Francis de Sales A Man for Our Times I

  1. Historical Context

Protestant Iconoclasm

  • – Luther’s contemporary Andreas Karlstadt 1522 stained glass windows, tearing out altars
  • 150 yrs later another part of Europe

Iconoclasm is a great seriousness

  • Christians excel at hating enemies. . . . Our religion was made to root out vices; now it cloaks them, nurses them, stimulates them.

–Montaigne, “Apology for Raymond Sebond”

Montaigne active, aware attentive onlooker of French wars of religion

  • – Montaigne fundamental response disgust to religion
  • -60-70 yrs after Luther great commentator Montaigne
  • – Montaigne traveled extensively to Rome, highly place in French society, saw it all
  • – Montaigne deeply learned man, involved in political struggles of his day
  • The Complete Essays except for St FdS Introduction to Devout Life, most widely read book in French language for well over 100 yrs, massively influential

-1600’s French becomes language of Europe> Montaigne gets read everywhere, England, Germany, Italy, Spain

  • ­Montaigne doesn’t want to seek holiness, does not think heroic virtue is suitable for human beings
  • – life of prayer is a quest or adventure, rather prayer is a duty to be kept carefully right boundaries, say Our Father a bunch of that sort of or go off the rails

– spirituality, constrained, narrow, defective

  • – Contemporaries likes his Frankness
  • Telling like it is
  • God is good, love Him, but that is in its place, over here, do not get mixed in human folly & hypocrisy, then terrible things happen
  • – cultivate life of reason, everything in right place, souls are tranquil
  • Montaigne discouraged people in quest for holiness, in spite of being good company.
  • Fruit of his times, instanced of great turmoil, blame the Church instead of ourselves
  • vs
  • Frances de Sales
  • Burning gaze of metaphysician, God is everything. Of course, love of God is most IMPORTANT

WE MUST TAKE BACK GENEVA John Calvin[1] , crazy talk take back Boulder

  • – handful of Catholic began
  • – 4yrs later, entire region came back to Catholic faith 30,000 converts in 4 yrs, no body forced to convert, all from preaching & personal ministry
  • – brother at first, 2yrs later priest, tail
  • – read biography of FdS to see who he really is
  • – heroic man, dedicated from rich interior experience, deep need for truth, real need
  • – truth is what soul needs
  • Return back to Scholasticism, foundational, ideal authentic Christian thought

One can get the impression Church is full bore TA, waxes & wanes

William Ockham and leads into Reformation


Appearance of proximately, don’t like Ta finds arguments that supports them

[1] Calvin never was ordained in the Catholic Church; his training was chiefly in law and the humanities; he took no vows. Luther’s eloquence made him popular by its force, humor, rudeness, and vulgar style. Calvin spoke to the learned at all times, even when preaching before multitudes. His manner is classical; he reasons on system; he has little humor; instead of striking with a cudgel he uses the weapons of a deadly logic and persuades by a teacher’s authority, not by a demagogue’s calling of names. He writes French as well as Luther writes German, and like him has been reckoned a pioneer in the modern development of his native tongue. Lastly, if we term the doctor of Wittenberg a mystic, we may sum up Calvin as a scholastic; he gives articulate expression to the principles which Luther had stormily thrown out upon the world in his vehement pamphleteering;  accessed October 4, 2022 we see how refreshing TA was for FdS given this backdrop

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