Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Madame Guyon, Jeanne Marie Bouvières de la Mothe Guyon

French Mystic and Quietist Author

"There are three kinds of silence. Silence from words is good, because inordinate speaking tends to evil. Silence, or rest from desires and passions is still better, because it promotes quietness of spirit. But the best of all is silence from unnecessary and wandering thoughts, because that is essential to internal recollection, and because it lays a foundation for a proper reputation and for silence in other respects."

"No one will gain all without having lost all."

"To rob God of nothing; to refuse Him nothing; to require of Him nothing; this is great perfection."

"The more wants we have, the further we are from God, and the nearer we approach him, the better can we dispense with everything that is not Himself."

"In the commencement of the spiritual life, our hardest task is to bear with our neighbor; in its progress, with ourselves, and in its end, with God."

"My soul was not only brought into harmony with itself and with God, but with God's providence. In the exercise of faith and love, I endured and performed whatever came in God's providence, in submission, in thankfulness, and silence."

"It is only by the death of self that the soul can enter into Divine Truth, and understand in part what is the light that shineth in darkness."

"Prayer is the key of perfection and of sovereign happiness; it is the efficacious means of getting rid of all vices and of acquiring all virtues; for the way to become perfect is to live in the presence of God."

"It is a great truth, wonderful as it is undeniable, that all our happiness - temporal, spiritual and eternal - consists in one thing; namely, in resigning ourselves to God, and in leaving ourselves with Him, to do with us and in us just as He pleases. "

"O my God, how true it is that we may have of Thy gifts and yet may be full of ourselves. "

"The prayer of the heart is not a single act or series of acts which the soul undertakes, but the essential state in which the soul lives. "

"The soul seeks God by faith, not by the reasonings of the mind and labored efforts, but by the drawings of love; to which inclinations God responds, and instructs the soul, which co-operates actively. God then puts the soul in a passive state where He accomplishes all, causing great progress, first by way of enjoyment, then by privation, and finally by pure love. "

"After you have been meditating in the Word and praying it out to God for some time, you will gradually find how easy it is to come into His presence. You will remember other Scriptures with less difficulty. Prayer has now become easy, sweet, and delightful."

"Ah Lord! who seest the secrets of the heart, Thou knowest if I yet expect anything from myself, or if there be anything which I would refuse to Thee!"

"Ah, if you knew what peace there is in an accepted sorrow!"

"All consolation that does not come from God is but desolation; when the soul has learned to receive no comfort but in God only, it has passed beyond the reach of desolation."

"All that I know is that God is infinitely holy, righteous and happy; that all goodness is in Him; and that, as to myself, I am a mere nothing."

"All we have to do is to remain faithful to God and wholly attentive to his will, and everything that is necessary will be given to us."

"All who desire to pray may pray without difficulty as they are strengthened by those universal graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit which all men and women possess."

"As soon as you come in the presence of God, remain in respectful silence for a little while? Simply Enjoy God."

"Be so much the enemy of self as you desire to be the friend of God."

"Besides the potent magnetism of the centre itself, there is, in every creature, a corresponding tendency to reunion with its own particular centre, and this is vigorous and active in proportion to the spirituality and perfection of the subject."

"But the misfortune is that people wish to direct God instead of resigning themselves to be directed by Him."

"By the alternations of interior union and desertion, God sometimes makes us feel what He is, and sometimes gives us to perceive what we are. He does the latter to make us hate and die to ourselves, but the former to make us love Him, and to exalt us into union."

"Do not turn to prayer hoping to enjoy spiritual delights; rather come to prayer totally content to receive nothing or to receive great blessing from God?s hand, which ever should be your heavenly Father?s will for you at that time. This will enable you to live close to God in times of sadness as well as in times when you are being comforted by God."

"Go to your place of prayer not only to enjoy spiritual delights, but simply to please the Father. God allows suffering, but never allows wrong."

"God allows suffering, but never allows wrong. I see clearly that it is His will that I should remain in prison and endure the pains which are connected with it; and I am entirely content that it should be so. I can never buy my liberty at the expense of sacrificing my daughter."

"God causes us to promise in time of peace what He exacts from us in time of war; He enables us to make our abandonments in joy, but He requires the fulfillment of them in the midst of much bitterness."

"God communicates Himself to us in proportion as we are prepared to receive Him. God does not contradict Himself."

"God does not contradict Himself. It is true that he who seeks God, yet is unwilling to forsake his sins, will not find Him. But he who seeks God and forsakes sin will certainly find Him."

"God gives us gifts, graces, and natural talents, not for our own use, but that we may render them to Him. He takes pleasure in giving and in taking them away, or in so disposing of us, that we cannot enjoy them; but their grand use is to be offered in a continual sacrifice to Him; and by this He is most glorified."

"God is greatly grieved at the lack of trust among His children. Yet He delights when we come to Him in simple, childlike confidence."

"God is infinitely more honored by the sacrifices of death than by those of life; by the latter we honor Him as a great Sovereign, but by the former, as God, losing all things for his glory."

"God is so great and so independent, that He can find means to glorify Himself even by sin."

"God, is only to be found in our inner selves, which is the holy of holies where God dwells."

"He that bears the privations of the gifts of God and the esteem of men, with an even soul, knows how to enjoy his Supreme Good beyond all time and above all means."

"He that regards self only with horror, is beginning to be the delight of God."

"He who has learned to seek nothing but the will of God, shall always find what he seeks."

"He who has a pure heart will never cease to pray; and he who will be constant in prayer, shall know what it is to have a pure heart."

"How are we directed in the law to love ourselves? In God with the same love that we bear to God; because as our true selves are in Him, our love must be there also."

"How can they be delivered from the life of self, who are not willing to abandon all their possessions? How can they believe themselves despoiled of all, who possess the greatest treasure under heaven? Do not oblige me to name it, but judge, if you are enlightened; there is one of them which is less than the other, which is lost before it, but which those who must lose everything have the greatest trouble in parting with."

"How rare is it to behold a soul in an absolute abandonment of selfish interests, that it may devote itself to the interests of God!"

"I am deeply grieved that so many in this present day, even some good people , allow themselves to be led astray by the enemy. Hasn't God warned us against " false prophets and lying wonders of the last days?" All true prophets have spoken in the name of the Lord "Thus says the Lord." The enemy gains great advantage because people love extra-ordinary manifestations, signs and wonders. I believe the inordinate love of external signs is used of the enemy to draw people away from the Word of God and from the inward way of faith. The signs that come from God encourage you to die to yourself. Manifestations that come from God will humble, quiet and edify you. Elijah appeared alone among four hundred prophets of Baal. These prophets were all stirred up and were attracting much attention by their loud prophesying's. But when Elijah was told by the angel that he would se the Lord on mount Horeb, he went out and hid in a cave and he saw the earth tremble. God was not there. Then came the whirlwind. God was not there. Then there came a gentle little breeze. God was in the still , small voice."

"I entreat you, give no place to despondency. This is a dangerous temptation?a refined, not a gross temptation of the adversary. Melancholy contracts and withers the heart, and renders it unfit to receive the impressions of grace. It magnifies and gives a false colouring to objects, and thus renders your burdens too heavy to bear. God?s designs regarding you, and His methods of bringing about these designs, are infinitely wise."

"I have learnt to love the darkness of sorrow; there you see the brightness of His face."

"I have never found any who prayed so well as those who had never been taught how. They who have no master in man, have one in the Holy Spirit."

"I implore you not to give in to despair. It is a dangerous temptation, because our Adversary has refined it to the point that it is quite subtle. Hopelessness constricts and withers the heart, rendering it unable to sense God?s blessings and grace. It also causes you to exaggerate the adversities of life and makes your burdens seem too heavy for you to bear. Yet God?s plans for you, and His ways of bringing about His plans, are infinitely wise."

"I promise to receive Him as a husband to me. And I give myself to Him, unworthy though I am, to be His spouse. I ask of Him, in this marriage of spirit with spirit, that I may be of the same mind with Him ? meek, pure, nothing in myself, and united in God?s will. And, pledged as I am to be His, I accept as part of my marriage portion, the temptations and sorrows, the crosses and the contempt which fell to Him."

"I was poor in the midst of riches, and ready to perish with hunger near a table plentifully spread and a continual feast. Oh, Beauty, ancient and new! Why have I known thee so late? Alas, I sought thee where thou wast not, and did not seek thee where thou wast?"

"I, being in the Bastille, said to Thee, O my God, If thou art pleased to render me a spectacle to men and angels, thy holy will be done! All I ask is that thou wilt be with and save those who love thee."