“State openly that you desire to be devout.”

State openly that you desire to be devout. I do not say that you should assert that you are devout but that you desire to be devout. Do not be ashamed to practice the ordinary, necessary actions that bring us to the love of God. Acknowledge frankly that you are trying to meditate, that you would rather die than commit a mortal sin, that you are resolved to frequent the sacraments and to follow your director’s advice…This candid confession of our desire to serve God and to consecrate ourselves entirely to His love is most acceptable to His Divine Majesty. He does not want us to be ashamed either of him or of his Cross. Besides, it prevents many arguments the world would offer for the contrary way and binds us in honor to act in keeping with what we profess. The philosophers openly called themselves philosophers so that they might be allowed to live devoutly. If anyone tells you that you may live devoutly without following this advice and these exercises, do not deny it but answer mildly that you are so weak that you need more help and assistance than others do.

St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life (Part V, Chapter 18)
translated by John K. Ryan, 1966

Published by Catherine Addington

I am a translator from Spanish to English and a writer on saints, myths, and icons in both religious and secular contexts.

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