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
How the Soul chooses the Devout Life
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God. 2. Humble yourself before Him, and
ask His Aid.
1. Once more imagine yourself in an open plain, alone with your guardian
Angel, and represent to yourself on the left hand the Devil sitting on a
high and mighty throne, surrounded by a vast troop of worldly men, who bow
bareheaded before him, doing homage to him by the various sins they commit.
Study the countenances of the miserable courtiers of that most abominable
king: some raging with fury, envy and passion, some murderous in their
hatred; others pale and haggard in their craving after wealth, or madly
pursuing every vain and profitless pleasure; others sunk and lost in vile,
impure affections. See how all alike are hateful, restless, wild: see how
they despise one another, and only pretend to an unreal self-seeking love.
Such is the miserable reign of the abhorred Tyrant.
2. On the other hand, behold Jesus Christ Crucified, calling these unhappy
wretches to come to Him, and interceding for them with all the Love of His
Precious Heart. Behold the company of devout souls and their guardian
Angels, contemplate the beauty of this religious Kingdom. What lovelier than
the troop of virgin souls, men and women, pure as lilies: widows in their
holy desolation and humility; husbands and wives living in all tender love
and mutual cherishing. See how such pious souls know how to combine their
exterior and interior duties; to love the earthly spouse without diminishing
their devotion to the Heavenly Bridegroom. Look around, one and all you will
see them with loving, holy, gentle countenances listening to the Voice of
their Lord, all seeking to enthrone Him more and more within their hearts.
They rejoice, but it is with a peaceful, loving, sober joy; they love, but
their love is altogether holy and pure. Such among these devout ones as have
sorrows to bear, are not disheartened thereby, and do not grieve overmuch,
for their Saviour's Eye is upon them to comfort them, and they all seek Him
3. Surely you have altogether renounced Satan with his weary miserable
troop, by the good resolutions you have made; but nevertheless you have not
yet wholly attained to the King Jesus, or altogether joined His blessed
company of devout ones: you have hovered betwixt the two.
4. The Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, St. Louis, St. Monica, and hundreds of
thousands more who were once like you, living in the world, call upon you
and encourage you.
5. The Crucified King Himself calls you by your own name: Come, O my
beloved, come, and let Me crown thee!
1. O world, O vile company, never will I enlist beneath thy banner; for ever
I have forsaken thy flatteries and deceptions. O proud king, monarch of
evil, infernal spirit, I renounce thee and all thy hollow pomp, I detest
thee and all thy works.
2. And turning to Thee, O Sweet Jesus, King of blessedness and of eternal
glory, I cleave to Thee with all the powers of my soul, I adore Thee with
all my heart, I choose Thee now and ever for my King, and with inviolable
fidelity I would offer my irrevocable service, and submit myself to Thy holy
laws and ordinances.
3. O Blessed Virgin Mother of God, you shall be my example, I will follow
you with all reverence and respect.
O my good Angel, bring me to this heavenly company, leave me not until I
have reached them, with whom I will sing for ever, in testimony of my
choice, Glory be to Jesus, my Lord!
Return to the Ninth Meditation