Meditations from St. Frances de Sales


Souls differ more widely from each other than do human faces. But however different souls might be, all of them ultimately have the same vocation–to glorify God by their holiness.

When you come to Him, speak to Him if you can. If not, stay there. Be seen, and care for nothing else. Remain near God in this gentle and quiet attention of heart and in the sweet slumber of His holy will, for all this is agreeable to Him.

We cannot require from ourselves what is not in ourselves. As your spirit looks elsewhere than where you are, it will never apply itself rightly to profiting from where you are. Let us be who we are, and let us be it well, so that we can do honour to the Master whose work we are.

We must hate our faults, but with a tranquil and quiet hate, not with an angry and restless hate; and so we must have patience when we see them, and draw from them the profit of a holy abasement of ourselves.

We must not break the strings nor throw up the lute when we find a discord; we must bend our ear to find where the disorder comes from, and then gently tighten or relax the string as required.

In patience you shall possess your souls. To possess fully our souls is the effect of patience, made more perfect as it is less mixed with disquiet and eagerness.