Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) ON PRAYER, II

[This is another a series of posts featuring a saint, mystic, or writer to include some of their thoughts on prayer as well as a prayer written by or ascribed to him or her.  Today is this saint’s Feast. For more about him, visit the Saint of the Day blog on the right column of this blog.]

Vitrail Florac 010609 04

The greatest fault we commit in our prayers, in our occupations and in our setbacks is the lack of confidence in God. This is the reason why we fail to receive from the Divine Goodness the help we deserve and ask for.

We should approach holy prayer purely and simply 
to do our duty and give witness to our fidelity. 
If it pleases His Divine Majesty to speak to us and 
aid us by His holy inspirations and interior consolations, 
it is certainly a great honor and the sweetest of delights. 
But if it does not please God to give us this grace, ignoring us 
as if He did no see us or as if we were not in His presence, 
we must not leave on that account but 
remain there devotedly and peacefully. 
The Lord will infallibly be pleased with our patience 
and note our diligence and perseverance, 
so that when we come before Him again 
He will favor us with His consolations and 
enable us to taste the delights of deep prayer.

Mental prayer is no less useful to us or 
less pleasing to God when we suffer many distractions. 
As a matter of fact, it could be more useful 
than if we had many consolations, 
because it means harder work for us. 
It suffices that we faithfully try to drive away the distractions, 
not allowing our spirit to dwell on them willingly.

We must set our hearts firmly in God and never withdraw them, 
because God alone is our peace, our consolation and our glory! 
What can we expect if we do not unite ourselves to our dear Savior? 
We are indeed fortunate to be able to graft our hearts onto that of the Savior. 
He is united to the divinity, the sacred root of the tree 
of which we are the branches. 
“Yes, dear Jesus, 
do with my heart according to Your own pleasure! 
I do not want to have any further rights over it. 
I donate, consecrate and sacrifice it forever to You.”

A Prayer Written by Saint Francis de Sales
If only I possessed the grace,
good Jesus, to be utterly at one with you! 
Amidst all the variety of worldly things around me, 
Lord, the only thing I crave is unity with you. 
You are all my soul needs.  

Unite, dear friend of my heart,
this unique little soul of mine to your perfect goodness.
You are all mine; when shall I be yours? 
Lord Jesus, my beloved, be the magnet of my heart; 
clasp, press, unite me for ever to your sacred heart.
You have made me for yourself; make me one with you.  
Absorb this tiny drop of life
into the ocean of goodness whence it came.”  

— (Prayer of Francis de Sales, (1567-1622)


[PHOTO of  l’église Saint-Martin de Florac: Saint François de Sales by Vassil: “I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide.” Courtesy of Wikkimedia Commons.]


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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One Response to Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) ON PRAYER, II

  1. “Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) ON PRAYER, II | HEARTS ON FIRE” was a remarkable blog post.
    If it possessed even more photos this would probably be possibly even even better.
    Cya -Ewan

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