Book Review: Abandonment to Divine Providence

Book Review: Abandonment to Divine Providence

By: Jean Pierre de Caussade Publisher: ReadaClassic.com ISBN: 9781611043181

Several years ago I read a classic by Jean Pierre de Caussade titled The Sacrament of the Present Moment. It ranks among the most influential works that I have read in the past decade, and quite possibly, among the most influential in all my life. In it the author explains and shows how God speaks to us through every moment of every day. He shares how God is present in every moment of our being. This way of thinking and being continues to shape who I am as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

It wasn’t until I was a couple chapters into Abandonment to the Divine Providence that I started to realize I was reading the same book as The Sacrament of the Present Moment. Granted the credits in The Sacrament state it is a translation taken from the original text of Abandonment, but the years since I first read it and the fact of details “lost in translation” caused my memory to miss the obvious connections early on. Nonetheless, excluding the first chapter or so, details came rushing back to me as I read on. My passion for this wonderful work on teaching the awareness and discipline of daily communing with God was reawakened and remembered. This is certainly a classic for the student striving for formation in the image of the Christ.

As I own both books, I don’t see redundancy in the words. Yes, they are sharing the same truth…after all, one is a translation of the original and even the original is a translated work from the French language. This is just to say that I am glad to have both volumes. I am privileged to glean a timeless truth in a myriad of ways. If you have not read either of these books, you will do well to at least pick up one; you will do even better if you treat yourself to both.

The divine action, although only visible to the eye of faith, is everywhere, and always present. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Jean Pierre de Caussade (7 March 1675 – 8 Decembre 1751, Toulouse, France) was a French Jesuit priest and writer known for his work Abandonment to Divine Providence (also translated as The Sacrament of the Present Moment) and his posthumously-published letters of instruction to the Nuns of the Visitation at Nancy, where he was spiritual director from 1733-1740, although he continued to write the sisters after leaving Nancy. While he is best known for his work with the sisters, he also spent years as preacher in southern and central France, as a college rector (at Perpignan and at Albi), and as the director of theological students at the Jesuit house in Toulouse.

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