Malankara World

The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales

By Jean Pierre Camus


ST. FRANCIS DE SALES GOD SHOULD SUFFICE FOR US ALL

A person of some consideration, and one who made much profession of living a devout life, was overtaken by sudden misfortune, which deprived her of almost all her wealth and left her plunged in grief. Her distress of mind was so inconsolable that it led her to complain of the Providence of God, who appeared, she said, to have forgotten her. All her faithful service and the purity of her life seemed to have been in vain.

Blessed Francis, full of compassionate sympathy for her misfortunes, and anxious to turn her thoughts from the contemplation of herself and of earthly things, to fix them on God, asked her if He was not more to her than anything; nay, if, in fact, God was not Himself everything to her; and if, having loved Him when He had given her many things, she was not now ready to love Him, though she received nothing from Him. She, however, replying that such language was more speculative than practical, and easier to speak than to carry into effect, he wound up by saying, with St. Augustine: Too avaricious is that heart to which God does not suffice. "Assuredly, he who is not satisfied with God is covetous indeed." This word covetous produced a powerful effect upon the heart of one who, in the days of her prosperity, had always hated avarice, and had been most lavish in her expenditure, both on her own needs and pleasures and on works of mercy. It seemed as if suddenly the eyes of her soul were opened, and she saw how admirable, how infinitely worthy of love God ever remained, whether with those things she had possessed or without them. So, by degrees, she forgot herself and her crosses; grace prevailed, and she knew and confessed that God was all in all to her. Such efficacy have a Saint's words, even if unpremeditated.

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