Daily Fenelon > LISTEN TO GOD


Don't listen to your self-nature. Self-love whispers in one ear and God whispers in the other. The first is restless, bold, eager, and reckless; the other is simple, peaceful, and speaks but a few words in a mild, gentle voice* As soon as you listen to the loud voice of self you will not hear the soft tones of holy love. Each speaks only of one thing. Self-love speaks only of self—-it nevergets enough attention. Self-love talks of being well thought of.
The self despairs of everything except downright flattery.
God's love, on the other hand, whispers that self should be forgotten—counted as nothing so that God might be all. God wants to completely fill you and unite Himself to you. Let the vain, complaining babble of self-love be silenced so that in the stillness of the heart you may listen to the love of God. While you live on earth you can understand only in part. The self-love, which is the source of your faults, is also what hides your faults. Self-love must be rooted out of you so that God can reign within you without opposition.
The light of God will show you what you are really like, and will also heal you of your sins. Until you see yourself in God's pure light, you really don't know yourself. You really rely on yourself much more than you think.
God's love will cause you to see clearly that He loves you without partiality and without flattery. This is how you must see yourself, as well as your neighbor. But relax. God only shows you your weakness as He gives you the courage to bear the sight! You will be shown your imperfections one by one as you are able to face them. Unless God gives you grace to see your weaknesses, the knowledge of them would only lead to despair.
Those who correct others should watch for the Holy Spirit to go ahead of them and touch a person' s heart. Learn to imitate Him who reproves gently. People do not need to see God condemning them, they must realize within themselves that they have done something wrong. Do not be heavy-handed lest people see God as a judgmental ogre. When you become outraged over a person's fault, it is generally not "righteous indignation" but your own impatient personality expressing itself. Here is the imperfect pointing a finger at the imperfect. The more you selfishly love yourself, the more critical you will be. Self-love cannot forgive the self-love it discovers in others. Nothing is so offensive to a haughty, conceited heart as the sight of another one.
God's love, however, is full of consideration, patience, and tenderness. It leads people out of their weakness and sin one step at a time. The less selfish you are, the more considerate you will be of others. Wait a long time, wait years, before giving advice. And then only give advice as God opens the hearts of those who are to receive it. If you pick fruit before the fruit ripens, you will spoil it completely.
Your imperfect friends, and we are all imperfect, can only know you imperfectly. They see in you what you cannot see and overlook much that you do see. They are quick to see things that offend them, but they do not look deep within to the faults that are deeply hidden. Even their best judgments are superficial.
Listen to the voice of God in silence. Be willing to accept what He wants to show you. God will show you everything you need to know. Be faithful to come before Him in silence. When you hear the still, small voice within, it is time to be silent. This voice is not a stranger to your spirit. It is God's voice within your spirit. This is not something mystical but something practical. Deep within you will learn to yield to God and to trust your Lord.