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BOOK THREE
INTERNAL CONSOLATION

Liber Tertius
De interna consolatine.

Chapter 54
THE DIFFERENT MOTIONS
OF NATURE AND GRACE

THE VOICE OF CHRIST - MY CHILD, pay careful attention to the movements of nature and of grace, for they move in very contrary and subtle ways, and can scarcely be distinguished by anyone except a man who is spiritual and inwardly enlightened. All men, indeed, desire what is good, and strive for what is good in their words and deeds. For this reason the appearance of good deceives many.

Cap. 54.
De diversis motibus
naturæ et gratiæ.

1. Fili, diligenter adverte motus naturæ et gratiæ: quia valde contrarie et subtiliter moventur, et vix nisi a spirituali et intime illuminato homine discernuntur. Omnes quidem bonum appetunt, et aliquid boni in suis dictis vel factis prætendunt: ideo sub specie boni multi saluntur.

Nature is crafty and attracts many, ensnaring and deceiving them while ever seeking itself. But grace walks in simplicity, turns away from all appearance of evil, offers no deceits, and does all purely for God in whom she rests as her last end.   2. Natura callida est et multos trahit, illaqueat, et decipit, et se semper pro fine habet. Sed gratia simpliciter ambulat, et ab omni specie mala decinat, fallacias non prætendit, et omnia pure propter Deum agit, in quo et finaliter requiescit.  
Nature is not willing to die, or to be kept down, or to be overcome. Nor will it subdue itself or be made subject. Grace, on the contrary, strives for mortification of self. She resists sensuality, seeks to be in subjection, longs to be conquered, has no wish to use her own liberty, loves to be held under discipline, and does not desire to rule over anyone, but wishes rather to live, to stand, and to be always under God for Whose sake she is willing to bow humbly to every human creature.   3. Natura invite vult mori, nec premi nec superari vult, nec subesee nec sponte subjugari. Gratia vero studet mortificationi propriæ, resistit sensualitati, quærit subjici, appetit vinci, nec propria vult libertate fungi, sub disciplina amat teneri, nec alicui cupit dominari: sed sub Dei semper vivere, stare et esse, atque propter Deum omni humanæ creaturæ humiliter parata est inclinari.  
Nature works for its own interest and looks to the profit it can reap from another. Grace does not consider what is useful and advantageous to herself, but rather what is profitable to many. 4. Natura pro suo commodo laborat, et quidquid lucri sibi et alio proveniat attendit. Gratia autem non quid sibi utile et commodum sit, sed quod multis proficiat, magis considerat.  
Nature likes to receive honor and reverence, but grace faithfully attributes all honor and glory to God. 5. Natura libenter honorem accipit et reverentiam. Gratia vero omnem honoem, et gloriam Deo fideliter attribuit.  
Nature fears shame and contempt, but grace is happy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus. 6. Natura confusionem timet et contemtum. Grata autem gaudet pro nomine Jesu contumeliam pati.  
Nature loves ease and physical rest. Grace, however, cannot bear to be idle and embraces labor willingly. 7. Natura otium amat, et quietem corporalem. Gratia vero vacua esse non potest, sed libenter amplectitur laborem.  
Nature seeks to possess what is rare and beautiful, abhorring things that are cheap and coarse. Grace, on the contrary, delights in simple, humble things, not despising those that are rough, nor refusing to be clothed in old garments.   8. Natura quærit curiosa habere et pulchra, et abhorret vilia, et grossa. Gratia vero simplicibus delectatur et humilibus; aspera non aspernatur, nec vetustis refugit indui pannis.  
Nature has regard for temporal wealth and rejoices in earthly gains. It is sad over a loss and irritated by a slight, injurious word. But grace looks to eternal things and does not cling to those which are temporal, being neither disturbed at loss nor angered by hard words, because she has placed her treasure and joy in heaven where nothing is lost.   9. Natura respicit temporalia, gaudet ad lucra terrena, tristatur de damno, irritatur de levi injuriæ verbo. Sed gratia attendit æterna, non inhæret temporalibus, nec in perditione rerum turbatur, neque verbis durioribus acerbatur, quia thesaurum suum et gaudium in cælo, ubi nihil perit, constituit.  
Nature is covetous, and receives more willingly than it gives. It loves to have its own private possessions. Grace, however, is kind and openhearted. Grace shuns private interest, is contented with little, and judges it more blessed to give than to receive.   10. Natura cupida est, et libentius accipit quam donat; amat propria et privata. Gratia autem pia est et communis, vitat singularia, contentatur paucis, beatius judicat dare quam accipere.  
Nature is inclined toward creatures, toward its own flesh, toward vanities, and toward running about. But grace draws near to God and to virtue, renounces creatures, hates the desires of the flesh, restrains her wanderings and blushes at being seen in public.   11. Natura inclinat ad creaturas ad carnem propriam, ad vanitatem, et discursus. Sed gratia trahit ad Deum, et ad virtutes, renuntiat creaturis, fugit mundum, odit carnis desideria, restringit evagationes, erubescit in publico apparere.  
Nature likes to have some external comfort in which it can take sensual delight, but grace seeks consolation only in God, to find her delight in the highest Good, above all visible things.   12. Natura aliquod solatium libenter habet externum, in quo delectetur ad sensum. Sed gratia in solo Deo quærit consolari, et in summo bono super omnia visiblia delectari.  
Nature does everything for its own gain and interest. It can do nothing without pay and hopes for its good deeds to receive their equal or better, or else praise and favor. It is very desirous of having its deeds and gifts highly regarded. Grace, however, seeks nothing temporal, nor does she ask any recompense but God alone. Of temporal necessities she asks no more than will serve to obtain eternity. 13. Natura totum agit propter lucrum, et commodum proprium, nihil gratis facere otest: sed aut æquale, aut melius, aut laudem, aut favorem pro benefactis consequi speart et multum ponderari sua gesta et dona et dicta concupiscit. Gratia vero nihil temporale quærit, nec aliud præmium quam Deum solum pro mercede postulat, nec amplius de temporalibus necessariis desiderat, nisi quantum hæc sibi ad affecutionem æternorum valeant deservire.  
Nature rejoices in many friends and kinsfolk, glories in noble position and birth, fawns on the powerful, flatters the rich, and applauds those who are like itself. But grace loves even her enemies and is not puffed up at having many friends. She does not think highly of either position or birth unless there is also virtue there. She favors the poor in preference to the rich. She sympathizes with the innocent rather than with the powerful. She rejoices with the true man rather than with the deceitful, and is always exhorting the good to strive for better gifts, to become like the Son of God by practicing the virtues.   14. Natura gaudet de amicis multis et propinquis, gloriatur de nobili loco, et ortu generis; arridet potentibus, blanditur divitibus, applaudit sibi similibus. Gratia autem etiam inimicos diligit, nec de amicorum turba extollitur, nec locum, nec ortum natalium reputat, nisi ubi virtus major fuerit, favet magis pauperi quam diviti, compatitur plus innocenti quam potenti, congaudet veraci et non fallaci, exhortatur semper bonos meliora charismata æmulari, et Filio Dei per virtutes assimilari.  

 

Nature is quick to complain of need and trouble; grace is stanch in suffering want. 15. Natura de defectu et molestia cito conqueritur. Gratia constanter fert inopiam.  
Nature turns all things back to self. It fights and argues for self. Grace brings all things back to God in Whom they have their source. To herself she ascribes no good, nor is she arrogant or presumptuous. She is not contentious. She does not prefer her own opinion to the opinion of others, but in every matter of sense and thought submits herself to eternal wisdom and the divine judgment.   16. Natura ad se omnia reflectit, pro se certat et arguit. Gratia autem ad Deum cuncta reducit, unde originaliter emanant, nihil boni sibi adscribit nec arroganter præsumit, non contendit, nec suam sententiam aliis præfert, sed in omni sensu, et intellectu æternæ sapientiæ ac divino examini se submittit.  
Nature has a relish for knowing secrets and hearing news. It wishes to appear abroad and to have many sense experiences. It wishes to be known and to do things for which it will be praised and admired. But grace does not care to hear news or curious matters, because all this arises from the old corruption of man, since there is nothing new, nothing lasting on earth. Grace teaches, therefore, restraint of the senses, avoidance of vain self-satisfaction and show, the humble hiding of deeds worthy of praise and admiration, and the seeking in every thing and in every knowledge the fruit of usefulness, the praise and honor of God. She will not have herself or hers exalted, but desires that God Who bestows all simply out of love should be blessed in His gifts.   17. Natura appetit scire secreta, et nova audire; vult exterius apparere et multa per sensus experiri; desiderat agnosci, et agere unde laus et admiratio procedit. Sed gratia non curat nova nec curiosa percipere, quia totum hoc de vetustate corruptonis est ortum, cum nihil novum et durabile est super terram. Docet itaque sensus restringere, vanam complacentiam et ostentationem devitare, laudanda et digne miranda humiliter abscondere, et de omni re et de omni scientia utilitatis fructum, atque Dei laudem et honorem quærere. Non vult se nec sua prædicari; sed Deum in donis suis optat benedici, qui cuncta ex mera charitate largitur.  
This grace is a supernatural light, a certain special gift of God, the proper mark of the elect and the pledge of everlasting salvation. It raises man up from earthly things to love the things of heaven. It makes a spiritual man of a carnal one. The more, then, nature is held in check and conquered, the more grace is given. Every day the interior man is reformed by new visitations according to the image of God.   18. Hæc gratia supernaturale lumen, et quoddam Dei speciale donum est, et proprie electorum signaculum, et pignus salutis æternæ: quæ hominem de terrenis ad cælestia amanda sustollit, et de carnali spiritualem efficit. Quanto igitur natura amplius premitur, et vincitur, tanto major gratia infunditur, et quotidie novis visitationibus interior homo secundum imaginem Dei formatur.
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