Here you will find a compilation of the texts of Jean Pierre de Caussade cited or mentioned in the book Paths of Love.
Conclusion of the first chapter. How easy sanctity becomes when this doctrine is properly understood.
I believe that if those souls that tend towards sanctity were instructed as to the conduct they ought to follow, they would be spared a good deal of trouble. I speak as much of people in the world as of others. If they could realise the merit concealed in the actions of each moment of the day: I mean in each of the daily duties of their state of life, and if they could be persuaded that sanctity is founded on that to which they give no heed as being altogether irrelevant, they would indeed be happy. If, besides, they understood that to attain the utmost height of perfection, the safest and surest way is to accept the crosses sent them by Providence at every moment, that the true 14philosopher’s stone is submission to the will of God which changes into divine gold all their occupations, troubles, and sufferings, what consolation would be theirs! What courage would they not derive from the thought that to acquire the friendship of God, and to arrive at eternal glory, they had but to do what they were doing, but to suffer what they were suffering, and that what they wasted and counted as nothing would suffice to enable them to arrive at eminent sanctity: far more so than extraordinary states and wonderful works. O my God! how much I long to be the missionary of Your holy will, and to teach all men that there is nothing more easy, more attainable, more within reach, and in the power of everyone, than sanctity. How I wish that I could make them understand that just as the good and the bad thief had the same things to do and to suffer; so also two persons, one of whom is worldly and the other leading an interior and wholly spiritual life have, neither of them, anything different to do or to suffer; but that one is sanctified and attains eternal happiness by submission to Your holy will in those very things by which the other is damned because he does them to please himself, or endures them with reluctance and rebellion. This proves that it is only the heart that is different. Oh! all you that read this, it will cost you no more than to do what you are doing, to suffer what you are suffering, only act and suffer in a holy manner. It is the heart that must be changed. When I say heart, I mean will. Sanctity, then, consists in willing all that God wills for us. Yes! sanctity of heart is a simple “fiat,” a conformity of will with the will of God.
What could be more easy, and who could refuse to love a will so kind and so good? Let us love it then, and this love alone will make everything in us divine.
In this state the soul is guided by the divine action through every kind of obscurity.
When the soul is moved by the divine influence, it forsakes all works, practices, methods, means, books, ideas, and spiritual persons in order to be guided by God alone by abandoning itself to that moving power which becomes the sole source of its perfection. It remains in His hands like all the saints, understanding that the divine action alone can guide it in the right path, and that if it were to seek other means it would inevitably go astray in that unknown country which God compels it to traverse. It is, therefore, the action of God which guides and conducts souls by ways which it alone understands. It is, with these souls, like the changes of the wind. The direction is only known in the present moment, and the effects follow their causes by 38the will of God, which is only explained by these effects because it acts in these souls and makes them act either by hidden undoubted instincts, or by the duties of their state. This is all the spirituality they know; these are their visions and revelations, this is the whole of their wisdom and counsel insomuch that nothing is ever wanting to them. Faith makes them certain that what they do is well, whether they read, speak, or write; and if they take counsel it is only to be able to distinguish more clearly the divine action. All this is laid down for them and they receive it like the rest, beholding beneath these things the divine motive power and not fastening on the things presented, but using or leaving them, always leaning by faith on the infallible, unruffled, immutable and ever efficacious action of God at each moment. This they perceive and enjoy in all things, the least as well as the greatest, for it is entirely at their service at every moment. Thus they make use of things not because they have any confidence in them, or for their own sake, but in submission to the divine ordinance, and to that interior operation which, even under contrary appearances, they discover with equal facility and certitude. Their life, therefore, is spent, not in investigations or desires, weariness or sighs, but in a settled assurance of being in the most perfect way.
Every state of body or soul, and whatever happens interiorly or exteriorly as revealed at each moment to these souls is, to them, the fulness of the divine action, and the fulness of their joy. Created things are, to them, nothing but misery and dearth; the only true and just measure is in the working of the divine action. Thus, if it take away thoughts, words, books, food, persons, health, even life itself, it is exactly the same as if it did the contrary. The soul loves the divine action and finds it equally sanctifying under whatever shape it presents itself. It does not reason about the way it acts; it suffices for its approval that whatever comes is from this source.