Sixth Meditation: On Judgment

October 1, 2021 • 4 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 27
By St. Francis de Sales


Sixth Meditation.—On Judgment.


  1. Place yourself before God.
  2. Beseech Him to inspire you.


  1. After the time that God prescribed for the continuance of this world, after the many signs and horrible presages, which will cause men to faint away with fear and anguish, a deluge of fire shall burn and reduce to ashes everything upon the face of the earth. Nothing which we see there shall be spared.

  2. After these flames and thunderbolts, all men shall arise, and at the sound of the trumpet of the Archangel they shall appear in the Valley of Josaphat; but, alas! in what different conditions! for the good shall rise with glorified and resplendent bodies, the bad with bodies most frightful and horrid.

  3. Consider the majesty with which the Sovereign Judge will appear, environed with all his angels and saints; his cross, shining much brighter than the sun, shall be carried before Him as a sign of mercy to the good, and of justice to the wicked.

  4. This Sovereign Judge, by his dreadful command, which shall be instantly obeyed, will separate the good from the bad, placing the one at his right hand, and the other at his left. Oh, everlasting separation! after this they shall never meet again.

  5. This separation being made, and the books of consciences opened, all men shall see clearly the malice of the wicked, and their contempt of God; and on the other side, the penances of the good, and the effects of God’s grace which they have received. Nothing shall lie hid. O God! what a confusion will this be to the reprobate, and what consolation to the saved.

  6. Consider the last sentence pronounced against the wicked: “Go, ye accursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Ponder well on these mighty words. “Go!” saith He, a word of eternal banishment against those miserable wretches, excluding them eternally from his glorious presence. He calls them accursed. O my soul! how dreadful a malediction—a general curse, including all manner of woes; an irrevocable curse, comprehending all times and all eternity. He adds, “into everlasting fire.” Behold, O my soul, this miserable eternity. O eternal eternity of pains, how dreadful art thou!

  7. Consider the contrary sentence on the good. “Come!” saith the Judge. O sweet word of salvation, by which God draws us to Himself, and receives us into the arms of his goodness. “Blessed of my Father!” O dear blessing, which comprehends all happiness! “Possess the kingdom which is prepared for you from the beginning of the world.” O God, what an excess of bounty! for this kingdom shall never have an end.


  1. Tremble, O my soul, at the remembrance of these things. O my God, what security shall there be for me on that day, when even the pillars of heaven shall tremble for fear?

  2. Detest your sins, which alone can condemn you on that dreadful day.

  3. Ah, wretched heart! resolve to amend. O Lord, I will judge myself now, that I may not be judged then. I will examine my conscience, and condemn myself. I will accuse and chastise myself, so that the eternal Judge may not condemn me on that dreadful day. I will therefore confess, and accept of all necessary advice, &c.


  1. Thank God, who has given you means to provide for that day, and time to do penance.

  2. Offer Him your heart, that He may make good fruits grow from it.

  3. Pray of Him to give you his grace.

Pater, Ave, Credo. [Here make a spiritual nosegay.]

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