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 God's Presence. 2. Humble yourself, and ask His Aid. 3.
Picture to yourself a dark city, reeking with the flames of sulphur and
brimstone, inhabited by citizens who cannot get forth.
1. Even so the lost are plunged in their infernal abyss; suffering
indescribable torture in every sense and every member; and that because
having used their members and senses for sin, it is just that through them
they should suffer now. Those eyes which delighted in impure vicious sights,
now behold devils; the ears which took pleasure in unholy words, now are
deafened with yells of despair; and so on with the other senses.
2. Beyond all these sufferings, there is one greater still, the privation and pain of
loss of God's Glory, which is for ever denied to their vision. If Absalom
cared not to be released from exile, if he might not see his father's face,
how much sorer will it be to be deprived for ever of the blessed vision
3. Consider how insupportable the pains of Hell will be by reason of their
eternal duration. If the irritating bite of an insect, or the restlessness
of fever, makes an ordinary night seem so long and tedious, how terrible
will the endless night of eternity be, where nought will be found save
despair, blasphemy and fury!
Affections and Resolutions
1. Read the Prophet's descriptions of the terrors of the Lord, and ask
your soul whether it can face them, whether you can bear to lose your God for
2. Confess that you have repeatedly deserved to do so. Resolve henceforth to
act differently, and to rescue yourself from this abyss. Resolve on distinct
definite acts by which you may avoid sin, and thereby eternal death.
Give thanks, offer yourself, pray.
Return to the Sixth Meditation . . .
Proceed to the Eighth Meditation