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For more than 250 years, this simple classic of inspiration has guided readers to the open-hearted acceptance of God's will that is the only path to serenity, peace and true happiness. Fr. Caussade's "Abandonment to Divine Providence" is a book for all those who truly seek God. The spiritual tone is set by two saints: St. Francis De Sales and St. John of the Cross. Another For more than 250 years, this simple classic of inspiration has guided readers to the open-hearted acceptance of God's will that is the only path to serenity, peace and true happiness. Fr. Caussade's "Abandonment to Divine Providence" is a book for all those who truly seek God. The spiritual tone is set by two saints: St. Francis De Sales and St. John of the Cross. Another major source of inspiration were Caussade's penitents, the nuns of the visitation. Fr. Caussade refers to the Salesian teaching of self-abandonment and simplicity along with the Carmelite emphasis on grace as a dynamic force that enlightens and cleanses the soul. When speaking of death to self, he refers to "abandonment" "trust" and "acquiesence." Such abandonment can only come through repeated acts. Fr. Caussade is adamant to teach that this abandonment to God's will is the duty of every Christian.


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For more than 250 years, this simple classic of inspiration has guided readers to the open-hearted acceptance of God's will that is the only path to serenity, peace and true happiness. Fr. Caussade's "Abandonment to Divine Providence" is a book for all those who truly seek God. The spiritual tone is set by two saints: St. Francis De Sales and St. John of the Cross. Another For more than 250 years, this simple classic of inspiration has guided readers to the open-hearted acceptance of God's will that is the only path to serenity, peace and true happiness. Fr. Caussade's "Abandonment to Divine Providence" is a book for all those who truly seek God. The spiritual tone is set by two saints: St. Francis De Sales and St. John of the Cross. Another major source of inspiration were Caussade's penitents, the nuns of the visitation. Fr. Caussade refers to the Salesian teaching of self-abandonment and simplicity along with the Carmelite emphasis on grace as a dynamic force that enlightens and cleanses the soul. When speaking of death to self, he refers to "abandonment" "trust" and "acquiesence." Such abandonment can only come through repeated acts. Fr. Caussade is adamant to teach that this abandonment to God's will is the duty of every Christian.

30 review for Abandonment to Divine Providence [AudioBook]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ines

    A few months ago I have read this wonderful book, I wasn’t really comfortable with the idea of putting a review for such a particular book, but the joy and the disarming beauty of the words taken from this collection of letters have thrown me off course a lot. If you want to read a thorough and complete review I recommend you go here "https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... The aspect that leaves me unarmed is the recent research carried out by the French historian Jacques Gagey, who apparently di A few months ago I have read this wonderful book, I wasn’t really comfortable with the idea of putting a review for such a particular book, but the joy and the disarming beauty of the words taken from this collection of letters have thrown me off course a lot. If you want to read a thorough and complete review I recommend you go here "https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... The aspect that leaves me unarmed is the recent research carried out by the French historian Jacques Gagey, who apparently discovered that the letters were concealed by a unknown ghost writer and written by a noble lady of French Lorraine and not by the friar Jean Pierre de Causade , but definitely in contact with the religious man. Apart from this mystery, I found the Lady’s words of a moving intensity, a spiritual autobiography that also speaks to me and myself, woman and mother of 21th century. I quote here the words of a journalist named Christiana Dobner because they lead straight to the heart of the spiritual path enclosed in these letters " Let’s call her Dama Abandono, in the absence of a precise name. At first confident and then protector of de Caussade, she inherits the great mystical tradition but she also senses, and makes her own, the philosophy of the enlightenment, in a positive sense. Precisely by assuming the responsibility of courageously using one’s intellect and not passively leaving one’s inner life to a book or spiritual director, the author reveals her choice of freedom. Not dwelling on theories or abstractions, but pointing directly, as had already happened with Teresa d'Avila, on its own concrete experience." Qualche mese fa ho letto questo libro meraviglioso, non ero proprio a mio agio all' idea di mettere una recensione per un libro cosi particolare, ma la gioia e la bellezza disarmante delle parole tratte da questa raccolta di lettere mi hanno spiazzato e non poco. L'aspetto che mi lascia disarmata è la ricerca effettuata dallo lo storico francese Jacques Gagey, che pare abbia scoperto che le lettere siano state celate da un nome di fantasia e scritte da una dama di alto livello della Lorena francese e non dal frate Jean Pierre de Caussade, ma sicuramente in contatto con quest' ultimo. A parte questo mistero, ho trovato le parole della Dama di una intensità commovente, una autobiografia spirituale che parla anche a me e di me, donna e mamma del 2020. Riporto qui le parole del giornalista Christiana Dobner perchè portano dritto al cuore del cammino spirituale racchiuso in queste lettere "Chiamiamola Dama Abbandono, in mancanza di un nome preciso. Dapprima confidente e poi protettrice di de Caussade, ella eredita la grande tradizione mistica ma avverte anche, e fa sua, la filosofia dei Lumi, in accezione positiva. Proprio assumendosi la responsabilità di usare coraggiosamente il proprio intelletto e di non demandare passivamente la propria vita interiore a un libro o a un direttore spirituale, l’autrice rivela la sua scelta di libertà. Non indugiando su teorie o astrazioni, ma puntando direttamente, come già era accaduto con Teresa d’Avila, sul proprio concreto esperire."

  2. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    There are some books which are almost too good to be able to describe. (Reading my friend Caterina’s excellent recent review of this book got me to read my own and made me aware of the need to update it!) She also introduced me to another, more complete edition of this book which I want to check out when I next have time to return to this book. As a novice Secular Carmelite, I hope we will be reading this in the years ahead. One of the many beautiful things about this book is its simplicity. Anot There are some books which are almost too good to be able to describe. (Reading my friend Caterina’s excellent recent review of this book got me to read my own and made me aware of the need to update it!) She also introduced me to another, more complete edition of this book which I want to check out when I next have time to return to this book. As a novice Secular Carmelite, I hope we will be reading this in the years ahead. One of the many beautiful things about this book is its simplicity. Another is its brevity. I have read both versions, Sacrament of the Present Moment, being the newer translation of Abandonment of Divine Providence. I prefer the older, but each has its place. Both titular phrases are Fr. Caussade’s own words for the profound yet childlike concept he is trying to teach us. Remain in the here-and-now; that is where the incarnate Christ dwells. Abandonment wasn't published until a hundred and ten years after the author’s death. Father Caussade never knew he wrote this book; what we read today was originally a collection of letters written when he was the spiritual director to the Visitation nuns of Nancy in France—as well as notes from talks he gave them. Born in 1675 in the south of France, there is almost nothing known about Caussade—no picture survives, no physical description, and very few facts. But we do know he was born during an era when the Catholic faith was rich and vibrant; he grew up in the shadow of such giants as St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal. In fact, although he was a Jesuit, his writings reflect more Carmelite and Salesian spirituality, than they do Ignatian influence. ‘Short books often have great power.’ This one is a perfect example. There is one central theme and it is—give or “abandon” yourself to God/Divine Providence – and no harm can come to you. “Be Not Afraid,” as Jesus said, and Pope John Paul II reiterated in his late twentieth century pontificate. The book is a series of meditations, meant to be consumed in small bite-sized pieces and then savored or contemplated. That is why it is perfect both as an audiobook and a devotional. It constantly circles back to the gentle reminder we have but one (three-fold) duty—to abandon ourselves to His Will, trust Him in everything and live in the Present Moment. Such a sweetly elemental principle! We humans want to complicate everything; He wants to simplify things. We want to hold on to our problems; He wants to relieve us of them. Recently, I have been filling my poor head with facts from confusing technical reading which doesn't clarify or solve anything. Fortunately, at the same time, I have also been listening to my Ignatian Press tapes, while driving in the car, of Mark Taheny as he reads Abandonment. Talk about peace and transport--peace in transport. I look forward to my time alone absorbing these Christ-like words which reassure me that all I need to do is surrender to Him and love. Do my Christian duty always and forget about what others think about me. If I am misunderstood, so much the better—so was He. And when I slip up and fall into sin—which I will do (as we all do)—I throw myself on His Loving Mercy. Let go of the past. Forget about the future. Be in the present. He is taking care of everything else. All things work together for our good if we let Him work in our lives. What does not make sense now, does not matter. If He wills it, it is—that is enough. As with most spiritual books different parts are helpful with each read. On this particular listening I was struck by the sixth and seventh sections of Chapter Six: (6) An abandoned soul is not afraid of its enemies, but finds them useful allies. ‘I am more afraid of what I and my friends do than anything done by my enemies. There is nothing more prudent than to offer no resistance to one's enemies and face them with simple abandonment. This is to run before the wind and stay at peace. Simplicity is always victorious when faced with worldly wisdom and easily avoids all its tricks without understanding them or even being conscious of them. God makes the soul take such suitable measures that they completely confound those who seek to trap it. It benefits by all their efforts, and what is meant to degrade it only increases its virtue.’ (7) An abandoned soul never need try to justify itself by word or deed. God does that. ‘The huge, unyielding rock that shelters the soul from all storms is the divine will, which is always there, though hidden beneath the veil of trials and the most commonplace actions. Deep within those shadows is the hand of God to support and carry us to complete self-abandonment. And when the soul has arrived at this sublime state it need fear nothing which is said against it, for there is no longer anything for it to do in self-defense.’ These are not the complete sections, but I have quoted enough to convey the gist of each. The reminder to me was that the reading I had been doing—at someone else's request--was looking for a worldly solution to problems. Listening to Fr. Caussade I remembered that at core, all problems are essentially spiritual because we are spirit. One of my favorite sayings is, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Yes, I am a sinner; we all are. We sin every day by our thoughts, words and actions, but God forgives us for all our sins, so long as we truly repent. The only sin He can't forgive is the one for which we are not truly sorry. I am eternally grateful for this wonderful little book--which I have already read many times--and to which I hope to return many more times. God bless you Father Caussade! review written 26 September 2007; updated 2 April 2017

  3. 4 out of 5

    booklady

    Finished listening to this again. As my husband was walking through the room and caught snatches of the CD playing he commented, “Sounds like he’s talking about me.” Abandonment to Divine Providence has universal appeal, although different parts speak more at different times in our lives. I’m especially challenged now—as always—to let go of my own ideas and plans, to remain in the present moment and to trustfully surrender all to His adorable Will, His loving Providence. I will be due to read thi Finished listening to this again. As my husband was walking through the room and caught snatches of the CD playing he commented, “Sounds like he’s talking about me.” Abandonment to Divine Providence has universal appeal, although different parts speak more at different times in our lives. I’m especially challenged now—as always—to let go of my own ideas and plans, to remain in the present moment and to trustfully surrender all to His adorable Will, His loving Providence. I will be due to read this again in 18 months or so. Maybe less. A treasure! Nov 25, 2014: Between this and The Sacrament of the Present Moment, which is modern version of the same book, I prefer this. However, I'm going to re-read both and do a comparison. (Update: Still want to do this sometime, but didn't get to it during this read.)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Caterina

    To avoid any anxieties which may be caused by either regret of the past or fear of the future, here in a few words is the rule to follow: the past must be left to God's measureless mercy, the future to his loving providence; and the present must be given wholly to his love through our fidelity to his grace. Amen. I love this book. Read very slowly in tiny but intense “doses” suitable for morning meditation, like a restorative juice for the soul, it works quietly, opening the way to deep inner pea To avoid any anxieties which may be caused by either regret of the past or fear of the future, here in a few words is the rule to follow: the past must be left to God's measureless mercy, the future to his loving providence; and the present must be given wholly to his love through our fidelity to his grace. Amen. I love this book. Read very slowly in tiny but intense “doses” suitable for morning meditation, like a restorative juice for the soul, it works quietly, opening the way to deep inner peace, humility, release from attachments, and ultimately the quiet confidence, inner strength, and loving attitude of service that come from God. For the most part it is a deeply gentle, non-violent book of spiritual guidance for those who long to become closer to God, but find themselves thwarted by anxiety, inner turbulence, and despair of the world and of themselves, their own wills, plans, and designs -- especially for those who have already spent some years on a spiritual path integrating focused contemplative prayer and action. If taken to heart, a transformative book. It was recommended to my husband his spiritual director, an octogenarian Jesuit I would describe as a spiritual master. I recommend this 449-page TAN Books edition, containing not only Father Caussade’s treatise (100 or so pages) but -- even better for a literary soul -- an enormous collection of personal letters of spiritual guidance that he wrote to numerous women, mostly nuns or nun candidates, a few married women. They are quite individual depending on which specific person he is writing to; you get to know some of the women, as well as the author, indirectly through the letters. It’s astonishing to me that this book, though written in the early 1700s and very much in the theistic Christian tradition, also seems resonant with Eastern spirituality and might be accessible to readers on a non-theistic path, as well as those on other theistic paths, who are open to Catholic Christian spiritual works. There's also something challenging but sometimes wonderful about the non-modernity of the translation I'm reading -- translated by Algar Thorold and edited by John Joyce S.J.-- it stretches the mind of a modern person. To appreciate it fully one has to kind of abandon oneself to this older form of faith to see where it goes. I argue with it, it makes me uncomfortable at times, and yet I’ve gotten so much from it over the past four years. The book is also available in other translations, one alternatively titled The Sacrament of the Present Moment.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Steven R. McEvoy

    I have had interest in this book for a number of years now, but just never got around to reading it. In part because there are a few main editions all translated nearly 100 years ago, and so many different editions of it, some abridged and some not, some abridged and some not, some reformatted and updated and many not. So when a new edition became available, with an introduction by Matthew Kelly, I read it within days of it being available. This is the first book in a new series called Dynamic C I have had interest in this book for a number of years now, but just never got around to reading it. In part because there are a few main editions all translated nearly 100 years ago, and so many different editions of it, some abridged and some not, some abridged and some not, some reformatted and updated and many not. So when a new edition became available, with an introduction by Matthew Kelly, I read it within days of it being available. This is the first book in a new series called Dynamic Catholic Classics. And unlike many editions that are currently available this one has been redone, with new typeset, formatting and layout. This book is a classic and has been for over 250 years, but this new edition brings the classic to new life. Matthew Kelly in the introduction states: "To discover God's dreams for us-this is a worthy pursuit! But in order to discover them we have to get out of our own way, and get out of God's way. Abandonment to Divine Providence has been leading people along a sure path for more than 250 years. The words this book contains are as true today as they were when they were written, though perhaps needed more today than ever before." And after reading it I believe that it will live up to those words. Kelly also states: "This book is an invitation to develop a singular focus: Seek and do the will of God. In every moment of every day, we are called to seek God's will and to carry out our part in his plan, which immediately liberates us from worrying about things we cannot do anything about. This focus on doing the next right thing pushes aside all the distractions that take us into the future or the past. Seeking to do God's will right now is an invitation to experience fully the present moment. Incidentally, that is always where we find God. We cannot find him by trying to hurry into the future or by thrashing our way back into the past. God is always in the now." And that is the focus of the book, learning to live in God and live in the here and now. This book is broken into 2 books, 6 chapters and 54 sections. In fact the sections in the book are: BOOK 1 On the Virtue of Abandonment to Divine Providence, Its Nature and Excellence Chapter 1 I. Hidden Operations of God II. The Duties of Each Moment III. The Work of Our Sanctification IV. In What Perfection Consists V. The Divine Influence Alone Can Sanctify Us VI. On the Use of Mental Faculties VII. On the Attainment of Peace VIII. To Estimate Degrees of Excellence IX. Sanctity Made Easy Chapter 2 I. The Divine Action II. By Faith the Operation of God Is Recognized III. How to Discover What Is the Will of God IV. The Revelations of God V. The Action of Jesus Christ in the Souls of Men VI. The Treatment of the Divine Action VII. The Hidden Work of Divine Love VIII. Experimental Science IX. The Will of God in the Present Moment Is the Source of Sanctity X. God Makes Known His Will Through Creatures XI. Everything Is Supernaturalized by the Divine Action XII. The Divine Word Our Model BOOK 2 On the State of Abandonment Chapter 1 I. The Life of God in the Soul II. The Most Perfect Way III. Abandonment a Pledge of Predestination IV. Abandonment a Source of Joy V. The Great Merit of Pure Faith VI. Submission a Free Gift to God VII. Divine Favors Offered to All VIII. God Reigns in a Pure Heart Chapter 2 I. Sacrifice, the Foundation of Sanctity II. The Pains and Consolations of Abandonment III. The Different Duties of Abandonment IV. God Does All for a Soul of Goodwill V. The Common Way of All Souls VI. The Duty of the Present Moment the Only Rule VII. Trust in the Guidance of God VIII. Great Faith Is Necessary Chapter 3 I. Unwise Interference II. Unjust Judgments III. Self-Contempt IV. Distrust of Self V. The Life of Faith Chapter 4 I. Confidence in God II. Diversity of Grace III. The Generosity of God IV. The Most Ordinary Things Are Channels of Grace V. Nature and Grace the Instruments of God VI. Supernatural Prudence VII. Conviction of Weakness VIII. Self-Guidance a Mistake IX. Divine Love, the Principle of All Good X. We Must See God in All His Creatures XI. The Strength of Simplicity XII. The Triumph of Humility One of the passages from this book that really spoke to me is: "No reading, nor any other exercise can sanctify us except in so far as they are the channels of the divine influence." And as a bibliophile who reads a lot of books, this thought has had a large impact. There are many book I have read in the past, that I would not read today with where I am at spiritually. There are whole authors that I will no longer touch their books because they do not really have a positive impact. A further quote on this topic of reading is: "Our whole science consists in recognizing the designs of God for the present moment. All reading not intended for us by God is dangerous. It is by doing the will of God and obeying His holy inspirations that we obtain grace, and this grace works in our hearts through our reading or any other employment. Apart from God reading is empty and vain and, being deprived for us of the life-giving power of the action of God, only succeeds in emptying the heart by the very fullness it gives to the mind." This book has so much sound advice in a small slim volume. I am thankful to Matthew Kelly for bringing out this new edition. If not it might have remained one of those books I would read someday. But someday might never have come. I strongly encourage anyone serious about their faith journey to give this book a read and see what sort of immediate impact it has on your life, all areas of your life. The heading of the final section in the book states: "To the souls which are faithful to Him, God promises a glorious victory over the powers of the world and of hell." And this book will help you live that life. Read the review on my blog Book Reviews and More. Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fergus

    Some ancient volumes, like this one, contain the whole vast library of common-sense wisdom. They just cannot be bested or improved by modern adaptations. And so it is with the present moment itself... So it's fitting! The Present Moment is Borges' Aleph: the Lost Centre from which all the present moments of all the worlds Radiate. Or like Dante's vision of the Eternal Rose of the Seventh Heaven. Or, it's like the forgotten Chinese student in the primitive mystical East who asked the Master what his Some ancient volumes, like this one, contain the whole vast library of common-sense wisdom. They just cannot be bested or improved by modern adaptations. And so it is with the present moment itself... So it's fitting! The Present Moment is Borges' Aleph: the Lost Centre from which all the present moments of all the worlds Radiate. Or like Dante's vision of the Eternal Rose of the Seventh Heaven. Or, it's like the forgotten Chinese student in the primitive mystical East who asked the Master what his Secret was? "Well, that's easy," replied the Master. "It's the plum tree in the garden." Well, we all miss the obvious. But to a Master we miss by a mile! My own path to awakening began when I was twenty. Finding myself - in natural surroundings, way out in the country, a month before before the resumed hitting-of-the-books at uni was to begin - I momentarily got caught up in my Vedantic Oversoul. Nature did that, of course, just like it did to William and Dorothy Wordsworth in the wild northern Lake Country. Intimations of Immortality indeed! But upon returning to campus, my new panoptic worldview didn't wash.wiith my profs. I was sequestered and doped. In the space of a month I had gone from a kinda pantheistic Eastern mysticism to Isaiah's mysticism of the Suffering Servant. Right back to Square One. *** But is that So Bad? For now, a full fifty-one years later, I find I rather LIKE Square One - Cause this unpopular and bitterly uncomfortable Present Moment... IS that very Selfsame Aleph.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Edvard Taylor

    This beautiful, extraordinary and timeless book by an 18th century author is one of the greatest mystical treatises of any time in any religion. It is to be most warmly recommended to all true and sincere students of mysticism. It radiates the warmth of St. Francis de Sales, touches in a uniquely loving and gentle way on the sufferings on the soul immersed in the dark night of the spirit, offers guidance on ways of contemplation and the attainment of true humility, which, as the author asserts, This beautiful, extraordinary and timeless book by an 18th century author is one of the greatest mystical treatises of any time in any religion. It is to be most warmly recommended to all true and sincere students of mysticism. It radiates the warmth of St. Francis de Sales, touches in a uniquely loving and gentle way on the sufferings on the soul immersed in the dark night of the spirit, offers guidance on ways of contemplation and the attainment of true humility, which, as the author asserts, is the prerequisite of self-knowledge preparing the way for the love of God which the purified soul must enter through the cloud of unknowing. This book is my steady companion along with the Cloud of Unknowing, Rumi and The Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cris

    I like this skinny little book. It truly says nothing novel about the human struggle for holiness, but it is the authoritativeness of the author and his succinct summary that makes it worthwhile. Unlike many other spiritual writers, like T of Avila and J of the Cross, there is no 'process' towards holiness for Caussade. It is a simple proposition. 'Holiness', he says 'is measured in how obedient one is to the will of God'. For those who do Yoga or are attracted to eastern spirituality, here is t I like this skinny little book. It truly says nothing novel about the human struggle for holiness, but it is the authoritativeness of the author and his succinct summary that makes it worthwhile. Unlike many other spiritual writers, like T of Avila and J of the Cross, there is no 'process' towards holiness for Caussade. It is a simple proposition. 'Holiness', he says 'is measured in how obedient one is to the will of God'. For those who do Yoga or are attracted to eastern spirituality, here is the Christian version of being in the moment. Recommended to me as a good book for discerning the will of God in our lives, this little volume confirms many intuitions for those spiritually timid folk and can act as an aid for those in spiritual guidance. Written as a set of letters for the sisters of the Visitation in France, the book focuses on surrendering one's will to God in whatever state of life one finds oneself in, in whatever moment. It is not what we are doing that matters, writes de Caussade, it is with what degree of submission we do it that really sanctifies us. Wether in religious life, or rasing a family or running a business or being ill, it helps us nothing to grumble about our good works or moan about unexpected events, he says. We have to trust that everything is meant to sanctify. I find the book very useful in my lay status, in that I accept the uninteresting parts of my life instead of looking for extra opportunities to act holy. It is not what we do but with how much love and gratefulness we receive everything that comes from God.Very helpful foreword by John Beevers in this 1975 edition to forestall objections that might identify de Caussade with Quietism. Unlike Molinists, Caussade did not advocate foregoing those regular aids to the spiritual life, like confession, but rather complimenting then with a pliant disposition. As one of many paths to spirituality, this is the path for those who cannot bear enormous tasks by dividing them into conqueable parts, but it is intead for those who choose to begin somewhere. It is not that you are going to be holy but that you are being now.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth

    A classic of western spiritual reading, this little book was compiled from the letters a French Jesuit priest wrote to the nuns of a convent in Nancy, France in the early 18th Century. Best to read it a bit at a time rather than straight through, since there is quite a bit of repetition due to how it was compiled. The edition I actually read was the Image Books edition published by Doubleday in 1975 (same translation, I think, as the one showing above, by John Beever). Caussade's major point is A classic of western spiritual reading, this little book was compiled from the letters a French Jesuit priest wrote to the nuns of a convent in Nancy, France in the early 18th Century. Best to read it a bit at a time rather than straight through, since there is quite a bit of repetition due to how it was compiled. The edition I actually read was the Image Books edition published by Doubleday in 1975 (same translation, I think, as the one showing above, by John Beever). Caussade's major point is that we need to live in the present moment totally submissive to God's will - i.e. abandon our selves to Divine Providence. It's actually kind of Zen-like. In fact, the first time I heard of this work was years ago in one of Alan Watts' books - his autobiography, I think.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Miller

    A spiritual classic for a reason. Just read it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Irena

    read it, reread it and then repeat the process until time stops

  12. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    There are proper seasons for reading special books. This particular book was recommended by a wise loved one dear to me and I am sure it will have more meaning for me as the seasons of my life change with the tide of time. For now, I take with me reinforcement of my faith that in every moment the hand of God is active in my life and that I must surrender to his will to live in Holiness. The image that I have is akin to that of childbirth. To give birth naturally there is nothing one must activel There are proper seasons for reading special books. This particular book was recommended by a wise loved one dear to me and I am sure it will have more meaning for me as the seasons of my life change with the tide of time. For now, I take with me reinforcement of my faith that in every moment the hand of God is active in my life and that I must surrender to his will to live in Holiness. The image that I have is akin to that of childbirth. To give birth naturally there is nothing one must actively do… except get the mind out of the way and surrender to labor’s course. It is at once simple and yet the most difficult thing to accomplish perfectly. That is why there is only perfect love and sacrifice.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Thadeus

    A lot of wisdom to ponder in this book. It would probably serve me better a little further down my spiritual journey. Recommended for those well on the path.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julie Stevens

    A beautiful and powerful read that explores the depth and virtue of a life of surrender to God. This book will be a powerful tool in your spiritual toolbox. Worth the read and reflection!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Fiat! Very spiritually enriching book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kate Davis

    The kind of spirituality that seems lovely, and then you look one layer deeper and realize how oppressive it is to anyone who isn't the most privileged group in a culture. Language of submission and surrender, particularly, has been used to keep women from equal status -- this book could be a case study in how that happens through the best of intents. The kind of spirituality that seems lovely, and then you look one layer deeper and realize how oppressive it is to anyone who isn't the most privileged group in a culture. Language of submission and surrender, particularly, has been used to keep women from equal status -- this book could be a case study in how that happens through the best of intents.

  17. 4 out of 5

    TJ Jakubowski

    The title says it all. This exhortation is gentle but persistent.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Florence Bernice

    Abandonment to Divine Providence is a must-read for all those striving for detachment and surrender. The edition I have read is titled The Sacrament of the Present Moment as translated by Kitty Muggeridge. The EJ Strickland translation is more well-known, but I balked at that edition because of the traditional language. The Sacrament of the Present Moment has a more relaxed language, but still containing some archaism. If you desire a truly contemporary edition, Paraclete Press' The Joy of Full S Abandonment to Divine Providence is a must-read for all those striving for detachment and surrender. The edition I have read is titled The Sacrament of the Present Moment as translated by Kitty Muggeridge. The EJ Strickland translation is more well-known, but I balked at that edition because of the traditional language. The Sacrament of the Present Moment has a more relaxed language, but still containing some archaism. If you desire a truly contemporary edition, Paraclete Press' The Joy of Full Surrender would be better suited for you.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristie

    “The divine activity permeates the whole universe , it pervades every creature; wherever they are it is there; it goes before them, with them, and it follows them; all they have to do is to let the waves bear them on.” (pg 8) Book 1 and Book 2, Chapters 1-2 are so powerful and absolutely 5 stars. This little book is so memorable! Even when I left it for a little while to come back to it later, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It reminded me of Brother Lawrence’s Practice of the Presence of God “The divine activity permeates the whole universe , it pervades every creature; wherever they are it is there; it goes before them, with them, and it follows them; all they have to do is to let the waves bear them on.” (pg 8) Book 1 and Book 2, Chapters 1-2 are so powerful and absolutely 5 stars. This little book is so memorable! Even when I left it for a little while to come back to it later, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It reminded me of Brother Lawrence’s Practice of the Presence of God in that what is called to be practiced is simple. Through faith and humility, leave all things of life for the divine action. Cassaude paints a beautiful picture of someone who practices this full abandonment. He creates a beautiful and holy icon for us to emulate! “Such souls have no more consistence and rigidity than molten metal... Their disposition resembles the atmosphere, which is affected by every breeze; or water, which flows into any shaped vessel exactly filling every crevice.. They are before God like a perfectly woven fabric with a clear surface; and neither think, nor seek to know what God will be pleased to trace thereon, because they have confidence in Him... On the surface of this simple canvas of love and obedience His hand traces the most beautiful design, the most delicate, and intricate pattern, the most divine figures. ‘The Lord hath made His holy one wonderful.’” (pg 61) The end of the book somewhat dragged for me. He was more specific in these later chapters of the characteristics of an abandoned person and their trials, and I found this section not as relatable as the earlier parts of the book b/c it was almost... too specific? Hence the 4 star rating. But this book is wonderful and I would definitely recommend it to anyone confused about God’s will or about the way he or she should “be.” This book is perfect for anyone wishing to submit to God in the every moment of life - traffic, job loss, folding the laundry, or illness. “To consider God equally good in things that are petty and ordinary as in those that are great and uncommon is to have faith that is not ordinary, but great and extraordinary.” (pg 23)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    An engaging book with a simplicity and yet digs deep into full surrender. At times this was a four star book for me and then it slipped back into three simply because the concepts seem to repeat and didn't go deeper. This quote was one of my favorites from the book: With God, the more we seem to lose, the more we gain. The more he takes away what is natural, the more he gives of what is supernatural. He is loved at first for his gifts, but when these are no longer perceptible, he is at least lov An engaging book with a simplicity and yet digs deep into full surrender. At times this was a four star book for me and then it slipped back into three simply because the concepts seem to repeat and didn't go deeper. This quote was one of my favorites from the book: With God, the more we seem to lose, the more we gain. The more he takes away what is natural, the more he gives of what is supernatural. He is loved at first for his gifts, but when these are no longer perceptible, he is at least loved for himself. It is by the apparent withdrawal of these tangible gifts that he prepares the way for the great gift that is the greatest and most precious of all, since it embraces all other gifts"

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    Although written by a Jesuit priest, Abandonment to Divine Providence feels much more Carmelite, with a significant influence from St Francis de Sales too. (This makes sense, since he was writing to the Nuns of the Visitation, an Order founded by St Francis.) The book, published posthumously, is comprised mostly of letters written by Fr de Caussade to various Sisters of the community in Nancy, France. If I could sum up the (kind of repetitive) book in one word, it would be "Fiat." It reminds me Although written by a Jesuit priest, Abandonment to Divine Providence feels much more Carmelite, with a significant influence from St Francis de Sales too. (This makes sense, since he was writing to the Nuns of the Visitation, an Order founded by St Francis.) The book, published posthumously, is comprised mostly of letters written by Fr de Caussade to various Sisters of the community in Nancy, France. If I could sum up the (kind of repetitive) book in one word, it would be "Fiat." It reminds me very much of Ascent of Mount Carmel and Practice of the Presence of God.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leroy Seat

    I found this book fairly interesting and helpful until is started to be a collection of letters which the author had read through the years. For the most part I found the letters to be tedious, repetitious, and of limited value. Because of the recommendation of a friend, I started to read this book, and because of my principle of finishing what I start I persevered to the end--although I read through the last half of the book rather rapidly. If one is looking for good devotional literature, my rec I found this book fairly interesting and helpful until is started to be a collection of letters which the author had read through the years. For the most part I found the letters to be tedious, repetitious, and of limited value. Because of the recommendation of a friend, I started to read this book, and because of my principle of finishing what I start I persevered to the end--although I read through the last half of the book rather rapidly. If one is looking for good devotional literature, my recommendation would be to look elsewhere.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    This is a book one doesn't read but just meditates on or actually prays the book. It is not one you try to get through and go on to another. I'm not sure how far I'm into the book but it has given a depth of Divine love and relationship with God I have found no where else. This is contemplation to the highest degree. I still have a long ways to go in this book but right now I would have to rate it 5++++ if I had to rate it. This is a book one doesn't read but just meditates on or actually prays the book. It is not one you try to get through and go on to another. I'm not sure how far I'm into the book but it has given a depth of Divine love and relationship with God I have found no where else. This is contemplation to the highest degree. I still have a long ways to go in this book but right now I would have to rate it 5++++ if I had to rate it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Victor

    This was a great read for me during a difficult time. Caussade places a greater emphasis on faith related issues that truly matter, as opposed to stressing some ideas that seem to be more set in our specific time, as opposed to the universal Church throughout time. I felt like I had refreshed my understanding of God by reading this book. It is encouraging.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ally

    Thanks to a fellow Goodreader (via her tumblr blog that i follow) I'm reading this for Lent. Just uploaded it to my Kindle. Excited to see what God has in mind for me to learn through Caussade's writing! Thanks to a fellow Goodreader (via her tumblr blog that i follow) I'm reading this for Lent. Just uploaded it to my Kindle. Excited to see what God has in mind for me to learn through Caussade's writing!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    The other title of this book was "Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence." "It is a refutation of the quietist heresy and distinguishes true contemplation from its perversion . . . . The quietists held that passive meditation or mental prayer, to the exclusion of all else, is the short and easy way to union with God. Pere de Caussade emphatically insists that quietism is false mysticism" (Kitty Muggeridge, viii). "In what sense can this experience be a divine sacrament?" "How is Christ mediated to m The other title of this book was "Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence." "It is a refutation of the quietist heresy and distinguishes true contemplation from its perversion . . . . The quietists held that passive meditation or mental prayer, to the exclusion of all else, is the short and easy way to union with God. Pere de Caussade emphatically insists that quietism is false mysticism" (Kitty Muggeridge, viii). "In what sense can this experience be a divine sacrament?" "How is Christ mediated to me through this task?" "How can the fulfillment of this present duty be a participation in the life and death of Christ?" (Richard Foster, xi) "Although Martha sought to please Jesus by waiting on him, Mary was content to sit at his feet. And yet he misled even her, for, while she was looking for him as she knew him, he appeared to her as a gardener . . . . So God hides himself in order to raise souls up to that perfect faith which will discover him under every kind of disguise" (18). "O Divine Love, conceal yourself, leap over our suffering, make us obedient! Mystify us, arouse and confuse us. Shatter all our illusions and plans so that we lose our way, and see neither path nor light until we have found you, where you are to be found and in your true form--in the peace of solitude, in prayer, in submission, in suffering, in succor given to another, and in flight from idle talk and worldly affairs. And having tried all the known ways and means of pleasing you and not finding you any longer in any of them, we remain at a loss until, finally, the futility of all our efforts leads us at last to leave all to find you henceforth, you, yourself, everywhere and in all things without discrimination or reflection. For, how foolish it is, O Divine Love, how is it that you are being sough in other symbols than those you have chosen for your sacraments; whose very mystery, surely, is a witness to the need for obedience and faith?" (18-19). "Souls no longer try to reach him through reading, endless speculation or inner supplications. Books and disputation are irrelevant, for God seeks them out and reveals himself to them" (21). "The only condition for this state of self-surrender is the present moment in which the soul, light as a feather, fluid as water, innocent as a child, responds to every movement of grace like a floating balloon. Such souls are like molten metal filling whatever vessel God chooses to pour them into" (22). ". . . it is through what most distresses human beings that he contrives and accomplishes his highest designs" (22). "The Holy Spirit of God, pen in hand, the book open before him, continues the sacred story which has yet to be told. Its theme will not be exhausted until the end of time. It is none other than the record of God's guidance and purposes for man. It remains for us to take part in that story and to supply the sequel by obeying his commands in all we do and suffer" (24-25). "Sanctified souls are only souls wholly committed to the divine will by the help of grace. Everything beyond this is the work of God and not of man, who must accept it in blind surrender and complete indifference" (25). "Let us not discourage, impede or separate anyone from that height of perfection to which Jesus calls us . . . Let us unceasingly impress upon every soul that the invitation of this gentle, loving saviour expects nothing difficult or extraordinary of them. He is not making impossible demands on them, he only asks that their good intention be united to his so that he may lead, guide, and reward them accordingly" (30). "Divine action responds to the willingness and good intentions of the pure and simple, not to their intelligence, nor to any precautions they may take, plans they may form, thoughts they may have or means they may adopt on their own initiative. All these can lead them astray--they often do. But their honesty and good intentions never betray them. Provided that God sees that their intentions are good he ignores the rest and accepts as done that which they would infallibly have done had they been strengthened by a clearer insight" (30). "Those with good intentions, therefore, have nothing to fear. They can only fall under that almighty hand which guides and supports them in all their shortcomings; which leades them towards the goal from which they are straying, and puts them back on the path they have lost. And, in the end, invariably discovers some means whereby to extricate them from the pitfalls to which the efforts and ingenuity of their blinded senses have brought them. Thus they will learn to rely solely on and submit themselves totally to God's infallible guidance. The errors into which these good souls fall cease with self-surrender, which never lets them down . . . " (31). "Just as it is fire and not the philosophy or science of the element and its effects that heats, so it is God's order and his will which sanctify and not curious speculations about its origin or purpose" (42). "To quench thirst it is necessary to drink. Reading books about it only makes it worse. Thus, when we long for sanctity, speculation only drives it further from our grasp. We must humbly accept all that God's order requires us to do and suffer. What he ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best and most divine for us" (42). "All we need to know is how to recognize his will in the present moment" (43). ". . . the sophisticated man, who studies spiritual books out of mere curiosity, whose reading is not inspired by God, takes into his mind only dead letters and grows even more arid and obtuse" (43). "Grace is the will will of God and his order acting in the centre of our hearts when we read or are occupied in other ways; theories and studies, without regard for the refreshing virtue of God's order, are merely dead letters, emptying the heart by filling the mind" (43). "Whether contemplation, meditation, prayer, inward silence, intuition, quietude or activity are what we wish for ourselves, the best is God's purposes for us at the present moment" (44-45). "Supplication, intercession, mental or vocal prayer, action or silence, faith or wisdom, particular sacraments or general grace, all these, Lord, are nothing, for your purpose is the true and only virtue in all things. It alone, and nothing else, however sublime or exalted, is the object of my devotion since the purpose of grace is the perfection of the heart not of the mind" (45). "We can never achieve anything great except through surrendering ourselves; therefore let us think no more about it. Let us leave the care of our salvation to God. He knows the way. It is under the special protection and guidance of his concern for us, acting often in ways unknown to us and even through what we most fear and least expect. Let us march on in the trivial duties of our personal devotion without aspiring to great ones, for God does not wish to manifest himself through our own efforts. We shall be God's saints through his grace and special providence. He has plans for us, so leave it to him. Henceforth, without entertaining vain thoughts and false ideas about sanctity, let us be content to love him unceasingly and walk humbly in the path he has marked out for us, where all seems so trivial in our own and in the eyes of the world" (48). "O holy redemption, it is you that prepares the way for God! O perfection! O boundless submission, it is you that draws God deep into the heart! Let the senses feel what they may, you, Lord, are all my good! Do what you like to this tiny being, let it act, be inspired, be the object of your purpose! I have nothing more to see or do, not a single moment of my life is in my own hands. All is yours, I have nothing to add, remove, seek or consider. It is for your to direct everything. Sanctification, perfection, salvation, guidance, and humility are your responsibility. Mine is to be content, dispassionate, passive, leaving everything to your pleasure" (50-51).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    A book meant to be read slowly and pondered. Some, I fear, was difficult to understand and more difficult to practice but certainly a call to go deeper with one’s faith. “All is your’s Lord. I want what you want in all things.”

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I did enjoy his book but I always seem to have a struggle applying things written for religious sisters to my own life in the world. The cares and concerns I have don’t exist for them and so it seems that much of what I struggle to do in faith isn’t addressed in books like this. Though, the main theme of the book “the present moment” has certainly gotten me thinking.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Becca Arend

    One of the most impactful books of my spiritual life thus far. In fact, even though I picked up this book multiple times per week, it took me nine months to finish because I would read a paragraph or two and have to put the book down to process and pray. Highly, highly recommend.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    After having read many wonderful reviews, having seen this in many lists of Catholic reading plans, and receiving a free copy of the book from a friend, I decided the time had come to read this great Catholic classic: I was much disappointed. The style is consistent with the writing of the 18th century and I found this very easy to cope with and, at times, very enjoyable reading. For those interested in a wonderfully translated English from the French - in terms of smooth reading, since I cannot After having read many wonderful reviews, having seen this in many lists of Catholic reading plans, and receiving a free copy of the book from a friend, I decided the time had come to read this great Catholic classic: I was much disappointed. The style is consistent with the writing of the 18th century and I found this very easy to cope with and, at times, very enjoyable reading. For those interested in a wonderfully translated English from the French - in terms of smooth reading, since I cannot speak of the accuracy of the translation - this would be a good book to read. My main problem with the book is its spirituality. My difficulty is not that I found anything particularly erroneous about the advice the Fr. Caussade gives, rather it left me with a sense in which the book as a whole gives off an erroneous tone. In the introduction, the translator correctly states, "Caussade is careful to dissociate himself with Quietism...," which is quite true, but also, "The heresy of which Molinos was found guilty was and is known as Quietism, and Caussade has been accused of drawing very near to it....If we read Molinos and then Caussade, we shall inevitably be struck be a similarity in their thought." I have not read Molinos, but I know enough about Quietism to sympathize with those who think this book draws near to it. I think, at least this was the overarching idea that I could not detach from my mind while reading, where the book could be most helpful is when it is absorbed by the needs of a particular Catholic community. However, and I mean this with the utmost sincerity and realize the extent to which it may seem chauvinistic, it seems to me that this community is that which this material was originally delivered to: female religious.

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