Talking with God
by François Fénelon
Published by Paraclete Press ©1997
- How to Talk with God Honestly and openly bring whatever is on your heart to God.
- Desiring Gods Will What God gives is precisely what we should have desired to ask.
For we will have whatever He wills, and only that.
- On the True Prayer of the Heart To pray is to desire or long for, but to desire what God
would have us desire. We do not truly pray if we really do not desire and yearn for the things we pretend
- On Maintaining a Life of Prayer We must continually seek to cherish a constant spirit of
prayer that unites us with God, and we must avoid everything that tends to make us lose it.
- Choosing Companions Wisely The importance of seeking companionship that will reinforce
our spiritual pursuits rather than hinder us in them.
- The Practice of Humility Some aspects of pride contrasted with humility.
- Conforming to the Life of Jesus We ought to imitate Jesus in all things and especially
in His humiliation.
- The Uses of Humiliation We may judge our progress in humility by the delight we have in
- Bearing Our Faults Patiently Be extremely distrustful of your intellect and your own
ideas of perfection.
- When Feelings Fail Us Without emotional feeling, faith is in full exercise while humility
- When We Feel Abandoned by God We should never so fully abandon ourselves to God as when
He seems to abandon us.
- Living in the Present Surrender yourself into the hands of God, permitting Him to do
whatever he will, not according to your desires, but according to His own good pleasure.
- On Pure Love God and His glory are to be preferred before ourselves and everything else
to such a degree that we must love his glory more than our own happiness.
- The Refinements of Self-Love The origin of our trouble is that we love ourselves with a
blind passion that amounts to idolatry.
- Listening to God Rather than Self The difference between the words of God and the words
- The Miracle of Self-Denial The abandonment of evil things consists in refusing them with
horror. The abandonment of good things consists in using them for our needs in moderation.
- Bearing the Criticism of Others Go on your spiritual journey naturally, and what others
say will not harm you.
- Meeting Temptations Our life is a continual combat, but one in which Jesus Christ fights
- The Giver or the Gifts? The soul that is sustained by God is not surprised at its own
wretchedness. It is delighted to find new proof that it can do nothing of itself and that God must do
- When Undergoing Great Weakness Devotions practiced during an illness.
- The Interior Voice of the Spirit We are always inspired, but we incessantly stifle the
inspiration. God does not cease to speak, but the noise of the world outside us, and the noise of our
passions within, prevent our hearing Him.
- Judge Cautiously A warning against sticking ones nose into other peoples
- The Last Shall Be First When we have silenced everything within us in order to listen to
God, we know all things without knowing anything.
- When Spiritually Disheartened Trying to act in grace during the dry times.
- Dealing with Our Faults Nothing marks so decidedly the solid progress of a soul as being
able to view its own depravity without being disturbed or discouraged.
- Faithfulness in Small Things God does not so much regard our actions as He does the
motive of love from which they spring and the pliability of our wills to His. It is not by incessant care
that we become faithful in the smallest things, but simply by a love which is free from the reflections
and fears of a restless and overscrupulous soul.
- Exactitude and Liberty of Spirit Exactitude will make you faithful, liberty will make
you courageous. If you attempt to be exact without being free, you will fall into slavery and scruples.
If you attempt to be free without being exact, you will degenerate into negligence and carelessness.
- Dealing with Contradictory Feelings Faults committed in the simplicity of your good
intention will be of service if they produce humility and make you of less and less account in your own
- Maintaining Faith Without Feelings God, who is so good, will not allow you to lose sight
of how unworthy you are of Him, and the thought of your own unworthiness will bring you back at once to
His infinite goodness.
- Undue Attachment to Feelings It is not true to say that on being deprived of feeling we
are afraid of having lost God. It is our impatience under the trial, the restlessness of a pampered and
dainty nature, a search for some support for self-love, and a secret return to self after our consecration
- The Proper Use of Crosses God never afflicts us except against His own inclination. His
Fatherly heart is not gladdened at the sight of our misery, but He cuts to the quick, that He may heal
the disease in our souls. He must snatch away from us whatever we cling to too fondly, and all that we
love inordinately, contrary to His claim upon us.
- Joy in Bearing the Cross In whatever state we may be, whatever consequences God may give,
we are blessed in being given over to His hands.
- What God Orders Is Best The crosses we originate are not nearly as efficient in dealing
with self-love as those that come to us in the daily allotments of God.
- Keeping All Our Affections in God God wishes to have all, and His jealousy will not leave
a divided heart in peace.
- Two Kinds of Love Those who are still supported somewhat by self should not be too
anxious about those who are in pure love, nor should the latter try to make the former pass through new
trials before God calls tham to it.
- Our Union in God Let us all remain in our only Center, where we can always find each
other, and where we are all but one and the same.
- Bearing Suffering Kiss lovingly the Hand that strikes you.
- Suffering Rightly We know that we must suffer, and that we deserve it. Nevertheless, we
are always surprised at affliction, as if we thought we neither merited nor had need of it.
- The Usefulness of Deprivations When we give ourselves entirely to the designs of God for
us, we are as willing to be deprived of consolations as to enjoy them. Often a deprivation that disturbs
and humbles us is more useful to us than an abundance of comforting.
- The Value of Moderation Some tips on living in moderation.
- Regarding Prayer Receive without resistance the insights and feelings which may come to
you in prayer, but do not trust any of these things which might flatter your pride and fill you with vain
- Keeping a Spirit of Prayer Accustom yourself gradually to extend your prayer over all
the outward activities of the day. Speak, act, and work in peace as if you were in prayer, for indeed
you should be so.
- When Spiritual Emotions Fade Emotional fervor comes and goes. When we have it, it is
God who gives it out of His condescension, to sustain our weakness.
- Dealing with Sickness and Grief Illness is a precious gift that God gives us to make us
feel the weakness of our soul by the weakness of our body.
- Bearing Spiritual Dryness We must bear the loss of that which it pleases God to take
away from us, but we may not take anything away from ourselves, nor are we allowed to let anything be lost
through voluntary negligence.
- Using Time Wisely We misuse our time, not only when we do wrong or do nothing, but also
when we do something else than what we should have done at that moment, even though it may be the means
- Preserving Peace with Others The great thing is to make light of yourself sincerely, and
to consent to be made light of by others if God permits it.
- True Liberty When we are no longer embarrassed by the restless reflections of self, we
begin to enjoy true liberty.
- Dealing with a Haughty Spirit A proud or disdainful manner, one that relishes ridicule
or censoriousness, indicates a self-satisfied mind that is unconscious of its own weak points.
- Thinking of Death Our misery is the proper object of His mercy, and His mercy is our only
- The Cross as a Treasure Confine yourself today to your present needs. God will give you
each day the help that is proportioned to that day.