Sunday, November 07, 2021

Fenelon: a right spirit

Sunday, November 7, 2021
    Feast of Willibrord of York, Archbishop of Utrecht, Apostle of Frisia, 739
    Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
    —1 Corinthians 1:20-21 (NIV)
    There is a great difference between a lofty spirit and a right spirit. A lofty spirit excites admiration by its profoundness; but only a right spirit achieves salvation and happiness by its stability and integrity.
    Do not conform your ideas to those of the world. Scorn the “intellectual” as much as the world esteems it. What men consider intellectual is a certain facility to produce brilliant thoughts. Nothing is more vain. We make an idol of our intellect as a woman who believes herself beautiful worships her face. We take pride in our own thoughts. We must reject not only human cleverness, but also human prudence, which seems so important and so profitable. Then we may enter—like little children, with candor and innocence of worldly ways—into the simplicity of faith; and with humility and a horror of sin we may enter into the holy passion of the cross.
    ... François Fénelon (1651-1715), paraphrased, Selections from the Writings of Fenelon, Boston: Hilliard, Gray, Little, and Wilkins, 1829, p. 246-247 (see the book)
    See also Hab. 2:4; Luke 11:13; Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 1:20-21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I lean not on my own understanding, but seek to know Your mind.
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