On Confidence in God

The best rule we can ever adopt, is to receive equally, and with the same submission, everything that God sends us during the day, both within and without.

Without, there are things disagreeable that must be met with courage, and things pleasant that must not be suffered to arrest our affections. We resist the temptations of the former by accepting them at once, and of the latter by refusing to admit them into our hearts.

The same curse is necessary in regard to the interior life; whatever is bitter serves to crucify us, and works all its benefit in the soul, if we receive it simply, with a willingness that knows no bounds, and a readiness that seeks no alleviation.

Pleasant gifts, which are intended to support our weakness by giving us a sensible consolation in our external acts, must be accepted with equal satisfaction, but in a different way. They must be received, because God sends them, and not because they are agreeable to our own feelings; they are to be used, like any other medicine, without self-complacency, without attachment to them, and without appropriation. We must accept them, but not hold on to them; so that when God sees fit to withdraw them, we may neither be dejected nor discouraged. 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.

The Inner Life – Francois Fenelon


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