St. Francis de Sales
Francis was destined by his father to be a lawyer so that the young man could eventually take his elder's place as a senator from the province of Savoy in France. For this reason Francis was sent to Padua to study law. After receiving his doctorate, he returned home and, in due time, told his parents he wished to enter the priesthood. His father strongly opposed Francis in this, and only after much patient persuasiveness on the part of the gentle Francis did his father finally consent. Francis was ordained and elected provost of the Diocese of Geneva, then a center for the Calvinists. Francis set out to convert them, especially in the district of Chablais. By preaching and distributing the little pamphlets he wrote to explain true Catholic doctrine, he had remarkable success.
At 35 he became bishop of Geneva. While administering his diocese he continued to preach, hear confessions and catechize the children. His gentle character was a great asset in winning souls. He practiced his own axiom, "A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrelful of vinegar."
Besides his two well-known books, the Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God, he wrote many pamphlets and carried on a vast correspondence. For his writings, he has been named patron of the Catholic Press. His writings, filled with his characteristic gentle spirit, are addressed to lay people. He wants to make them understand that they too are called to be saints. As he wrote in The Introduction to the Devout Life: "It is an error, or rather a heresy, to say devotion is incompatible with the life of a soldier, a tradesman, a prince, or a married woman.... It has happened that many have lost perfection in the desert who had preserved it in the world. "
In spite of his busy and comparatively short life, he had time to collaborate with another saint, Jane Frances de Chantal (August 12), in the work of establishing the Sisters of the Visitation. These women were to practice the virtues exemplified in Mary's visit to Elizabeth: humility, piety and mutual charity. They at first engaged to a limited degree in works of mercy for the poor and the sick. Today, while some communities conduct schools, others live a strictly contemplative life.
Francis de Sales took seriously the words of Christ, "Learn of me for I am meek and humble of heart." As he said himself, it took him 20 years to conquer his quick temper, but no one ever suspected he had such a problem, so overflowing with good nature and kindness was his usual manner of acting. His perennial meekness and sunny disposition won for him the title of "Gentleman Saint."
Francis de Sales tells us: "The person who possesses Christian meekness is affectionate and tender towards everyone: he is disposed to forgive and excuse the frailties of others; the goodness of his heart appears in a sweet affability that influences his words and actions, presents every object to his view in the most charitable and pleasing light."
Patron Saint of:
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
The more we call on God
Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground.
The Word of God
What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word? I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Meditation: Mark 3:13-19
Subscriber? Login to view archives.
They came to him. (Mark 3:13)
"On a clear day," songwriter Alan Jay Lerner assures us, "you can see forever." From the top of the Willis Tower in Chicago, you can see as far as fifty miles. It's understandable, then, that when Jesus commissioned his chosen twelve disciples, he summoned them up onto a mountain. He was taking them to a place where they would have bigger vision, where they could see more and broader and farther in every direction. It was a place of clarity and light and hope in what the Father had in store for his creation. In a sense, he wanted them to see "forever."
Mark also tells us that Jesus called the Twelve by name. He changed Simon's name to Peter and designated James and John as "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17). He knew those men very well, and he showed that knowledge in their new names.
Yet they were just beginning. Peter would still waver at the crucial hour. James and John would still thunder about being the greatest. No matter. Jesus saw them with a depth of understanding that reached far beyond that moment in time.
Jesus knows you very well. He is always on that mountain, looking farther than any of us can see. He sees deeply and clearly into your life and understands far more about you than just who you are today. He sees the person his Father created you to be. He isn't daunted by your present reality any more than he was dismayed by who the Twelve were the day he commissioned them. Jesus sees the bigger picture. His faith in the Father's plan for you is unshakable.
Most amazing of all, Jesus offers you the chance to have that deep and knowing vision. He calls you by name, as he did the disciples, to come away with him and to allow him to give you bigger vision. As you pray and read Scripture, reflect on what God seems to be doing in your life. He is summoning you to be and to do something. Write down what you think. Ask him to show you more about it. He wants you to see more and broader and clearer—so that you can share that vision with the people around you!
"Jesus, enlarge my vision today. Take me to a place where I can see what you are calling me to."
1 Samuel 24:3-21; Psalm 57:2-4, 6, 11
We have to ask ourselves, what kind of faith are we living? There was a time that a person done me wrong, and I could've done them wrong back...but I didn't. There was a time someone insulted me and I had a chance to insult them back...but I didn't. There was a time when a man walked this earth, that was insulted, done wrong, was sought to be killed, and he could've had them obliterated in an instant...but He didn't. This my brothers and sisters, this is Jesus, Lord, God, Brother, Lover, King of Kings, good and merciful beyond compare. It is us that have to watch our faith, because some of us have tendencies to live more as an atheist, than a theist. Theists must believe beyond theology. This is of the Divine Economy, of having to do everything with His Love. If I believe, I truly live His Way. Too many times I witness the opposite of what God wants, within families, neighbors, and communities. You see, Jesus starts in families, spreads to neighbors, and communities. He chose His 12 on the mountain, the Apostles, to preach and drive out demons. They spread it to their families, neighbors, and communities, to us this very day. Because what I do is a teaching, a preaching, a blessing, or a curse. So often we feel we are "OK" in the faith. Foolishness. We are not supposed to "think we are OK" in the faith, who told you? Today, David had within his grasps the ability to choose life or death for his lord. We too, we have the ability to choose life or death for our lord...in our faith. Being Pro Life is way more than shutting down abortion clinics. In my inmost being, I was involved in a few different organizations pro-life. In them all, I sensed a sincere lack of LIFE in the "pro-life" movement. There is a sincere lack of the truth of life. One group split off, another couldn't get along, and another just failed to meet. I say this because I went to a pro-life meeting this weekend and of the 50 that should've been there, it was only me and a husband and wife. But, everyone is "pro life" right? I do not intend to cause problems, but I do intend to cause problems for evil's plan of disruption and division. We who are "pro life" need to be sincere. Not just for a moment, but FOREVER. We had a "March For Life" in Washington, one is in Texas, in California, everywhere, and when everyone stops marching, then what? When the abortion clinics close, then what? As is the case for one prolife group, they are trying to decide how they will go forth now that the local planned parenthood closed, they don't know what to do. They split off from the church where they had started being prolife at in the first place. Now what? Do we truly choose LIFE or do we choose the other thing we so call a "life", the other "option", the other so called "CHOICE"? Am I being hard, or am I speaking the truth? Because I'm not simply talking about some prolife group deal, I'm talking about our very own faith! So often we live some watered down version of our faith and it trickles down to our kids, neighbors, communities, and nations. That's what I'm talking about. It is the question of "am I truly following Jesus, or whenever I feel like it"? Is this faith ongoing every minute of my life? Or am I clocking in at church on Sunday and clocking out? Am I a "mechanical mike"? Or Am I truly faithful? Am I just going through the motions, or even worse, doing my own thing? My own religion? Because that is a heresy of our generation, this, moral relativisim, this LIE that says "believe whatever you want, and that is the truth". No my brothers and sisters. The world is dangerous with traps, smoke and mirrors, all the noise, all the temptations. David was tempted to kill Saul, but had MERCY. He truly CHOSE LIFE. This is what it means to be Pro LIFE, and Jesus assumes all of what David did but more. Jesus chose LIFE when the world chose death. He did it time and time again, healing on the Sabbath, choosing true life above all, a life with Him, His Way. Because even after He was put to death, God chose Life, this is not the end. This is why we are baptized Christians. Chosen? Yes. Before I wrote to you this morning, I took some deep moments of breathing and reflection, and the reflection said "Lord, you are already there, you are already at our disposal, with the message, with mercy...it is me that i'm asking to be made at your disposal, allow me to be open to you". This is an invocation to the Holy Spirit. This is a personal prayer, this is what we should be doing always, before we do anything, especially the important things in our lives where we have to "choose". To those who have eyes and ears, let them see and hear.
The Lord wants more than we can believe...