Contemporary Spirituality: Abandonment to Divine Providence | Fr. Bonaventure & Fr. Patrick Briscoe

May 2, 2024

Fr. Patrick: This is Father Patrick Briscoe. 

Fr. Bonaventure: This is Father Bonaventure Chapman. 

Fr. Patrick: Welcome to Godsplaining. Thanks to all those who support us. If you enjoy the show, please consider making a monthly donation on Patreon. Be sure to like and subscribe to Godsplaining wherever you listen to your podcasts. Father Bonaventure. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Ooh, Father Patrick. 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, I was thinking about how we’d open this episode, and I was thinking of things that we read when we were novices. So I wanted to know if you had any recommendations for our listeners of things that you read from the novitiate that were either good reads, yeah, a good read and a bad read. I’ll start with a bad read first. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Go for it, yeah. 

Fr. Patrick: I tried to read the dialogue of Saint Catherine of Siena as a novice.

Fr. Bonaventure: Tough. 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, correct. Huge mistake. 

Fr. Bonaventure: I can see that. 

Fr. Patrick: So that was not helpful to me. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, we had to read Vicares, Life of Saint Dominic, which is a beautiful book. The first half of it’s the life of Bishop Diego. So if you want to get to know Dominic, I think there’s other books out there. There are some here, but there’s also B. Jarrett’s. There are a few other books I’m gonna enter in. So if you want to know, oh, I want to know everything about, I want to delve into Dominican spirituality and Dominicanness, Vicares, Life of Saint Dominic, the big sucker is probably not the right place to start, although I’ve read it again, Psalm, Baus, retreat, and it was fantastic. 

Fr. Patrick: I was in a sacristy in France on a pilgrimage last fall, and the priest said to me, who was my host, he said to me, oh, my uncle was a Dominican. And I said, oh, what’s his name? Maybe I know him. And he said, my uncle was Marie-Hombre Vicare. I said, your uncle was Father Vicare, you know, this famous historian. I didn’t have the heart to tell him how boring I thought that book about Saint Dominic was, though. 

Fr. Bonaventure: It gets the job done. We’ll put it that way. It tells you everything you need to know about Saint Dominic. 

Fr. Patrick: I mean, it’s the authoritative text. 

Fr. Bonaventure: It is, yeah, that’s right. 

Fr. Patrick: It’s just not, it’s not really a page turner. Okay, well, yeah, what was something transformative? What was a good thing? 

Fr. Bonaventure: I want to say Francis Buckner’s, what was that thing called? 

Fr. Patrick: A Guide to Toads of North America? 

Fr. Bonaventure: No, it was a, it was a, it was a got it book or something. It was a fiction book by a Christian author about, what was his name? Shoot, it was a monk there. It was, yeah, it was a bit like Thomas– 

Fr. Patrick: A Father Brown Mystery by G.K. Chase. 

Fr. Bonaventure: It wasn’t that, it wasn’t that, definitely not that. Yeah, I want to say it’s this Francis Buckner book, but I forget what it was called or something, oh man. 

Fr. Patrick: That totally changed your life, huh? 

Fr. Bonaventure: Just changed my life. Well, the ideas are there, you know, because it’s about this older monk who’s kind of semi-holy, but this younger monk, this scribe who’s always like saying the best things about him. The older monk’s always saying things like, you know that’s not true, I’m not that holy. And then he said the holiest thing, so it’s a nice relationship between a young and old monk. I did read– 

Fr. Patrick: Brothers Karamazov? 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, I read that before. 

Fr. Patrick: Thought this was the same Aliyosha– 

Fr. Bonaventure: I did read Seven-Story Mountain of Thomas Merton again. I read that multiple times, but novitiate, because then I was in novitiate, and experienced a lot of it’s about his novitiate as well. So that was a good read, I really, it’s always beneficial to read Thomas Merton’s Seven-Story Mountain. 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, Father Gregory and I did the Defense of Thomas Merton episode. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, I saw that, yeah. 

Fr. Patrick: But it’s that, I mean it would be worth probably picking apart some of his particular, but New Seeds of Contemplation was really a good read for me and “No Man is an Island”, those were two that I– 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, Waters of Shiloh, really good. 

Fr. Patrick: Really benefited from it. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Some really, really excellent books, yeah, yep. 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, well one that I love is actually a book that we’re gonna talk about. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Boom, surprise, surprise. 

Fr. Patrick: …Today, because Father Basil recommended a few things to me to read, and one was a sinner’s guide, so I– 

Fr. Bonaventure: You’re a granada. 

Fr. Patrick: So I didn’t take that personally, you know, like– 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, it’s not a bad book. 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, you’re a sinner, you need this guidebook. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, that’s all right. 

Fr. Patrick: But yeah, and it has a lot of valuable things when you’re just learning virtues. It’s not the sort of thing that one reads cover to cover, I don’t think. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Probably, yeah. 

Fr. Patrick: Unless one is a robot. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yes, that’s probably right. 

Fr. Patrick: But that book is praised, you know, by Saint Teresa of Avila, et cetera. Okay, but the point is that “Abandonment to Divine Providence” was a fantastic help to me, and in the image press edition that we had in the novitiate library, not that one. 

Fr. Bonaventure: This image classic one, but yeah. 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, no, the OG. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Oh, okay. 

Fr. Patrick: There was a selection of quotes. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Oh, nice. 

Fr. Patrick: On the front, like the front cover page or whatever. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Oh, that’s good. 

Fr. Patrick: And I photocopied it. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Oh, nice. 

Fr. Patrick: And I stuck it in my breviary, and I had it in my breviary for most of the novitiate year. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Wow. 

Fr. Patrick: And we would sit, when we were sitting there in morning meditation, I didn’t know what to think about, whatever else, I just looked at it as like 10 quotes. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, that’s great. 

Fr. Patrick: From “Abandonment to Divine Providence” for a year, and that’s basically how I prayed for that whole year. 

Fr. Bonaventure: There are some great, yes, that’s a good way to use this book, yeah, that’s right. 

Fr. Patrick: So let’s, for listeners that maybe are unfamiliar, let’s start with a little bit about who Jean-Pierre Cossade, the author of “Abandonment to Divine Providence” is, and maybe flesh out some of the context of the book. 

Fr. Bonaventure: That’s fair, we don’t know, I don’t know a whole lot about him, even though his dates are 1675 to 1751, so he’s an 18th century French, Frenchman, and he’s a Jesuit, so he entered the Jesuits, and he’s around France, he was known for being the chaplain of the nuns’ visitation in Nancy, if that’s pronounced correctly. 

Fr. Patrick: (French accent) Nancy. 

Fr. Bonaventure: (French accent) Nancy. 

Fr. Patrick: (French accent) Nancy. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Which is somewhere either north or south of France, it’s one of those two, I’m not sure, but you would know, Father Patrick. And so he’s a Jesuit– 

Fr. Patrick: (French words) 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yes, okay, so in the south, great. So he’s a Jesuit in that context, he’s a chaplain, and so he’s writing this book, although the authorship, sometimes people have questioned it but whatever, we’re not gonna worry about that. So in this book is reflections on spiritual practices, and it has a sort of Jesuit flavor to it, but it also goes entirely in an opposite, or at least to me, this Dominican’s reflection, in an opposite direction from the Jesuit sensibilities. So it’s situated in a particular French context, which may bring about the reason why it looks instantly different from the Jesuit context. But you’re perhaps familiar with the context, we’re in 18th century France, and of course, Jansenism is the big move there, starting from the 1600s, late 1600s, in this area, and it just dominates the French landscape of Catholic theology. Jansenism, of course, is a strong reading of Augustine, such that grace basically bulldozes everything, and so there’s a heavy emphasis on depravity, think of Calvinism in a way, and then a heavy passivity, reliance upon grace, something that Dominicans are quite excited about, but like Dominicans on speed or something. And you’d think, why in the world, in Italy this could not work, it’s a heavy asceticism and rigorous purification, mortification of the senses, in Italy this would just fly for about a day, but in France, maybe because of the Huguenot influence and such, in France, this is the dominant form of Catholicism for a long time, it seems. And you’ve probably, French Catholicism, better than I do, for sure. 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, well there are important arguments here that link Jansenism, actually, to the Abagensian and Cathar movements, which were similar movements of purity. One of the kind of practical concerns that arises in Jansenism with this conception of depravity is that people are extremely afraid to approach Holy Communion, for example. So this is why we actually have, in the modern era, the Popes trying to encourage people to receive Holy Communion. Now in the United States, it seems like we’re a bit too far. The other side, maybe go to confession if you’ve committed a mortal sin before receiving Holy Communion, ’cause if you don’t do that, it’s a sacrilege. But then, at that time in France, we had a kind of rigorism, and that was one of the symptoms of it, was the kind of fear, before the sacraments, fear before Holy Communion. But Jansenism wasn’t all bad. 

Fr. Bonaventure: No, of course not. 

Fr. Patrick: We had some great thinkers come out of Jansenist movements, right? So just for listeners to put this together, right? Blaise Pascal, the philosopher, was a Jansenist, very active in Port Royal, a kind of center of Jansenism. 

Fr. Bonaventure: The three sisters were in the monastery there, yep. 

Fr. Patrick: And so it was interesting to me to see Pope Francis praise Pascal in an anniversary of Pascal’s death, I think, if I recall this fall. 

Fr. Bonaventure: The 400th year, I think.

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, exactly, so we received this beautiful letter from Pope Francis about Pascal and his importance. So we could see there’s some kind of dangerous tensions here, like Father Bonaventure was saying, a really accelerated, almost Calvinist approach to depravity and concern about the sacraments and the fear even of approaching them. So it’s clear that we need a little bit of love to kind of revive the Jansenist approach. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Well, it’s a paradox, as with all the kind of tensions. 

Fr. Patrick: Just wanna give them a hug, you know? You can say, “They’re there, it’ll be okay.” But they don’t want the hug. 

Fr. Bonaventure: It’s the paradox, right, that grace is everything, so works are nothing, but I’m gonna keep away from the sacraments and God’s grace because I’m not worth it. You think, well, right, that’s the whole deal, right? You’re not worth it, therefore you couldn’t possibly earn it to be able to, so why not just approach this sucker? So, and take advantage of God’s mercy and His grace. So it has the standard kind of, you go to one extreme, you end up with the other extreme, it’s like political spectrum of the circle, you know, if you’re a reactionary, you actually relate to radicals more than anyone in the central position. But it does generate, not only, Jansenism has a spirituality attached to it, you say Jansenism is a theological kind of move, the spirituality attached to it, of course, is quietism, and this is a big notion that it’s, again, the kind of passivity, and this, of course, cuts in the Protestant world as well, but this kind of lay back and just let the grace of God and God do all of His work, and it’s our job just to be passive recipients of this. I say that this is different from the Ignatian model, say the Jesuit model this time, because that’s a matter of spiritual activity. Now, of course, constellations, desolations, you have an important passivity there to responding to the spirit, but there’s an, just like the Jesuits are an active order, you have this, an active spirituality of discernment and doing things and grabbing things of the kingdom and practices and particular examines and all of this, and a quietist is like the other extreme of that, so you have, at this point, the danger there, of course, Bossuet is involved in this as well, the French Catholicism has this tendency to move towards this passivity and quietism, and it’s easy to think of when you hear abandonment of divine providence as a notion of, well, is this quietism, and it’s easy to also confuse that with it, and people do.  

Fr. Patrick: That’s right, it’s abandonment to divine providence, not abandonment of divine providence, like letting it all go but rather giving oneself to it entirely, so we’re talking about something here that’s the rising, early modern period, the context is the Protestant Reformation, post-Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Reformation, we’ve got this fantastic Jesuit spiritual master who we know very little about, who’s put together this classic that people say has its roots in other traditions, so people look at abandonment to divine providence, and they say it’s most informed by, actually, de Sales, and one could make that connection because of the context of the Visite Monastery, where it goes south as a chapel, and so you’d say, oh, the Salesian thing, that kind of makes sense, but the other major influence, the scholars say, on this text, were the Spanish Carmelites. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Oh, okay, interesting. 

Fr. Patrick: So they say John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, and essentially, Caussade, at least this argument goes, did a kind of search and replace for Carmelite words like death and poverty, and replaced them with friendlier words like purity and abandonment. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yes, okay, fascinating, yeah. 

Fr. Patrick: So those are two very interesting theses, I think, that kind of help us navigate the book if you’re familiar with either of those spiritualities and love them, when you turn to abandonment to divine providence, you begin to discern them and see those influences. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, and I think the book itself, if you’re looking for quick tips, it’s not a big book, it’s a smaller book, it’s wordy. I think it’s a kind of, yeah, overwhelming sense of words, an overflow of them. 

Fr. Patrick: You can only read it like a paragraph at a time. 

Fr. Bonaventure: That’s the thing. 

Fr. Patrick: So that’s like meditating on the 10 quotes for all the division year, okay, this is a little bit more believable. 

Fr. Bonaventure: It’s not a book, if you’re approaching this book, it’s not a book to be read cover to cover in the sittings it would take to read that many pages. It’s set up in six different sections, and then each of the sections have subsections on them, and those are kind of paragraphs, although not our traditional paragraphs, but it may cover a page or two, a theme or something. And those, taking it as chunks, so even though it’s a small book, you might say, it will require, if you want to read it and get a lot out of it, I think, some time. So maybe it’s a Lenten practice, or maybe it’s a whole year kind of thing, to slowly chew through and, in a sense, to pay attention to what sentences or what things jump out at you. There are overwhelming, overarching themes in it, and then there’s the individual kind of pieces of that that are important. 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, so one of the things that I think is striking is that the book begins with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Part of this is cool because of the Catholic apologetic posture against the Protestants, and part of it’s overwhelming, because the Virgin Mary has a holiness unlike that of any other person who’s ever lived. So it seems kind of unhelpful, actually, to begin with someone whose experience of Christ was so unique, but maybe you don’t find it that way, or maybe you have something you’d like to offer about what– 

Fr. Bonaventure: I think it’s the right starting point for this, because if we put, I’m gonna call this doctrine of spirituality, ‘abandonism’. 

Fr. Patrick: Abandonism. 

Fr. Bonaventure: So the doctrine of abandonism. We put that between quietism, on the one hand, of pure passivity and just kind of being a stone to God’s reign, on the other hand, we have a spiritual activism, and I think a lot of people, less people today are inclined to a pure quietism. It’s hard to get into that mindset. We’re just Americans, one, it’s not really us in general, but in general, we think we have a lot of control over things. In a different age, quietism, I think, was more. Maybe through times of plagues or times of difficulties, maybe it was more interesting to people. I think the threat on our side, though, would perhaps be spiritual activity, lists of things, prayers, routines. 

Fr. Patrick: I would do all the novenas, yeah. 

Fr. Bonaventure: All this kind of stuff, this looking for the secret, the kind of practices they need to have, and we even can get in this with the virtues, well, virtues about practicing these sort of things. Yes, yes, yes, but abandonism is between these two, not pure passivity, but also not spiritual activity, but a balance, whose balance? I think he starts off with Mary rightly, because Mary is not a quietist, nor is she an activist. She’s a receptive activist. She receives, fiat, let it be done, but then immediately wanders off to Elizabeth. You have this sense that Mary is both attentive to abandon, you could say, to God’s plans in her life, but not abandoned by him, nor giving herself up in activity, so that she’s just purely passive to him. Again, rock with rain. No, she’s responding. So the abandonism is not a quietism or pure passivity, but rather a responsiveness, a Marian kind of responsiveness to the present moment and the graces that God’s giving, whether large or small in any case. 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, the thing that I like that Caussade mentions about the Virgin Mary right out of the gate is he says, “Mary is the most simple of all of God’s creatures.” And by that simplicity is therefore the closest to God of all God’s creatures. So one of the themes that I wanted to bring out in our kind of meta conversation about the book as we begin to explore what really sits in it is this call to simplicity, without which it is impossible to be abandoned to God. And I think all of us can relate to that, because we begin to clutter our lives very quickly. Father James Sullivan, our novice master, joked to us about in a conference on poverty that even a cloistered nun will get attached to a holy card and we’ll cling to it. And regardless of your state of life and whatever your obligations and duties of life are, it’s very easy to begin to see that life become cluttered with all kinds of things, all kinds of demands. 

Fr. Bonaventure: True activism. 

Fr. Patrick: It’s difficult to strive for that kind of simplicity. But again, if we don’t, without that kind of simplicity, we won’t be close to God. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, he has this bracing kind of opening where he talks about the ease of holiness. And he says in there, “If the business of becoming holy “seems to present insufferable difficulties, “it is merely because we have the wrong idea about it. “In reality, holiness consists of one thing only, “complete loyalty to God’s will.” Now, everyone can practice this loyalty, whether actively or passively. The sense of He’s a simple God, and our complexity is due to our dispersion amongst time and space and away from Him to other things. Whereas, if our object is simple, then we are trained ourselves to be simple. And this holiness that is present in the ease, it’s an anti-elitism, in a sense, again, so get back to the kind of Albigensian, Cathar stuff the Dominicans were fighting against, really, on Holy Father Dominic, that there were these kind of difficult rituals and regimes and elitism that involve a spiritual, spirituality had special practices and special commitments in different levels. Think of Scientology today or something, or this kind of self-help, guru-ism and things. And Christ came to free us of that. His yoke is easy, his burden is light. So spirituality, the life of holiness, ought to be easy, and it’s we who make it complicated, very understandably, because we like to make everything complicated. But that’s, Caussade is reminding us the truth of God’s simplicity, and therefore, the divine life and holiness in his simplicity, being part of our simplicity. 

Fr. Patrick: So let’s talk a little bit about what the claim of abandonment is. This is then the name of the book, and we’re defining abandon-ism. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Abandon-ism, yeah.  

Fr. Patrick: Abandonment-ism.  

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, abandon-ism, I think. 

Fr. Patrick: Abandon-ism.  

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, abandonment-ism, yeah.  

Fr. Patrick: So anyways, we’re defining this thing, which is the spirituality of abandonment. And it can’t simply be that one leaves behind one’s entire self and becomes a kind of amorphous god-lover. And I think that’s what people, that would be a wrong interpretation of this book, and what people are tempted to take away from it, that to become holy, all I have to do is suppress everything that’s unique and beautiful about my personality and my gifts, and become basically a wet mop, and then God can do something with me.  

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, that’s right.  

Fr. Patrick: But that, I don’t think, is what Caussade’s arguing. So how is it that we should really understand abandonment and abandonment-ism? – 

Fr. Bonaventure: No, I think this is good. I think the quiet-ism version, again, it’s always helpful to see this, is that there’s like one level. It’s either you or God, and so what you do is you give up your own activity so that God can take over the activity. Like, we’re on the same causal level with God. Caussade is a Jesuit, he’s well-trained in scholastic theology, he knows Thomas, and he knows the two levels, the fact that God’s activity need not be in competition with our activity. So abandonment is different from quiet-ism in the sense that in abandonment, you give up your overarching plans of your own experiences in manifesting your will in the world. You let his will direct your own experience of the world, but you’re still, that’s primary level, so he’s behind everything, the abandonment to divine providence. Not just abandonment, the abandonment to him being provident, but his providence comes through the daily interactions with life, which involve activity. So in a sense, it’s a receptivity as the ground of our activity in our lives, that I engage in my daily life with others expecting, as he says, that I will meet ambassadors of God’s will. There’s this beautiful phrase about that at the present moment at any time, we are to treat the interactions we have in life and the situations as ambassadors of the will of God, not as the will of God separate from them, but rather they’re delivering his message, and that we interact with them through our own prudence and our own reason and our own obedience in these different ways, but that we expect to meet him on that individual level in the sense the horizontal still remains in active life, but the vertical that behind that, we still hear that there’s a message from him because His providence and His will is directing the horizontal level, so it’s girded up in the vertical.  

Fr. Patrick: So abandonism, which I think works. That isn’t it, that isn’t it.  

Fr. Bonaventure: I think that’s right. That is right.  

Fr. Patrick: Abandonism surely requires a number of dispositions for it to be possible to live, right? So one that I was struck by that I think is worth mentioning here is Caussade’s insistence on purity, because I think one of the things that’s tempting to believe about the spiritual life is that I can give my heart to the Lord while also giving my heart to other things, whether they be virtual or real people, and that’s clearly not the case. In order for one to be abandoned, in order to really be an adherent of abandonism, one requires purity of heart. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, I think that’s right. He says the essence of spirituality is contained in this phrase, complete and utter abandonment to the will of God. And I think that has a sense of the purity of, without purity, we will be distracted and complex, but we’re supposed to take that against simplicity and rule out those other things as challenging us about who’s in charge, right? Because the lack of purity is us going after the things in the world, and you can hear the activity there of being in charge of things, us going out for these things and us ordering those, as opposed to accepting what we have and purifying ourselves as best as possible. Detachment is another maybe synonym for abandonment that we get used to in Lent. It’s sort of we mortify ourselves to detach ourselves from our sensual desires that are unfitted for him. So purity is the, you can say like the first condition that you’re able to actually hear him and respond to him. Another virtue he talks a lot about is patience and self-control. But in a time today where I can get a book tomorrow, Amazon Prime, and I can’t possibly actually get shoes when I go to shop, I have to order them instead. Like everything, I mean, it used to be just fast food, but now it’s fast everything. I think this makes abandonment really helpful, but also very difficult because it’s a virtue that our society doesn’t have a lot of. 

Fr. Patrick: That was a real situation. Father Bonaventure came home from the store a few months ago and he was very upset because he couldn’t buy a thing in a store. 

Fr. Bonaventure: I tried to do the human thing. I tried to have an interaction with another human and I failed, four different stores. 

Fr. Patrick: And in the end, AI’s just gonna take over, so. 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, that’s right.  

Fr. Patrick: Then Caussade says, “…the free gift which he asks from our hearts consists of abnegation, obedience, and love. The rest is God’s.” The rest is God’s. So I do think that tension between quietism, it’s not just a label that we’re using to build a scholarly argument out of. It’s there, it’s in the text where he’s saying there’s certain movements that belong to God, but there is a gift that we make of ourselves. We do offer the Lord our hearts and trust in His transformation. So you wanted to make an interesting connection, Father Bonaventure, between this book from Caussade and a certain Polish 20th century saint beloved by everyone. So how do we get from abandonment to divine providence and St. Faustina and how can we come to better understand abandonment through that? 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, so Faustina, of course, saint of ours, sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, the congregation, and that congregation of Poland was trained by Jesuits, spirituality-wise. So the spirituality of Faustina is intimately related with Jesuit spirituality, in a sense, and I haven’t done a Caussade search for in hers, but she talks a lot about the present moment. She talks about, this is what Caussade calls the sacrament of the present moment, but being attentive to this, but she talks about the same thing, being abandoned to God because she’s, of course, just hearing His message and this, she’s not out actively doing things, but that she’s committed her will to Him in whatever He wants. And there’s a beautiful prayer that I’ve found helpful and I think I recommend to people, and it’s very early in the diary. Of course, “Jesus, I trust in you,” It’s a sort of act of abandonment in short form. But she says this, “When I look into the future, I am frightened, but why plunge into the future? Only the present moment is precious to me, as the future may never enter my soul at all. It is no longer in my power to change, correct, or add to the past, for neither sages nor prophets could do that, and so what the past has embraced, I must entrust to God. Oh, present moment, you belong to me, whole and entire. I desire to use you as best I can. And although I am weak and small, you grant me the grace of your omnipotence, and so, trusting in your mercy, I walk through life like a little child, offering you each day this heart burning with love for your greater glory.” So you have beautiful meditation there. Jesuit for the greater glory, you’ve got that theme. You’ve also got this present moment kind of issue. Settle between the future and the past that you have no control over. You don’t know about the future, the past is the past. You entrust that to God. But only the present moment is this, and that there is grace is present, that right now, oftentimes we think about the past and our sins or mistakes or this sort of thing. Other times we’re thinking about the future, what’s gonna happen, this kind of, we try to grab control. Instead, the present moment is where God wants to meet you. It’s the only place he can meet you. And that’s a part of this abandonism, I think, is the sense that we give over to God everything except where we can meet him. And even in there, we offer ourselves and expect to meet him and miss him if we try to go to the past or the future. So I think Faustina’s a beautiful, that’s a beautiful meditation on what it means to live in the present moment, as Brother Lawrence says, but in the sense of for the greater glory of God and for my own abandonment to his providence. 

Fr. Patrick: Well, friends, I hope that we stirred up in this episode within you a desire to read this fantastic classic. Father Bonaventure recommends the image, which version was it that you have? 

Fr. Bonaventure: Image classic. 

Fr. Patrick: Image classic.  

Fr. Bonaventure: It’s fine, there’s plenty ones. 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, but it’s widely available. There are many editions that you could download for free online, so check the work out. Pray with it, read it slowly. Don’t expect that it’s the sort of thing that you’re gonna polish off like a novel in a couple days, but really take it to heart and think through it and devote yourself so that we will build here through the podcast “Many Disciples of Abandonism.” 

Fr. Bonaventure: Yeah, maybe. We’ll see. 

Fr. Patrick: Thanks for listening to this episode of Godsplaining. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Like, subscribe, and leave a five-star review. If you’d like to donate to the podcast through Patreon, follow the link in the description. You can also follow the links in the description to shop Godsplaining merch and to get information on upcoming Godsplaining events. Friends, we continue to ask for your prayers. It’s the most beautiful thing you can give to us, and please know that we’re praying for you. God bless.