Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Saint Francis de Sales NULL

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"

"Do not fear what may happen tomorrow. The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. 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. [Do not look forward to what might happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today, will take care of you tomorrow and every day. 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 imaginations. ]"

"Complacency is an awareness of the heart; love is the action."

"Friendships begun in this world will be taken up again, never to be broken off."

"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."

"Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."

"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."

"He who complains, sins."

"Do not wish to be anything except what you are."

"Friendship requires great communication."

"Have contempt for contempt."

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

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

"How is it possible to have a heart and not love with infinite goodness?"

"Humility perfects us in what concerns God, and meekness in what concerns our neighbor."

"I wanted to love not knowing what to love. I have found he who my soul searched for!"

"Holy love establishes its dwelling in the highest and most eminent region of the spirit."

"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."

"If, when stung by slander or ill-nature, we wax proud and swell with anger, it is a proof that our gentleness and humility are unreal, and mere artificial show."

"It is a fact that people are always well aware of what is due them. Unfortunately, they remain oblivious of what they owe to others."

"It is love that gives value to all our works; it is not by the greatness or multiplicity of our works that we please God, but by the love with which we do them."

"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."

"If your eye is simple all of your body will be too."

"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."

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

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

"Make sickness itself a prayer."

"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."

"Make yourself familiar with the angels, and behold them frequently in spirit for without being seen, they are present with you."

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

"Nothing else purifies the intellect of ignorance and the will of depraved affections better than prayer."

"Nothing is more like a wise man than a fool who holds his tongue."

"Marital intercourse is certainly holy, lawful and praiseworthy in itself and profitable to society, yet in certain circumstances it can prove dangerous, as when through excess the soul is made sick with venial sin, or through the violation and perversion of its primary end, killed by mortal sin; such perversion, detestable in proportion to its departure from the true order, being always mortal sin, for it is never lawful to exclude the primary end of marriage which is the procreation of children."

"Not only do we have to accept that God wounds us, but we have to accept to be wounded where He desires; we have to let God choose, because it is His right."

"Oh, to love or to die; or to die or to love."

"Oh, eternal love! My soul requires you and chooses you eternally."

"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."

"Provided that God be glorified, we must not care by whom."

"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."

"Reputation is rarely proportioned to virtue."

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

"The measure of love is to love without measure."

"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."

"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."

"The pleasure and the movement of the will towards kind things is properly speaking, Love."

"The soul cannot live without love. All depends on providing a worthy object to love."

"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."

"The perfection of life is the perfection of love. Love is the life of the soul."

"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."

"There are no galley-slaves in the royal vessel of divine love -- every man works his oar voluntarily!"

"The true and solid devotion consists in the constant will, resolve, promptness and activeness to execute what is pleasing to God."