St. Francis de Sales -- Introduction to the Devout Life

 

Introduction to the devout Life

Meditating on ultimate things can spur spiritual growth

St. Francis de Sales

July 4, 2011
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey asks his readers to meditate on their own funeral. Think about what you would like people to say at your funeral — a family member, a friend, a co-worker and a member of your church.

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Augustine refused to be lukewarm

St. Francis de Sales

June 20, 2011
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Overcoming sin is the first step leading to what St. Francis de Sales calls "the devout life." It is also the most difficult step, one never fully completed in this lifetime.

No one expressed this better than St. Augustine. His Confessions describes an ongoing war on many fronts to overcome sin. Augustine simply would not be baptized so that he could become a lukewarm Catholic. If he was going to be a Christian, it would only be when he made a commitment to obliterate sin and its vestiges from his life.

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A good spiritual guide is essential

St. Francis de Sales

June 13, 2011
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

In 1935, a 34-year-old tailor, Jan Tyranowski, heard a sermon by a Salesian priest in his parish in Krakow, Poland. The priest's message was, "It's not difficult to be a saint."

Tyranowski took the message to heart. He regulated his daily life to make prayer its central aspect and most frequent act. He studied the writings of the great spiritual masters and gradually, methodically, reoriented his whole life to be freedom thoughts and images so that he was continually in the presence of God.

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Francis de Sales drew roadmap for a spiritually mature laity

St. Francis de Sales

June 6, 2011
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

St. Francis de Sales is not the spiritual guide one would run to when burning with the fire of a recent conversion. At that point, one really believes that holiness and complete intimacy with God is possible. Now! Not only possible, but expected. And demanded.

Somewhere along the line, the penny drops. This business of being one with God is simple, but also demanding. It is not a matter of keeping an emotional fire stoked and raging. Try that and you become a problem, both to yourself and to others around you.

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