TAKE COURAGE! DO NOT BE AFRAID!
Especially cherish firm trust in God’s love: if that weakens your longing for God sinks away, and the hidden love is soon quenched within you. Be sure that if you do lack this sign, namely confidence in love’s final rescue of your distressed soul, then all other signs are deceitful – you must totally fail. This is the testimony of the true light. The demon will leave all else, if only he can unsettle your confidence. He will even leave you a treacherous show of love itself, if only you will give up this true witness of genuine love, – confidence in God’s love during the time of desolation of spirit.
If one now questions as to whether or not he has true love, let him search deep in his soul and ever deeper, and light will be granted him to know how he stands towards this degree of love. All the harm that can befall you is in this: you can not fathom your inmost soul, or perhaps you will not. Once you enter there, God’s grace awaits you, admonishing you incessantly to keep up a courageous spirit about your standing with him. But many a one resists this inner voice and keeps on doing so until he at last becomes unworthy of it and ceases to be heard, and that forever. The cause of this misfortune is nothing else than self-trust. But if one be only humbly submissive to the divine guidance, it will finally lead him into such a divine union, that he shall enjoy in this life somewhat of the bliss proper only to life eternal. May God grant that this shall happen to us all.
Fr John Tauler, O.P.
14th Century preacher
Taken from Magnificat for January 6th 2010
Fr John Tauler is saying something like this: Many of us think that the devil is going to lead us into temptation, to sin in some corporeal way, and then we will have offended God and become abandoned. But the truth is very different. The principal temptation of the devil is to make us think we are not worthy of God’s love, and that will devastate us, especially if we suffer anxiety and fear.
What we need to do positively is this – to convince ourselves of God’s love, and cuddle up to God. This will give us the courage to enjoy life here on earth and see it as the beginning of eternal bliss.
May God grant this to happen to you!