St. Francis de Sales -- Introduction to the Devout Life

From the monthly archives: September 2011

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'September 2011'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Only the chaste person can truly love another

St. Francis de Sales

September 26, 2011
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Too often we regard chastity as a virtue that is mainly for the young. For it is in young people that sexual desires burn the hottest. As well, it is in unmarried girls and women that unchastity has the potential consequence of a pregnancy that leads many to either abortion or a life of poverty.

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The Strength of the meek

St. Francis de Sales

September 19, 2011
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

For the 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, Christianity was synonymous with weakness. Christian morality, in Nietzsche's view, was insipid, replacing the power of the human will with an obedient cowering before God. For the human person to reach his or her full stature, God had to be destroyed and man had to assert himself.

Were Nietzsche to consider the Beatitude, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth," he would have found it to be laughable sentimentality. The meek will never control anything; they are pathetic victims.

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It's so hard to be humble

St. Francis de Sales

September 12, 2011
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Humility, said St. Francis de Sales, is such a powerful virtue that it "drives away Satan and keeps the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit safe within us."

This is a startling notion. When we need to drive out Satan, don't we normally turn to overtly religious sacramentals such as holy water and the sign of the cross? How could the exercise of a virtue, even one as important as humility, get rid of the devil?

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Practice of one simple virtue can lead to heights of holiness

St. Francis de Sales

September 5, 2011
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

As a Catholic editor, I have a responsibility to do my best to help our readers understand Church teachings and develop their spiritual lives. Nevertheless, in writing these reflections on St. Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life, at times I feel like a hypocrite.

In the articles published to date, I have described Francis’s presentation of how a devout person ought to pray and receive the sacraments. The regime Francis describes far outstrips my own practice, leaving me to encourage readers to do what I say, not what I do.

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