Sunday, February 3, 2013

Golden Counsels

Suffering is a divine favor!

St Francis de Sales (French: François de Sales) (August 21, 1567 – December 28, 1622) was a Bishop of Geneva and is honored as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. He became noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God. He is the patron saint of writers and journalists.

The Golden Counsels of St Francis de Sales comes in a little booklet and it is a gem for anyone willing to grow the spiritual life. Here are a few nuggets extracted from this saint’s counsels:

1) Peace. Remain in peace; rid your imagination of whatever troubles you. The first thing in the morning, prepare your heart to be at peace. “To the person who is faithful in little things, greater ones will be given.”

2) Patience. Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself; I mean, don’t be disturbed about your imperfections, and always have the courage to pick yourself up after a fall. “Do all you can to develop a spirit of compassion.”

3) Confidence. A thousand times a day cast your whole heart, your soul, your anxiety on God with great confidence, and say with the psalmist: “I am yours, Lord; save me.” Do not fear future evil in this world, for perhaps it will never come.

4) Perseverance. We must apply ourselves to doing well the stretch of road immediately before us on the first day of the journey, and not waste time wanting to do the last lap of the way while we still have to make it through the first. “Our imperfections must die with us, a little each day.”

5) Devotion. Ordinary people walk along the path of God; devout people run; very devout people fly. “Times of prayers must become so much a part of our day that we never omit them except out of great necessity.”

6) Suffering. Your cross comes to you; embrace it and caress it for the love of the one who sends it. Suffering is a divine favor.  “Because it is you, I say nothing. I accept it; I receive it; I honor it.”

7) Hope and Love. Hope is the opposite of fear. It is serious to feel separated from God; we grow timid and weak. We must try to keep our hearts continually, unshakably serene throughout the vicissitudes of life. Even though everything turns and changes around us, we must ever remain steady - always looking, striving, and aspiring toward God. “Cast you care upon the Lord and he will support you.” "If we belong to God, who shall separates us from the love and charity of God?"

God break us where we need to be broken. He fractures the pride, the lust, and the anger in our lives, but He does to remodel us into His image. And, once we heal, we end up stronger then when He started like a healed broken bone.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

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