Blog Post - January 29th
S. Francis de Sales| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Francis de Sales
Francis was destined by his father to be a lawyer so that the young man could eventually take his elder’s place as a senator from the province of Savoy in France. For this reason Francis was sent to Padua to study law. After receiving his doctorate, he returned home and, in due time, told his parents he wished to enter the priesthood. His father strongly opposed Francis in this, and only after much patient persuasiveness on the part of the gentle Francis did his father finally consent. Francis was ordained and elected provost of the Diocese of Geneva, then a center for the Calvinists. Francis set out to convert them, especially in the district of Chablais. By preaching and distributing the little pamphlets he wrote to explain true Catholic doctrine, he had remarkable success.
At 35 he became bishop of Geneva. While administering his diocese he continued to preach, hear confessions and catechize the children. His gentle character was a great asset in winning souls. He practiced his own axiom, “A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrelful of vinegar.”
Besides his two well-known books, the Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God, he wrote many pamphlets and carried on a vast correspondence. For his writings, he has been named patron of the Catholic Press. His writings, filled with his characteristic gentle spirit, are addressed to lay people. He wants to make them understand that they too are called to be saints. As he wrote in The Introduction to the Devout Life: “It is an error, or rather a heresy, to say devotion is incompatible with the life of a soldier, a tradesman, a prince, or a married woman.... It has happened that many have lost perfection in the desert who had preserved it in the world. ”
In spite of his busy and comparatively short life, he had time to collaborate with another saint, Jane Frances de Chantal (August 12), in the work of establishing the Sisters of the Visitation. These women were to practice the virtues exemplified in Mary’s visit to Elizabeth: humility, piety and mutual charity. They at first engaged to a limited degree in works of mercy for the poor and the sick. Today, while some communities conduct schools, others live a strictly contemplative life.
Francis de Sales took seriously the words of Christ, “Learn of me for I am meek and humble of heart.” As he said himself, it took him 20 years to conquer his quick temper, but no one ever suspected he had such a problem, so overflowing with good nature and kindness was his usual manner of acting. His perennial meekness and sunny disposition won for him the title of “Gentleman Saint.”
Francis de Sales tells us: “The person who possesses Christian meekness is affectionate and tender towards everyone: he is disposed to forgive and excuse the frailties of others; the goodness of his heart appears in a sweet affability that influences his words and actions, presents every object to his view in the most charitable and pleasing light.”
Patron Saint of:
Pray Every Day:
Pray every day--giving God quality time, not a moment here or there, sandwiched between e-mails and phone calls, work and play. Have a daily date with God, a time that is sacred to you and Him. let nothing except a real emergency deny you time with God.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Help yourself mainly during this period of spiritual dryness by reading holy books, for this reading provides excellant food for the soul.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111
The first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.
In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.
The reflections based on her first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.
Reflection 28: Temptations to Complain
At times we are tempted to complain. When tempted to question God and His perfect love and perfect plan, know that this temptation is nothing more than that…a temptation. In the midst of that temptation to doubt and question God’s love, renew your trust and abandon your self-pity. In this act you will find strength (See Diary #25).
What is it you have complained about the most this week? What most tempts you to be angry or annoyed? Has this temptation led to feelings of self-pity? Has it weakened your trust in God’s perfect love? Reflect upon this temptation and see it as a means of growing in love and virtue. Often times our greatest struggle is a disguise for our greatest means of holiness.
Lord, I am sorry for the times I complain, get angry and doubt Your perfect love. I am sorry for any feelings of self-pity I have allowed myself to fall into. Help me, today, to let go of these feelings and to turn these temptations into moments of deeper trust and surrender. Jesus, I trust in You.