It is a great good to give oneself up to the will of God. Then the Lord alone is in the soul. No other thought can enter in, and the soul feels God's love, even though the body be suffering.
When the soul is entirely given over to the will of God, the Lord Himself takes her in Hand and the soul learns directly from God. Whereas, before, she turned to teachers and to the Scriptures for instruction. But it rarely happens that the soul's teacher is the Lord Himself through the grace of the Holy Spirit, and few there are that know of this, save only those who live according to God's will.
The proud man does not want to live according to God's will: he likes to be his own master and does not see that man has not wisdom enough to guide himself without God. And I, when I lived in the world, knew not the Lord and His Holy Spirit, nor how the Lord loves us—I relied on my own understanding; but when by the Holy Spirit I came to know our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, my soul submitted to God, and now I accept every affliction that befalls me, and say: "The Lord looks down on me. What is there to fear?" But before, I could not live in this manner.
Life is much easier for the man who is given over to the will of God, since in illness, in poverty, in persecution he reflects thus: "Such is God's pleasure, and I must endure on account of my sins." Thus for many years have I suffered violent headaches, which are hard to bear but salutary because the soul is humbled through sickness. My soul longs to pray and keep vigil, but sickness hinders me because of my body's demand for rest and quiet; and I besought the Lord to heal me, and the Lord hearkened not unto me. So, therefore, it would not have been salutary for me to have been cured.*
The most precious thing in the world is to know God and understand His will, even if only in part.
The soul that has come to know God should in all things submit to His will, and live before Him in awe and love: in love, because the Lord is love; in awe, because we must go in fear of grieving God by some evil thought.
O Lord, by the power of the grace of the Holy Spirit, vouchsafe that we may live according to Thy holy will.
When grace is with us we are strong in spirit; but when we lose grace we see our infirmity—we see that without God we cannot even think a good thing.
O God of Mercy, Thou knowest our infirmity. I beseech Thee, grant me a humble spirit, for in Thy mercy Thou dost enable the humble soul to live according to Thy will. Thou dost reveal Thy mysteries to her. Thou givest her to know Thee and the infirmity of Thy love for us.