two yellow roses called wedding day

Quotes from St Francis de Sales, a French Bishop (1567-1622).

St Francis de Sales's writings must be about the most heart-warming words on spiritual growth ever written. They are easy to understand and are always full of encouragement.

We must begin from within. ‘Turn to me with your whole heart’ is God’s call. ‘My son, give me your heart.’ For the heart is the mainspring of our actions. So our Lord says: ‘Set me a seal upon your heart and a seal upon your arm’, for whoever truly has Jesus Christ in his heart will soon show it in all his outward actions.

Love is the abridgement of all theology.

He who stays not in his littleness, loses his greatness.

We must never so form our opinions as not to be ready if necessary to give them up.

There was never an angry man that thought his anger unjust.

Our words are a faithful index of the state of our souls.

Be patient with everyone, but above all be patient with yourself. I mean, do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew.

Devotion is nothing else but that spiritual alertness and vivacity which enables us to cooperate with compassion promptly and wholeheartedly.

Compassion is to devotion what the fire is to the flame, for compassion is a spiritual fire, which is called devotion when it breaks into flame.

What do you think the bed of tribulation is? It is simply the school of humility.

Make sickness itself a prayer.

Look at the bees upon the thyme; they find there a very bitter juice but in sucking it they turn it into honey.

Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look to them with hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. He has kept you hitherto - do you but hold fast to his dear hand and he will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand, he will bear you in his arms.

Prayer is the outflowing of the soul into her God and transcends the limits of the natural way.

Make a daily new beginning; there is no better means of progress in the spiritual life than to be continually beginning afresh, and never to think that we have done enough.