Quote for the Day

If we live by faith we shall judge things very differently from the way people do who rely only on the evidence of their senses and so remain unaware of the priceless treasure hidden under appearances. If we know that someone in disguise is really our king we shall behave very differently toward him than will someone who sees only an ordinary man. He will treat him as such. Now, if we see the will of God in the most trifling affairs, in every misfortune, and in every disaster, we shall accept them all with an equal joy, delight and respect. What others fear and flee from, we shall welcome with open doors. The clothing is shabby and mean to the ordinary eye, but we shall respect the royal majesty hidden under it and feel a deepening of our love the more hidden and abject our king is. … Paradoxically, what we cannot experience by our senses stimulates, increases and enriches our faith. The less we see, the more we believe.

— Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • J.Leo

    That makes no sense to me. As a person who is steeped in their senses and accepts only what can be proven, I maintain a very healthy respect for the untold stories that lie beneath the ragged clothing or tough exteriors of those that would hide there circumstance or feelings.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlmccolman/ Carl McColman

    Based on what you say, it appears to me that you have more faith than you are willing to admit, even if it is just faith in “truth” or “justice” that transcends mere sensory data. de Caussade’s analogy of the disguised king speaks for itself. A casual conversation about homelessness around the water cooler at work will reveal how some people have faith in the dignity of a homeless person — and others do not. Likewise, a highly spiritually integrated person (who doesn’t have to be a Christian) can be identified by how freely they are capable of responding to even the most unsettling or tragic of circumstances. This is not to say they never suffer or experience pain. But they remain free even in the midst of profound suffering in a way that speaks to a degree of wisdom that eludes most people.