Our submission to God’s will during afflictions is far more pleasing to him and helpful to us than our good works in prosperity

April 12, 2022 • 2 min

#BibleCommentary #Devotion #DoctorsOfTheChurch #Example #Humility #Obedience #Patience #SpiritualDirectors #WhatTheSaintsSay

From The Spiritual Conferences of St. Francis de Sales, page 117
By St. Francis de Sales

I wish to give you for your second law these words, expressed by the doves in their own language: The more they take away from me, the more I produce.

What does this mean? Well, when the little doves are somewhat grown, the owner of the dovecot comes to take them away from the mother, who then instantly sets to work to hatch others. If, however, they are not taken away, the mother spends a good deal of time over her first brood, and therefore produces less.

For this reason the doves say: “The more they take away from me, the more I produce;” and to make you understand better what I mean, I will give you an example. Job, that great servant of God, who was praised by the mouth of God Himself, never allowed himself to be conquered by any affliction which befell him, but the more of his little doves God took away from him, the more he produced.

When he was in his original state of prosperity, what good works did he not do? He says himself: I was a foot to the lame—that is to say, I had them carried, or put them on my ass or my camel; I was an eye to the blind—that is, by leading or guiding them; I was, in fact, the reliever of the starving, and the refuge of all the afflicted.

Now see him reduced to the extremest poverty. He does not complain in the least that God has deprived him of the means of doing so many good works, but he says with the dove: “The more they take away from me, the more I produce;” not in almsgiving, for he has not the means for that; but in the single act of submission and of patience which he made when he saw himself deprived of all his wealth, and even of his children, he did more than he had done by all his great charities in the time of his prosperity, and rendered himself more pleasing to God, by this single act of patience, than by all the many good works which he had done throughout his life; for a stronger and more generous love was needed for that act alone than for all the others put together.

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