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ANTIQUE 1908 GOLD DUST BOOKLET: A COLLECTION OF GOLDEN COUNSELS FOR THE SANCTIFICATION OF DAILY LIFE . TRANSLATED AND ABRIDGED FROM THE FRENCH BY E.L.E.E. New Impression (1907) Reissue | LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON | PHILOSOPHY | SPIRITUALITY | MINDSET | LIFESTYLE | British & Far East Traders Lifestyle & Shopping Blog
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ANTIQUE 1908

GOLD DUST BOOKLET:

A COLLECTION OF GOLDEN COUNSELS

FOR THE SANCTIFICATION OF DAILY LIFE .

 TRANSLATED AND ABRIDGED

FROM THE FRENCH

BY E.L.E.E.

New Impression (1907)

Reissue |

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON

| PHILOSOPHY | SPIRITUALITY |

MINDSET | LIFESTYLE

 
 
 
GOLD DUST:
A COLLECTION OF GOLDEN COUNSELS
FOR THE SANCTIFICATION OF DAILY LIFE

TRANSLATED AND ABRIDGED FROM THE FRENCH
BY E.L.E.E.
NEW IMPRESSION (1907)
REISSUE
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON
NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA
1908
 
TO
E.B.H.
THIS LITTLE BOOK
IS MOST LOVINGLY DEDICATED
 
 
 
PREFACE
 
This little book is a translation from
a collection of devotional thoughts
published in France under the title of “Paillettes d’Or”.
It is necessarily a selection,
since the gold dust which suits French readers
requires a fresh sifting for the English;
but the value of most of the thoughts seems to me well to deserve the term of gold.
There are many who will much enjoy having this little…
     
 
 
 
… collection on their table,
so as to be able to take up and dwell upon some one of its grains
at leisure times throughout the day’s business. 
 
 
C.M. YONGE.
Feb. 12th, 1880.
 
 
 

INTRODUCTION

 
In the South of France, during the summer,
little children and old and infirm poor,
who are incapable of hard work, in order to earn a livelihood,
employ themselves in searching the beds of dried up rivers
for “Paillettes d’Or”, or golden dust,
which sparkles in the sun, and which the water carries away as it flows. 
 
What is done by these poor people and little children
for the gold dust GOD has sown in those obscure rivers,
we would do with those counsels and teachings
which GOD has sown almost everywhere,
which sparkle, enlighten, and inspire for a moment, then…
    
   
 
 
   
… disappear, leaving but regret that the thought
did not occur to collect and treasure them.
   
Who is there that has not experienced at some time in his life
those teachings so soft and gentle, yet so forcible,
which make the heart thrill, and reveal to it suddenly
a world of peace, joy, and devotion?
 
It may have been but a word read in a book,
or a sentence overheard in conversation,
which may have had for us a twofold meaning,
and, in passing, left us untouched with an unknown power.
 
It was the smile on the lips of a beloved one
whom we knew to be sorrowful,
that spoke to us of the sweet joy of resignation.
 
It was the open look of an innocent child
that revealed to us all the beauty of frankness and simplicity.
 
Oh! if we had but treasured all the rays of light that cross our path,
and sparkle but for a moment;
oh! if we had but engraved them on our hearts!
what a guide and comfort they would have been to us
in the days of discouragement and sorrow;
what counsels to guide our actions,
what consolations to soothe the broken heart!
 
How many new means of doing good!
 
It is this simple work of gathering a little from every source –
from nature, from brooks, above all from mankind itself-
that is the intention of one of your fellow-creatures,
dear souls, you who long so to make your lives more holy and devout!
 
And in the same way as the gold dust,
gathered and accumulated from the river’s bed,
was the means of bringing a little profit to the hearth,
so would we endeavour to carry a little joy to your hearts
and peace to your souls. 
 
Gather then these little counsels; gather them with watchfulness:
let…
     
   
 
 
 
…them for a moment penetrate deep in your heart; 
then scatter them abroad again,
that they may go with their good words to help others. 
 
They will not be importunate,
will not even ask to be preserved;
they do not desire fame:
all that they seek, is to convey a transient blessing. 
 

GOLD DUST

 
I. 
“MY LORD! ” exclaimed once a devout soul,
“give me every day a little work to occupy my mind;
a little suffering to sanctify my spirit;
a little good to do to comfort my heart.”
 
II.
If by our deeds we become saints, true it is,
that by our deeds also, we shall be condemned.
 
Yes, it is little by little, that we press onward,
either towards salvation, or eternal ruin;
and when at last we reach…
   
   
 
 
 
… the gate of glory, or that of perdition,
the cry escapes our lips, “Already!”.
 
The first backward step, is almost imperceptible;
it was those tiny flakes of snow, seeming to melt as they touch the earth,
nut falling one upon another,
that have formed that immense mass,
which seems ready to fall and crush us.
 
Ah! if I tried to trace back, to what first led to that act of sin;
the thought, that produced the desire;
the circumstance that gave rise to the thought,
I should find something almost imperceptible;
perhaps a word with a double untendre I had heard,
and at which I had smiled,
a useless explanation, sought out of mere curiosity;
a hasty look, cast I knew not wherefore,
and which conscience prompted me to check;
a prayer neglected, because it wearied me;
work left undone, while I indulged in some day-dream,
that flitted before my fancy…
 
A week later, the same things occur,
but this time more prolonged,
the stifled voice of conscience is hushed.
 
 Yet, another week… Alas!
let us stop there, each can complete the sad story for himself,
and it is easy to draw the practical conclusion.
 
III.
A YOUNG girl, in one of those moments
when the heart seems to overflow with devotion,
wrote thus in her journal:
– “If I dared, I would ask GOD, why I am placed in the world; what have I to do?
I know not; my days are idly spent, and I do not even regret them…
If might but do some good to myself, or another,
if only for the short space of a minute in each day!
” A few days later, when in a calmer mood
 she re-read these lines, she added,
“Why, nothing is easier!
I have but to give a cup of cold water to one of CHRIST’S little ones.”
      
      
 
 
 
Yet even so small a gift as that, but given in GOD’S Name,
may be of service, and gives you the right to hope for a reward in heaven.
  
Even less than that: a word of advice; something lent to another;
a little vexation patiently borne;
a prayer for a friend, offered to GOD;
the fault or thoughtlessness of another repaired without his knowledge;
GOD will recompense it all a thousand fold!
 
IV.
ALMS given in secret; that is the charity which brings a blessing.
 
What sweet enjoyment, to be able to shed a little happiness around us!
 
What an easy, and agreeable task is that, of trying to render others happy.
 
FATHER! if I try to please and imitate Thee thus,
with you indeed bless me Thanks! thanks! be unto Thee.
 
V. 
Is it fair, always to forget all the good, or kindness, shown to us,
by those with whom we live,
for the sake of one little pain they may have caused us,
and which, most likely, was quite unintentional on their part?
 
VI.
WHEN you sometimes find in books, advice or example,
that you think may be of service,
you take care to copy, and consult it as an oracle.
Do as much for the good of your soul.
Engrave in your memory, and even write down,
the counsels and precepts that you hear, or read…
then, from time to time, study this little collection,
which you will not prize the less that you have made it all yourself.
 
Books written by others in time become wearisome to us,
but of those we…
    
     
 
 
  
… write ourselves we never tire.
And it will be yours, this collection of thoughts chosen because you liked them:
counsels you have given yourself:
moral receipts you have discovered,
and of which, perhaps, you have proved the efficacy.
 
Happy soul! that each day reaps its harvest.
 
VII.
DO you wish to live at peace with all the world?
Then practise the maxims of an influential man,
who when asked, after the Revolution,
how he managed to escape the executioner’s axe, replied,
“I made myself of no reputation, and kept silence.”
 
Would you live peaceably with me the members of your family,
above all with those who exercise a certain control of you?

  
Use the means employed by a pious woman,
who had to live with one of a trying temper,
“I do everything to please her;
” I fulfill all my duties with a smiling face,
never revealing the trouble it causes me;
“I bear patiently everything that displeases me;
“I consult her on many subjects of which, perhaps, I may be the better judge.”
 
Would you be at peace with your conscience?
Let your Guardian Angel find you at each moment of the day
doing one of these four things which once formed the rule of a saintly life:
I. Praying;
II. Labouring; 
III. Striving after holiness;
IV. Practising patience.
 
Would you become holy?
try to add to the above actions the following virtues;
 – method- faith- spiritual combat – perseverance.
  
 
 
 
   
Finally, if you would live in an atmosphere of benevolence,
make it your study to be always rendering others service,
and never hesitate to ask the same of them.
 
In offering help, you make a step towards gaining a friend;
in asking it, you please by this mark or your confidence.
The result of this will be a constant habit of mutual forbearance,
and a fear to be disobliging in matters of greater importance.
 
 VIII.
When teaching or working with others,
never laugh or make fun of their awkwardness.
If it is caused by stupidity, your laughter is uncharitable:
if from ignorance, your mockery is, to say the least, unjust.
 
Teach the unskilfull with gentleness;
show him the right way to work:
and GOD, who see all your efforts, will smile on your patience,
and send help in all your difficulties.
 
IX.
When the heart is heavy,
and we suffer from depression or disappointment,
how thankful we should be that we still have work and prayer left to comfort us.
Occupation forcibly diverts the mind;
prayer sweetly soothes the soul.
 
“Then,” writes one who had been sorely tried,
“I tell my griefs to GOD, as a child tells its troubles to its mother;
and when I have told all I am comforted,
and repeat with a lightened heart,
the prayer of S. Francoise de Chantal
(who certainly suffered more than I)
‘THY WILL BE DONE FOR EVER AND EVER,
o LORD, WITHOUT IF OR BUT,’… 
AND THEN FOR FEAR A MURMUR MAY ARISE IN MY HEART,
I RETURN IMMEDIATELY TO MY WORK,
AND BECOME ABSORBED IN OCCUPATION.”
 
 
 

   

X.

He who is never satisfied with anything, satisfies no one.

 

XI.

Are there many who try to be of some little help or comfort

to the souls with whom they are brought in contact through life?

 

Poor souls, that, perhaps have no longer strength

or will to manifest the longing they experience,

and who languish for want of help,

without being aware they are perishing.

O, mingle sometimes with your earthly help

the blessed Name of God;

and if there remain one little spark of life in the soul,

that Name will re-kindle it,

and carry comfort and resignation;

even as air breathed into the mouth of any one apparently dead,

rushes into the lungs, and revives the sufferer,

if but one breath of life remains. 

 

Souls! Souls! I yearn for Souls!

  • This is the cry of the SAVIOUR;

And for their sakes He died upon the CROSS,

And remains until eternity their Intercessor.

 

Souls! Souls! I must win Souls!

It is the cry of Satan;

And to obtain them he scatters gold to tempt them,

Multiplies their pleasures and vanities,

And gives the praise that only infatuates.

 

Souls ! Souls ! we long for Souls!

– Let this be our aim, readers and writers of these our “Paillettes”;

And for the sake of even one soul,

Let not fatigue, expense, or the criticism of the world deter us…

 

XII.

How few there are who would thus dare

To address GOD each night:

“LORD, deal with me to-morrow as I have this day

Dealt with others…

Those to whom I…

   

 

…was harsh, and from malice or to show my own superiority

Exposed their failings; others, to whom from pride or dislike I refused to speak,-

One I have avoided – another I cannot like because she displeases me –

I will not forgive –

To whom I will not show any kindness”…

 

And yet, let us never forget,

That sooner or later, 

God will do unto us even as we have done unto them.

 

XIII.

“GRANT me, O LORD”

Said a humble soul, 

“That I may pass unnoticed through the world”.

 

This should be the wish,

Or rather the aim of all true devotion.

 

Small virtues require the praise of man to sustain them,

Just as little children require encouragement

To walk or stand alone.

 

But true virtue goes quietly through the world,

Scattering good around,

And performing noble deeds,

Without even the knowledge

That what it does is heroic.

 

XIV.

S. CHANTAL

One day, was excusing herself to S. Francois de Sales

For having spoken hastily to some one,

On the plea that it was in the cause of justice.

The Saint replied,

“You have been more just than righteous;

But we should be more righteous than just”.

 

XV.

A DEVOUT woman once wrote thus:

“In my own family, I try to be as little in the way as possible,

Satisfied with everything,

And never to believe for a moment

That any one means unkindly towards me”.

 

“If people are friendly and kind to me,

I enjoy it; 

If they neglect me, or…

   

 

 

 

Leave me, I am always happy alone.

It all tends to my one aim,

Forgetfulness of self, in order to please GOD”.

XVI.

LEARNING is not without its effect upon the soul;

It either lends it wings,

To bear it up to GOD,

Or leaves behind it tiny sparks,

Which little by little, consume the whole being.

 

If you would ascertain all the good, or ill,

You have derived from all those hours devoted to historians,

Poets, novelists, or philosophers, put to yourself these questions;

Since acquiring this knowledge, am I wiser?

Am I better? 

Am I happier?

 

Wiser?

That is to say more self-controlled, less the slave of my passions,

Less irritated by small vexations,

Braver in bearing misfortunes,

More careful to live for eternity?

 

Better?

More forbearing towards others,

More forgiving, less uncharitable, 

More reticent in exposing the faults of others, 

more solicitious for the happiness of those around me?

 

Happier?

That would mean more contented with my station in life,

Striving to derive all possible benefits from it,

To beautify rather than to alter it?

Have I more faith in GOD,

More calmness and resignation in all the events of life?

 

If you cannot reply in the affirmative,

Then examine your heart thoroughly,

And you will find there, 

Stifling the good that GOD has implanted,

These three tyrants that have obtained dominion over you:

  1. Pride,
  2. Ambition,
  3. Self-Conceit

From them have sprung:

Dissatisfaction and contempt of your life and its surroundings,

Restlessness, a longing for power and dominion over others,

Malice, habitual discontent, and incessant murmurings. 

Have you any…

 
 

   

Further doubts? Then inquire of those with whom you live.

 

Ah! If this be indeed the sad result, then,

Whatever may be your age, close, oh!

Close those books, and seek once more those two elements

Of happiness you ought never to have forsaken,

And which, had you made them the companions of your study,

would have kept you pure and good.

 

I refer to prayer and manual labour.

 

XVII.

LISTEN to the story of a simple shepherd,

Given in his own words:

“I forgot now who it was that once said to me;

Jean Baptiste, you are very poor?

True- If you fell ill, your wife and children would be destitute?

True.

And then I felt anxious and uneasy for the rest of the day.

 

“At Evensong, wiser thoughts came to me,

And I said to myself;

Jean Baptiste, for more than thirty years

You have lived in the world

You have never possessed anything,

Yet still you live on,

And have been provided each day with nourishment, 

Each night with repose.

Of trouble GOD has never sent you more than your share.

Of help, the means have never failed you.

To whom do you owe all of this?

To GOD.

Jean Baptiste, be no longer ungrateful,

And banish those anxious thoughts;

For what could ever induce you to think

That the Hand from which you have already received so much,

Would close against you when you grow old,

And have greater need of help?

I finished my prayer, and felt at peace.”

 

XVIII.

The work of the sower is given to each of us in this world,

And we fall short of our duty when

We let those with whom…

 
TO BE CONTINUED… 
 
 
 
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