Were I asked why, seeing that so many people have undertaken the direct service to God, there are so few saints, I would answer that the chief reason is that they have given too big a place in life to indifferent things.
--Jean-Joseph Surin (1600-1665)
(110:3.4) I cannot but observe that so many of you spend so much time and thought on mere trifles of living, while you almost wholly overlook the more essential realities of everlasting import, those very accomplishments which are concerned with the development of a more harmonious working agreement between you and your Adjusters. The great goal of human existence is to attune to the divinity of the indwelling Adjuster; the great achievement of mortal life is the attainment of a true and understanding consecration to the eternal aims of the divine spirit who waits and works within your mind. But a devoted and determined effort to realize eternal destiny is wholly compatible with a lighthearted and joyous life and with a successful and honorable career on earth. Co-operation with the Thought Adjuster does not entail self-torture, mock piety, or hypocritical and ostentatious self-abasement; the ideal life is one of loving service rather than an existence of fearful apprehension.
Jean-Joseph Surin was a French Jesuit mystic, preacher, devotional writer and exorcist. He is remembered for his participation in the exorcisms of Loudun in 1634-37.
Surin was reared in a cloister. At the age of eight he took a vow of chastity, and at ten he was taught to meditate by a Carmelite. He entered the novitiate with the Jesuits in 1616. From 1623 to 1625 and from 1627 to 1629 he studied at the Collège de Clermont in Paris. As a priest he practiced severe self-denial, and cut himself off from nearly all social contact.
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