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Christian Counsel

By Francois Fenelon

Table of Contents

   1: Of the Little Knowledge of God there is in the World - CHRISTIAN COUNSEL, ON DIVERS MATTERS PERTAINING TO THE INNER LIFE. BY FENELON. "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, t
   2: Of the Necessity of Knowing and Loving God - It is not astonishing that men do so little for God and that the little which they do costs them so much. They do not know Him; scarcely do they belie
   3: On Pure Love - The Lord hath made all things for Himself (Prov. xvi. 4), says the Scripture; everything belongs to Him, and He will never release his right to anythi
   4: On Prayer and the Principal Exercises of Piety - 1. True prayer is only another name for the love of God. Its excellence does not consist in the multitude of our words; for our Father knoweth what
   5: On Conformity to the Life of Jesus Christ - We must imitate Jesus; live as He lived, think as He thought, and be conformed to his image, which is the seal of our sanctification. What a contra
   6: On Humility - What a mercy is humiliation to a soul that receives it with a steadfast faith! There are a thousand blessings in it for ourselves and for others; for
   7: On Prayer - Many are tempted to believe that they no longer pray, when they cease to enjoy a certain pleasure in the act of prayer. But, if they will reflect that
   8: On Meditation - When the solid foundations of a perfect conversion of heart, a scrupulous repentance and a serious meditation of all the Christian virtues have been l
   9: On Mortification - God calls us hourly and momentarily to the exercise of mortification; but nothing can be more false than the maxim that we should always choose that w
   10: On Self-Abandonment - If you would fully comprehend the meaning of self-abandonment, [1] recall the interior difficulty which you felt, and which you very naturally testifi
   11: On Temptations - I know of but two resources against temptations. One is, faithfully to follow the interior light in sternly and immediately cutting off everything we
   12: On Wandering Thoughts and Dejection - 1. Two things trouble you; one is, how you may avoid wandering thoughts; the other, how you may be sustained against dejection. As to the former, yo
   13: On Confidence in God - The best rule we can ever adopt, is to receive equally, and with the same submission, everything that God sends us during the day, both within and wit
   14: In What Manner We are to Watch Ourselves - The following seem to me to be useful practical directions as to the manner in which we ought to watch ourselves, without being too much occupied with
   15: On the Inward Teaching of the Spirit Of God - It is certain from the Holy Scriptures (Rom. viii.; John xiv.,) that the Spirit of God dwells within us, acts there, prays without ceasing, groans, de
   16: On Daily Faults and the Toleration of Ourselves - You understand that many of our faults are voluntary in different degrees, though they may not be committed with a deliberate purpose of failing in ou
   17: On Fidelity in Small Matters - St. Francis of Sales says that great virtues and fidelity in small things are like sugar and salt; sugar is more delicious, but of less frequent use,
   18: On Transitory Emotions, Fidelity, and Simplicity - We must not be surprised if we frequently perceive in ourselves emotions of pride, of self-complacency, of confidence in ourselves, of desire to follo
   19: On The Advantages of Silence and Recollection - You must endeavor to be as silent as the proprieties of human intercourse will permit. This grace cherishes the presence of God, saves us many proud a
   20: Privation and Annihilation, A Terror Even to the Spiritually-Minded - There is scarce any one who desires to serve God, but does so for selfish reasons; we expect gain and not loss, consolation and not suffering, riches
   21: On The Proper Use of Crosses - We are hardly to be persuaded of the goodness of God in loading those whom He loves with crosses. Why, we say, should He take pleasure in causing us t
   22: On the Interior Operations of God to Bring Man to the True End of His Creation - In the beginning God attacked us in externals; little by little he withdrew such of his creatures as we loved too much, and contrary to his law. But t
   23: On Christian Perfection - Christian Perfection is not that rigorous, tedious, cramping thing that many imagine. It demands only an entire surrender of everything to God from th
   24: The Way of Naked Faith and Pure Love is Better and More Certain than that of Illuminations and Sensible Delights - Those who are attached to God, only so far as they enjoy pleasure and consolation, resemble those who followed the Lord, not to hear his teaching, but
   25: On the Presence of God - The true source of all our perfection is contained in the command of God in Abraham, "Walk before me, and be thou perfect." (Gen. xvii. 1.) The pre
   26: On Conformity to the Will of God - The essence of virtue consists in the attitude of the will. This is what the Lord would teach us when he said, "The kingdom of God is within you." (Lu
   27: General Directions for Attaining Inward Peace - There is no peace to them that resist God: if there be joy in the world, it is reserved for a pure conscience; the whole earth is full of tribulation
   28: Pure Love Only Can Suffer Aright and Love its Sufferings - 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
   29: Interested and Disinterested Love Have Each its Appropriate Season - Why do the gifts of God confer more pleasure when they exist in ourselves than when they are conferred upon our neighbor, if we are not attached to se
   30: On True Liberty - When we are no longer embarrassed by the restless reflections of self, we begin to enjoy true liberty. False wisdom, on the other hand, always on t
   31: On the Employment of Time - I understand perfectly well that you do not ask at my hands any proof that it is incumbent upon us to employ all our time to good purpose; grace has l

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