Everybody Needs a Little Fénelon

A while ago I shared one of my favorite letters from Francis Fénelon (1651-1715). You can read that here. Few books are as precious to me as Let Go, by Fénelon. It contains 40 letters to people he was a spiritual father to. They are short, plain, poignant, and deep. If you want to grow deeper in your spiritual walk, get this book. I have given away more copies of this little book than I can count. In fact, it was this book that drove into eBooks because I kept giving my personal copy away. Below is a copy of letter 14.

Francis Fénelon, “Letter 14” in Let Go (New Kensington, PA: Whittaker House, 1973)

Pure Faith Sees God Alone

Do not worry about the future. It makes no sense to worry if God loves you and has taken care of you. However, when God blesses you remember to keep your eyes on Him and not the blessing. Enjoy your blessings day by day just as the Israelites enjoyed their manna, but do not try to store the blessings for the future. There are two peculiar characteristics of pure faith. It sees God behind all the blessings and imperfect works which tend to conceal Him, and it holds the soul in a state of continued suspense. Faith seems to keep us constantly up in the air, never quite certain of what is going to happen in the future; never quite able to touch a foot to solid ground. But faith is willing to let God act with the most perfect freedom, knowing that we belong to Him and are to be concerned only about being faithful in that which he has given us to do for the moment. This moment by moment dependence, this dark, unseeing peacefulness of the soul under the utter uncertainty of the future, is a true martyrdom which takes place silently and without any stir. It is God’s way of bringing a slow death to self. And the end comes so imperceptibly that it is often almost as much hidden from the sufferer himself, as from those who don’t even know he suffers.

Sometimes in this life of faith God will remove His blessings from you. But remember that He knows how and when to replace them, either through the ministry of others or by Himself. He can raise up children from the very stones.

Eat then your daily bread without worrying about tomorrow. There is time enough tomorrow to think about the things tomorrow will bring. The same God who feeds you today is the very God who will feed you tomorrow. God will see to it that manna falls again from Heaven in the midst of the desert, before His children lack any good thing.


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