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.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

She Bears Her Trials in Silence

Reflections on
the Life of
Madame Jeanne de la Mothe Guyon.

Reflections on her conversion — and her continuing domestic sorrows.

In general, she thought it best to bear her domestic trials in silence, whatever they might be. As a woman of prayer and faith, she did not look upon them exclusively in the human light; but regarding them as sent of God for some gracious purpose, she was somewhat fearful of seeking advice and consolation from any other than a divine source. Indeed she was so situated that she could not well do otherwise than she did, having but few friends at this time, with whom it would have been prudent to have consulted upon these things. Her own mother was dead. The half sister, whom she loved so much, and with whom she had been accustomed in earlier life to take counsel, was no longer living. The two sisters of her husband, constituting with him all the children of their family, who seem to have had no unfavorable dispositions, were almost constantly absent at the Benedictine Seminary. They were brought up under the care of the prioress, Genevieve Granger, a pious and discreet woman, whom we shall have occasion to mention hereafter. Those of her pious friends in whose discretion she could fully trust, were not only few in number, but it was not always easy or safe to see them. "Sometimes," she remarks on one occasion, "I said to myself, Oh that I had but any one, who would take notice of me, or to whom I might unbosom myself! what a relief it would be! But it was not granted me."

It ought to be added, however, in connection with the domestic trials of which we have given some account, that they were alleviated in some degree, by the satisfaction which she took in her two younger children. They were both lovely, and worthy to be loved. The birth of the second son has already been mentioned. The third child was a daughter, born in 1669. Of this child she speaks in the warm terms of admiration and love, dictated by the observation of her lovely traits of character, as well as by the natural strength of motherly affection. She represents her as budding and opening under her eye into an object of delightful beauty and attraction. She loved her for her loveliness; and she loved her for the God who gave her. When she was deserted by the world, when her husband became estranged from her, she pressed this young daughter to her bosom, and felt that she was blessed. This too, this cherished and sacred pleasure, was soon destined to pass away.

— edited from The Life of Madam Guyon (1877) Volume 1, Chapter 8.

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