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

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RE: Every Day with Francis de Sales for January - Hildegard of Bingen - 01-25-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers
January 25th  (page 25)
     I desire very little, and what I do desire I desire very little; I have hardly any desires, but if I were to begin my life all over again I would want to have none at all . . . Ask for nothing, refuse nothing; we must simply abandon ourselves into the hands of Providence, without nourishing any other desire but to do whatever God wills.  St. Paul practices this act of absolute abandonment at the very moment of his conversion.  When he was deprived of his sight, he immediately said, “And I said: What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me: Arise, and go to Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things that thou must do.” [Acts of Apostles 22:10]  From that moment on he put himself completely at God’s disposal.  All our perfection consists precisely in the practical application of this principle.
(Spiritual Treatises XXI, O. VI, pp. 383-384)
     On January 25th, 1612, Francis de Sales introduced Mother Claude Agnes Joly de la Roche and Marie Aimee de Blonay to the Little House of the Gallery at Annecy.  Noticing that these two dear young girls embraced each other in a kiss of peace before entering the convent, he called over Monsieur de Blonay and said to him, “See, my dear brother, how our two young doves embrace each other.  I hope that God will be greatly pleased to receive their offering.”  Because the congregation was still in its early stages and no time had yet been fixed for the first probation, the holy bishop gave them the habit on this very same day.
(A.S. I, p. 626)
     On the same day in 1615, preaching in the Church of the Barnabites of Annecy, Francis de Sales appeared all illuminated by the flames of divine love and remained for some time in ecstasy, having just spoken these words, “As soon as grace triumphed over Saint Paul, the Lord struck him to the ground, deprived him of his sight and transported him to the third Heaven.  He could say in truth,” . . . And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in the flesh: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me. [Galatians 2:20]
(A.S. I, p. 626)
The best and most desirable shrewdness is simplicity itself.

RE: Every Day with Francis de Sales for January - Hildegard of Bingen - 01-26-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers
January 26th  (page 26)
     We must have a good opinion of those we see practicing virtues, even though imperfectly, since we know that the saints themselves have often practiced them in this manner.  As for ourselves, we must be careful to practice virtues not only faithfully but prudently.  To this purpose we must strictly follow the advice of wise men, not to rely on our own prudence but on the judgment of those whom God has given us for direction.
(INT, Part III, Ch. 2: O. III, p. 131)
    In the city of Annecy it was customary at the beginning of the year to exchange cards, written in gold on satin, with which men chose their Valentines.  These cards, according to the laws of that worldly society, would serve as introduction to balls, conversation or trips.  The saint, realizing that these encounters were often occasions of sin for many, preached a fiery sermon against this abuse on January 26th, 1603.  He implored the people, with great zeal, neither to send nor to receive Valentines, except from himself.  After this sermon he distributed to every family cards bearing the name of a saint, whom he advised the receiver to adopt as patron or patroness for the year.  Each card also had a quotation form Scripture or the Church fathers printed on it.  This idea proved successful.  When he was told that certain libertines were making fun of him, the saint replied, “Let them because those on our side are much more numerous than those against us.”
(A.S. I, p. 650)
    On January 26th, 1923, the encyclical Rerum Omnium was published, dedicated by Pope Pius XI to the glory of Saint Francis de Sales on the third centenary of his death.  The pope added another jewel to the splendid crown of the saint by naming him the patron of journalists and Catholic writers.  Thus the bishop of Geneva, already known as the apostle of the Chablais, the patriarch of the Daughters of Mary, and the doctor of true devotion, came into possession of still another title.
Let us once and for all how to love one another as we will in Heaven.

RE: Every Day with Francis de Sales for January - Hildegard of Bingen - 01-27-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers
January 27th  (page 27)
     Self-love dies only when our body dies, so we must, while we live in this land of exile, continue to counterattack its assaults on our senses and its underhanded tactics.  It is enough if we firmly withstand, giving no willful or deliberate consent . . . When we feel within ourselves the first movements of self-love or of other passions, let us prostrate ourselves immediately before the heart of God and tell Him, in a spirit of confidence and humility, “Lord, have mercy on me because I am a very weak creature.”  Then let us tranquility rest in peace and put ourselves at God’s disposal.
(Letters 1675; O. XIX, pp. 272-273)
      On January 27th, 1612, Francis de Sales went to the Little House of the Gallery to speak with Sister Marie Aimee de Blonay, wo was received there tow days previously   He told her that he wanted to know all about her family, and what she had done before she entered religion. Having learned that God had supported and assisted her by means of the reading of the fourth chapter of the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Francis showed his delight and said, “My dear daughter, up until now you have meditated upon the fourth chapter of this great evangelist, but now, with the grace of God, you have crushed your enemy, you have escaped form the stormy sea of the world, you have left your sip and abandoned your nets, and what is more important, you have also left your father.  So now you must begin to work on abandoning and offering yourself.  I would like you to meditate on the three chapters that follow, from which I have drawn the spirit and the maxims that I want to establish in our congregation.”  When the young woman said that she did not have a Bible to read, the saint graciously replied that he would send her one immediately.  As soon as he returned to his home he had the three chapters copied out and sent to her by his chaplain.
(A.S. I, p. 669)
 Praise is a slow poison. How many times has it destroyed virtue.

RE: Every Day with Francis de Sales for January - Hildegard of Bingen - 01-28-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers
January 28th  (page 28)
     This poor life is only a journey to the happy life to come.  We must not be angry with one another on the way, but rather we must march on as a brand of brothers and sisters united in meekness, peace and love.  I state absolutely and make no exception:  do not be angry at all if that is possible.  Do not accept any pretext whatever for opening your heart’s door to anger.  Saint James tells us positively and without reservation, “For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God. [James 1:20]
(INT. Part III, Ch. 8; O. III, p. 162)
    On this day the religious of the Visitation used to celebrate the vigil of the solemnity of their glorious father and founder.  This celebration could note take place on the day of the saint’s death, which fell on December 28th, the feast of the Holy Innocents.  The supreme pontiff, Alexander VII, established January 29th as his feast because that was the day on which his body was solemnly buried in the church of the first monastery of the Visitation in Annecy.
(A.S. I, p. 690)
A thousand little acts of virtue, such as putting up with a slightly harsh word, suppressing an angry thought, agreeing with your neighbor, excusing an indiscretion, mortifying a desire, are all things that anyone can do and can find plenty of opportunities to do.

RE: Every Day with Francis de Sales for January - Hildegard of Bingen - 01-29-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers
January 29th  (page 29)
     To ensure that the saints pray and intercede for us, we must invoke them and ask their help. The best way to celebrate their feasts is to realize the power they have with God for obtaining the graces of which we stand in need.  Our Lord is so pleased when we profit from the intercession of the saints that, wishing to bestow on us some favor, He often inspires us to seek their meditation and invites us to ask them to pray for us.  With full confidence we should seek their help and turn to them, especially on their feast days, without doubting for a moment that they will listen to us and will obtain for us what we are asking.
(Sermons 51, O. X, pp. 136-137)
     Once, on January 29th, Saint Francis de Sales, accompanied by Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, appeared to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque and said, “The Lord has commanded me to visit all the convents of my order, assuring me that all those religious whom I recognize as true daughters will be received by Him as His spouses.  To carry out this command I have done nothing else except visit the hearts of the superiors, within which all these Daughters of the Visitation should be found.  No matter who they are, the superiors represent the sacred person of Jesus Christ, and every religious who is separated from her superior will also be rejected by me!”
(A.S. I, p. 690)
True love of God permits no rivals; He wants to reign as sovereign.  When He cannot reign absolutely, He no longer abides in us.

RE: Every Day with Francis de Sales for January - Hildegard of Bingen - 01-30-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers
January 30th (page 30)
     Keep this maxim well in mind:  God is our Father, because if He were not, Jesus would not have commanded us to say, “Our Father . . .”  What have you to fear if you are children of such a Father, without whose Providence not even one hair of our head would fall?  Is it not extraordinary that, being children of such a Father, we have or could have any other preoccupation than that of loving Him and serving Him?
(Letters 1420; O. XVIII, p. 210)
     On January 30th, 1606, Francis de Sales said farewell to his friends at Annecy and went to preach the Lenten sermons at Chambery.  He prepared himself for this task by a few days’ retreat, as we see from a letter to Mother Chantal in which he says, “Today I say my farewells, because I must leave tomorrow at dawn for Chambery, where the father rector of the Jesuits awaits me to be my host for these five or six days.  I have put these few days aside in order to give a rest to my soul, which has been preoccupied with so much business.  There, my dear daughters, I want carefully to review the condition of my soul and put all the affections of my heart in place, relying on the help of that good father who so loves my person and my spiritual welfare.”
(A.S. I, p. 741)
When you have hurt somebody, repair the damage as soon as possible by some act of kindness toward that person.

RE: Every Day with Francis de Sales for January - Hildegard of Bingen - 01-31-2021

Every Day with Saint Francis de Sales

Teachings and Examples from the Life of the Saint by Salesiana Publishers
January 31st (page 31)
     What a great mystery the human spirit is!  Religious would like to sing the song of the bishops, and married people that of religious, “so as to serve God better,” they say.  You fool yourself, my dear friend.  You should not say you want to do this to love and serve God better, but to serve your self-satisfaction better.  It is your own self-satisfaction that you love, far more than God’s satisfaction!  The will of God, for example, can be found in sickness and as a general rule even better than in good health.  If we prefer good health, please do not let us say we do so because we want to serve God better.
(T.L.G. Book 3, Ch. 10; O. V, p. 140)
     This last day of the month of January is the feast of Satin John Bosco, founder of the Society of Francis de Sales (Salesians) and patron of youth.
      Our thought today is taken from the early life of Francis de Sales.  In 1623, Francis’s nurse stated that even in his childhood he was a great friend of the poor; that he loved to go with his mother to visit them and play with them.  He was sincere in his speech and was never known to have told a lie.  He often restored peace among his brothers and small companions, and frequently accepted a punishment which he had not deserved.  She also gave other examples of his building holiness that she had noted in him from his birth until the age of seven.
(A.S. I, p. 780)
This is not to say that at this age little Francis was free from the defects and common faults of other youngsters, but the wise firmness of his parents in correcting him, and his own frankness in sincerely accusing himself of his faults, led to a growing improvement in his conduct.  Among many incidents this one can be mentioned.  He was forbidden to mix with the servants or to go into the places where they were working.  One day, passing by the kitchen, Francis saw the cook taking some cakes out of the oven.  He could not resist the temptation to taste one, so he went into the kitchen and asked for one.  A very hot cake was place in his hand! “Greed was stronger than the pain I felt,” he was to say later.  “I preferred to suffer rather than throw it away.”
(Hamon, Vol. 1, p. 12)