François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

François
Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon
1651
1715

French Roman Catholic Archbishop, Theologian, Poet, Prelate and Writer

Author Quotes

As the reflections of our pride upon our defects are bitter, disheartening, and vexatious, so the return of the soul towards God is peaceful and sustained by confidence. You will find by experience how much more your progress will be aided by this simple, peaceful turning towards God, than by all your chagrin and spite at the faults that exist in you.

He adorned whatever he touched.

Let us pray God that He would root out of our hearts everything of our own planting, and set out there, with His own hands, the tree of life, bearing all manner of fruits.

So long as we are full of self we are shocked at the faults of others. Let us think often of our own sin, and we shall be lenient to the sins of others.

The true genius that conducts a state is he, who doing nothing himself, causes everything to be done; he contrives, he invents, he foresees the future; he reflects on what is past; he distributes and proportions things; he makes early preparations; he incessantly arms himself to struggle against fortune, as a swimmer against a rapid stream of water; he is attentive night and day, that he may leave nothing to chance.

We desire that God would give us the death-stroke; but we long to die without pain; we would die to our own will by the power of the will itself; we want to lose all and still hold all. Ah! what agony, what distress, when God has brought us to the end of our strength! We faint like a patient under a painful surgical operation. But the comparison is nought, for the object of the surgeon is to give us life -- that of God to make us die.

Be content with doing calmly the little which depends upon yourself, and let all else be to you as if it were not.

He touches nothing but he adds a charm.

Life is a long and continual tendency of our hearts toward that eternal goodness which we desire on earth. All our happiness consists in thirsting for it. Now this thirst is prayer. Ever desire to approach your Creator, and you will never cease to pray. Do not think it necessary to pronounce many words.

Style! style! why, all writers will tell you that it is the very thing which can least of all be changed. A man's style is nearly as much a part of him as his physiognomy, his figure, the throbbing of this pulse,--in short, as any part of his being is at least subjected to the action of the will.

The voluptuous and effeminate are never brave; they have no courage in time of danger.

We must avoid fastidiousness; neatness, when it is moderate, is a virtue; but when it is carried to an extreme, it narrows the mind.

Before putting yourself in peril, it is necessary to foresee and fear it; but when one is there, nothing remains but to despise it.

He who prays without confidence cannot hope that his prayers will be granted.

Little faults become great, and even monstrous in our eyes, in proportion as the pure light of God increases in us; just as the sun in rising, reveals the true dimensions of objects which were dimly and confusedly discovered during the night.

Such a soul (one who has forgotten itself in God) is not blinded to its own faults or indifferent to its own errors; it is more conscious of them than ever, and increased light shows them in plainer form, but this self-knowledge comes from God, and therefore it is not restless or uneasy. --Fenélon

The wind of God is always blowing... but you must hoist your sail.

We must truly serve those whom we appear to command; we must bear with their imperfections, correct them with gentleness and patience, and lead them in the way to heaven.

Can we be unsafe where God has placed us, and where He watches over us as a parent a child that he loves?

How desirable is this simplicity! who will give it to me? I will quit all else; it is the pearl of great price.

Little opportunities should be improved.

Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell God your troubles, that God may comfort you; tell God your joys, that God may sober them; tell God your longings, that God may purify them; tell God your dislikes, that God may help you conquer them; talk to God of your temptations, that God may shield you from them: show God the wounds of your heart, that God may heal them. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. Talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration say just what you think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God.

The youth who, like a woman, loves to adorn his person, has renounced all claim to wisdom and to glory; glory is due to those only who dare to associate with pain, and have trampled pleasure under their feet.

When kings interfere in matters of religion, they enslave instead of protecting it.

Commit yourself then to God! He will be your guide. He Himself will travel with you, as we are told He did with the Israelites, to bring them step by step across the desert to the promised land. Ah! what will be your blessedness, if you will but surrender yourself into the hands of God, permitting Him to do whatever He will, not according to your desires, but according to His own good pleasure?

Author Picture
First Name
François
Last Name
Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon
Birth Date
1651
Death Date
1715
Bio

French Roman Catholic Archbishop, Theologian, Poet, Prelate and Writer