Book Snippets

God is not pleased by our eagerness but with the love with which we entrust our devotions to him

2 min • Digitized on April 8, 2022

#Doctors of the Church #Exhortation #Love #Morals #What the Saints Say

From The Spiritual Conferences of St. Francis de Sales, page 112
By St. Francis de Sales

Let us not be at all eager in our work, for, in order to do it well, we must apply ourselves to it carefully indeed, but calmly and peacefully, without trusting in our labour, but in God and His grace.

Those anxious searchings of heart about advancing in perfection, and those endeavours to see if we are advancing, are not at all pleasing to God, and only serve to satisfy our self-love, that subtle tormentor which grasps at so much but does almost nothing.

One single good work done with a tranquil spirit is worth far more than several done with eagerness.

The dove simply occupies herself in doing her work as well as she possibly can, leaving all other care to her beloved mate. The soul who is truly dove-like—that is, who loves God dearly—applies herself quite simply, without any eagerness, to use the means prescribed to her for advancing in perfection, without seeking for any others, however perfect they may be.

“My Beloved,” she says, “thinks for me, and in Him I trust; He loves me, and I give myself wholly to Him in proof of my love.”

A short time ago, some pious nuns asked me: “My lord, what shall we do this year? Last year we fasted three days a week, and also took the discipline thrice; what shall we do all through this year? We must do something more, both to thank God for the blessings of the past year and to help ourselves to increase more and more in His love.”

“You are quite right,” I replied, “in saying that we must always be advancing. Our advancement, however, is not brought about, as you think, by the multitude of our pious exercises, but by the perfection with which we do them, always trusting more and more in our heavenly Dove, and distrusting ourselves more and more. Last year you fasted three days in the week, and took the discipline three times; if you wish always to double your exercises, this year you will fill up the whole week; but then, what will you do the following year? You will have to make a week of nine days, or you must fast twice a day.”

Latest book snippets

Featured Books