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Abandonment to Divine Providence: The Classic Text with a Spiritual Commentary by Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R.

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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 mystery of eternity in the now—a tenet of spirituality that resonates across faith traditions.

Accompanied by the probing, expert commentary of Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R., this exemplary edition of de Caussade’s Abandonment offers newcomers to mysticism and spiritual direction a clear, compelling path to entering into God’s presence.

Key Features

  • Provides notes and commentary on one of the great classics of Western spirituality
  • Includes fifty-four brief meditations on the meaning of complete self-abandonment to God’s will
  • Designed to lead readers into a deeper appreciation of God’s presence


Book One: On the Virtue of Abandonment

  • Holiness Lies in Faithfulness to God’s Established Order and in Abandonment to His Action
  • God Works Without Ceasing for Our Sanctification

Book Two: On the State of Abandonment

  • The Nature and Excellence of the State of Abandonment
  • The Duties of Those Whom God Calls to the State of Abandonment
  • Trials Attached to the State of Abandonment
  • Of the Fatherly Assistance with Which God Surrounds Those Who Abandon Themselves to Him

Top Highlights

“Its main insight is that God reveals his will for us in the present moment through the duties of our state in life. We conform ourselves to God’s will by fulfilling these obligations as they surface from one moment to the next. As we do so, we become more in tune with the promptings of the Holy Spirit and are eventually able to intuit God’s will in the changing circumstances of our lives.” (Pages 1–2)

“The practice of active fidelity consists in accomplishing the duties imposed on us by the general laws of God and the Church and the particular state of life that we have embraced. Passive fidelity consists in the loving acceptance of all that God sends us at every moment.” (Page 27)

“As we abandon ourselves more and more to God, we gradually move from the state of ‘the soul living in God’ to ‘God living in the soul.’ What is initially experienced only intermittently eventually becomes a habit and a permanent disposition. At times, God may even transform this state into a way where we become morally incapable of doing anything else than abandoning ourselves to divine providence.” (Page 12)

“The treatise develops a thoroughgoing spirituality of action that focuses almost exclusively on attentiveness to the present moment. It says that we can achieve the highest peaks of sanctity at every step and from one moment to the next simply by trying to discover what God is saying to us in and through the events and circumstances of the world in which we live.” (Page 12)

“Love and fidelity are no less necessary in the supernatural order and cannot be so difficult to acquire as is imagined. Look at your life. It consists of nothing but an infinite number of unimportant actions. It is with these very things, so insignificant in themselves, that God is pleased and satisfied. They are your share in the work of its perfection.” (Page 28)

Praise for the Print Edition

The greatness of Abandonment to Divine Providence and the reason it should be ranked among the classics of Christian devotion is its ability—simply and profoundly—to lead us to God. Caussade has read our soul and spoken to our condition. But even more, he has taken us by the hand and led us to the twin paths of trust and obedience that converge onto the highway of godliness.

—Richard J. Foster, Author of A Celebration of Discipline

Since its publication in 1861, Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J., has proven to be not only a spiritual classic, but also one of the finest expressions of French and Jesuit mystical theology. Fr. Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R., illuminates the depth and meaning of Abandonment with a commentary that is scholarly, insightful, and full of sound spiritual wisdom.

—Robert L. Fastiggi, Professor of Systematic Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

This book is a marvelous gift. In a time that is practically defined by distractions, we can all find our way to God by reading both Fr. Billy’s luminous commentary and the classic text itself. While reading this book, citizens of the frenetic Western world will desire, and perhaps even know, the healing found in receiving God as he comes to us at every moment of our day.

—James Keating, Director of Theological Formation, Institute for Priestly Formation, Creighton University

Product Details

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 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.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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    Digital list price: $17.99
    Save $4.00 (22%)