Monday, October 26, 2009

Cast yourself into His arms like a child

"...Without a doubt, we must resolve again and again to unite ourselves to God in order that we may keep such resolutions. But in your fervors, I do not want you to desire temptations or occasions for mortification. Since, by the grace of God they will not be lacking to you, there is no need to occupy your heart in desiring them. Instead you should occupy your heart in preparing and readying itself to receive them - not when you wish, but when God wishes to give them to you...

But as for the complaint that you are miserable and unfortunate, my dear daughter, one must guard against this in every way. For beside the fact that such words are dishonorable for a servant of God, they come from a heart that is too dispirited and arise not so much from impatience as from anger.

Look here, my dear daughter, make a particular exercise of gentleness and acquiescence in the will of God, not only concerning extraordinary things, but chiefly in these little daily irritations. Prepare yourself for in in the morning, after dinner, in saying grace before supper, after supper, and in the evening; and make it your standard practice for a time. But do these exercises with a tranquil and joyous spirit; and if distractions arise, humble yourself and start again.

It is a good thing to aspire in a general way to the highest perfection of the Christian life, but we do not need to know its nature in detail, except insofar as it concerns our improvement and advancement in daily affairs. From day to day, refer the progress of your general wish for perfection to the Providence of God; in this matter, cast yourself into His arms like a child who, in order to grow, eats from day to day what his father gives to him, confident that his father will give to him in proportion to his appetite and his necessity.

Regarding your temptations to envy, practice what I advise in my book concerning these [Introduction to the Devout Life, part 2, chapters 45 & 52]. Because Holy Communion is profitable to you, receive it with spiritual fervor and a clear conscience. Live always joyously even amid your temptations. Do not do any other penance for the time being, and resolve yourselve in a spirit of gentleness to bear lovingly with your neighbor, to visit the sick, and to have good courage..."

-- From a letter from St Francis de Sales to Madame de la Fléchère (February 1609)


Telesia said...

Dear Sister,

I think St. Francis de Sales had a true understanding of the Heart of Jesus and His love for us,and as a result, he had such a sweet way of healing souls with his gentle cousel.

Thank you for this post; it is very consoling.

ocd sister said...

Dear Telesia,

Glad you enjoyed the post. Anything by St Francis de Sales is great. I read once that he had to struggle with his own nature in order to become gentle and affable. Hard to believe, but at the same time it's very consoling and encouraging for those of us who struggle with our tempers. "Live always joyously even amid your temptations." I think that now, more than ever, people need to read his writings...

God bless you!