Reality Check

What are the “little and feeble assaults” in your life? Are there little temptations that become so common in your day-to-day activities that you no longer give them much thought?  In his, Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales creates vivid images, large and small, of temptations that bombard us daily. No one…

St. Bernard, Confessions, and God’s Will

This week in the Gospel we hear the Parable of the Prodigal Son. It allows us to reflect on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Thus, let us look at The Stages of Contemplation. This is from a sermon from Saint Bernard, abbot. The abbot writes that availing ourselves of The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a good…

Pope Francis: Mission: The Guiding Principle

What does evangelization encompass according to Pope Francis? In “The Pastoral Conversion of the Parish Community,” Section IV, we read that it will be necessary to identify perspectives that allow for the renewal of “traditional” parish structures into a parish emphasis in terms of “mission.” The Holy Father provides a few places to examine. They…

Why Do We Pray? Why Do We Worship?

Why do we pray?  Why do we worship?  In his letter to a Christian having difficulty in prayer, Saint Francis de Sales (SFDS) asks that the reader, “Remember that the graces and goods of prayer are not waters of earth but of Heaven, and that our own efforts will never be sufficient to obtain them….

Pope Francis: The Value of the Parish Today

How valuable is a parish today? The answer to that probably depends on what a parish is supposed to be. What is a parish supposed to do? Parishes that can answer those questions in the affirmative are more valuable to Jesus Christ and His mission. The parish remains an indispensable organism of primary importance. It…

Think of Christ Who Always Thinks of You

  The Internet is a great resource for statistics. There are more than 150 references to “love” included in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. In his writings, Saint Francis de Sales encourages us to think of Christ and be conscious of the love with which our Lord suffered so much in this…

Spiritual Guidance from Francis de Sales

For summer spiritual reading, I had been looking for an author who speaks directly to me and targets issues that I frequently face in my daily life. I wanted to read something that I could benefit from even if I only read a few pages. I get lost if I’m reading an author who pens…