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

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?

I am not in the least surprised that your impression of death becomes more lively, in proportion as age and infirmity bring it nearer. God makes use of this rough trial to undeceive us in respect to our courage, to make us feel our weakness, and to keep us in all humility in His hands.

Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of you. O, Father, give to your child what he himself knows not how to ask. Teach me to pray. Pray yourself in me.

The art of cookery is the art of poisoning mankind, by rendering the appetite still importunate, when the wants of nature are supplied.

There are some people who think that they should be always mourning, that they should put a continual constraint upon themselves, and feel a disgust for those amusements to which they are obliged to submit. For my own part, I confess that I know not how to conform myself to these rigid notions. I prefer something more simple, which I also think would be more pleasing to God.

When tempted, the shortest and surest way is to act like a little child at the breast; when we show it a frightful monster, it shrinks back and buries its face in its mother's bosom, that it may no longer behold it.

Despondency is not a state of humility. - On the contrary, it is the vexation and despair of a cowardly pride; nothing is worse. - Whether we stumble, or whether we fall, we must only think of rising again and going on in our course.

I had often heard Mentor say, that the voluptuous were never brave, and I now found by experience that it was true; for the Cyprians whose jollity had been so extravagant and tumultuous, now sunk under a sense of their danger and wept like women. I heard nothing but the screams of terror and the wailings of hopeless distress. Some lamented the loss of pleasures that were never to return; but none had presence of mind either to undertake or direct the navigation of the menaced vessel.

Make not a bosom friend of a melancholy, sad soul. - He will be sure to aggravate thine adversity and to lessen thy prosperity. - He goes always heavily loaded, and thou must bear half.

The best use one can make of his mind is to distrust it.

There is a great difference between a lofty spirit and a right spirit. A lofty spirit excites admiration by its profoundness; but only a right spirit achieves salvation and happiness by its stability and integrity. Do not conform your ideas to those of the world. Scorn the "intellectual" as much as the world esteems it. What men consider intellectual is a certain facility to produce brilliant thoughts. Nothing is more vain. We make an idol of our intellect as a woman who believes herself beautiful worships her face. We take pride in our own thoughts. We must reject not only human cleverness, but also human prudence, which seems so important and so profitable. Then we may enter - like little children, with candor and innocence of worldly ways - into the simplicity of faith; and with humility and a horror of sin we may enter into the holy passion of the cross.

Why art thou troubled and anxious about many things? One thing is needful--to love Him and to sit attentively at His feet.

Do we consider this world as a deceitful appearance, and death as the entrance to true happiness? Do we live by faith? Does it animate us? Do we relish the eternal truths it presents us with? Are we as careful to nourish our souls with those truths as to maintain our bodies with proper diet? Do we accustom ourselves to see all things in the light of faith? Do we correct all our judgments by it? Alas! The greater part of Christians think and act like mere heathens; if we judge (as we justly may) of their faith by their practice, we must conclude they have no faith at all.

I love my country better than my family; but I love human nature better than my country.

Mankind, by the perverse depravity of their nature, esteem that which they have most desired as of no value the moment it is possessed, and torment themselves with fruitless wishes for that which is beyond their reach.

The great point is to renounce your own wisdom by simplicity of walk, and to be ready to give up the favor, esteem, and approbation of every one, whenever the path in which God leads you passes that way.

There is a set of religious, or rather moral, writings which teach that virtue is the certain road to happiness, and vice to misery in this world. A very wholesome and comfortable doctrine, and to which we have but one objection, namely, that it is not true.

Worry is the cross which we make for ourselves by over-anxiety.

Even if no command to pray had existed, our very weakness would have suggested it.

I would have every minister of the gospel address his audience with the zeal of a friend, with the generous energy of a father, and with the exuberant affection of a mother.

Most people I ask little from. I try to give them much, and expect nothing in return and I do very well in the bargain.

The greatest defect of common education is, that we are in the habit of putting pleasure all on one side, and weariness on the other; all weariness in study, all pleasure in idleness.

There were some who said that a man at the point of death was more free than all others, because death breaks every bond, and over the dead the united world has no power.

Faith is letting down our nets into the transparent deeps at the Divine command, not knowing what we shall draw.

I would have no desire other than to accomplish thy will. Teach me to pray; pray thyself in me.

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