- Series: Library of Spiritual Classics (Book 4)
- Paperback: 182 pages
- Publisher: SeedSowers (June 1, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0940232499
- ISBN-13: 978-0940232495
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 73 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Seeking Heart (Library of Spiritual Classics) Paperback – June 1, 1992
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I possess my a copy already. This one is for a friend.
The book itself is a gem of spiritual wisdom, from a humble teacher from the 17th century, with a penetrating insight into the hidden motives and egotistical proclivities from/upon which Christians do things that seem impressively "spiritual."
This is evident from the first chapter of this book, "Embracing the Cross." He is very definite in his advice here, "Endure the aches and pains of your body with patience. Do the same thing with your spiritual afflictions (that is, trouble sent to you that you cannot control). Do not add to the cross in your life by becoming so busy that you have no time to sit quietly before God. Do not resist what God brings into your life."
He is able therefore to instruct, "Accept the cross and you will find peace even in the middle of turmoil. Let me warn you that if you push the cross away, your circumstances will become twice as hard to bear." Words like this we normally do not want to hear, but they sound different from one who has suffered. However, almost anticipating our response, and our desire to be in control, he chimes in. "Do you see the stubborn and hidden hold you have over your life? This control makes the cross necessary in the first place. Do not reject the full work that the power of the cross could accomplish in you. Unfortunately, you will be forced to go over the same ground again and again. Worse yet, you will suffer much, but your suffering will be for no purpose." Incredible insight!
He ends with words we would not expect from a good friend, but he also defends his teaching with it, "Imagine how much [God] must love those who abandon themselves to His will cheerfully and completely--even if it results in their crucifixion!" This is tough stuff!
I first read this book at one of those times when so much was going wrong all at once. I was frustrated, being only one person and only able to do so much. Never mind my personal life! Just in my home there were plumbing, electric, and air-conditioning problems. The kitchen, the pantry and several rooms upstairs all had to be worked on at the same time. It seemed like Murphy's Laws with a vengeance! In the midst of this, we can ask, "What is God doing," because we know he's doing something. Nevertheless, I found answers and peace in meditating for a number of days on the words of the chapter called "Difficult Circumstances," beginning on page 14. You would think that Fénelon had lived with Murphy for some time! He can help us to learn to do the same. Not only that. He says that God has plans to produce "good fruit" out of all of this. We must believe this. Reflect on his words and you may come to realize as I did, the Archbishop's words are never easy, but always seem appropriate! We also come to know, we have a lot to learn.... See what you think:
"God doesn't want to discourage you or to spoil you. Embrace the difficult circumstances you find yourself in even when you feel they will overwhelm you. Allow God to mold you through the events He allows to enter your life. This will make you flexible toward the will of God. The events of life are like a furnace for the heart. All your impurities are melted and your old ways are lost.
"As for the humiliation you feel when you see your faults--simply see how sensitive your self-love is. The pain you feel at your own imperfection is worse than the faults themselves. Your problem really is that you become so irritated by seeing your faults. Learn to live with yourself as you really are without being so upset. If you do this, you will soon have peace.
"Patiently endure the ups and downs of everyday life. Behind every annoying circumstance, learn to see God governing all things. See that He trains you through troubling situations as well as through pleasant ones. The intrusions that God sends you will no doubt upset your plans and oppose all that you want. But they will also chase you toward God. Sit still before Him and yield your will to Him. Your unbending will shall begin to learn flexibility.
"Everything that comes from God's hand produces good fruit. Sometimes the annoyances that make you long for solitude are better for producing humility than the most complete solitude could be. Use the circumstances of each moment to the fullest. Sometimes an exciting book, or an inspiring devotional time, or a deep conversation about spiritual matters will make you feel extremely satisfied with yourself. You will believe that you are farther along than you really are. Talking about the cross is not at all the same as experiencing it. So remember this: Do not seek annoying circumstances, but when they come bear them in peace. It is easy to delude yourself! Do not seek God as if He were far off in an ivory castle. He is found in the middle of the events of your everyday life. Look past the obstacles and find Him."
And, good luck!