Official website of the Anne Guigné’s Friends Association

anne-de-guigne-volonte Willpower and grace, two energies which were omnipresent in Anne de Guigné’s life. Willpower was Anne’s affair; grace was God’s affair. These two are indissociable here and this tandem can only advance along the path to saintliness.

Willpower in Anne’s case was not like lightening which dazzles or a flash in the pan which leaves a few ashes. It is a wick which burns without interuption. Her mother said: “Her effort towards perfection was always unflagging. She ascended at an even pace, very modestly and simply. There were no extraordinary facts but her smallest acts were inspired by the divine spirit and she put all her love into them.” Thus, the child had put her hand into the hand of God which she held with all her strength in order not to lose it. Several of her short writings, often punctuated by “I must, I will” are testimonies of her will to use her liberty to be “pure as a lily” as a conscious response to the grace which was offered to her.

Indeed, it would be presumptious to say that Anne was conscious of the Grace that she received and yet, it would be the truth. In fact, she knew, said and wrote often that she was loved by God: “He tells me that he loves me much more than I love Him”; “Jesus loves me very much and I love Him too, very much”; “The more I talk to Him, the more He answers me”. She knew the love of God which was the source of the Grace she received and to which she responded by a love of a human nature which was trying to to imitate the image of God, a love which she expressed in prayer and sacrifice.

One has sometimes wanted to make us believe, following in the footsteps of the Irish monk Pélage, that saintliness can be obtained by willpower alone or, with Fénelon in the 17th century, that only grace is important but this is forgetting that saintliness is the fruit of a gift we have deserved. Just as a fruit cannot ripen without sap and sun nor can one approach saintliness without willpower and grace.

Willpower and grace come from the same source of love; One has nothing to hinder it; the other is hindered by sin. But in Anne de Guigné’s case, they both go in the same direction along the path to saintliness.