OF THE LOVE OF CONFORMITY, BY WHICH WE UNITE OUR WILL TO THE WILL OF GOD, SIGNIFIED UNTO US BY HIS COMMANDMENTS, COUNSELS AND INSPIRATIONS.
OF THE CONFORMITY OF OUR WILL TO THE WILL WHICH GOD HAS TO SAVE US.
God has signified unto us by so many ways and means that his will is that we
should all be saved, that none can be ignorant of it. To this purpose he
made us to his own image and likeness by creation, and made himself to our
image and likeness by his Incarnation; after which he suffered death to
ransom and save all mankind, which he did with so much love that, as the
great S. Denis, apostle of France, recounts, he said once to the holy man
Carpus that he was ready to suffer another Passion to save mankind, and that
this would be agreeable to him if it could be done without any man's sin.
And although all are not saved, yet is this will a true will of God's, who
works in us according to the condition of his and of our nature. For his
goodness moves him to liberally communicate unto us the succours of his
grace in order to bring us to the felicity of his glory, but our nature
requires that his liberality should leave us at liberty to make use of it to
our salvation, or to neglect it to our damnation.
One thing I have asked of the Lord, said the prophet, this will I seek
after; . . . . that I may see the delight of the Lord and visit his temple.
 But what is the delight of the sovereign goodness, save to pour out
and communicate his perfections? Verily his delights are to be with the
children of men, and to shower his graces upon them. Nothing is so agreeable
and delightful to free agents as to do their own will. Our sanctification is
the will of God, and our salvation his good-pleasure, nor is there any
difference at all between good-pleasure and delight, nor, consequently,
between the divine delight and the divine good will: yea the will which God
has to do man good is called good,  because it is amiable, kind,
favourable, agreeable, delicious, and as the Greeks, after S. Paul, said; it
is a true Philanthropy, that is a benevolence or a will entirely loving
All the celestial temple of the triumphant and of the militant Church
resounds on every side with the canticles of this sweet love of God towards
us. And the most sacred body of our Saviour, as a most holy temple of his
divinity, is all decorated with the marks and tokens of this benevolence. So
that in visiting the divine temple we behold the loving delights which his
heart takes in doing us favours.
Let us then a thousand times a day turn our eyes upon this loving will of
God, and, making ours melt into it, let us devoutly cry out: O goodness
infinitely sweet, how amiable is thy will, how desirable are thy favours!
Thou hast created us for eternal life, and, thy maternal bosom, with its
sacred swelling breasts of an incomparable love, abounds in the milk of
mercy, whether it be to pardon sinners or to perfect the just. Ah! why do
not we then fasten our wills to thine, as children fasten themselves on to
their mother's breast, to draw the milk of thy eternal benedictions!
Theotimus, we are to will our salvation in such sort as God wills it; now he
wills it by way of desire, and we also must incessantly desire it, following
his desire. Nor does he will it only, but in effect gives us all necessary
means to attain it: we then, in fulfilment of the desire we have to be
saved, must not only will, but in effect accept all the graces which he has
provided for us and offers unto us. It is enough to say: I desire to be
saved. But with regard to the means of salvation, it is not enough to say: I
desire them;â€”but we must, with an absolute resolution, will and embrace the
graces which God presents to us: for our will must correspond with God's.
And inasmuch as it gives us the means of salvation, we ought to receive
them, as we ought to desire salvation in such sort as God desires it for us,
and because he desires it.
But it often happens that the means of attaining salvation, considered in
the gross and in general, are according to our hearts' liking, but
considered piecemeal and in particular, are terrifying to us. For have we
not seen poor S. Peter prepared to undergo in general all kind of torments,
yea, death itself, to follow his master, and yet, when it came to the deed
and performance, grow pale, tremble, and, at the word of a simple maid, deny
his master? Everyone deems himself able to drink our Saviour's chalice with
him, but when it is in fact presented to us, we fly, we give up all. Things
proposed in detail make a more strong impression, and more sensibly wound
the imagination. And for this reason we have advised in the Introduction
that after general affections we should descend to particular ones in holy
prayer.  David accepted particular afflictions as an advancement
towards his perfection, when he sang in this wise: O Lord, how good it is
for me that thou hast humbled me, that I might learn thy justifications!
 So also were the Apostles joyous in their tribulations, because they
were held worthy to endure ignominy for their Saviour's name.
 Ps. xxvi. 4.
 Rom. xii. 2.
 II. 6.
 Ps. cxviii. 71.