Malankara World

The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales

By Jean Pierre Camus


To a soul overwhelmed by the consideration of its infidelities and miseries he wrote these words of marvelous consolation.

"Your miseries and infirmities ought not to astonish you. God has seen many and many a one as wretched as you, and His mercy never turns away the unhappy. On the contrary, by means of their wretchedness, He seeks to do them good, making their abjection the foundation of the throne of His glory. As Job's patience was enthroned on a dung-hill, so God's mercy is raised upon the wretchedness of man; take away man's misery, and what becomes of God's mercy?"

Elsewhere he writes: "What does our Lord love to do with His gift of eternal life, but to bestow it on souls that are poor, feeble, and of little account in their own eyes? Yes, indeed, dearly beloved children, we must hope, and that with great confidence, to live throughout a happy eternity. The greater our misery the greater should be our confidence." These, indeed, are his very words in his second conference.

Again in one of his letters he says: "Why? What would this good and all-merciful God do with His mercy; this God, whom we ought so worthily to honor for His goodness? What, I say, would He do with it if He did not share it with us, miserable as we are? If our wants and imperfections did not serve as a stage for the display of His graces and favors, what use would He make of this holy and infinite perfection?"

This is the lesson left us by our Blessed Father, and we ought, indeed, to hope with that lively hope animated by love, without which none can be saved. And this lively hope, what is it, but a firm and unwavering confidence that we shall, through God's grace and God's mercy, attain to the joy of heaven, which, being infinite, is boundless and unmeasurable.

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