St. Francis de Sales On Joy

St. Francis de Sales was Bishop of Geneva from 1602 till his death in 1622. The Catholic spirituality he taught was one full of joy springing from love. Here are excerpts from his writings:

“You wish absolutely to form Jesus Christ in you, in your heart, in your works, by a sincere love of his doctrine and a perfect imitation of his life; rest assured it will cost you many pangs; but they will pass away, and the presence of Jesus, who shall live in you, will fill your soul with an ineffable joy which can never be taken from you.”

“Fear not; you are walking upon the sea, amid the winds and the waves, but it is with Jesus. If fear seizes you, cry loudly, ‘Lord, save me!’ He will stretch forth his hand to you; clasp it firmly and go joyfully on.”

“Live joyfully; our Lord looks down upon you, and looks upon you with love, and with a tenderness proportioned to your foolishness.”

“Would to God that we paid little attention to the condition of the road which alarms us, but kept our eyes steadily fixed upon Him who guides us, and the happy end to which He leads us.”

“You will be very happy if you receive with a filial and loving heart what our Lord sends you from a heart so paternal in its care of your perfection.”

“What a happiness it is to be with God, no one knowing what passes between God and the heart but God Himself and the adoring heart.”

“He who lives but for God seeks only God, and since God is with him in adversity as well as in prosperity, he dwells in peace in the midst of tribulation.”

“Make your little efforts sweetly, peacefully, and amiably to please this Sovereign Goodness, and do not be astonished at difficulties.”

“Live wholly according to the Spirit, live quietly in peace, have perfect confidence that God will help you.”

Quotations from Maxims and Counsels of St. Francis de Sales, translated by Ella McMahon (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son, 1884).

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