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
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God. 2. Intreat Him to inspire you.
1. When the time comes which God has appointed for the end of this world,
and after many terrible signs and warnings, which will overwhelm men with
fear, the whole earth will be destroyed, and nothing then left.
2. Afterwards, all men, save those already risen, shall rise from the dead,
and at the voice of the Archangel appear in the valley of Jehoshaphat. But
alas, with what divers aspects! for some will be glorious and shining,
others horrible and ghastly.
3. Consider the majesty with which the Sovereign Judge will appear
surrounded by all His Saints and Angels; His Cross, the Sign of Grace to the
good and of terror to the evil, shining brighter than the sun.
4. This Sovereign Judge will with His awful word, instantly fulfilled,
separate the evil and the good, setting the one on His Right Hand, the other
on His Left, an eternal separation, for they will never meet again.
5. This separation made, the books of conscience will be opened, and all men
will behold the malice of the wicked, and how they have contemned God; as
also the penitence of the good, and the results of the grace they received.
Nothing will be hid. O my God, what confusion to the one, what rejoicing to
the other! Consider the final sentence of the wicked. Depart from Me, ye
cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Dwell
upon these awful words. Go, He says, for ever discarding these wretched
sinners, banishing them for ever from His Presence. He calls them
cursed: O my soul, what a curse: a curse involving all other maledictions,
all possible evil, an irrevocable curse, including all time and eternity;
condemning them to everlasting fire. Think what that eternity of suffering
6. Then consider the sentence of the good. Come, the Judge says, O blessed
loving word with which God draws us to Himself and receives us in His Bosom.
Blessed of My Father, O blessing above all blessings! inherit the Kingdom
prepared for you from the beginning of the world. O my God, and that
Kingdom will know no end!
Affections and Resolutions
1. Tremble, my soul, at the thought. O God, who will be my stay in that hour
when the pillars of the earth are shaken?
2. Abhor your sins, which alone can cause you to be lost when that fearful
day comes. Surely I will judge myself now, that I be not judged;—I will
examine my conscience, accuse, condemn, punish myself, that the Judge may
not condemn me then. I will confess my faults, and follow the counsels given
Thank God for having given you means of safety in that terrible Day, and
time for repentance. Offer Him your heart, and ask for grace to use it well.
OUR FATHER, etc.
Gather your bouquet.
Return to the Fifth Meditation . . .
Proceed to the Seventh Meditation