Tuesday, June 11, 2013

St. Francis de Sales: Everyday Spirituality

Be at peace.
Do not look forward with fear to the changes of life;
Rather look to them with full hope as they arise.
God, whose very own you are, will deliver you from out of them.
God has kept you hitherto,
 and God will lead you safely through all things;
And when you cannot stand it,
 God will bury you in almighty, loving arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
The same everlasting God who cares for you today
  will take care of you then and every day.
God will either shield you from suffering,
  or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imagination.
      -St. Francis de Sales

One of the great Christian authors over the centuries is Francis de Sales. Living during the Reformation period in Europe, de Sales helped to bring spiritual renewal to the church in his day. He was a wise spiritual director, who wanted to see all Christians grow deeper in their faith. With a great pastor’s heart, he served as Bishop of Geneva from 1602-1622.

De Sales understands well the fears and anxieties in our hearts, and addresses the daily burdens that we all carry. Ultimately, he invites us all to experience more of God’s peace and presence. The quote above, as well as the one below, has really ministered to me the past several months. Both can be found online.

Do everything calmly and peacefully. Do as much as you can as well as you can. Strive to see God in all things without exception, and consent to His will joyously. Do everything for God, uniting yourself to him in word and deed. Walk very simply with the Cross of the Lord and be at peace with yourself.
      -St. Francis de Sales

De Sales’ writings, especially Introduction to the Devout Life, are appreciated by Protestants and Roman Catholics alike. Some of his letters we have preserved today in Letters of Spiritual Direction, by St. Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal, in the series Classics of Western Spirituality, Paulist Press, 1988.

If you have not yet become acquainted with Francis de Sales, you will really enjoy reading his works. Various translations of his work are available in paperback. Online you can find many helpful quotes by him, as well as information of his life. You can also some older translations of his works for free:


© 2012 Glenn E. Myers

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