The author—who also wrote the comprehensive The Ways of Mental Prayer—cites many famous Catholic writers in what is probably the most thorough study of "holy abandonment," or "conformity to God's Holy Will," that has yet appeared in English. Point after point is covered by numerous poignant examples from the lives of the Saints and from passages from noted writers on the subject. He distinguishes between the Signified Will of God and His Will of Good Pleasure. The Abbot of Bricquebec also discusses the meaning of abandonment, the role of prudence on our part, how our desires and petitions and efforts fir into the picture, the role of suffering and self-oblation, the nature of detachment, faith and confidence in Divine Providence, abandonment in temporal things, abandonment in external things, health and sickness, reputation, humiliations, persecutions, failures, darkness of mind, insensibility, disgust, impotence of will, spiritual poverty, peace, fear of God, simplicity and liberty, constancy, joy and a number of other similar topics. Holy abandonment has nothing to do with fatalism or personal inertia, he says, but entails our constant, intelligent, loving union with God s Holy Will.
Do you see how we ought to measure our humility? he quotes St. Francis de Sales. By obedience. If you obey with promptitude, sincerity and joy, you are truly humble. For without humility, it is impossible to have true obedience. Obedience requires us to be submissive, and he that is truly humble renders himself inferior and subject to every creature for the love of Jesus Christ. Such is the caliber of Dom Vitalis Lehodey s Holy Abandonment—a work of the first order, one that makes life-long devotees, and a book that will form the reader as a true follower of Jesus Christ and His holy Mother, who as our principal Father s Holy Will in all things, which is the main lesson in life we all need to learn.
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