Monday, January 24, 2011

1/24/11 - Memorial of St. Francis de Sales

Today is the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales.  At the Men's Day of Recollection at St. Joseph's Parish during lent of 2009, we spent a lot of time talking about St. Francis.  We learned that his book Introduction to the Devout Life  is widely recognized as a valuable resource for anyone wanting to grow closer to Christ, and that even though the book is around 400 years old, people still rely on it and follow it today.

I researched him a bit and found out that he is a Doctor of the Church.  I found some church documents from that time, and they talked about his skill as a spiritual director for laypeople.

I was intrigued enough that I went out and bought the book about a month later.  I thought I would just plow through it quickly, and then I realized that it was packed so full that I had to read slowly and think carefully about what it said.  Between that and my own personal laziness and forgetfulness, it took me until the end of 2009 to finish.

Reading this book was a "milestone" moment in my personal spiritual development.  I had hunger to grow closer to Christ, but a couple of things were wrong.  One was that I didn't really know how to do it -- it's an abstract thought to get closer to someone you can't see or hear.  At the time I thought that was a real problem.   The other problem was far more obstructive though.  I liked the idea of spiritual growth and sort of understood that I needed to pursue it, but I wasn't actually ready to do the things I DID already know. In reading St. Francis' book, I understood that I wasn't ready to give up behaviors that lead to sin.

I learned many things from that book that have stuck with me.  The most important one, though, is that I must be RESOLVED to grow spiritually.  I need to keep that resolve on a daily basis.  If I stay resolved, God will help me.  If not, I'm not really going to grow, because He won't force it on me.

Here are a couple of links with more information about St. Francis.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a Comment!