Humility is true knowledge.
Isn't that the truth?
January 24 was/is the feast day of St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), one of my favorite saints. We're talking top ten and, excluding Biblical saints, right up there with St. Francis of Assisi. His many letters and teachings are so very beautiful, inspiring, encouraging. Moreover, he's the patron saint of writers. I wasn't able to post the 24th, but I do want to share a bit about this kind and loving teacher.
Born into an aristocratic family in Swiss Savoy and eldest of 13 children, St. Francis had every worldly opportunity. As eldest son, he was expected to make an excellent marriage and accept a seat in the senate (offered to him by the Prince of Savoy). He received the highest education, first in Paris and then Padua, where he obtained a doctorate in law. During all of his university years, his only wish was to become a priest and serve God.
A clear calling. I find it wonderful and extraordinary that a young man in Paris -- Paris, people -- and Padua would be absorbed in his faith and devotion to God. His father wasn't entirely pleased at first, but when he saw how truly sincere his son was, he gave his blessing. And isn't that a refreshing departure from the many stories of familial opposition?
He was meant to be a priest, had wanted to be one since around the age of nine. He loved God and ardently desired the best for us.
Peace is better than a fortune. You must do what you see can be done with love.
Never be hurried in anything. Do all things calmly and in a spirit of repose. Do not lose your inward peace even if everything seems to be going wrong. What is anything in life compared to peace of soul?
With the single exception of sin, anxiety is the greatest evil that can happen to a soul.
He became the spiritual director of Jane de Chantal, who became St. Jane de Chantal, who with him cofounded Order of the Visitation, which ministered to widows and ill, abandoned women. He guided her primarily through written epistles filled with rich, spiritual lessons. Many of the letters were preserved and have come down to us. They are encouraging, inspiring, and filled with kindness.
He wrote a lot. His most famous book, Introduction to the Devout Life, was a bestseller in his lifetime and beloved all over Europe. The same goes for his book Treatise on the Love of God.
Everything he wrote, he wrote with great love and compassion. But he was faithful in his teachings, guiding us with love, redirecting us with patience and confidence.
A man loses nothing by living generously, nobly, courteously, and with a royal, just, and reasonable heart.
A little courtesy, a small virtue -- but the mark of a true greatness.
You tell me you do not have the time to give two or three hours to prayer. Who asks you to do so? ...Who can prevent you from speaking to Him in the depth of your heart, since it makes no difference whether you speak to him mentally or vocally? Make short but fervent aspirations.
A dear and favorite teacher...
Look up to heaven, and do not forfeit it for earth.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!
Let us go in the safekeeping of God.
A Little of This, a Little of That
Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran
From me to you with a smile.
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