Revolt against the holy love of God


From my spiritual reading this morning.  The often-sweet writing of our beloved Oratory’s patron takes quite a change of tone when it comes to sin, especially mortal sin, which causes charity to leave us.

…But because ordinarily we keep our faith either asleep or less attentive than is requisite for the preservation of  our charity, we are often surprised by temptation, which, seducing our  senses, while our senses incite the inferior part of our soul to rebellion, often brings to pass that the superior part of reason yields to the violence  of this revolt, and by committing sin loses charity…

…For so, most dear Theotimus, self-love, finding our faith without attention  and drowsy, presents unto us vain yet apparent goods, seduces our senses, our imagination and the faculties of our souls, and lays so hard at our free-wills that it brings them to an entire revolt against the holy love of God, which then, as another David, departs from our heart with all its train, that is with the gifts of the Holy Ghost and the other heavenly virtues, which are the inseparable companions of charity, if not her  properties and faculties. Nor does there remain in the Jerusalem of our soul any virtue of importance saving Sadoc the seer, that is the gift of faith which can make us see eternal truths, with the exercise of it, and with him Abiathar, that is the gift of hope with its action; both these remain much afflicted and sorrowful, yet maintain in us the ark of alliance, that is the  quality and title of Christian purchased by baptism.

Alas! Theotimus, what a pitiful spectacle it is to the angels of peace to see the Holy Ghost and his love depart in this manner out of our sinful souls!  Verily I think if they could weep they would pour out infinite tears, and, with a mournful voice lamenting our misery, would sing the sad canticle which Jeremias took up, when sitting upon the threshold of the desolate temple he contemplated the ruin of Jerusalem in the time of Sedecias: How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people! How is the mistress of  the Gentiles become as a widow: the princess of provinces made tributary!

St. Francis de Sales
Treatise on the Love of God
Book IV, Chapter III


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