Preserving Spiritual Tranquility – Part 1 of 5

Good Shepherd by Jean Baptiste de Champaigne

Father Frassinetti advises: “If you are among the number of those souls that are too much cast down by the contemplation of Almighty God in His attribute of infinite justice, fix your gaze for the future on that of His infinite goodness.”

“Generally speaking we ought to look upon Him sometimes from the one side and sometimes from the other; because God desires to be feared as well as loved, and consequently the severity of His judgments, as well as the tenderness of His mercy, ought to be the object of our contemplation.”

“In estimating the love of God we cannot exceed, we cannot assign to it any measure,” but “in the fear of God we may easily fall into excess, and pass those bounds of moderation which a filial and confiding love necessitates. Hence when a soul has a sufficient fear of God, and this fear still goes on increasing, till it deprives the heart of peace and the mind of serenity, that soul should not endeavour to increase the fear still more by considerations of the Divine justice and chastisements; but, on the contrary, should try to moderate it, and to grow in the confidence which a holy love inspires by reflecting upon the goodness and mercy of God.”

“Considerations on the life, passion, and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the immense and innumerable benefits which He has given us, of the glory which He has prepared for us,—will not these suffice to enkindle in us the most perfect love of God? And with this love burning within us, what more do we require to become saints?”

“When we consider the beneficence of God towards His creatures, we begin also to understand more clearly how good He is in Himself; and hence, added to the love that is born of hope, by which we love God because He is good to us, there speedily comes in its train that perfect love called the love of friendship, by which we love God because He is infinitely good in Himself, and thus the perfection of charity is formed within us.”

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

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