THE WORLDLY PERSON
10. A sentiment of pity should always animate the hearts of those who gather together under the eye of the Lord, imploring the assistance of the Good Spirits. Therefore purify your hearts. Do not allow yourselves to be perturbed by futile and mundane thoughts. Lift up your Spirits towards those you are calling, so that they, having encountered favourable dispositions, may launch a profusion of seeds which should germinate in your hearts so as to produce the fruits of charity and justice.
Do not think, however, that in constantly urging you to pray and meditate we wish you to lead the life of a mystic, or that you should maintain yourselves outside the laws of the society in which you are condemned to reside. No. You must dwell with the people of your time in the manner in which they live. Sacrifice wants, even frivolities of the day, but sacrifice them with a pure sentiment which can sanctify them.
You are called upon to be in contact with Spirits of diverse natures and opposite characters. do not enter into conflict with anyone with whom you may find yourself. Always be happy and content, with the happiness which comes from a clear conscience and the contentment of one who will inherit Heaven and is counting the days till they receive their inheritance.
Virtue does not consist of having a severe and gloomy appearance, or in repelling the pleasures which the human condition permits. It is sufficient to refer all your acts to God, Who gave you your life. It is enough that at the commencement and at the end of each task you lift up your thoughts to the Creator, asking Him with a heartfelt impulse for His protection in order to execute the work, or His blessing on its termination. On doing anything at all, take your thoughts up to that Supreme Source. Do nothing without first thinking of God, so that this thought may come to purify and sanctify your acts.
Perfection, as Christ said, is only to be found in the practice of unlimited charity, since the duties of charity cover all social positions from the most lowly to the most elevated. The person who lives in isolation will have no means of exercising charity. It is only by being in contact with one's fellow creatures, in painful battle, that we are able to find occasion to practise it. The one who isolates himself therefore is entirely deprived of the most powerful means of perfection. In only having to think of oneself, life becomes that of a selfish person. (See chapter 5, item 26.)
Therefore do not imagine that in order to be in constant contact with us, to live under the watchful eye of God, you must wear a hair shirt and cover yourselves with ashes. No, no, and yet again no! Be happy within the picture of human needs, but in this happiness never allow a thought or an act which could offend God, or cause a shadow to fall upon the face of those who love you or direct you. God is love and He blesses all who sanctify their own love. - A Protecting Spirit (Bordeaux, 1863).