What one finds when reading the unabridged copies of earlier spiritual masters is the degree to which their insights are complete, thorough, and extensive. Such is the case for Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s “Abandonment to Divine Providence.” At the end of his instruction (a set of rules that were the common practice of the day), he provides these two prayers (below).
Join me in this prayer of abandoning ourselves to God’s “divine providence” – to trust His wisdom, grace, and sovereignty that ensures our inclusion into “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven:”
Abandonment to Divine Providence
Oh my God when will it please You to give me the grace to remain habitually in this union of my will with Your adorable will, in which, without uttering a word all is said, in which all is accomplished by allowing You to act, in which one’s only occupation is that of conforming more and more entirely to Your good pleasure; in which, nevertheless, one is saved all trouble since the care of all things is confided to You, and to repose in You is the only desire of one’s heart? Delightful state, which, even in the absence of all sensible faith, affords the soul an interior joy altogether spiritual.
I desire to repeat without ceasing by this habitual disposition of my heart, “Fiat,” yes, my God, yes, all that You please, may Your holy will be done in all things. I renounce my own will which is very blind, perverse, and corrupt in consequence of its wretched self-love, the mortal enemy of Your grace, of Your pure love, of Your glory, and of my own sanctification.
Prayer to be said in temptation:
Oh my God! preserve me by Your grace from all sin, but as for the pain by which my self-love is put to death, and the humiliations which crucify my pride, I accept them with all my heart; not so much because they are the effects of your justice, but as benefits of your great mercy. Have pity on me then, dear Saviour, and help me.
“Written to help those who despair of ever becoming holy, Fr. De Caussade elucidates in Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence how surrendering our will to God is key to attaining peace and holiness in this life, and that it is readily available to all people—from beginners to those well advanced in the spiritual life.Father De Caussade’s teachings were deeply influenced by St. Francis de Sales, St. John of the Cross, and the Sisters of the Visitation founded by St. Jane Frances de Chantal. These influences and apparent in his explanation that the perfection God expects from us consists mainly in our purifying the innumerable little actions that occur in the course of everyday; in our heroic attention to every detail in our lives and humble acceptance of the lot God has chosen for us. This edition of Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence includes over 150 letters from Father De Caussade to his spiritual children on the practice of self-abandonment. These exchanges provide many profound insights and practical tips for applying the timeless lessons found in this classic guide to achieve holiness.”