from the annals of history unto our current day
The Spiritual Meditations of St. Francis de Sales
from the book, 'Introduction to the Devout Life'
first written for St. Jane Frances de Chantal and now offered to all
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God. 2. Ask Him to inspire your heart.
1. Consider that but a few years since you were not born into the world, and
your soul was as yet non-existent. Where wert thou then, O my soul? the
world was already old, and yet of thee there was no sign.
2. God brought you out of this nothingness, in order to make you what you
are, not because He had any need of you, but solely out of His Goodness.
3. Consider the being which God has given you; for it is the foremost being
of this visible world, adapted to live eternally, and to be perfectly united
to God's Divine Majesty.
Affections and Resolutions
1. Humble yourself utterly before God, saying with the Psalmist, O Lord, I
am nothing in respect of Thee, what am I, that Thou shouldst remember me? O
my soul, thou wert yet lost in that abyss of nothingness, if God had not
called thee forth, and what of thee in such a case?
2. Give God thanks. O Great and Good Creator, what do I not owe Thee, Who
didst take me from out that nothingness, by Thy Mercy to make me what I am?
How can I ever do enough worthily to praise Thy Holy Name, and render due
thanks to Thy Goodness?
3. Confess your own shame. But alas, O my Creator, so far from uniting
myself to Thee by a loving service, I have rebelled against Thee through my
unruly affections, departing from Thee, and giving myself up to sin, and
ignoring Thy Goodness, as though Thou hadst not created me.
4. Prostrate thyself before God. O my soul, know that the Lord He is thy
God, it is He that hath made thee, and not thou thyself. O God, I am the
work of Thy Hands; henceforth I will not seek to rest in myself, who am
nought. Wherein hast thou to glory, who art but dust and ashes? how canst
thou, a very nothing, exalt thyself? In order to my own humiliation, I will
do such and such a thing, "I will endure such contempt: "I will alter my ways
and henceforth follow my Creator, and realise that I am honoured by His
calling me to the being He has given; I will employ it solely to obey His
Will, by means of the teaching He has given me, of which I will inquire more
through my spiritual Father.
1. Thank God. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and praise His Holy Name with all
thy being, because His Goodness called me forth from nothingness, and His
Mercy created me.
2. Offer. O my God, I offer Thee with all my heart the being Thou hast given
me, I dedicate and consecrate it to Thee.
3. Pray. O God, strengthen me in these affections and resolutions. Dear
Lord, I commend me, and all those I love, to Thy never failing Mercy. OUR
At the end of your meditation linger a while, and gather, so to say, a
little spiritual bouquet from the thoughts you have dwelt upon, the sweet
perfume whereof may refresh you through the day.
Proceed to the Second Meditation