Laudetur Jesus Christus!
Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Praised be Jesus Christ!
This upcoming week we will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, the principle patron of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (Feast on 1/24 and 1/29). St. Francis de Sales is also closely associated with the Oratory and helped to found and was the first Provost of an Oratory in Switzerland. To help us celebrate this Feast, I offer this reflection from him for our meditation. God Bless in the week ahead!
“When God created the world He commanded each tree to bear fruit after its kind; and even so He bids Christians, the living trees of His Church, to bring forth fruits of devotion, each one according to his kind and vocation. A different exercise of devotion is required of each–the noble, the artisan, the servant, the prince, the maiden and the wife; and further- more such practice must be modified according to the strength, the calling, and the duties of each individual. I ask you, my child, would it be fitting that a Bishop should seek to lead the solitary life of a Carthusian? And if the father of a family were as regardless in making provision for the future as a Capuchin, if the artisan spent the day in church like a Religious, if the Religious involved himself in all manner of business on his neighbor’s behalf as a Bishop is called upon to do, would not such a devotion be ridiculous, ill-regulated, and intolerable?
Nevertheless such a mistake is often made, and the world, which cannot or will not discriminate between real devotion and the indiscretion of those who fancy themselves devout, grumbles and finds fault with devotion, which is really nowise concerned in these errors. No indeed, my child, the devotion which is true hinders nothing, but on the contrary it perfects everything; and that which runs counter to the rightful vocation of any one is, you may be sure, a spurious devotion. Aristotle says that the bee sucks honey from flowers without damaging them, leaving them as whole and fresh as it found them; but true devotion does better still, for it not only hinders no manner of vocation or duty, but, contrariwise, it adorns and beautifies all. Throw precious stones into honey, and each will grow more brilliant according to its several color: and in like manner everybody fulfills his special calling better when subject to the influence of devotion: family duties are lighter, married love truer, service to our King more faithful, every kind of occupation more acceptable and better performed where that is the guide.” – St. Francis de Sales