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FRANÇOIS FÉNELON (1651 – 1715)  

Attachment to spiritual light and joy is a very dangerous snare, if we become so attached that we desire nothing farther.  Anyone whose attraction to prayer goes no deeper than this will quit both it and God, whenever the source of this gratification dries up. St. Theresa said that a vast number of people give up praying at the very moment when their devotion is beginning to be real…. We need not be astonished at this; they mistake the portico of the temple for the very sanctuary itself; they desire the death of their gross external gratifications, that they may lead a delicious life of self-satisfaction within….  Those who have talked the loudest about abandonment, and about the death of self, and the darkness of faith, and desolation, are often the most surprised and discouraged when they really experience these things, and their consolation is taken away.  How excellent is the way pointed out by John of the Cross, who would have us believe without seeing, and love without desiring to feel!


MEISTER ECKHART (1260 - 1328)

Whoever seeks God and seeks anything with God, does not find God; but anyone who seeks God alone in truth finds God, but he does not find God alone - for all that God can give, that he finds with God. If you seek God and seek Him for your own profit and bliss, then in truth you are not seeking God…. Some people want to see God with their own eyes as they see a cow, and they want to love God as they love a cow. You love a cow for her milk and her cheese and your own profit. That is what all those do who love God for outward wealth or inward consolation - and they do not truly love God, they love their own profit. I assert that anything you put in the forefront of your mind, if it is not God in Himself, is - however good it may be - a hindrance to your gaining the highest truth.

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In their many different idioms the classical spiritual writers have attempted to throw light on the eternal question of union with God. 
Every month we give you a brief passage from a spiritual classic.