We must cling closely to God through our Protestation, which will protect us from the world, the devil, and the flesh

October 30, 2021 • 2 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 284
By St. Francis de Sales

CHAPTER XVIII.

The three last and principal counsels for this introduction.

On the first day of every month repeat the protestation inserted in the first Part, after your meditation; and at all times protest that you are determined to observe it; saying with David: “No, my God, never will I forget thy justifications, for in them Thou hast given me life.” (Ps. cxviii.)

When you feel any disorder in your soul, take your protestation in hand, and, prostrate in the spirit of humility, recite it with your whole heart; this will cause you to feel great ease and comfort.

Make an open profession, not that you are devout, but that you desire to become devout. Do not be ashamed to practise those necessary actions which conduct the soul to the love of God.

Acknowledge frankly that you would rather die than commit a mortal sin; that you are resolved to frequent the sacraments, and to follow the counsels of your director, though it is not necessary to name him, for various reasons.

For this candid profession of our desire to serve God, and to consecrate ourselves entirely to his love, is very acceptable to his Divine Majesty, who would not have us be ashamed either of Him or of his cross.

Besides, it cuts short many propones and invitations which the world might make to draw us the contrary way, and obliges us in honour to act according to what we profess.

As philosophers profess themselves philosophers that they may be allowed to live like philosophers, so we must profess that we are desirous of devotion, that we may be allowed to live devoutly. If anyone tell you that you may live devoutly without the
practice of these counsels and exercises, answer him mildly that, your infirmity being so great, you stand in need of more help and assistance than others.

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