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
Of the Gifts of God
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God. 2. Ask Him to inspire your heart.
1. Consider the material gifts God has given you, your body, and the means
for its preservation; your health, and all that maintains it; your friends
and many helps. Consider too how many persons more deserving than you are
without these gifts; some suffering in health or limb, others exposed to
injury, contempt and trouble, or sunk in poverty, while God has willed you
to be better off.
2. Consider the mental gifts He has given you. Why are you not stupid,
idiotic, insane like many you wot of? Again, God has favoured you with a
decent and suitable education, while many have grown up in utter ignorance.
3. Further, consider His spiritual gifts. You are a child of His Church, God
has taught you to know Himself from your youth. How often has He given you
His Sacraments? what inspirations and interior light, what reproofs, He has
given to lead you aright; how often He has forgiven you, how often delivered
you from occasions of falling; what opportunities He has granted for your
soul's progress! Dwell somewhat on the detail, see how Loving and Gracious
God has been to you.
Affections and Resolutions
1. Marvel at God's Goodness. How good He has been to me, how abundant in
mercy and plenteous in loving-kindness! O my soul, be thou ever telling of
the great things the Lord has done for thee!
2. Marvel at your own ingratitude. What am I, Lord, that Thou rememberest
me? How unworthy am I! I have trodden Thy Mercies under root, I have abused
Thy Grace, turning it against Thy very Self; I have set the depth of my
ingratitude against the deep of Thy Grace and Favour.
3. Kindle your gratitude. O my soul, be no more so faithless and disloyal to
thy mighty Benefactor! How should not my whole soul serve the Lord, Who has
done such great things in me and for me?
4. Go on, my daughter, to refrain from this or that material indulgence; let
your body be wholly the servant of God, Who has done so much for it: set
your soul to seek Him by this or that devout practice suitable thereto. Make
diligent use of the means provided by the Church to help you to love God and
save your soul. Resolve to be constant in prayer and seeking the Sacraments,
in hearing God's Word, and in obeying His inspirations and counsels.
1. Thank God for the clearer knowledge He has given you of His benefits and
your own duty.
2. Offer your heart and all its resolutions to Him.
3. Ask Him to strengthen you to fulfil them faithfully by the Merits of the
Death of His Son. OUR FATHER, etc. Gather the little spiritual bouquet.
Return to the Second Meditation . . .
Proceed to the Fourth Meditation