Faith Transforms the Earth into A Paradise – Wisdom from Jean Pierre de Caussade

by Christine Sine
Art at Overseas Ministries Study Centre

Art at Overseas Ministries Study Centre

Last week my good friend Tom Balke sent me this quote from 18th century French Mystic Jean Pierre De Caussade. (1675 – 1751).

“God instructs the heart, not by ideas but by pains and contradictions.”

His classic writings in Abandonment to Divine Providence express the belief that his belief that the present moment is a sacrament from God and that self-abandonment to it and its needs is a holy state. – right up my alley.

I must confess that I was not familiar with his work. But the quote made me hungry for more. So an internet search later I came up with some beautiful quotes and much more wisdom from this great man. Here are my favourites which I gleaned here that I thought you might enjoy.

Come, then, my beloved souls, let us fly to that love which calls us.
Why are we waiting?
Let us set out at once,
Let us lose ourselves in the very heart of God and become intoxicated with His love.
Let us snatch from His heart the key to all the treasures of the world and start out right away on the road to heaven.

There is no need to fear that any lock will hold us back.
Our key will open every door.

There is no room we cannot enter.
We can make ourselves free of the garden, the cellar, and the vineyard as well.
If we want to explore the countryside, no one will hinder us.
We can come and go;
We can enter and leave any place we wish,
Because we have the key of David, the key of knowledge, and the key of the abyss that holds the hidden treasures of divine wisdom.
It is this key that opens the doors of mystical death and its sacred darkness.
By it we can enter the deepest dungeons and emerge safe and sound.
It gives us entrance into that blessed spot where the light of knowledge shines and the Bridegroom takes His noonday rest.

There we quickly learn how to win His kiss and ascend with surety the steps of the nuptial couch.
And there we learn the secrets of love-
Divine secrets that cannot be revealed and which no human tongue can ever describe.

Form Beevers, Jon, trans. Abandonment to Divine Providence, NY Doubleday, 1975, pp 25,37, 40, 73, 81-82

Faith transforms the earth into a paradise.

By it our hearts are raised with the joy of our nearness to heaven.

Every moment reveals God to us.

Faith is our light in this life.

By it we know the truth without seeing it, we are put in touch with what we cannot feel, recognize what we cannot see, and view the world stripped of all its outer shell.

Faith unlocks God’s treasury.

It is the key to all the vastness of His wisdom.

The emptiness of all created things is disclosed by faith, and it is by faith that God reveals Himself …

With faith,

All that is dark becomes light, and what is bitter becomes sweet.

Faith transforms ugliness into beauty, and malice into kindness.

Faith is the mother of tenderness, trust, and joy …

There is nothing faith cannot overcome;

It passes beyond all shadows and through the darkest clouds to reach the truth, which it embraces and can never be parted from.

Ramiere, Rev. H., trans. Abandonment. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1887, pp. 112

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Jessica Mokrzycki May 25, 2012 - 8:55 am

Beautiful quotes! I became more familiar with Jean Pierre De Caussade when I began to tread the contemplative path. I’ve read some very inspiring passages from him before. A wonderful mystic.

Christine Sine May 25, 2012 - 8:58 am

Yes Jessica, not one I am familiar with but I obviously need to start reading moe by him.

Byron Borger May 25, 2012 - 9:02 am

Thanks for sharing…this has been a helpful resource for those seeking a “spirituality of the ordinary” and is in all the collections created by Richard Foster and others who name the best of the contemplative tradition. Merton called him a “genius.” There are other translations, too, some that bring a somewhat more contemporary flavor. Sometimes the same book is called “Sacrament of the Present Moment.” Nice, eh?

Christine Sine May 25, 2012 - 11:55 am

Thanks Byron – I noticed that on line & I love the title Sacrament of the present moment. Will probably order it when I am back from Australia

Skip Cadorette May 25, 2012 - 11:54 am

De Caussaude’s words in “The Sacrament of the Present Moment” were used by Jesus to walk me through some very difficult times. His thought is foundational to me.


Christine Sine May 25, 2012 - 11:56 am

Great to hear that – obviously with all these recommendations I need to get hold of a copy. Amazing what gems from the past we can easily miss out on

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