Fenelon – He is beside us in our daily annoyances, so long as we bear humbly and bravely all those which arise from the manifold imperfections of our neighbours and ourselves.
I do not mean that we ought voluntarily to put ourselves in the
way of dissipating influences; God forbid! That would be
tempting God and seeking danger. But such distractions as
come in any way providentially, if met with due precaution and
carefully guarded hours of prayer and reading, will turn to good.
Often those things which make you sigh for solitude are more
profitable to your humiliation and self-denial than the most utter
solitude itself would be. … Sometimes a stimulating book of
devotion, a fervent meditation, a striking conversation, may
flatter your tastes and make you feel self-satisfied and complacent,
imagining yourself far advanced towards perfection; and by filling
you with unreal notions, be all the time swelling your pride
and making you come from your religious exercises less tolerant
of whatever crosses your will. I would have you hold fast to this
simple rule : seek nothing dissipating, but bear quietly with whatever
God sends without your seeking it, whether of dissipation
or interruption. It is a great delusion to seek God afar off in
matters perhaps quite unattainable, ignoring that He is beside us
in our daily annoyances, so long as we bear humbly and bravely
all those which arise from the manifold imperfections of our
neighbors and ourselves.