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“Have always at hand some approved book of devotion, and read a little of them every day with as much devotion as if you were reading a letter which those saints had sent you from heaven to show you the way to it, and encourage you to come.”

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Annual Retreat Exercise #1: God in his generous mercy called us to him before it was too late

October 16, 2021 • 1 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 264
By St. Francis de Sales

Consider that God inspired you with these holy resolutions in the flower of your age.

Ah! what a happiness it is to learn so soon that which we cannot know but too late. St. Augustin, having been called at the age of thirty years, exclaimed: “O ancient beauty! how comes it that I have known thee so late? Alas! I saw thee before, but considered thee not:” and you may well say, O ancient sweetness! why did I not relish thee before?

Alas! you did not even then deserve it. However, acknowledging the special favour which God has done you in attracting you to Himself in your youth, say, with David: “Thou hast taught me, O my God, from my youth, and I will for ever declare thy wonderful works.” (Ps. xvii. 47.)

But if this has happened in your old age, ah! Philothea, what an extraordinary grace, that, after having thus misspent all your former years, God should call you before your death, and stop the course of your misery at a time in which, if it had continued, you must have been miserable for eternity.

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