When all seems overturned, to the point of my feeling almost overwhelmed; when I don’t know where I stand; and when I meet with opposition everywhere, in the minds of others, and in my dealings, I withdraw to the Most Holy Sacrament, or into my own interior, and I remain there for some time like a person who doesn’t even exist, and while I am plunged deep into my own nothingness, God works His own operations and attends to His doings, and I see, afterwards, that all [that He does] succeeds. In truth, one must abandon oneself to God. . . .

God has given me a tenderness and I don’t know what else for souls who are afflicted and in travail, which makes them always present in my mind; I am incapable of not caring for them so long as their sufferings last. It seems to me that God made me for such souls. Ah! If only they knew their good fortune! I am certain that more will be saved by that way than by consolations. This [way of consolations] is a snare into which many fall because a great humility and much fidelity are needed to receive these gifts without claiming anything for or attributing anything to oneself. I esteem souls that are so consoled, but I do not envy them. (Mother Mectilde de Bar, A letter of 1671)