Quotes from St. Francis de Sales by Deacon Marty McIndoe

A Picture of a stained glass window of our church, St. Francis de Sales in Patchogue, Long Island, New York

Saint Francis de Sales is one of the most quoted Saints and I thought that on this, his Feast day of January 24th, I would share some of them with you.  St. Francis was known as the gentleman Saint.  He is one of the great Reformation era Saints who helped people to return to the fullness of the Church.  Enjoy these quotes.

If your eye is simple all of your body will be too.
Make yourself familiar with the Angels, and behold them frequently in spirit. Without being seen, they are present with you.
The most perfect degree of humility is to take pleasure in contempt and humiliations. It is worth more before God contempt suffered patiently for love of Him than a thousand fastings and disciplines.
All the good we do, we do for love of God, and the evil we avoid, we avoid for love of God
Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.
Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.
‘Be very quick to turn away from whatever leads or allurs to lewd conduct, for this evil works without our knowing it and from small beginnings moves on to great difficulties. Such things are always easier to avoid than to cure.’
A sign that we love truly love God is that we love Him the same in all occasions
If we say a little it is easy to add, but having said too much it is hard to withdraw and never can it be done so quickly as to hinder the harm of our success.
The saints feel that Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is diffuse and communicated totally in their souls and bodies. He repairs all, modifies and vivifies; loves in the heart, hears in the mind, sees in the eyes, speaks in the tongue; does all in all, and then it is not we who live, but Jesus Christ who lives in us.
The soul cannot live without love. All depends on providing a worthy object to love.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow. The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and everyday. Either he will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.
Know that the virtue of patience is what assures us the most perfection.
You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.
Nothing is more like a wise man than a fool who holds his tongue.
The true and solid devotion consists in the constant will, resolve, promptness and activeness to execute what is pleasing to God.
Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing so gentle as real strength.

You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so you learn to love God and man by loving. Begin as a mere apprentice and the very power of love will lead you on to become a master of the art.

Holiness is found in a path opened to us in our daily lives, the duties of our daily lives are offered to us with unequal attractiveness.
Let us not lower our eyes without humiliating at the same time the heart; let not others think we want the last place without truly desiring it.
When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.
‘Those impure words which are spoken in disguise, and with an affectation of reserve, are the most harmful of all; for just as the sharper the point of a dart, so much deeper it will pierce the flesh, so the sharper an unholy word, the more it penetrates the heart. And as for those who think to show themselves knowing when they say such things, they do not even understand the first object of mutual intercourse among men, who ought rather to be like a hive of bees gathering to make honey by good and useful conversation, than like a wasps’ nest, feeding on corruption. If any impertinent person addresses you in unseemly language, show that you are displeased by turning away, or by whatever other method your discretion may indicate.’
A heart full of love loves the commandments and the more difficult it seems, the more sweet and pleasing they become because it pleases the Beloved and gives Him more honor.
We have to do everything for love, not out of force.
Prayer, united with the Divine Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, has an indescribable force; therefore by this means celestial favors united to the Beloved abound in the soul.
Within the practices of religion, the Blessed Sacrament is what the Sun is to the stars; it is truly the soul of the Christian religion. It is the ineffable mystery that comprehends divine charity, by which God, truly uniting to us, communicates to us his magnificence, graces and favors.
O my child, bethink you that just as the bee, having gathered heaven’s dew and earth’s sweetest juices from amid the flowers, carries it to her hive; so the Priest, having taken the Saviour, God’s Own Son, Who came down from Heaven, the Son of Mary, Who sprang up as earth’s choicest flower, from the Altar, feeds you with that Bread of Sweetness and of all delight.

Stretch forth your hand towards God as an infant towards its father to be conducted by Him.
There is a light-hearted talk, full of modest life and gaiety, which the Greeks called Eutrapelia, and which we should call good conversation, by which we may find an innocent and kindly amusement out of the trifling occurrences which human imperfections afford. Only beware of letting this seemly mirth go too far, till it becomes ridicule. Ridicule excites mirth at the expense of one’s neighbour; seemly mirth and playful fun never lose sight of a trustful, kindly courtesy, which can wound no one. When the religious around him would fain have discussed serious matters with St. Louis at meal-times, he used to say, “This is not the time for grave discussion, but for general conversation and cheerful recreation,” – out of consideration for his courtiers. But, my daughter, let our recreation always be so spent, that we may win all eternity through devotion.

One thought on “Quotes from St. Francis de Sales by Deacon Marty McIndoe

  1. A great man and a saint for us all. I wish he was more popular. His faith and words are not just compelling and profound but also speak to everyone, rich or poor, book trained or life trained, man or woman.

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