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.