God hides behind the simplest of daily activities; finding Him is a matter of total surrender to His will. That's the message of this 18th-century inspirational classic, "The Sacrament of the Present Moment" by Jean-Pierre de Caussade. Its encouragement to "live in the moment," accepting everyday obstacles with humility and love, has guided generations of seekers to spiritual peace. There are just a few books that a person will keep on his or her shelf over the years and read again and again. Many have found such a book in "Abandonment to Divine Providence." In this timeless classic, de Caussade presents the simple gospel message that Jesus lived each and every moment of his life. "My meat is to do the will of my Father in heaven." De Caussade has a way of saying the same basic truth in so many ways but it never seems to tire the reader. Perhaps this is simply because one never gets tired of hearing the truth. For all its simplicity, "The Sacrament of the Present Moment" serves as a companion to the gospel itself. When the reader is open, De Caussade's words touch the heart urge the person to take the words of Jesus to the young man...."give up everything and follow me." It is the decision that doesn't bring instant transformation; it gives the direction for the journey and the words to pray each moment "all is yours Lord. I want what you want in all things." "The Sacrament of the Present Moment" is highly recommended for anyone who has felt a growing desire to surrender to Christ. De Caussade's words are not just the theology of self-giving but they also treat the specific joys and struggles that come with that surrender of self to God. "The Sacrament of the Present Moment" is a book which will never grow old.
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About the Author
Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751) 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. Caussade is remembered for, among other things, his belief that the present moment is a sacrament from God and that self-abandonment to it and its needs is a holy state - a belief which, at first glance, would appear to be heretical relative to Catholic dogma. In fact, because of this fear (especially with the Church's condemnation of the Quietist movement), Caussade's instructions to the sisters were kept unpublished until 1861, and even then they were edited (by fellow Jesuit Henri Ramière) to protect them from charges of Quietism. A more authoritative version of these notes was published only in 1966. It is clear in his writings that he is aware of the Quietists and that he rejects their perspective. Writers such as Alan Watts have found in Caussade an Occidental, Christian-theological analogue to the Eastern religion of Mahayana Buddhism, particularly Zen Buddhism.