Chapter 13:
Mixed Maxims

Maxim 13:1
Believe the truths of the Gospel with a stronger faith
the more incomprehensible they are.
Believe them with a living faith
which grasps, as it must,
the inexpressible and awesome mysteries revealed to us.

Maxim 13:2
Prefer to suffer all temporal evils
rather than the least eternal one,
all natural evils rather than the least privation of grace.
According to this Maxim,
which is based entirely on supernatural faith,
embrace the loss of all goods and endure all evils
rather than offend in any way
against the will of God.

Maxim 13:3
As a result of this knowledge,
humble yourself, abase yourself,
empty yourself constantly before God and before others.
Believe yourself undeserving of any kind of good
and deserving of all kinds of evil.
Fear the judgments of God
which are very different from human judgments.
Have a great repugnance for the praise and esteem of others.
Love contempt and seek after it.
Accept the truth that great souls
find a precious treasure of grace and consolation
in occasions of humiliation
when they accept them as they should.
In the same way you bless God
with perfect joy of spirit when it happens that
you are overlooked, held in contempt,
contradicted or little esteemed by the world.
These are the sentiments of humility by which the saints lived
and which you should make your own,
knowing their virtue to have been incomparably
greater than yours,
and that in contrast to their outstanding holiness
your life is full of imperfections.

Maxim 13:4
For the faculties of your soul, desire these perfections:
- for the memory, a total forgetfulness of all that is not God or does not tend to God;
- for the understanding, a simple gaze upon God, seeing God's good pleasure in all things
so that it sees everything in relation to God and nothing apart from God;
- for the will, the sole freedom to go to God, to love God, to depend on God, and
to embrace with joy all the orders of God's divine will.

Maxim 13: 5
To walk securely in the spiritual way,
choose a wise director.
Reveal candidly the depth of your soul,
follow his/her guidance and advice,
and do nothing in any matter of importance
except by his/her direction.

Maxim 13:6
Be watchful, and take care not to be deceived by the angel of darkness
disguised as an angel of light in order to mislead you.
If your conduct is singular, realize that it is not without danger, and always mistrust it.

Maxim 13:7
Love and act
according to reason and duty
and not through caprice
or natural inclination.

Maxim 13:8
Always be reserved in your conversations,
but let this be a cheerful and gracious reserve
in which there is neither too little
nor too much restraint.
Enjoy reasonable relaxation,
at the proper time
and with the right persons.
The bow that is always taut
will not be able to stand the strain
without breaking.

Maxim 13:9
Just as you should love God above all things
all things in God,
so you should have an ardent and tender love for:
- the divinized humanity of the Saviour Jesus
-the holy Virgin, our mother;
-her dear spouse, Saint Joseph, and her holy parents;
- the blessed angels,
and the saints in the order of the love they merit,
their degree of sanctity,
and your particular indebtedness to them.

Maxim 13:10
Hold it as an infallible Maxim,
that a person is not holier
when he/she has fewer faults
and practises virtue more easily,
but rather is more indebted to God's grace.
Grace often makes beginners more fervent in the practice of good works
and less subject to faults
than those who are more advanced.
Nor should you believe that holiness consists
in being endowed with many gifts,
favoured with sensible graces,
and led by extraordinary paths in the ways of virtue.
These may exist in one who has many imperfections
and hidden weaknesses,
and who on many occasions foreseen by God
will let himself/herself be
overcome by temptation.
True holiness consists in something hidden,
known to God alone,
something from which one is far distant
by the very fact of thinking he/she has acquired it.

Maxim 13:11
No matter what virtue you may see in yourself, never lose a genuine fear of God
nor the thought
that his judgments are unfathomable
and very different from human judgments.
Saint Paul was afraid of not being justified,
even though he felt
nothing in his conscience to give him reason for this fear.
He feared lest while he preached to others
he himself might be lost.
Scripture tells us
to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God,
and to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Maxim 13:12
Persevere in the way of life you have once chosen,
changing nothing unless a wise director
considers it necessary for your greater perfection
and the correction of your faults.

Maxim 13:13
Note how differently great souls
and lesser ones act.
Then you can avoid the imperfections of the latter
and model yourself on the example of the former.
Great souls do everything in great peace.
They are like the deep and mighty rivers
flowing without noise or haste, coursing along rapidly,
carrying great ships, and enriching many lands and making them fertile.

Small souls are like small streams.
They make a great deal of noise along the pebbles
but have very little water
and are of little use to the lands they pass through.
Often in times of drought their waters dry up completely.
Here you have the symbol of petty souls
and the true character of their useless haste
in undertaking unimportant and trivial works.
This is the image of their weak virtue.