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Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales - March - Printable Version

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RE: Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales - March - Hildegard of Bingen - 03-22-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers

March 22nd (page 82)

     So you want to know the best time to serve the Lord? It is the present time, which is in your possession here and now. The past is no longer yours; the future has not come yet and is uncertain. The best time is really the present, which you should spend in serving God. If you want to recover lost time, do your best, with fervor and diligence, in the time that still remains to you.

(Sermons 16; O. IX, p. 132)

     On March 22nd, 1599 – he was then thirty-two years old – Francis de Sales was examined in a public consistory by Pope Clement VIII, assisted by several cardinals and by twenty other important people, among whom were prelates, archbishops, bishops and superiors of religion orders. The great reputation of our saint had also attracted many other people outstanding for their merit and doctrine. The numerous and august assembly was so imposing that a Spanish prelate, who also had to undergo the examination on the same day, was so awestruck that he fainted! Confiding solely in God, the humble Francis de Sales courageously kept his calm and presence of mind. Kneeling down in the midst of the assembly, as was the custom in this ceremony, Francis was first asked by His Holiness, “What subjects have you studied?” He replied, “Sacred Theology, canon and civil law.” “In which of these areas do you wish to be examined?” “Whichever His Holiness desires.” In a severe tone, an examiner retorted, “You make the choice, since it has been left to you.” Francis humbly replied, “Since Sacred Theology is more in keeping with my vocation, I will try, with the help of God, to give my answers to whatever is proposed to me.” Commencing the examination, the pope put forth several questions. Then cardinals Borromeo, Baronio, Borghese, the learned and saintly Father Bellarmine and other examiners presented some very difficult questions, thirty-five in all, to which he replied with admirable precision. He resolved subtle objections to his answers with precision and clarity. His brisk but humble demeanor aroused admiration in his hearers. The pope, who listened to him with pleasure, ended the examination by proposing several difficulties. Among other things, he asked if bishops could absolve from heresy. Francis de Sales replied in the affirmative, according to the definition of the Council of Trent. Since that power had just been revoked, the pope replied, “My son, this is not in accordance with my intentions.” Then Francis, with modesty and deep reverence, said, “Holy Father, if Your Holiness revokes this dispensation, I accept your position and abandon the old.” This act of humility on the part of the holy priest was no less edifying to the assembly, who had so admired his learning and the exactitude of his reasoning. “No one we have examined until now has given us such satisfaction,” said the pope. Coming down from the throne, he approached Francis, who was still kneeling, embraced him and, with tears of joy, uttered aloud the words of Proverbs: “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. How may your water sources be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets?” [Prv 5:15] The prelates present at the examination joined the pope in offering their congratulations. All the city of Rome resounded with the praises of the new bishop, and the most famous personages considered it an honor to make his acquaintance.

(A.S. III, p. 547)

Try always to maintain love for your low condition, because this virtue
Is necessary even for people well on the way to perfection.

RE: Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales - March - Hildegard of Bingen - 03-23-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers

March 23rd (page 84)

   There is no need to fear that knowledge of the gifts that God has given us will make us proud, so long as we remember that none of the good in us comes from ourselves. Do mules cease to be dull, disgusting beasts because they are carrying the precious belongings and perfumes of a prince? What good do we possess that we have not received? And if we received it, why do we possess that we have not received? And if we received it, why do we glory in it? On the contrary, a lively consideration of the graces we have received makes us humble, because knowledge of them causes us to be grateful.

(INT. Part III, Ch. 5; O. III. P. 346)

     March 23rd, 1599, Juvenal Ancine of the oratory, then bishop of Saluzzo, paid a visit to our saint. Since we had been present at his examination, he congratulated him heartily on the very successful outcome. The virtuous prelate thanked him for these congratulations with so much piety and modesty that the great servant of God, embracing, him, said, “I am happy, Your Excellency, to see you so truly humble.” The two prelates became very close friends, and his friendship remained sincere and unaltered all their lives. When Francis de Sales learned of the death of the blessed bishop of Saluzzo, he wrote to his spiritual daughter: “The bishop of Saluzzo, one of my closest friends and one of the greatest servants of God who have ever lived in this world, is dead. This has caused great sorrow to his people, who have enjoyed his service and zeal for only eighteen months. We were made bishops on the same day. I ask to say three rosaries for his eternal repose, most certain that if he had outlived me he would have requested the same charity from as many people as possible.”

(A.S. III, p. 578)

Worrying restlessness is the greatest evil, except sin, that can take hold of a person.

RE: Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales - March - Hildegard of Bingen - 03-24-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers

March 24th (page 85)

     Live totally united to God and in Him alone, because life separated from Him is nothing but death! You do well not to influence your daughter's will; it is solely the work of the Holy Ghost to send good inspirations according to His own pleasure. On my part, I still have some hope and good indications that He will make her totally and perfectly His own. I do not doubt that she will obtain sufficient help to discover the truth, seeing that she seems marked for divine favor.

(Letters 1090; O. XVII, p. 10)

     On March 24, 1599, Pope Clement VIII sent a brief to Bishop De Granier, bishop of Geneva, appointing Francis de Sales as his coadjutor with right of succession and rejoicing with him on such a fine choice. The pope assured the bishop of the great satisfaction he had felt in getting to know Francis de Sales. On the same day, the new coadjutor was named the titular bishop of Nicopoli. The Holy Father also approved the requests which had been presented to him for the setting up of parishes in the region of the Chablais.This was in recognition of the outstanding zeal of our saint. Even in such extraordinary circumstances, he set aside his own interests to occupy himself to further the glory ofGod and the salvation of souls.

(A.S. III, p. 609)

What use is it to get upset? Why do you want to change your way of serving God? Everyone should attend to the
exercises proper to his or her own vocation, state andcondition in life. That is enough.

Nothing can hurt you. God is near.

RE: Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales - March - Hildegard of Bingen - 03-25-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers

MARCH 25 (page 86)

       Think for a moment of the piety of the Madonna when the angel told her that the Spirit would overshadow her. What sentiments of humility, confidence and courage! At the very moment when she understood that God had given her His heart, that is, His Son, she gave herself to God.

       Her soul was flooded with charity, so she could say with the sacred spouse, ". . . Fort to thee will pray: O Lord, in the morning thou shalt hear my voice." [Sg 5:4] As far as we are concerned, we receive a similar grade in Communion, because not an angel but Jesus Christ Himself assures us that in it the Holy Ghost descends on us. Heavenly power covers us with its shadow and the Son of God really comes to us. He can say that He is conceived and born in us. Truly then, the soul can respond with the Madonna, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." [Lk 1:38] - (Spiritual Directory, Art. 12)

      On March 25th, 1599, while still in Rome, Francis de Sales had the good fortune of receiving Communion from the hands of Pope Clement VIII. He received such singular graces from the Lord in that Communion that he always wanted to remember them. In a note written in his own hand we read the following: "The day of the Annunciation, having received Holy Communion from the hands of the supreme pontiff, my soul was very much consoled interiorly. God deigned to grant me a great understanding of the mystery of the Incarnation. He gave me to understand how in an inexplicable manner the Word had voluntarily taken flesh through the power of the Father and the operation of the Holy Ghost in the most chaste womb of Mary and so commenced to live among us. The God-Man also gave me a deep and exquisite knowledge of transubstantiation and about His entrance into my soul; He also gave me special lights about the ministry of the pastors of the Church."

(A.S. III, p. 638)

Mary most holy is the mystical beehive in which the Spirit and the Lord have prepared the honeycomb of the most sweet honey, Jesus Christ.

RE: Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales - March - Hildegard of Bingen - 03-26-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers

MARCH 26th ( page 87)

      Oh, contemplate how Jesus Christ our Savior, at the moment of His Incarnation, took us all without exception on His shoulders, because from that moment He accepted the task of redeeming us by His death on the cross! The Redeemer's soul knew all of us by name, above all on the day of His passion, when He offered His tears, His prayers, His blood and His life for all, and addressed His Eternal Father on our behalf with this loving aspiration: "Father, I take upon myself all the sins of poor Theotimus. I am ready to undergotorment and death so that he may be freed." O supreme love of the heart of Jesus! What heart can ever bless Thee as devoutly as it ought?

(T.L.G. Book 12, Ch. 12; O.V., p. 344)

     On March 26, 1599, Francis de Sales wrote to his dear cousin Louis in Rome, "Ingenuously I confess to you that in the examination God spared me confusion, although, reflecting on what I am, I did not expect this. The vicar general, Canon de Chisse, assured me that he left the consistory happier than I myself. As a good and faithful friend, he certainly wasted no time in writing to Savoy about the signs of paternal kindness with which the pope honored me. This has put me under an obligation to be a still more loving son and faithful servant of the holy Roman Church. However, whatever our friends may write, remember that they tend to exaggerate the good, just as our enemies exaggerate the evil. When all is said and done, we are what we are in the sight of God.

(A.S. III, p. 667)

Self-love is a great busybody; it wants to be everywhere, to embrace everyone and to tie itself down to nothing.

RE: Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales - March - Hildegard of Bingen - 03-27-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers

MARCH 27 (page 88)

     If at times it seems that the Lord is not listening to us, we must be careful not to lose heart. It may be that He wants us to shout a little louder into the ears of His goodness, to prove as a result the greatness of His Mercy . . . When the Lord withdraws His consolations in prayer, He does not do this to discourage us or create a gulf between us, but to force us to come closer to His goodness, to practice perseverance and to give some proof of our patience.

(Sermons 58; O.X. p. 229)

     On March 27th, 1603, Francis de Sales, convinced that his office of bishop obliged him in a particular manner to imitate the supreme pastor, Jesus Christ, determined that he had to be, like Him, priest and victim at the same time. Therefore, on the evening of Holy Thursday he went barefoot, dressed in sackcloth, with the Confreres of Holy Cross, in a penitential procession through the city of Annecy. Thus he visited the "sepulchers" in every church where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. Considering himself a victim to be immolated for the salvation of his people, he cruel disciplined himself. He did this after he had preached a most moving sermon on the passion of our Savior.

(A.S. p. 685)

Nothing so well serves to enlighten the intellect and fire the will than mental prayer.
Do not be afraid! Jesus has given you the desire to be good. He will help you.

RE: Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales - March - Hildegard of Bingen - 03-28-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers

MARCH 28th (page 89)

     It is better to learn to live without anger than to try to employ it wisely and moderately. When, through imperfection or weakness, we find ourselves victims of this passion,it is better to drive it away quickly than to start entertaining it. Once we start dallying with it, we let it take control . . . So we must immediately gather all our forces and cry out to God with gentleness, "Have pity on me."

(INT. Part III, Ch. 8; O. III. p. 164)

     On March 28th, 1600, Francis de Sales gave a conference to the Brothers of the Holy Cross of Annecy, in which he pointed out to them that Providence had assigned toeach person a cross, regardless of his or her age or condition. This great bishop had a particular devotion to the Lord's passion. In this own hand he had written an account of it in a notebook which he always carried close to his heart as shield against his enemies .

(A.S. III, p. 702)

To carry God on the tongue with beautiful words, to carry God in the heart with beautiful affections,
is not everything.
We must carry Him, like Simeon, in our arms,with good works.
The bed of the sick is an altar of sacrifice.

RE: Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales - March - Hildegard of Bingen - 03-28-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers

MARCH 29th(page 89)

     Observe how kind Divine Providence is to us! God encourages us to have confidence in Him. A son will never perish while he is in the arms of his Almighty Father. If God does not always give us what we ask, He only does this to keep us near Him. He wants us to ask Him for help, storming heaven with a loving violence. He is kind and merciful. As soon as we submit ourselves to His will, He immediately grants our wishes.

(Letters 1513; O. XVIII, p. 369)

     Francis de Sales often said that he considered March 29 to be one of the most beautiful days of his life, because on that day in 1610 the saintly baroness de Chantal had abandoned her country, her possessions and her family to go to Annecy to initiate the Institute of the Daughters of the Visitation. The saintly founder also added that he had never offered a more worthy or dearer victim to the Divine Majesty.
(A.S. III, p. 719)

Happy are pliant hearts; they will never break.

MARCH 30th (page 91)

     Holy detachment is one of the virtues which Our Lord Jesus Christ spread abroad with a delightful scent. It was a lovely flower in Hist most holy passion. It is the most excellent of virtues because it shares in the firmness of charity, in the perfume of humility, in the merit of patience and in the fruit of perseverance. Great is this virtue, worthy of being practiced by all the children of God.

(Sermons 29; O. IX, p. 283)

     On March 30th, 1607, Francis de Sales was admitted to share in the prayers and good works of the Carthusians by Superior General Don Bruno d'Haffierngue. This good religious wrote out the certificate of affiliation in glowing terms, clearly showing the esteem he had for the holy prelate. On his part, Francis de Sales commented, "My life of continual activity and busyness needs to be backed up by the prayers of these holy hermits." With pleasure he conferred Holy Orders and made his annual retreat at the Grand Chartreuse. He considered it a high honor that there were both monks and nuns of this order in his diocese. He never passed by places where the Carthusians were, without visiting them and telling them that he was a son of the order. He took great pleasure every time he could occupy a modest place among his confreres.

(A.S. III, p. 737)
To seek conversations and to fly from them are two extreme defects, the first more so than the second.
Nothing appeases an enraged elephant so much as the sight of a little lamb.

MARCH 31st (page 92)

     If we have a taste for divine things, worldly things will no longer excite our appetite. How can it be possible, after having considered the goodness, the stability and the eternity of God, to have a heart in love with the vanities of this world? We must put up with the vanity of the world, but we must love only the truth of God.

(Letters 439; O. XIII, p. 382)

     On March 31st, 1599, Francis de Sales, having concluded his business in Rome, celebrated Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica, received the blessing of Pope Clement VIII, and left Rome to return to Savoy. However, he wanted to pass through Loreto to thank the Madonna for all the graces he had received. He remained kneeling for a long time in the miraculous room where the Holy Ghost worked the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word. Canon de Chisse interrupted his prayers. In reply, Francis said, "For goodness sake, my dear brother, leave me alone here for another hour. I want to renew all the promises and vows made to the mother of God since my youth. To satisfy his devotion he remained there for the rest of the day. Then he spent a good part of the night with the bishop of Loreto, who wanted the saint's evaluation of a book he was writing.
(A.S. III, p. 760)
If in the effort to be virtuous person you draw the contempt of the world upon yourself, no matter! One must rejoice in any humiliation suffered for virtue.
Walk always near to God, for the gentleness of His shadow is more salutary than the brightness of the sun.

RE: Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales - March - Hildegard of Bingen - 04-01-2021

I have inserted the PDF file for the month March Meditations with Saint Francis de Sales.