One of my favorite saints!

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Today is the feast day of St. Francis de Sales. His Introduction to the Devout Life is a classic that everyone must have in her library. Everyone. It's that good. He is so accesible, so homey, so to the point. It's a book that I will never exhaust, no matter how often I pick it up. Take this, for example (and Smock will have heard the first part of it many times before in Bible study!):

We condemn every little thing in our neighbor and excuse ourselves of important things. We want to sell very dearly and to buy at bargain prices. We desire that justice be done in another's house but that mercy and generosity be granted to our own. We like to have things we say taken in good part but we are tender and touchy about what others say...

In general we prefer the rich to the poor, even though they are neither of better condition nor as virtuous. We even prefer those who are better dressed. We rigorously demand our own rights, but want others to be considerate in insisting on theirs. We maintain our rank with exactness, but we want others to be humble and accommodating as to theirs. We complain easily about our neighbors, but none of them must complain about us. What we do for others always seems very great, but what is done for us seems nothing at all......

Yet we are obliged to make amendment since they are great faults against reason and charity. In the end they are simply acts of self-deceit, for a man loses nothing by living generously, nobly, courteously, and with a royal, just, and reasonable heart. Philothea, resolve to examine your heart often to see if it is such toward your neighbor as you would like his to be toward you were you in his place. This is the touchstone of true reason.

He is one of the saints I long to meet in heaven!


Introduction to the Devout Life is one of only two books actually by saints that I have read ... and I need to reread it, if not actually own it! Thanks for the reminder.

i love francis de sales and find him to be brilliant and obviously, quite unassuming. in how he can speak to the depths of your soul. it's amazing how the great writers can speak to the depths of your soul. to be able to do that, and be centuries old.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on January 24, 2005 1:22 PM.

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