Letters 1751-1800


Letters 1751-1800 are online here.

All the letters can be found here.

Wading through the letters is a wonderful exercise. Many letters deal with some mundane matters but they serve to place this saint here on earth and to see how he dealt with temporal matters. But occasionally you stumble upon a letter of spiritual direction that has some pretty remarkable stuff in it.

The following was part of letter 1772 written in 1828 to Fr. Betti.

Anybody who has ever experienced spiritual dryness can benefit from number 4:

From St. Gaspar Letter 1772:

Let us now proceed to the matter of spiritual direction, etc. Whatever is properly directed toward achieving the good, should never be hampered; otherwise we would never have any principle to guide us.

1) The more general the desires are at this time, so much more are they in keeping with God's Will. You should not limit yourself by saying: "Lord, if it pleases you, I would love to die"; say rather, in casu:1 "Lord, let me live for you; let me die whenever you so will it. I have only one desire: Your Will."

2) I love a humble spirit, yes indeed, but not one that is abject ...; humble, by recognizing that all comes from God; but at the same time, magnanimous with God, by using this ejaculation: quare tristis es anima mea? etc.2

3) The spirit is subdued because it is depressed by an interior hypochondria or melancholy, caused by seeing how everything is in a state of confusion nowadays. But we, O my dearest friend, shall do everything possible, filling out the 24 hour day in our Institute by doing whatever we can; remember that God rewards secundum laborem et non secundum fructum.3

4) When the Office and Mass are said with spiritual dryness, with no human satisfaction resulting from them, offer your suffering to God: we shall not always gather roses from our garden, but at times also myrrh: messui myrrham.4 On one occasion we can offer the gold of burning love, on another occasion the myrrh of special sufferings, accompanied always with the incense of prayer. We must never present ourselves before Jesus with empty hands. At least, let us offer our desire of wanting to love Jesus. Does not the suffering of not loving him arise indeed from the desire of loving him? Come now, let us stand with Jesus, now on Tabor, now in the Garden of Olives. Most of the time, we are on the mount of lovers, that is, Calvary, as De Sales used to refer to it. I want your spirit to be in perfect equilibrium, in such a way that, let me express myself thusly, the exercise of virtue and interior abandonment to God may be effected. Iacta curam tuam Domino et ipse te enutriet..., non dabit in aeternum fluctuationem justo ..., dicite justo quoniam bene ... diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum.5

5) With regard to the description of the Society, I repeat, please go ahead and do it. But, begin with something like this: "After having offered prayer, it seems to me ... I describe it for these particular reasons. I beg God that the Lord communicate to us his holy enlightenment": then, keep calm and pray. In airing your opinions hinc inde,6 something which in humans must be done, do not be distressed. Listen, then gently reply: "it seems to me that you have neglected to point out, etc. ..., and I conclude: quod autem placitum est coram Domino fiat.7 In what way do I not understand your spirit? ... Read the directives of Msgr. Albertini, and meditate. I asked you to compose a small summary a short time ago. Do not neglect it, at your convenience. Abound in the love of God, and be mindful of this that omne gaudium existimate, fratres, cum in varias tentationes incideritis, etc. .... Nondum usque ad sanguinem restitimus.8

1 In the case.
2 Why is my soul sad, etc.?
3 According to the work, not according to the fruit.
4 I reaped the myrrh.
5 Cast your cares upon the Lord and he will support you ... He will never allow the just to waver ... rightly tell the just that for those who love God, everything works together for good,
6 From here and there.
7 Therefore whatever is pleasing before the Lord, that will happen.
8 Count it all joy, brothers, when you encounter various trials, etc. We have not yet resisted unto blood.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. published on April 30, 2004 8:00 AM.

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