, “Let it be,” a simple conformity of the will with the will of God.
What could be easier, and who can refuse to love a will so kind and good? Let us love God’s will, and this love will make everything in us divine.
Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade – The Joy of Full Surrender
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