Vigils Reading

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Vigils Reading

March 21, 2023

From the Letters of Armand-Jean de Rancé3

I see, my very dear Monsieur, that your ills are not at an end, and that God is not yet content with what you have suffered up till now; but I see that your patience is renewed and that neither your faith nor your constancy have been shaken by the length of your sufferings. You see them too clearly in their true light, and you know too well that the sovereign master is using in your case the right he has over all creatures for you… <to> accept all its moves with profound submission. Most men, that is, those whose conduct follows natural inclinations, grow weary and forget to suffer as their sufferings progress; but those who live by faith learn this knowledge of the saints by suffering, and the feeling given them by God increases proportionately to their afflictions.

You will agree, my very dear Monsieur, that we have cause to say, whatever the state in which we find ourselves, <I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us>, that everything we endure on earth is unrelated to the goods and advantages we hope for. God’s eternity will console us for everything, and the faith which teaches us that affliction and pain are the means whereby we open its doors to ourselves should make all our ills, however great they may be, tolerable. Our souls must be purified in the fire of tribulations to become worthy of the happiness God prepares for us, and our bodies will only be clothed in immortality after they have been reduced to dust and ashes… His goodness will make up for everything, and your trust in him will be the great remedy for bodily as for spiritual ills…

God alone contains those goods which are proper to us, he is himself our true riches… and if we belong to Christ as much as we should, and I am sure you do, each of us should say to him from the depths of his heart, <My kingdom does not belong to this world>, all the more as we have his word and he himself has promised to his elect, who are his disciples, to give them his kingdom

3 The Letters of Armand-Jean de Rancé: Abbot and Reformer of la Trappe – Volume One. Presented by A.J. Krailsheimer. Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1984. 278-279, 291.




March 21, 2023
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