from the Magnificat
With us ordinary folk there is always a division between what is exterior and what is interior, between truth and opinion, between what we would wish and what we are able to do. The mark of the saint is that he has achieved unity within himself. His life, we think, must be a perpetual sacrifice; because the exterior order of things holds our attention, and we suppose that the interior order must separate us from it; and also because we stand in fear of opinion, since it seems to bring truth into derision; and again because we take refuge in our weakness which, as we judge things, constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the fulfillment of our most cherished desires. The saint knows no such fear or embarrassment. He always commits his whole self and is therefore never concerned about loss or gain; so he is not conscious of making any sacrifice. How indeed could he sacrifice external things seeing that they are for him no more than interior things in an outward manifestation? How could he sacrifice his own imperfection seeing that he is conscious of an inward power that is constantly making good this same imperfection? He would tell us that by refusing to tread the path of holiness we are sacrificing real goods without which these apparent goods have neither substance nor savor.
- Louis Lavelle from his book, "The Meaning of Holiness [as exemplified in four saints: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Francis de Sales"] currently unavailable