A Daughter’s Plea

Father Frassinetti concludes his book with this poignant analogy: “Imagine a daughter, who has many defects which disgust her father, even as you are laden with sins which are hateful to God, and that she desires nothing so much as to become good, that she may content her father and be pleasing in his eyes; suppose moreover that it is in her father’s power to change her heart and make her good whenever he chooses, and that consequently his daughter presents herself to him and says, kneeling at his feet: ‘Dear father, you see how wicked I am, how often I do things which are hateful to you, and bitter to your heart. What grieves me the most is that I should displease and grieve you. You can change my heart, you can give me a good instead of an evil will, and change me into a respectful, obedient, loving daughter, who shall content you in everything, as it is now my one desire to do. Dear father, I ask of you no other grace than this—to change my heart and my will in such a manner that from henceforth you may be truly satisfied with me. If you see that in order to change my heart and my will it is necessary to give me some chastisement, chastise me then, I beseech you, as you may think best for me. In all things I am willing to submit, if you will only grant me that I may never displease you any more, but in all things content you.'”

“Suppose such a daughter speaking thus to such a father, would it be possible for the father to resist such an entreaty, and not grant such a favour? You can see very well that it would be impossible; the heart of the father would be melted with tenderness, and the daughter’s request would certainly be granted. She would certainly not fail to have the consolation of seeing herself become good and pleasing in all things to her father. But in this world there is no father who has power to change the hearts of his children. This Father we have in Heaven.”

“Therefore peacefully, in tranquillity, and in security, have confidence in God.”

Quotations from Joseph Frassinetti, The Consolation of the Devout Soul, trans. Georgiana Lady Chatterton (London: Burns and Oates, 1876).

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