NOTE: A few more words of wisdom from the pen of the spiritual master St. Francis de Sales, whose feast the Church commemorates on this day:
X“It has been said that if one writes a word on an almond, and then replaces it carefully in its husk, and sows it, all the fruit borne by that tree will be marked by the word so inscribed. So it seems to me that one should begin to be transformed from within. Whoever has Jesus Christ in his heart will soon show it in all his external actions. So, engrave and inscribe on your heart this holy and sacred motto, “Live Jesus!” I am certain that your life, which comes from the heart just as the almond tree comes from its seed, will thereafter produce all its actions—which are its fruits—inscribed and engraved with this sacred word of salvation. As our beloved Jesus lives in your heart, so too he will live in all your conduct. Then, with
“The principal means of uniting yourself to God are the sacraments and prayer.”
“You must not only be devout and love devotion, but you must render it lovable to everyone. Now you will make it lovable if you render it useful and pleasing. The sick will love your devotion if they receive care and comfort from it; your family will love it if they see you more attentive to their well-being, more gentle in handling affairs, more kind in correcting, and so on; your husband will love it if he sees that as your devotion increases, you become more warm and affectionate toward him; your relatives and friends will love it if they see you more free, supportive of others, and yielding to them in matters that are not contrary to God’s will. In short, we must, as far as possible, make our devotion attractive.”
"Bear patiently the slight injuries, the little inconveniences, and the inconsequential losses that daily come to you. By means of such trifles as these, borne with love and affection, you will completely win God’s heart and make it all your own. Practice those little, humble virtues which grow like flowers at the foot of the cross: helping the poor, visiting the sick, and taking care of your family, with all the tasks that go with such things. Great opportunities to serve God rarely present themselves but little ones are frequent. Whoever will be faithful over a few things will be placed over many, says the Savior."
PRAYER BY ST. FRANCIS DE SALES
O God, by your gracious will, I resolve to strive earnestly to be patient and gentle, and not to allow the waters of contradiction to extinguish the fire of that charity which I owe to my neighbor. Amen.