LUKEWARMNESS.

LXXXVI. 

WHAT a relief it would be only to see those who are 
really friends in God's Sight, and to be sheltered from all 
others ! I could often sigh amid my many engagements 
after the freedom of solitude, but one must hold on one's 
way and work on without heeding inclination. Shun 
ennui, and let your natural activity find some outlet. 
See a few persons whose society is not exciting, but who 
bring you relaxation. One does not want a great deal 
of society, and it is well to learn not to be too fastidious, 
enough if we can find some peaceable and tolerably 
reasonable people. You should read, work, walk when 
it is fine, and so vary your occupations as not to grow 
weary of any. 

As to your lukewarmness and lack of conscious inward 
life, I am not surprised at this trial depressing you. 
Nothing is harder to bear. But it seems to me yon have 
only two things to do, one of which is to avoid whatever ex- 
cites and dissipates you, whereby you cut off the source of 
dangerous distractions, which dry up prayer. You cannot 
expect to find interior nourishment if you live only for 
what is exterior. Strict watchfulness in giving up what- 
ever makes you too eager and impetuous in conversation 
is an absolute necessity if you would win the spirit of
recollection and prayer. No one can have a relish for 
both God and the world simultaneously, and whatever 
spirit you have carried about with you through the day's 
occupations you will carry to your appointed hours of 
prayer. 

Then, after retrenching whatever superfluities dissipate 
your mind, you must try very often to renew the Presence 
of God, even amid those occupations which are right 
and necessary, guarding against your self-will. Try con- 
tinually to act by the leadings of grace and in the spirit 
of self-renunciation. By degrees you will come to it, by 
frequently checking the rapidity of your lively disposition, 
and hearkening to God's Voice within, and letting Him 
possess you wholly.

 

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