HOW TO BEAR AFFRONTS

(From ‘Spiritual Letters to Women’ by Francois Fenelon)

 (Photo from Discovering Beauty)

I AM touched by your troubles, but I can only pity you, and ask God to comfort you. You greatly need that He should impart His Holy Spirit to guide you in your difficulties, and to moderate your natural vehemence under circumstances so calculated to excite it As to …
I think you should speak of that to none save God in prayer on behalf of the person who insulted you. I have often fancied that I saw you to be very sensitive on that point ; and God always touches us in our weak place. Men are not killed by a blow on the extremities the
nails or hair, but by an injury to the vital parts, which are called noble. When God purposes to make us die to self, He always touches that which is the very essence of our life, He adapts our cross to each. Let yourself be humbled ; calm and silence under humiliation are a great benefit to the soul. One is sometimes tempted to talk humility, and it is easy to find plenty of opportunities for so doing, but it is better to be humbly silent. Talkative humility is always suspicious ; talk is a certain relief to self-conceit.

Do not get angry about what people say; let them talk while you try to do God’s Will. As to the will of men, you could never come to an end of satisfying it, nor is it worth the trouble. Silence, peace, and union with God ought to comfort you under whatever men may falsely say. You must be friendly to them, without counting on their friendship. They come and go; let them go, they are but as chaff scattered by the wind. Only see God’s Hand in what they do; He alone wounds or comforts us through their means. You need all your resolution in your present position, but at the same time your quickness of temper requires checks and
impediments. Possess your soul in patience. Frequently recall the Presence of God, so as to calm yourself, to humble and adapt yourself to the little ones. Nothing is really great save lowliness, charity, mistrust of self, detachment from one’s own opinion and will.

All stiff, harsh goodness is contrary to Jesus Christ: God knows how truly I am yours in Him.

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