Ninth Meditation: On the choice of Heaven

October 5, 2021 • 4 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 32
By St. Francis de Sales


Ninth Meditation.—On the choice of Heaven.


  1. Place yourself in the presence of God.
  2. Humble yourself before Him, and beseech Him to inspire you with his grace.
  3. Imagine yourself to be in an open plain, alone with your Angel Guardian, like young Tobias on his journey with the glorious Archangel Raphael, and that then he shows you hell open beneath, with all the torments described in the meditation on hell; you being thus situated, in imagination, and kneeling before your good angel.


  1. Consider that it is most true that you are between heaven and hell; and that the one or the other will open to receive you, according to the choice which you shall make.

  2. Consider that the choice which you make in this world shall last for all eternity in the next.

  3. And though both one and the other may be open to receive you, according to your choice, yet God, who is ready to give you either the one by his justice, or the other by his mercy, desires, notwithstanding, with an incomparable desire, that you should make choice of heaven; and your Angel Guardian also importunes you with all his might, offering you, on God’s behalf, a thousand aids.

  4. Consider that Jesus Christ beholds you from above in his clemency, and graciously invites you, saying: “Come, dear soul, to everlasting rest, within the arms of my goodness, where I have prepared everlasting delights for thee in the abundance of my love.”

    Behold likewise, within your inward eye, the holy Virgin, who with a motherly love exhorts you, saying: “Courage, my child, despise not the voice and the blood of my Son, nor the prayers which I have offered to Him for thee, trusting with Him for thy eternal salvation.”

    Behold the saints also, who exhort thee, and millions of blessed souls, sweetly inviting thee, and wishing nothing more than to see thy heart united with theirs, to praise God for ever, assuring thee that the way to heaven is not so difficult as the world thinks. Courage, dear friend, they say, he that shall diligently consider the way of devotion, by which we ascend thither, shall see that we arrive at those delights by pleasures incomparably sweeter than those of the world.


  1. O hell, I detest thee now and for evermore; I detest thy torments and pains; I detest thy miserable and accursed eternity; and, above all, I detest those eternal blasphemies and maledictions which thou dost vomit forth eternally against my God.

    And, turning my heart and soul to thee, O beautiful Paradise, everlasting glory and endless felicity, I choose my habitation, for ever and irrevocably, within thy fair and sacred mansions, within thy holy and most lovely tabernacles.

    I bless thy mercy, O my God, and accept the offer which it pleaseth Thee to make me of it. O Jesus, my Saviour, I accept thy everlasting love, and I acknowledge that it is Thou who hast acquired for me a right to a place in this blessed Jerusalem, not so much for any other thing as to love and bless Thee for ever.

  2. Accept the protection of the Blessed Virgin and of the saints. Promise to advance towards them, and give your hand to your good angel, that he may guide you thither. Encourage your soul to make this choice. Pater, Ave, Credo.

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