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We should have the same song of praise for God whether we receive good or bad

3 min • Digitized on April 14, 2022

#Bible Commentary #Doctors of the Church #Doctrine #Love #What the Saints Say

From The Spiritual Conferences of St. Francis de Sales, page 120
By St. Francis de Sales

The third law of the doves to which I would call your attention is, that they lament in the same way that they rejoice; they only sing one air, which is the same for their most joyous songs as for those in which they bewail themselves and express their sadness.

Look at them perched on the branches, where they are lamenting over the loss of their young, of which the weasel or the night-owl has robbed them (for when any other than the owner of the dovecot takes them away they are much afflicted),

See them again when their mate approaches, how entirely they are comforted, and yet they do not change their note; it is the same soft, plaintive, inward sound which they use whether to show their joy or their grief.

It is this holy equableness of spirit, my dear souls, which I wish you to possess.

I do not say equableness of temper or of inclination, but of spirit; for neither do I take account, nor do I desire that you should take account, of that which goes on in the inferior part of our soul.

It is this which causes us disturbance and inequality of humour, when the superior part does not do its duty by making itself the mistress, and is not alert and watchful so as to discover its enemies, as the Spiritual Combat says we must be.

For without this careful watch the soul will not be promptly warned of the provocations and assaults of the inferior part, springing from our senses, our inclinations, and our passions, which are always striving to conquer and subject the superior part.

But, I say, we must always remain firm, resolute in the superior part of our mind, following the virtue of which we make profession, and must keep steadfast, in adversity as in prosperity, in desolation as in consolation, or again in dryness as in fervour.

Job, of whom we have already spoken in the second law, furnishes us again with an example on this subject; for he sang always to the same air the canticles which he composed, which are, in fact, simply the story of his life. What did he say when God multiplied his goods, gave him children, and, in fact, fulfilled all his desires, sending him everything that he could possibly wish for in this life? What did he say but: Blessed be the name of the Lord?

This was his canticle of love which he sang on all occasions; for what says he when brought down into the lowest depths of affliction? His canticle of lamentation is set to the same air as that to which he sang his song of rejoicing: We have received good things from the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil things? * The Lord gave children and goods, the Lord has taken them from me; may His holy name be blessed! * It is ever: Blessed be the name of the Lord! * Truly, this holy soul was a chaste and loving dove, fondly cherished by its tender mate.

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