Tenth Meditation: Choice between the life of the World and the Devout Life

October 6, 2021 • 4 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 34
By St. Francis de Sales


Tenth Meditation.—Choice between the life of the World and the Devout Life.


  1. Place yourself in the presence of God.
  2. Humble yourself before Him, and implore his assistance.


  1. Imagine yourself again to be in an open plain, all alone with your Angel Guardian; and that you see on the left hand the devil seated on a great throne, with multitudes of infernal spirits about him, and environed with a great group of worldlings who, bareheaded, acknowledge him as their king, and do him homage, some by one sin and some by another. Observe the countenances of all the wretched courtiers of this abominable king.

    Behold some of them transported with hatred, envy, and anger; others killing one another; others wasted with greed and anxiety to heap up riches; others devoted to vanity, without any pleasure but that which is unprofitable and vain; others wallowing, buried and putrefied in their brutish passions.

    Behold how they are all without rest, order, and decency; behold how they despise, hate, and persecute one another, and love but in outward show. In a word, you see a pitiful commonwealth so miserably tyrannised over by its accursed king, that it must move you to compassion.

  2. On the other side, behold Jesus Christ crucified, who, with a mighty love, prays for these poor enslaved people, that they may be freed from this tyranny, and who calls them to Himself.

    Behold around Him a troop of devout persons with their angels. Contemplate the beauty of this kingdom of devotion. Oh! what a sight it is to see this troop of virgins, men and women, whiter than the lilies; that assembly of widows full of holy mortification and humility; those ranks of married people, living peaceably together, with mutual respect and love. Consider how these devout souls join the care of their households with the care of their souls; the love of husband or wife with that of the celestial Bridegroom.

    Consider them all in general, and you shall see them in a sweet, holy, and lovely method, observing our Saviour, whom everyone would willingly plant in the midst of his heart. They are full of joy, charitable and well-ordered; they love one another, but their love is pure and sacred. Such as suffer afflictions amongst this devout company torment not themselves much, nor do they lose courage.

    Lastly, behold the eyes of our Saviour, who comforts them; and how they altogether aspire to Him.

  3. You have already shaken off Satan, with all his accursed and execrable troop, by the good affections you have conceived; but you have not yet arrived to Jesus, nor united with his blessed and holy company of devout people, but have hitherto kept yourself between the one and the other.

  4. The Blessed Virgin, with St. Joseph, St. Louis, St. Monica, and a hundred thousand others, who formed the kingdom of God in the world, invite and encourage you. The crucified King calls you: “Come, my well-beloved, come, that I may crown thee.”


  1. O world! O abominable troop! never shall you see me under your banner. I have for ever renounced your follies and vanities. O king of pride, O accursed king, infernal spirit, I renounce thee with all thy vain pomps, I detest thee with all thy works.

  2. And turning to Thee, dear Jesus, King of felicity and immortal glory, I embrace Thee with all the powers of my soul; I adore Thee with all my heart; I choose Thee, now and for ever, for my King; and with all that I am I pay Thee irrevocable homage, and submit myself to faithfully obey all thy holy laws and commandments.

  3. O holy Virgin, I choose thee for my guide, I place myself under thy standard. I offer thee a particular respect and special devotion.

  4. O my good angel, present me to this sacred assembly, and forsake me not till I join this blessed company, with whom I will say for ever, in testimony of my choice; “Live Jesus, live Jesus.”

Pater, Ave, Credo.

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