St Francis de Sales, Bishop, Doctor – 24 Jan

St Francis de Sales, Bishop, Doctor – 24 Jan

St Francis de Sales, Bishop, Doctor – 24 Jan

No Comments on St Francis de Sales, Bishop, Doctor – 24 Jan
He was born near Annécy, in Savoy, studied the law, and was ordained to the priesthood despite the opposition of his father. His first mission was to re-evangelize the people of his home district (the Chablais), who had gone over to Calvinism. Always in danger of his life from hostile Calvinists, he preached with such effectiveness that after four years most of the people had returned to the Church. He was then appointed bishop of Geneva, and spent the rest of his life reforming and reorganising the diocese, and in caring for the souls of his people by preaching and spiritual guidance.
  St Francis taught that we can all attain a devout and spiritual life, whatever our position in society: holiness is not reserved for monks and hermits alone. He wrote that “religious devotion does not destroy: it perfects,” and his spiritual counsel is dedicated to making people more holy by making them more themselves. In his preaching against Calvinism he was driven by love rather than a desire to win: so much so, that it was a Calvinist minister who said “if we honoured anyone as a saint, I know of no-one since the days of the Apostles more worthy of it than this man.”
  St Francis is the patron saint of writers and journalists, who would do well to imitate his love and his moderation: as he said, “whoever wants to preach effectively must preach with love.”
(universalis.com)

Readings

Nothing makes us so prosperous in this world as to give alms. – Saint Francis de Sales

It is to those who have the most need of us that we ought to show our love more especially. – Saint Francis de Sales

Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence. SaintFrancis de Sales

 

We must fear God out of love, not love Him out of fear. Saint Francis de Sales

 

 

O love eternal, my soul needs and chooses you eternally! Ah, come Holy Spirit, and inflame our hearts with your love! To love – or to die! To die – and to love! To die to all other love in order to live in Jesus’ love, so that we may not die eternally. But that we may live in your eternal love, O Savior of our souls, we eternally sing, “Live, Jesus! Jesus, I love! Live, Jesus, whom I love! Jesus, I love, Jesus who lives and reigns forever and ever.” Amen. – from Treatise on the Love of God by Saint Francis de Sales

 

Some torment themselves in seeking means to discover the art of loving God, and do not know – poor creatures – that there is no art or means of loving Him but to love those who love Him – that is, to begin to practice those thing which are pleasing to Him. – Saint Francis de Sales

 

An action of small value performed with much love of God is far more excellent than one of a higher virtue, done with less love of God. – Saint Francis de Sales

Blessed are those whose hearts are ever open to God’s inspiration; they will never lack what they need to live good holy lives, or to perform properly the duties of their state. For just as God gives each animal through its nature the instincts needed for its self-preservation, so – if we offer no obstacle to grace – he gives each of us the inspirations needed for life, activity and self-preservation on the spiritual level. When we are at a loss what to do, when human help fails us in our dilemmas, then God inspires us. If only we are humbly obedient, he will not let us go astray. Some plants point their flowers at the sun, turn them with it as it moves. The sunflower, however, turns not only its flowers, but its leaves as well. In the same way all God’s chosen ones turn their hearts toward God’s will by keeping his commandments. But those who are utterly filled with charity turn to God’s will by more than mere obedience to his commandments. They also give him their hearts, follow him in all that he commands, counsels or inspires, unreservedly, with no exceptions whatsoever. – Saint Francis de Sales, from Finding God Wherever You Are

The highest degree of meekness consists in seeing, serving, honoring, and treating amiably, on occasion, those who are not to our taste, and who show themselves unfriendly, ungrateful, and troublesome to us. – Saint Francis de Sales

Make yourself familiar with the angels, and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you. – Saint Francis De Sales

The virtue of patience is the one which most assures us of perfection. – Saint Francis De Sales

Our average fault is that we wish to serve God in our way, not in His way- according to our will, not according to His will. When He wishes us to be sick, we wish to be well; when He desires us to serve Him by sufferings, we desire to serve Him by works; when He wishes us to exercise charity, we wish to exercise humility; when He seeks from us resignation, we wish for devotion, a spirit of prayer or some other virtue. And this is not because the things we desire may be more pleasing to Him, but because they are more to our taste. This is certainly the average obstacle we can raise to our own perfection, for it is beyond doubt that if we were to wish to be Saints according to our own will, we shall never be so at all. To be truly a Saint, it is necessary to be one according to the will of God. – Saint Francis de Sales

All the science of the Saints is included in these two things: To do, and to suffer. And whoever had done these two things best, has made himself most saintly. – Saint Francis de Sales

Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them. – Saint Francis de Sales

Consider all the past as nothing, and say, like David: Now I begin to love my God. – Saint Francis de Sales

One of the things that keep us at a distance from perfection is, without a doubt, our tongue. For when one has gone so far as to commit no faults in speaking, the Holy Spirit Himself assures us that he is perfect. And since the worst way of speaking is to speak too much, speak little and well, little and gently, little and simply, little and charitably, little and amiably. – Saint Francis de Sales

It should be our principal business to conquer ourselves and, from day to day, to go on increasing in strength and perfection. Above all, however, it is necessary for us to strive to conquer our little temptations, such as fits of anger, suspicions, jealousies, envy, deceitfulness, vanity, attachments, and evil thoughts. For in this way we shall acquire strength to subdue greater ones. – Saint Francis de Sales

There is nothing which edifies others so much as charity and kindness, by which, as by the oil in our lamp, the flame of good example is kept alive. – Saint Francis de Sales

As often as you can during the day, recall your mind to the presence of God…. Consider what God is doing, what you are doing. You will always find God’s eyes fixed on you in unchangeable love. Our hearts should each day seek a resting-place on Calvary or near our Lord, in order to retire there to rest from worldly cares and to find strength against temptation. Remember frequently to retire into the solitude of your heart, even while you are externally occupied in business or society. This mental solitude need not be hindered even though many people may be around you, for they surround your body not your heart, which should remain alone in the presence of God. As David said, “My eyes are ever looking at the Lord.” We are rarely so taken up in our exchanges with others as to be unable from time to time to move our hearts into solitude with God. – Saint Francis de Sales

Our profit does not depend so much on mortifying ourselves, as upon knowing how to mortify ourselves; that is, upon knowing how to chose the best mortifications, which are those most repugnant to our natural inclinations. Some are inclined to disciplines and fasts, and though they may be difficult things, they embrace them with fervor, and practice them gladly and easily, on account of this leaning which they have toward them. But then they will be so sensitive in regard to reputation and honor, that the least ridicule, disapproval, or slight is sufficient to throw them into a state of impatience and perturbation and to give rise to such complaints as show an equal want of peace and reason. These are the mortifications which they ought to embrace with the average readiness, if they wish to make progress. – Saint Francis de Sales

(CatholicSaints.Info)

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