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Abandonment to Divine Providence: The Classic Text with a Spiritual Commentary

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  1,538 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Jean-Pierre de Caussade, a French Jesuit spiritual director and writer born in the late seventeenth century, is best known for his belief in the sacredness of the present moment, or the "eternal now." His masterpiece, "Abandonment to Divine Providence," has been celebrated by spiritual writers as diverse as Richard Foster and Alan Watts for its ability to invoke the myster ...more
Paperback, 205 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Christian Classics (first published 1861)
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booklady
Sep 28, 2008 booklady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone serious about the spiritual life
There are some books which are almost too good to be able to describe. (Reading my friend Caterina’s excellent recent review of this book got me to read my own and made me aware of the need to update it!) She also introduced me to another, more complete edition of this book which I want to check out when I next have time to return to this book. As a novice Secular Carmelite, I hope we will be reading this in the years ahead.

One of the many beautiful things about this book is its simplicity. Anot
...more
booklady
Nov 25, 2014 booklady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Finished listening to this again. As my husband was walking through the room and caught snatches of the CD playing he commented, “Sounds like he’s talking about me.” Abandonment to Divine Providence has universal appeal, although different parts speak more at different times in our lives.

I’m especially challenged now—as always—to let go of my own ideas and plans, to remain in the present moment and to trustfully surrender all to His adorable Will, His loving Providence.

I will be due to read thi
...more
Caterina
To avoid any anxieties which may be caused by either regret of the past or fear of the future, here in a few words is the rule to follow: the past must be left to God's measureless mercy, the future to his loving providence; and the present must be given wholly to his love through our fidelity to his grace. Amen.

I love this book. Read very slowly in tiny but intense “doses” suitable for morning meditation, like a restorative juice for the soul, it works quietly, opening the way to deep inner pea
...more
Cris
May 01, 2011 Cris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: virtues
I like this skinny little book. It truly says nothing novel about the human struggle for holiness, but it is the authoritativeness of the author and his succinct summary that makes it worthwhile. Unlike many other spiritual writers, like T of Avila and J of the Cross, there is no 'process' towards holiness for Caussade. It is a simple proposition. 'Holiness', he says 'is measured in how obedient one is to the will of God'. For those who do Yoga or are attracted to eastern spirituality, here is t ...more
Steven R. McEvoy
I have had interest in this book for a number of years now, but just never got around to reading it. In part because there are a few main editions all translated nearly 100 years ago, and so many different editions of it, some abridged and some not, some abridged and some not, some reformatted and updated and many not. So when a new edition became available, with an introduction by Matthew Kelly, I read it within days of it being available. This is the first book in a new series called Dynamic C ...more
Edvard Taylor
Oct 01, 2013 Edvard Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautiful, extraordinary and timeless book by an anonymous 14th century author is one of the greatest mystical treatises of any time in any religion. It is to be most warmly recommended to all true and sincere students of mysticism. It radiates the warmth of St. Francis de Sales, touches in a uniquely loving and gentle way on the sufferings on the soul immersed in the dark night of the spirit, offers guidance on ways of contemplation and the attainment of true humility, which, as the author ...more
Janet
Jan 12, 2009 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are proper seasons for reading special books. This particular book was recommended by a wise loved one dear to me and I am sure it will have more meaning for me as the seasons of my life change with the tide of time. For now, I take with me reinforcement of my faith that in every moment the hand of God is active in my life and that I must surrender to his will to live in Holiness. The image that I have is akin to that of childbirth. To give birth naturally there is nothing one must activel ...more
Kenneth
Aug 04, 2013 Kenneth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic of western spiritual reading, this little book was compiled from the letters a French Jesuit priest wrote to the nuns of a convent in Nancy, France in the early 18th Century. Best to read it a bit at a time rather than straight through, since there is quite a bit of repetition due to how it was compiled. The edition I actually read was the Image Books edition published by Doubleday in 1975 (same translation, I think, as the one showing above, by John Beever). Caussade's major point is ...more
Margaret
An engaging book with a simplicity and yet digs deep into full surrender. At times this was a four star book for me and then it slipped back into three simply because the concepts seem to repeat and didn't go deeper. This quote was one of my favorites from the book:

With God, the more we seem to lose, the more we gain. The more he takes away what is natural, the more he gives of what is supernatural. He is loved at first for his gifts, but when these are no longer perceptible, he is at least lov
...more
Leroy Seat
I found this book fairly interesting and helpful until is started to be a collection of letters which the author had read through the years. For the most part I found the letters to be tedious, repetitious, and of limited value.

Because of the recommendation of a friend, I started to read this book, and because of my principle of finishing what I start I persevered to the end--although I read through the last half of the book rather rapidly.

If one is looking for good devotional literature, my rec
...more
Frank
Apr 25, 2009 Frank is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book one doesn't read but just meditates on or actually prays the book. It is not one you try to get through and go on to another. I'm not sure how far I'm into the book but it has given a depth of Divine love and relationship with God I have found no where else. This is contemplation to the highest degree. I still have a long ways to go in this book but right now I would have to rate it 5++++ if I had to rate it.
Ally
Mar 09, 2011 Ally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ally by: Carina
Thanks to a fellow Goodreader (via her tumblr blog that i follow) I'm reading this for Lent. Just uploaded it to my Kindle. Excited to see what God has in mind for me to learn through Caussade's writing!
Thadeus
A lot of wisdom to ponder in this book. It would probably serve me better a little further down my spiritual journey.

Recommended for those well on the path.
Jeff Miller
Mar 12, 2011 Jeff Miller rated it really liked it
A spiritual classic for a reason. Just read it.
Kate
The other title of this book was "Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence."

"It is a refutation of the quietist heresy and distinguishes true contemplation from its perversion . . . . The quietists held that passive meditation or mental prayer, to the exclusion of all else, is the short and easy way to union with God. Pere de Caussade emphatically insists that quietism is false mysticism" (Kitty Muggeridge, viii).

"In what sense can this experience be a divine sacrament?"
"How is Christ mediated to m
...more
Josh
Jul 12, 2013 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After having read many wonderful reviews, having seen this in many lists of Catholic reading plans, and receiving a free copy of the book from a friend, I decided the time had come to read this great Catholic classic: I was much disappointed.

The style is consistent with the writing of the 18th century and I found this very easy to cope with and, at times, very enjoyable reading. For those interested in a wonderfully translated English from the French - in terms of smooth reading, since I cannot
...more
Sverre
This 250 year old compilation of Fr Jean-Pierre de Cassade's letters and notes deserves a great deal of respect for its author's depth of devotion to a doctrine predominated by living in an abandonment only to God's will. His writing carries the marks of mystical sainthood. Every sentence and paragraph compels the reader to analyze and reanalyze, to perceive an existence so ruled by God's will that it becomes devoid of even the smallest expression of self will. With complete trust and faith we a ...more
Aaron
Jan 28, 2017 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
Jean-Pierre De Caussade was a French priest who lived in the early 1700's. His book teaches us to totally abandoned ourselves to God's will and to live in the present moment. We are instructed to see God in our present joys and difficulties relying on his plan for our lives.

Caussade says "If we have abandoned ourselves to God, there is only one rule for us: the duty of the present moment." The past is the past and the future is yet to be. There is nothing we can do about either.

I found this bo
...more
Joyce
Jul 22, 2015 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although written by a Jesuit priest, Abandonment to Divine Providence feels much more Carmelite, with a significant influence from St Francis de Sales too. (This makes sense, since he was writing to the Nuns of the Visitation, an Order founded by St Francis.)

The book, published posthumously, is comprised mostly of letters written by Fr de Caussade to various Sisters of the community in Nancy, France.

If I could sum up the (kind of repetitive) book in one word, it would be "Fiat."

It reminds me
...more
Andrew
As mystic works go that I've read, de Caussade is perhaps the most buried in the cloister. There is nothing particularly ill about SAtDP, save for a bit of sketchy theology, but I think this is far more intended for monks and nuns than regular folk in the 21st looking for spiritual wisdom. Athletic training is great for marathon runners but less useful for accountants; likewise, I think this book is more nourishing for those who live reclusive lives, but holds less for laity than John of the Cro ...more
Ray Schneider
Jul 26, 2009 Ray Schneider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is one of the best books of spiritual guidance that I've every read.
I read it a long time ago and pick it up and reread it periodically.
I've personally be very much strengthened by reading the book. Some Christian
denominations stress that God has a plan for you and fill you with anxiety about
whether or not you are fulfilling God's plan. Fr. De Caussade helps with the
discernment of God's plan is letting God enter your life as a providential
force so that you become more sensitive to
...more
Donofthelight
Sep 10, 2009 Donofthelight rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 1975 edition of this book had this same cover on it. If you double left click the cover(or left click "covers" in the menue above), you will see that the author listed on the cover is Jean-Pierre de Caussade, not John Beevers. Caussade wrote the main content of the book. John Beevers wrote the introduction to the book. Caussade provides great comfort and direction in learning to enter into God's rest as discussed in chapter 4 of Hebrews. He not only understands this rest, but he writes about ...more
Pam B.
Jul 12, 2009 Pam B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I think this is my favorite book; it is hard to believe that the words were written by a human hand. I happened upon this book at a store in Chicago, right before I embarked in a whole new direction in life (geographically, career-wise, lifestyle-wise etc.) and it proved to be the most amazing companion for this change. Totally helpful in reminding a person how to be open to what is the best path at any given time, how not to take oneself too seriously but a reminder that certain things are seri ...more
Victor
Jul 31, 2015 Victor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read for me during a difficult time. Caussade places a greater emphasis on faith related issues that truly matter, as opposed to stressing some ideas that seem to be more set in our specific time, as opposed to the universal Church throughout time. I felt like I had refreshed my understanding of God by reading this book. It is encouraging.
Jane
Feb 03, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's another beautiful book of life. It seems to answer 95% of life FAQs or the WHqs. It's a must read at least once. A classical book and yet very alive and of all seasons. Brilliant thoughts and reflections about life.
Jana L.
Dec 31, 2016 Jana L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, as usual. I am moved to tears every reading. Jean-Pierre de Caussade has the faith and the love for humanity I can only ever aspire to, and his call to what we would now call "mindfulness" is exactly what I needed to read as we head into a new year.
Sean
Dec 25, 2012 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book I stumbled across in Fr. Benedict Groeschel's little book store at Trinity Retreat. As I was reading it I knew that this was instruction on truly living a life of faith; a book I will continue to read, over and over, for the rest of my days.
Maria
Jul 25, 2007 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maria by: Stuart Campbell
A collection of letters and advice from Jean de Caussade, acting as a spiritual mentor, to a group of sisters. Short book and highlights how God is present in every moment, whether it is a moment of joy, of suffering, or of what seems trivial.
Margaretflynn
This is the most important book on my shelf and has been for many years.
It's a timeless inspiring work.
Erik
Mar 23, 2010 Erik marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: catholic
Suggested as 1 of 10 spiritual classics by Peter Mirus at Catholic Culture
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Jean Pierre de Caussade 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 work with Nuns of the Visitation in Nancy, France.
More about Jean-Pierre de Caussade...

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“There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action.” 20 likes
“If the work of our sanctification presents us with difficulties that appear insurmountable, it is because we do not look at it in the right way. In reality, holiness consists in one thing alone, namely, fidelity to God's plan. And this fidelity is equally within everyone's capacity in both its active and passive exercise.” 12 likes
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