VI.-HOW TO CONVERSE CONTINUALLY AND FAMILIARLY WITH GOD
As soon as you fall into any fault, raise your eyes to God, make an act of love, and with a humble confession of your fault, hope most assuredly for His pardon, saying to Him : Lord, behold he whom thou lovest is sick. Between friends who sincerely love, it often happens that when one has displeased the other and then humbles himself and seeks pardon, their friendship becomes thereby stronger than ever.
As soon as you fall into any fault, raise your eyes to God, make an act of love, and with humble confession of your fault, hope assuredly for His pardon, and say to Him: Lord, behold he whom thou lovest is sick -(Jo. xi. 3), that heart which Thou dost love is sick, is full of sores: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee-(Ps. xl. 5). Thou seekest after penitent sinners; behold, here is one at Thy feet, who has come in search of Thee. The evil is done already; what have I now to do? Thou wilt not have me lose courage: after this my sin Thou dost still love me, and I too love Thee. Yes, my God, I love Thee with all my heart; I repent of the displeasure I have given Thee; I purpose never to offend any more. Thou Who art that God, merciful and gracious, patient and of much compassion-(Ps. lxxxv. 5), forgive me; make me to hear what Thou didst say to Magdalen: Thy sins are forgiven thee-(Luke vii. 48), and give me strength to be faithful unto Thee for the time to come.
That you may not lose courage at such a moment, cast a glance at Jesus on the Cross; offer His merits to the Eternal Father; and thus hope with certainty for pardon, since for your sake He spared not even his own Son-(Rom. viii. 32). Say to Him with confidence: Look on the face of thy Christ-(Ps. lxxxiii. 10). My God, behold Thy Son, dead for my sake; and for the love of that Son forgive me! Attend well, devout soul, to the instruction commonly given by masters of the spiritual life. After unfaithful conduct you must at once have recourse to God, though you may have repeated your unfaithfulness a hundred times in a day. But after having recourse to the Lord, be at once in peace. Otherwise, whilst you remain cast down and disturbed at the fault you have committed, your converse with God will be small; your trust in Him will fail; your desire to love Him grow cold; and you will be little able to go forward in the way of the Lord. On the other hand, by having immediate recourse to God to ask forgiveness, and to promise Him amendment, your very faults will serve to advance you further in the divine love. Between friends who sincerely love, it often happens that when one has displeased the other and then humbles himself and asks pardon, their friendship thereby becomes stronger than ever. Do you likewise; see to it that your very faults serve to bind you yet closer in love to your God.
In any kind of doubt, either on your own account or that of others, never cease to act towards your God with a confidence like to that of faithful friends, who consult together on every matter. So should you take counsel with Him, and beseech Him to enlighten you that you may decide on what will be most pleasing to Him: Put those words in my mouth, and strengthen the resolution in my heart-(Judith ix. 18). Lord, tell me what Thou wouldst have me to do or to answer; and thus will I act. Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth-(1 Kings iii. 10).
Use towards God also the freedom of recommending not only your own needs, but also those of others. How agreeable will it be to God that sometimes you forget even your own interests to speak to Him of the advancement of His glory, of the miseries of others, especially of those who groan in affliction, of those souls, His spouses, who in Purgatory sigh after the vision of Himself, and of poor sinners who are living destitute of His grace. For these especially say to Him: Lord, Thou Who art so amiable and worthy of infinite love, how dost Thou, then, endure to see such a number of souls in the world, on whom Thou hast bestowed so many favours, and who yet will not know Thee? Ah, my God, object of all love, make Thyself known, make Thyself loved! Hallowed be thy name! Thy Kingdom come! May Thy Name be adored and loved by all! May Thy love reign in all hearts! Ah, let me not depart without granting me some grace for those unfaithful souls for whom I pray.