from the annals of history unto our current day
The Spiritual Meditations of St. Francis de Sales
from the book, 'Introduction to the Devout Life'
first written for St. Jane Frances de Chantal and now offered to all
On the Choice upon to you between Heaven and Hell
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God. 2. Humble yourself before Him, and
ask His inspiration.
1. Imagine yourself alone with your good angel in an open plain, as was
Tobit on his way to Rages. Suppose the Angel to set before you Paradise,
full of delights and joys; and on the other hand Hell, with all its
torments. Contemplate both, kneeling in imagination before your guardian
Angel. Consider that you are most truly standing between Hell and Paradise,
and that both the one and the other are open to receive you, according to
your own choice.
2. Consider that the choice you make in this life will last for ever in the
3. Consider too, that while both are open to receive you according to your
choice, yet God, Who is prepared to give the one by reason of His Justice,
the other by reason of His Mercy, all the while desires unspeakably that you
should select Paradise; and your good Angel is urging you with all his might
to do so, offering you countless graces on God's part, countless helps to
attain to it.
4. Consider that Jesus Christ, enthroned in Heaven, looks down upon you in
loving invitation: O beloved one, come unto Me, and joy for ever in the
eternal blessedness of My Love! Behold His mother yearning over you with
maternal tenderness, Courage, my child, do not despise the Goodness of my
Son, or my earnest prayers for thy salvation. Behold the Saints, who have
left you their example, the millions of holy souls who long after you,
desiring earnestly that you may one day be for ever joined to them in their
song of praise, urging upon you that the road to Heaven is not so hard to
find as the world would have you think. Press on boldly, dear friend, they
cry. Whoso will ponder well the path by which we came hither, will discover
that we attained to these present delights by sweeter joys than any this
world can give.
1. O Hell, I abhor thee now and for ever; I abhor thy griefs and torments,
thine endless misery, the unceasing blasphemies and maledictions which thou
pourest out upon my God; and turning to thee, O blessed Paradise, eternal
glory, unfading happiness, I choose thee for ever as my abode, thy glorious
mansions, thy precious and abiding tabernacles. O my God, I bless Thy Mercy
which gives me the power to choose, O Jesus, Saviour, I accept Thine Eternal
Love, and praise Thee for the promise Thou hast given me of a place prepared
for me in that blessed New Jerusalem, where I shall love and bless Thee for
2. Dwell lovingly upon the example set before you by the Blessed Virgin and
the Saints, and strive to follow where they point you. Give yourself up to
your guardian Angel, that he may be your guide, and gird up your courage
anew to make this choice.
Return to the Eight Meditation . . .
Proceed to the Tenth Meditation