In what manner we are to watch ourselves

The wise and diligent traveller watches all his steps, and keeps his eyes always directed to that part of the road which is immediately before him; but he does not incessantly look backwards—he would lose time and hinder his progress by so doing.

The soul which God truly leads by the hand ought to watch its path. Its attention should be continually directed to the will of God. Thus the Psalmist exclaims, Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. (Ps. xxv. 15.)

Observe how, in order to keep his feet in safety in a way sown with snares, instead of fixing his eyes upon the ground to scrutinize every step, he raises them to the Lord.

We never watch so diligently over ourselves as when we walk in the presence of God, as He commanded Abraham. And, in fact, what should be the end of all our vigilance? To follow step by step the will of God.

In short, we abandon ourselves into the hands of God, and are just as happy in knowing ourselves there, as we should be miserable if we were in our own. We desire to see nothing of what it pleases Him to conceal. As we love Him infinitely more than we do ourselves, we make an unconditional sacrifice of ourselves to his good pleasure; desiring only to love Him and to forget ourselves. He who thus generously loses his soul, shall find it again with eternal life.

The Inner Life – Francois Fenelon


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