Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Madame Guyon

Dear Reader,
I want you to know that I intend for this blog to be a reliable and "safe" place for you to find information, help and inspiration. However, human frailties prevail and those we look to as role models may fail. In spotlighting Madame Guyon, I did so with only partial knowledge. One of my readers kindly pointed out a further resource that alerted me to let you know her practices were out-of-bounds for obedient Christians. Whether she did so intentionally or not, I wouldn't judge, but neither can I use her as an example to follow. I could delete this post, but will let it remain for the time being as a reminder to me to provide more thorough research for you; and also, as we use real stories of real widows, to remind us all that we're far from perfect in this world and we need each other and sound doctrinal guidance in following Christ.
Here's one example of the error Madam Guyon:  "Modern critics say that Jeanne-Marie used self-hypnosis to achieve her 'spiritual' states and trances and point out that she used 'automatic writing' which suggests spiritualist practice. They wonder that she had so little to say about Christ (in proportion to the total number of words she wrote)." —Christian History Institute.  
Please visit this link for this quote in an article on Guyon: 
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/guyon.htm
Thanks for your patience with me. ferree

***

Today we highlight a widow from history who marked her world in a God-sized way, beyond all that she ever imagined. Maybe three hundred years from now someone will be remembering you like we’re remembering this lady!

Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon, simply known as “Madame Guyon”


April 13, 1648 - June 9, 1717

Born in France, at age sixteen she married a wealthy, thirty-eight-year-old gentleman, Jacques Guyon. History accounts it as a bad marriage, but I don’t know if that was because of the relationship with Jacques, or his malicious mother, or all her other losses. Here’s a list of loved ones who died while she was married: her half sister, her mother, her son; and then her daughter and her father died within days of each other! Two children, both parents and a half sister—that’s a lot of grief. She bore another son and daughter. Shortly after the daughter was born her husband died. She’d been married twelve years. When Jacques died she was twenty-eight.

She was raised by very religious parents and although weak and sickly as a child, she was taught to read and write. After her husband’s death in 1676 or 1678, she went to Geneva and placed herself under the spiritual direction of a Father Lacombe in July 1681. She developed ideas of Christian mysticism and began to publish and diseminate them—and in 1688 she was imprisoned seven months for them!

After this first imprisonment she continued in her faith, her writing and the Catholic church. She didn’t take part in public discussions, but her views on salvation by grace, predestination, personal prayer and walking with God fanned a flame of controversy that once again landed her in prison; this time in the Bastille--not for seven months, but for seven years, where she continually held personal audiences with people who sought her spiritual advisement.

When she was released in 1703 her son took her in and she lived out the rest of her life in quiet and isolation, spending her time writing poetry.

There is still controversy today over her writings, a mix of Catholicism and Protestantism, in my opinion. But I admire her courage and love for the Lord. In one of her poems she wrote, There was a period when I chose, A time and place for prayer ... But now I seek that constant prayer, In inward stillness known ...

A simple Internet search will help you find her writings still published today. I'm amazed that God used this little widow in such a big way! It makes me wonder what He plans for us!
On Saturday check back here for one of her poems. ferree

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