We must keep our eyes on eternal bliss, and not forsake it for anything at all

October 30, 2021 • 1 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 285
By St. Francis de Sales

In fine, Philothea, I conjure you by all that is sacred in heaven and on earth, by the baptism you have received, by the womb which bore Jesus Christ, by the charitable heart wherewith He loved you, and by the bowels of that mercy in which you hope, continue to persevere in this blessed design of leading a devout life.

Our days glide away and death is at the gate: “The trumpet sounds the retreat,” says St. Gregory Nazianzen, “let every man be ready, for judgment is near.”

St. Symphorian’s mother, seeing him led to martyrdom, cried after him: “My son, remember eternal life; look up to heaven, and think upon Him who reigns there; you are approaching quickly the termination of this short course of earthly life.”

Philothea, I say the same to you: look up to heaven and do not forfeit it for this base earth! look down to hell, and do not cast yourself into it for transitory toys! look up to Jesus Christ, and do not renounce Him for the world; and should the labours of a devout life seem hard to you, sing with St. Francis:

“Earthly toils are sweet to me,
Awaiting a blest eternity.”

Live, Jesus! to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and for all eternity. Amen.


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