Excerpt from Madame Guyon: Her Autobiography (condensed & modernized)

Book Review: Madame Jeanne Guy­on: Her Auto­bi­og­ra­phy (Con­densed and Mod­ern­ized by Jan Johnson)

Have you ever had one of those days”? Today, I had lunch with a close friend who was vis­i­bly shak­en and strug­gling to keep her­self togeth­er. In just a few short ear­ly morn­ing hours she learned: That a friend had been diag­nosed with a rare, inva­sive can­cer, that her son’s friend had attempt­ed sui­cide the night before, and that a hos­tile takeover sit­u­a­tion was occur­ring at her place of employ­ment, threat­en­ing her — and her co-work­ers’ — liveli­hoods. All this was weigh­ing heavy in her heart and mind, and peace was nowhere to be found.

Madame Jeanne Guy­on (16481717) had a life­time of one of those days.” For years she suf­fered from var­i­ous forms of phys­i­cal pain, men­tal and emo­tion­al anguish, oppres­sion, and per­se­cu­tion. Yet some­how, even in the midst of her grief and pain, she was able to expe­ri­ence a peace. She had a piece of heav­en on earth that many of us may nev­er under­stand or know, and she said it was because of Inward Prayer. Madame Guy­on writes, Oh, my God, if peo­ple under­stood the great val­ue to the soul from con­vers­ing with Thee, every­one would be dili­gent in it. Chil­dren are told to attain heav­en and avoid hell, yet they are not taught the short­est and eas­i­est way of arriv­ing at it — inward prayer.

In her intro­duc­tion to this con­densed and mod­ern­ized ver­sion of Madame Guyon’s auto­bi­og­ra­phy, Jan John­son writes:

As I edit­ed her words, I saw myself change. It is eas­i­er to accept what I didn’t like in life. I was more will­ing to wait and watch for God. I exper­i­ment­ed more with let­ting go. I even thanked God for a ter­ri­ble headache one day which dulled my think­ing so much that I didn’t return the anger of a loved one.

So I rec­om­mend this sto­ry to you espe­cial­ly if you’re in the mid­dle of endur­ing an impos­si­ble sit­u­a­tion. God may use it to help you see His hand at work even in the small­est things, even turn­ing other’s evil for your good.

Read this mod­ern ver­sion of one of the most influ­en­tial Chris­t­ian women’s life jour­ney, and open your head and heart to receive the hope that comes from expe­ri­enc­ing a with-God life through a pos­ture of inward prayer.

Please vis­it Jan John­son’s web­site to learn more about this book and her oth­er titles.

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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