One Minute Meditations
The Master always begins by making himself known, loved, and appreciated in a sensible manner. Later he deprives the soul of these consolations in order to withdraw it from the grossness of the senses and to bring it into more excellent, more intimate, and more enduring union with himself in pure faith and pure spirit. To complete this purification, these deprivations must be followed by sufferings (interior if no other), interior rebelliousness, diabolical temptation, distress, helplessness, and distaste for all good, which themselves can sometimes amount to a kind of agony.
All these serve admirably to rid the soul of its self-love and to give it certain features of resemblance to its crucified Spouse. All these agonies are so many blows which God levels at us to make us die to ourselves. The more self-love resists this spiritual death, the more savage these blows appear and the more cruel the agonies.
The divine love is a double edged sword that smites self-love until it is completely destroyed. Our pain has its source in that stout resistance offered by this accursed love of ourselves which hates to relinquish the control it has acquired over our heart and to allow the love of God to reign there in peace. If that love of God finds no obstacle to its divine ardors and no foe to resist it, it will make none but sweet and delightful impressions upon the heart.
FATHER JEAN-PIERRE DE CAUSSADE, S J