Saint Francis de Sales

Saint Francis de Sales

French Roman Catholic Bishop of Geneva, Opponent of Calvinism, known for his writings on spiritual direction and spiritual formation including "Introduction to the Devout Life" and "Treatise on the Love of God"

Author Quotes

From the heart kiss frequently the crosses that our Lord Jesus himself puts on your shoulders; don’t look to see if it is of precious wood or perfumed; they are more of a cross when they are made of the most despicable wood, the most rejected and dirty.

It is the mark of a mean, vulgar and ignoble spirit to dwell on the thought of food before meal times or worse to dwell on it afterwards, to discuss it and wallow in the remembered pleasures of every mouthful. Those whose minds dwell before dinner on the spit, and after on the dishes, are fit only to be scullions.

Some are tormented searching for the way to love God. These poor souls do not know there is no method to love Him apart from doing what pleases Him.

We don’t have the love needed to love God as He deserves.

God requires a faithful fulfillment of the merest trifle given us to do, rather than the most ardent aspiration to things to which we are not called.

Know that the virtue of patience is what assures us the most perfection.

Take care of your health, that it may serve you to serve God.

We have to allow our minds to be pierced by the thorns of difficulties, and allow our hearts to be pierced by the lance of contradiction; to drink of the bitterness and swallow the vinegar, if this is God’s will.

Have contempt for contempt.

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.

The elephant, not only the largest but the most intelligent of animals, provides us with an excellent example. It is faithful and tenderly loving to the female of its choice, mating only every third year and then for no more than five days, and so secretly as never to be seen, until, on the sixth day, it appears and goes at once to wash its whole body in the river, unwilling to return to the herd until thus purified. Such good and modest habits are an example to husband and wife.

We have to do everything for love, not out of force.

A good discourse is that from which nothing can be retrenched without cutting into the quick.

Have patience to walk with short steps until you have wings to fly.

Love is a movement, an effusion and a step from the heart towards goodness.

The many troubles in your household will tend to your edification, if you strive to bear them all in gentleness, patience, and kindness. Keep this ever before you, and remember constantly that God's loving eyes are upon you amid all these little worries and vexations, watching whether you take them as He would desire. Offer up all such occasions to Him, and if sometimes you are put out, and give way to impatience, do not be discouraged, but make haste to regain your lost composure.

We should perform all our actions by the obligation we owe them or by the simple acceptance of God’s will, and this is to be in calm or in storm.

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.

He who complains, sins.

Love is the perfection of the spirit and charity is the perfection of love.

The measure of love is to love without measure.

What makes us holy and pleasing to God is what our vocation demand of us, and not what our own will chooses.

A quarrel between friends, when made up, adds a new tie to friendship, as ... the callosity formed 'round a broken bone makes it stronger than before. [as experience shows that the callosity formed around a broken bone makes it stronger than before.]

He who stays not in his own littleness loses his greatness.

Make sickness itself a prayer.

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Saint Francis de Sales
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French Roman Catholic Bishop of Geneva, Opponent of Calvinism, known for his writings on spiritual direction and spiritual formation including "Introduction to the Devout Life" and "Treatise on the Love of God"