After dealing with the problem of people not being who they genuinely are, French Archbishop François Fénelon (1651-1725) felt the need to call for taking time to meditate on all God’s goodness. Sometimes we get so busy for God that we don’t have time to be with God. Not only that, but when we contemplate being alone with God, we allow ordinary everyday things to steal that time from us. So, here is what the archbishop has to say to them:

You need to take time and give yourself the opportunity for prayer and remembrance. So, set aside some such hours, and be sure that these little parings of time will be your best treasures. But, above all, try to save your chosen times; defend them like a besieged city! Make every effort to reject any interruption, be sure that all necessary duties are taken care of, and then close the door for a period of quiet devotion in reading, meditation, and prayer!

Remembering is the only cure for conceit: always being critical, anxious over what may happen, impatience with others, love of your sacred “me time,” and all your other shortcomings. It is an excellent remedy, but it needs frequent repetition. You are like a good watch that needs constant winding. Read the Bible and books that helped motivate you: they will do so again, with more significant benefit than the first time. Be patient with yourself, avoiding both self-deception and discouragement. This is a medium that is rarely attained. Either people look complacently at themselves and their good intentions, or expect nothing of themselves. Instead, hope in all things from God to cope with the knowledge of your hopeless, persistent weaknesses by having unreserved confidence in God’s power – these are the solid foundations of all spiritual life.

If you do not have much time at your disposal because of work, family, or civic duties, do not fail to make good use of every moment you do have. It does not require long hours to love God, to renew the consciousness of His presence, to lift your heart to Him or worship Him, to offer Him all we do or bear. This is the true kingdom of God within us, which nothing can disturb.[1]  As God told His children a long time ago, “Remember the things I have done for you in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.”[2]

[1] Fénelon, François: Paraclete Giants, The Complete Fénelon, Translated and Edited by Robert J. Edmonson, Paraclete Press, Brewster, Massachusetts, 2008, p. 48; Vocabulary and grammar redacted by Dr. Robert R Seyda

[2] Isaiah 46:9

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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