Fourth Meditation: On Sin

September 29, 2021 • 3 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 23
By St. Francis de Sales


Fourth Meditation.—On Sin.


  1. Place yourself in the presence of God.
  2. Beseech Him to inspire you.


  1. Call to mind how long it is since you began to sin, and examine to how great an extent, since that beginning sins have been multiplied in your heart. How every day you have increased and multiplied your sins against God, against yourself, and against your neighbour, by word, by deed, by desire.

  2. Consider, in particular, the sin of ingratitude towards God, which is a general sin, and extends itself over all the rest, making them infinitely more enormous. Consider, then, how many benefits God has bestowed on you, and how you have abused them, turning them against Him, to dishonour Him. And, in particular, how many inspirations you have made unprofitable.

    But above all, how many times you have received the sacraments, and where are the fruits of them? What is become of all those precious jewels, with which your dear Spouse adorned you? They have all been buried under your iniquities. With what preparation have you received them? Think on your ingratitude; that God having run so far after you, you have fled from Him to lose yourself.


  1. Be humiliated at the thought of your misery. O my God, how dare I appear before thine eyes? Alas! I am nothing but corruption, and a mere sink of sin and ingratitude. Is it possible that I have been so disloyal as not to have left any one of my senses, not any one of the powers of my soul, which I have not corrupted, violated, and defiled?—and that not so much as one day of my life has passed in which I have not brought forth such bad fruits. Is this the use I should have made of the benefits of my Creator, and the Precious Blood of my Redeemer?

  2. Ask pardon, and cast yourself at the feet of your Lord, like a prodigal child, like St. Mary Magdalen, or like the woman taken in adultery, at the feet of Jesus, her Judge. Have mercy, O Lord, on this poor sinner! Alas! O Living Fountain of Compassion, have pity on this wretch.

  3. Resolve to live better: No, O Lord, never more, with the help of thy grace, never more will I abandon myself to sin. Alas! I have loved it too much; now I detest it, and embrace Thee, O Father of Mercy. I live and die in Thee.

To expiate my past sins I will accuse myself of them courageously, and will not leave one unbanished from my heart.

I will use all possible endeavours to extirpate all the roots of sin from my heart, and, in particular, such-and-such vices, which chiefly cause me remorse.

To accomplish this, I will constantly embrace the means which shall be recommended to me, and think I have never done enough to repair such grievous offences.


  1. Give God thanks for awaiting your amendment to this hour, and bless Him that He has given you such good dispositions.

  2. Offer Him your heart, that you may put them ìn execution.

  3. Pray that He may give you grace, strength, &c. Pater, Ave, Credo. [Here make a spiritual nosegay.]

Latest book snippets

Search | Random | 909 total | 50h 1m