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FRANCOIS DE SALIGNAC FENELON
French theologian and author
(1651 - 1715)
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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.
      - [Death]

I believe that we are conforming to the divine order and the will of Providence when we are doing even indifferent things that belong to our condition.
      - [Duty]

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.
      - [Voluptuousness]

I love my country better than my family; but I love human nature better than my country.
      - [Humanity]

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.
      - [Preaching]

If the crowns of all the kingdoms of Europe were laid down at my feet in exchange for my books and my love of reading, I would spurn them all.
      - [Books]

If we had strength and faith enough to trust ourselves entirely to God; and follow Him simply wherever He should lead us, we should have no need of any great effort of mind to reach perfection.
      - [Faith in God]

If we were faultless, we should not be so much annoyed by the defects of those with whom we associate. If we were to acknowledge honestly that we have not virtue enough to bear patiently with our neighbor's weaknesses, we should show our own imperfection, and this alarms our vanity.
      - [Faults]

In the light of eternity we shall see that what we desired would have been fatal to us, and that what we would have avoided was essential to our well-being.
      - [Disappointment]

It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are, the more gentle and quiet we become towards the defects of others.
      - [Imperfection]

It is this unquiet self-love that renders us so sensitive. The sick man, who sleeps ill, thinks the night long. We exaggerate, from cowardice, all the evils which we encounter; they are great, but our sensibility increases them. The true way to bear them is to yield ourselves up with confidence to God.
      - [Self-love]

Jesus Christ was born in a stable; He was obliged to fly into Egypt; thirty years of His life were spent in a workshop; He suffered hunger, thirst, and weariness; He was poor, despised, and miserable; He taught the doctrines of heaven, and no one would listen. The great and the wise persecuted and took Him, subjected Him to frightful torments, treated Him as a slave, and put Him to death between two malefactors, having preferred to give liberty to a robber, rather than to suffer Him to escape. Such was the life which our Lord chose; while we are horrified at any kind of humiliation, and cannot bear the slightest appearance of contempt.
      - [Christ]

Let us often think of our own infirmities, and we shall become indulgent toward those of others.
      - [Toleration]

Let us pray God that He would root out of our hearts every thing of our own planting, and set out there, with His own hands, the tree of life, bearing all manner of fruits.
      - [Self-righteousness]

Little opportunities should be improved.
      - [Opportunity]

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.
      - [Goals]

Never let us be discouraged with ourselves. It is not when we are conscious of our faults that we are the most wicked; on the contrary, we are less so. We see by a brighter light; and let us remember for our consolation, that we never perceive our sins till we begin to cure them.
      - [Self-examination]

No human power can force the intrenchments of the human mind: compulsion never persuades; it only makes hypocrites.
      - [Conviction]

No more restless uncertainties, no more anxious desires, no more impatience at the place we are in; for it is God who has placed us there, and who holds us in his arms. Can we be unsafe where he has placed us?
      - [Station]

Nothing will make us so charitable and tender to the faults of others as by self-examination thoroughly to know our own.
      - [Charity]

O Lord, I do most cheerfully commit all unto Thee.
      - [Resignation]

Oh! how seldom the soul is silent, in order that God may speak.
      - [Soul]

On this earth all is temptation. Crosses tempt us by irritating our pride, and prosperity by flattering it. Our life is a continual combat, but one in which Jesus Christ fights for us. We must pass on unmoved, while temptations rage around us, as the traveler, overtaken by a storm, simply wraps his cloak more closely about him, and pushes on more vigorously toward his destined home.
      - [Temptation]

Our piety must be weak and imperfect if it do not conquer our fear of death.
      - [Piety]

Pity enlarges the heart.
      - [Pity]


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