Sunday, May 17, 2009

Daily - 5/17/09

This is from "Introduction to the Devout Life" by St. Francis de Sales -- a Doctor of the Church. Msgr. Callahan recommended this at the Men's Day of Recollection and I've been working my way through it for the last couple of months. It was written to give spiritual direction to people with "normal vocations" on how to live devoutly. St. Francis de Sales believed that you didn't need to have a religious vocation to reach sprititual heights.

For any readers out there, I highly recommend this book.


Birds have nests in trees and can retire to them when need arises, and stags have bushes and thickets wehre they can take cover, hide, and enjoy the cool shade during the summer. So also, our hearts should each day pick and choose some place ... as a retreat where they can retire at various times to refresh and restore themselves during their exterior occupations. There, as in a stronghold, they can defend themselves against temptations.

Always remember to retire at varioust imes into the solitude of your own heart even while outwardly engaged in discussions ofr transactions with others .... Your heart remains alone in the presence of God. Such was the exercise King David practiced amid his many occupations and he testifies to it countless times in the Psalms, as when he says: "O Lord, I am always with you." Indeed, our tasks are seldom so important as to keep us from withdrawing our hearts from them from time to time in order to retreat into this divine solitude.

Therefore, withdraw your spirit from time to time into your heart; and there, apart from the world of men, you can converse heart to heart with God on the state of your soul.