The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Temptation

Temptations, or tempting objects, are those objects which are presented by the intellect to the sensibilities and the will; and are of such a nature that they have a tendency to induce or cause in the sensitive part of our nature, viz. in the appetites, propensities, and affections, and also in the will, a wrong action. Sometimes the action, to which the temptations lead, is wrong in the FACT of its existence, or in itself considered; and sometimes it is wrong only in the DEGREE of its existence. If, the temptations advance in their influence beyond the intellect and take effect in the desires and will, prompting them to action when they should not act at all, or prompting them to a prohibited and inordinate degree of action when they are permitted to act, they are always attended with sin.

The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 1, Chapter 18.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Great Center

Every thing that exists has its converging point, its elementary principle, its great CENTER. And when separated from the central tendency, it is necessarily upon a wrong track. The soul, therefore, whose tendencies, are towards the world, can be at most only partially holy. The center of the sanctified soul is the great GOD. To that it tends. In that it rests. Neglecting all other attractions, it aims earnestly after the divine mind. It is there, and there only, than it finds a present and everlasting home.

Religious Maxims (1846) XCIX.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Keep Yourself to the Order of God's Providence

It is very desirable, that we should always keep ourselves in the order of God's providence; in other words that we should receive things as they come, and do things as they are presented to us, in the spirit of Christian acquiescence and faithfulness; for that is the only way in which we can truly recognize God as at the helm of affairs, or realize our own nothingness. Let us never forget that God is competent to the direction of his own movements; and that whatever we may think of our own capabilities, he has other agencies in other situations. And what he requires of us, is to be and do just as he would have us, in his own providential time, in his own manner, and his own place.

Religious Maxims (1846) XCVIII.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Serving God in the Present Moment

He who serves God perfectly at the PRESENT MOMENT, though it be in a very small thing, such as the hewing of wood or the drawing of water, does in reality glorify him more than another who is prospectively athirst and anxious for things of much greater consequence, but at the same time neglects or imperfectly performs his present duties.

Religious Maxims (1846) XCVII.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Living Well and Praying Well

It was a saying among the fathers of the Christian church, "NOVIT RECTE VIVERE, QUI NOVIT RECTE ORARE." In English, "he knows how to live well, who knows how to pray well." And it will always be found, that he who does not live a holy life, either prays amiss, or does not pray at all.

Religious Maxims (1846) XCVI.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Our Strength or God's Strength?

One of the blessed results of a life of entire religious consecration is, that it necessarily unites us to God. We cannot live, we cannot breathe, we cannot move, even for a moment, in the straight and narrow way, without the Divine presence and aid. A half-way Christian is living, or endeavoring to live, in his own strength; but the whole-hearted Christian lives wholly in the strength of God.

Religious Maxims (1846) XCV.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Heart Gives the Sacrifice Acceptance

We may give up all outward things to God; we may surrender houses and lands, wife and children, and whatever else has a worldly value; but unless we give the heart with them, it is after all no real gift. It is a saying of William Penn, in that remarkable book of his entitled "No Cross, No Crown," that it is not the sacrifice that recommends the heart; but the heart, that gives the sacrifice acceptance."

Religious Maxims (1846) XCIV.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Are You Willing?

Our advancement in the Christian life may be said to depend upon one thing, viz., whether we wish to direct God, or are willing to resign ourselves TO BE WHOLLY DIRECTED BY HIM.

Religious Maxims (1846) XCIII.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Meeting Our Cross Where God Has Placed It

While we admit the duty of ever bearing the cross, we are to remember that we must bear it just where God, in his providential dealings, sees fit to impose it upon us, without assuming the  responsibility of either seeking or shunning it. We shall find that God has placed it in the whole course of our life, and at precisely the right place; and all he requires of us is to bear it  with a faithful heart when we meet it.

Religious Maxims (1846) XCII.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Joy of Faith in Times of Trial

When all earthly comforts are dried up, and when faith alone remains as the sustaining principle of the soul, there is an interior consolation, deep and tranquil, flowing out from faith itself. This is a circumstance which is often overlooked. But it is a great truth contrary to the opinion of some who do not fully understand the nature of the divine operation in the soul, that there is a JOY IN FAITH. The life of faith, though it may be destitute of every outward support and comfort, is not so desolate in itself, so wanting in every thing that brings inward happiness, as some seem to suppose. It is true, sustained in the spirit of self-sacrifice, and seeking nothing but unity with the divine will, it never aims at consolation as an ultimate object. It thinks more of what God is, than of what he gives. And thus God himself, the great original of all good, becomes the fountain of the soul's joy. And the joy, which is thus experienced, is necessarily a pure joy, uncontaminated by any mixture of self. Ask those pious persons; who in the exercise of faith are endeavoring to lay all upon the altar of God, but who, nevertheless, are called in the course of his wise but mysterious dealings and providences to pass through the extremity of interior and exterior desolation, if they are sustained by anything in the nature of consolation, and they will readily answer in the affirmative. Their language is, if they have nothing else, they have the consolation which flows from believing. If the sweetness of every other fountain is closed, they still have the joy of faith.

This is one of the unalterable conditions of faith, especially when it exists in a high degree, viz. that it is attended with a pure and tranquil consolation; consolation so sure and permanent, that we can never be deprived of it, whatever else may be taken away. The soul is led up, as it were, into the mountain of God's protection. In the attitude of calm repose, it remains established on that sublime height with the sunlight of heavenly peace for its companion, while there is nothing but darkness and the roaring of tempests in the valleys below. Such was the pure and sublime consolation, which our Savior experienced, when his heavenly Father had withdrawn from him the manifestations of his love, and left him in extreme and inexpressible desolation of spirit He still possessed, though apparently and terribly forsaken, the consolation and the joy of faith. He could still recognize the bond of union, and still appropriate, as it were, his Heavenly Father to himself, and say, "My God" "My God."

— from The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 1, Chapter 18.