Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I love reading Fenelon, most of his works are in the form of letters sent to those he mentored.
They have a warm, personal feel, along with his keen insights. Enjoy--

“It seems to me that you need greater liberality as to the faults of others. I grant you that you cannot help seeing them when they are forced upon you, or avoid your inevitable conclusions as to the principles on which some seem to act.
Neither can you avert a certain annoyance which such things cause. Suffice it if you try to bear with obvious faults, avoiding judging such as are doubtful, and resist the dislike which estranges you from people.

Perfection finds it easy to bear with the imperfections of others, and to be all things to all men. One ought to learn to put up with the most obvious faults in worthy souls, and to leave them alone until God gives the sign for a gradual weeding; else one is likely to tear up the good grain with the weeds. God often leaves certain infirmities besetting the most advanced souls, such as seem quite out of character with their excellence; just as in reclaimed ground men leave tokens to show how extensive the work of clearance has been. God leaves such tokens to show whence He has brought them.”


Anonymous said...

Beautiful truths. The line that spoke the loudest to me" just as in reclaimed ground men leave tokens to show how extensive the work of clearance has been. God leaves such tokens to show whence He has brought them." Along those same lines, he wrote:

"I cannot express to you, my dear sister, how deeply I sympathize with your afflictions; but my grief is not unmixed with consolation. God loves you, since He does not spare you, but lays upon you the cross of Jesus Christ. Whatever light, whatever feeling we may possess, is all a delusion, if it lead us not to the real and constant practice of dying to self. We cannot die without suffering, neither can we be said to be dead, while there is still any part in us which is alive. That death with which God blesses the soul, pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. He who sees in us what we cannot see, knows full well where the blow should fall; He takes away that which we are most reluctant to give up. Pain is only felt where there is life, and where there is life, is just the place where death is needed. Our Father wastes no time by cutting into parts which are already dead; if He sought to continue life, He would do so, but He seeks to destroy, and this He can only accomplish by cutting into that which is quick and living. You need not expect Him to attack those gross and wicked desires which you renounced forever, when you gave yourself away to Him, but he will prove you, perhaps, by destroying your liberty of soul, and by depriving you of your most spiritual consolations.

Would you resist? Ah! no! Suffer all things! This death must be voluntary, and can only be accomplished to that extent to which you are willing it should be. To resist death, and repel its advances, is not being willing to die. Give up voluntarily, then, to the good pleasure of God, all your reliances, even the most spiritual, whenever He may seem disposed to take them from you. What fearest thou, O thou of little faith? Dost thou fear that He may not be able to supply to thee from Himself, that succor which He takes away on the part of man? And why does He take it away, except to supply it from Himself, and to purify thee by the painful lesson? I see that every way is shut up, and that God means to accomplish his work in you, by cutting off every human resource. He is a jealous God; He is not willing you should owe what He is about to perform in you, to any other than to Himself alone."

How beautifully this illustrates the truth of how God works in our lives. I am eternally grateful that God has seen fit to allow me to experience this truth first hand.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

Excellent post. I enjoyed reading it.

Thanks for sharing.

Have a good day :)

FCB said...

Hi Anon,
I too, was taken by that line. I think if we were to look at each other's weaknesses in that light it would help us so much.

Thanks for posting this other great letter of Fenelon, he is a wise counselor.
God bless,

Hi Joseph,
I'm glad you liked it.
Best regards,