Graces for Piety

In the previous two posts, we heard Father Guibert explain how, by means of piety, “the soul seeks God, takes possession of God, and lives on God.” Next, he elaborates upon the graces God gives to make these things possible.

He writes: “For a soul to perform such acts, God must already have taken up His abode within us by grace. It is He who is present in the soul, even before she is conscious of the fact; it is He who awakens her and fills her with uneasiness, and who urges her on to seek her Saviour with eagerness and perseverance; and so the first grace that God gives us is to stir up in us the desire to find Him. The second is that, in mercy and goodness, He comes to us and gives Himself to us; and the effort by means of which we gain possession of Him, as well as the love for Him that springs up in our hearts, is no less the work of His grace than of our liberty. He ends by becoming our interior activity, because His grace communicates to us that fertility of feeling and of work that are the crown of piety.”

“If piety is the very life of God within us, let us beware of thinking that man has no part in it, for the important thing is to receive it, or to increase and preserve it. God only offers it for our free acceptance. He only puts it near us; our free-will alone can implant it within us. If we do not love it, if we do not take it, it is not ours, and remains outside us.”

“By this ineffable gift He means to make us greater, and He does this to the point of making us divine; but in exalting us in this way by means of the supernatural, it was important that He should not diminish us in our nature, and this is why, having regard for our liberty, He makes His gifts dependent upon our will.”

“If God treats us thus, if He only gives us His life to preserve the dignity of ours and to uplift it afterwards to the height of His own, we must go towards Him with an eagerness born of thankfulness and love.”

Quotations from Jean Guibert, On Piety (London: R. & T. Washbourne, Ltd., 1911).

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