On January 24, the Church celebrated the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, one of my favorite saints and a doctor of the Church, who is arguably most known for his work Introduction to the Devout Life (a must-read spiritual classic if you haven’t read it!). With that said, below is an excerpt from this famous work of St. Francis offered to us by the Church in the Liturgy of the Hours to be used for meditation on his feast day.
Below is the second reading from the Office of Readings for Monday in Ordinary Time, the Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor:
Do you ever feel like you’re not praying enough?
I know I do. So often I commit to praying certain prayers and doing certain spiritual exercises each day, only to get to the end of the day not having done all those prayers and exercises, feeling like I have failed God.
Well, the other day I read the above excerpt from St. Francis de Sales’ spiritual masterpiece and what he said rocked me.
I’m overcommitting myself to too many spiritual exercises. Out of my zeal and desire to please God I desire to imitate his saints and many of his priests and religious today, and I attempt to turn my whole day into prayer. Which I believe is the right intention!
However, so often by doing this I either fail to keep the prayers I committed to or I prevent myself from fulfilling my duties as a husband and father.
Well, St. Francis’ words made it clear to me: “Devotion must be practiced in different ways.”
Not everyone’s devotional life should look the same. What is true devotion for a cloistered religious is not true devotion for a bishop. And what is true devotion for a bishop is not true devotion for a married person.
I realized that it’s better to be consistent in small things than sporadic in big things.
And so that’s what I’m trying to do. I’ve selected certain spiritual exercises that I’ve decided to be faithful to. Even if it is a small number of spiritual exercises.
What devotions or spiritual exercises do you try to be faithful to each day?
Let me know below in the comment box!
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