Francis de Sales A Man for Our Times III

born 1567 church declared TA for everyone, doctor, born into age of teaching using TA as a tool

19 yrs full liberal education, dress finely, gentlemanly things>> crisis of faith

  • peer deeply into God (5 proofs existence of God), God exists and God does not change
  • predestination crisis, God in charge of everything, all settled, then what
  • ToL (Treatise on Love) nothing to do, trust you, love you even from Hell, only answer, love you period, heaven or hell
  • complete act of trust from crisis
  • prayer card Memorare’ prayed everyday
  • God exists, you can trust him must trust him
  • TA >>angelic doctor
  • FdS >>doctor of love
  • taught something to learn, learn step by step
  • starting point, intro to devout life
  • get starting correct
  1. Define Terms Devotion

What is devotion?

Agility, alacrity, charity as ultimate end

devotion vs love pg 2

  1. state of grace,
  2. strengthen to do good, charity
  3. *** being in love, for others, with joy, alacrity,

virtue firm disposition to the good

live unconsciously

to love is 100% within the will, ascent to love. Devotion is the sweetness.

Hug and the warmth which is hard to articulate. Tangible but inexpressible.

FdS capable bring people into the sense through words. Read him, feel the warmth.

Interesting author. Few people.

Ta writing two different types of books but it is didactic. Engage with intellect.

FdS also with the intellect but impossible to touch the soul.

TA marriage

mutual submission, discern their desire, fulfill it

discern JC desires before commands for the person

devotion Burst into flames

2 parts, in itself

everything great effects other things

  • be holy, wanting to be sad, depressed
  • TA no melancholy saints
  • devotion & firm belief of what doing go together

III. Practical Advice


There are several serious problems that a soul encounters when striving for a regular prayer life. The first problem is time. As with anything that is important, prayer must have its pride of place in the schedule. The busy bishop Francis de Sales suggests the morning hours when the soul is most refreshed. Perseverance is also essential. As with any endeavor, the soul is willing but the body is weak. Perseverance is aided when we are not too severe with our wandering minds during prayer. Our good intention is the primary consideration rather than a sustained meditative prayer for over an hour.[1] That the mind wanders and the spirit is tied to the bodily distractions should not cause the soul to lose heart in regular prayer. Rather with humility, it should approach the merciful Father and entrust itself to His love.

Presence matters, rationalize away from prayer, should do those things. Everyone understands slow and steady wins the race.

Can’t expect success today. One hour of devotion does not promise devotion, rather a lifetime love affair. Each day will tend towards devotion.

Ex/ practice piano 15 min/day beautiful piece to show.

Holy Mass preferably every day

Mass highest form of prayer[2]

  • The Mass, not necessarily receiving Communion, is highest prayer
  • Speaker, Spoken to, thing said

JC, speaking to the Father, [God to God], the mass is the prayer dialogue on the cross

by his action of dying for us, what is he saying

JC dying on the cross is a prayer to the Father

mass the re-presentation, the prayer offered by the Son to the Father

offering whole of Himself, in obedience because someone asked it, out of love

unite sacrifice of the cross

People see the Mass only receiving the Eucharist without much level of introspection, habituated with in them. Lost sense the dialogue amongst the Divinity.

Element to devotion, giving without receipt. Something there. FdS understood better than late Popes.

Receiving the Eucharist is a tremendous gift, perhaps pendulum too far. Almost a reflexive action. Instinct vs entering into relationship with God.

[1] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Part II Part II Question 13, Article 13 “Prayer”

[2] De Sales, 55