Raising Us From Misery

Jesus Heals the Sick by Gabriel von Max

St. Francis de Sales reflects upon the great work of the “Artisan of mercy,” Who raises fallen man out of his misery.

“Your miseries and infirmities should not astonish you; God has seen many others, and his mercy does not reject the miserable, but is exercised in doing them good.”

“Our imperfections should not please us, but they should not take away our courage. God does not like our imperfections and venial sins, but He loves us in spite of them.”

“Turn your eyes from yourself, and direct them towards God with an humble courage to speak to Him of his ineffable goodness in loving our poor human nature, in spite of its infirmities.”

“Behold this great Artisan of mercy. He converts our miseries into graces and the poison of our iniquities into salutary remedies for our souls.”

“Everything tends to the good of those who love God. . . . Yes, everything tends to their profit, even sin. David would never have been so humble if he had not sinned; nor would Magdalene’s love for her Saviour have been what it was. Tell me, then, what will He not do with our afflictions and labours?”

“You will never see God without goodness, or yourself free from misery; and you will find his goodness kind to your misery, and your misery the object of his mercy.”

St. Francis, therefore, declares confidently: “God will exercise his mercy towards me, for virtue will be perfected in infirmity.”

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

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