MEISTER ECKHART (1260 – 1328)
You should endeavour to follow Christ in a sensible way, for he sought our love more than our deeds. We must follow him in our own way…. Concentrate, and observe yourself closely. Often it is more necessary for you freely to renounce a little, than if you were to give up all food. And sometimes it is harder for you to keep silence about a single word than to cease speaking altogether. And sometimes, too, it is harder for someone to endure a single word of reproach, which means nothing, than a fierce blow that they were prepared for; or it is much harder to be alone in a crowd than in the desert; or one finds it harder to abandon a small thing than a great, or to do a small task than one which is considered much greater. In this way you can well follow our Lord (even) in your weakness, without feeling or needing to feel yourself far away from him.
FRANÇOIS FÉNELON (1651 – 1715)
People judge our deeds by their outward appearance; but with God, that which is most dazzling to human eyes is of no account. What God desires is a pure intention, a will ready for anything, and ever pliable in his hands, and an honest abandonment of self; and all this can be much more frequently manifested on small than on extraordinary occasions; there will also be much less danger from pride, and the trial will be far more searching. Indeed, it sometimes happens, that we find it harder to part with a trifle than with an important interest; it may be more of a cross to abandon a vain amusement, than to bestow a large sum in charity.