Novena to St Francis de Sales
Day Four – 18 January
“Self-love dies only when our body dies, so we must, while we live in this land of exile, continue to counterattack its assaults on our senses and its underhanded tactics. It is enough if we firmly withstand, giving no wilful or deliberate consent … When we feel within ourselves the first movements of self-love or of other passions, let us prostrate ourselves immediately before the heart of God and tell Him, in a spirit of confidence and humility, “Lord, have mercy on me because I am a very weak creature.” Then let us tranquilly rest in peace and put ourselves at God’s disposal.” (St Francis de Sales Letters 1675; O. XIX, pp. 272-273)
O blessed Francis de Sales,
who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbour,
I earnestly ask you to take me
under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people, especially ……………………..
(names of those whom you wish to include)
may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven even as I walk each day
with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble in my attempt
to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny, eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer
(mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all, You desired that St Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many long the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit may experience eternal life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
St Francis de Sales, pray for us.