It’s Fénelon Friday!
LETTER 28: If You Have Love, You Have Everything
I have thought a great deal, since yesterday, about the matters of which you wrote me, and I have increasing confidence that God will certainly sustain you in this time of suffering. I can certainly understand how difficult it is for you to wait before God and do all the things you used to do, but be as faithful as you can. You know that a sick person must eat to sustain life, even though he does not feel like it. And a person who is in such a time of distress as you, needs to look to God for sustenance, even though he may not feel like doing it. I think it would be helpful if you could take a few moments with your family occasionally and freely share your feelings with them and have Christian fellowship. Do not be overly concerned about your feelings at this point. I am happy to tell you that God is not expecting any particular kind of emotion from you. All He asks is that you remain faithful. And I rather think that a faithfulness unsustained by pleasant emotion is far purer and reliable than one which depends on tender feelings. Faith which is built on emotion is resting on a very changeable foundation.
A little reading and meditation every day is all that God desires. Through this means, He will give you the light and strength for all the sacrifices He requires. Love Him, and I will release you of every other obligation. For everything else will come by love.
Please understand about love. I am not asking from you a love which is tender and emotional. All I ask is that your will should lean towards love, that you should make up your mind to love God, regardless of your feelings. And no matter what corrupt desires you should find in your heart, if you will make a decision to love God more than self and the whole world, He will be pleased.
Francis Fénelon, Let Go (New Kensington, PA: Whittaker House, 1973).