Second Thought for the Day – 24 January – Devotion Must be Practised in Different Ways

Second Thought for the Day – 24 January – Friday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A and The Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) “The Gentle Christ of Geneva” – Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

Devotion Must be Practised in Different Ways

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Bishop and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Introduction to the Devout Life

“When God the Creator made all things, He commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind, He has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of His Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.

I say that devotion must be practised in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman.   But even this distinction is not sufficient, for the practice of devotion must be adapted to the strength, to the occupation and to the duties of each one in particular.

Tell me, please, my Philothea, whether it is proper for a Bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian, or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin, about increasing their income, or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious, or on the other hand, for a religious to be constantly exposed like a Bishop to all the events and circumstances, that bear on the needs of our neighbour.   Is not this sort of devotion ridiculous, unorganised and intolerable?   Yet this absurd error occurs very frequently but in no way, does true devotion, my Philothea, destroy anything at all.   On the contrary, it perfects and fulfils all things.   In fact if it ever works against, or is inimical to, anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false devotion.

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.   True devotion does still better.   Not only does it not injure any sort of calling or occupation, it even embellishes and enhances it.

Moreover, just as every sort of gem, cast in honey, becomes brighter and more sparkling, each according to its colour, so, each person, becomes more acceptable and fitting in his own vocation, when he sets his vocation in the context of devotion.   Through devotion, your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the Prince becomes more faithful and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.

It is therefore an error and even a heresy, to wish to exclude the exercise of devotion from military divisions, from the artisans’ shops, from the courts of princes, from family households.   I acknowledge, my dear Philothea, that the type of devotion which is purely contemplative, monastic and religious can certainly not be exercised in these sorts of stations and occupations but, besides this threefold type of devotion, there are many others fit for perfecting those who live in a secular state.

Therefore, in whatever situations we happen to be, we can and we must aspire to the life of perfection.”

St Francis de Sales, Pray for Us!

in whatever situations we happen to be in - st francis de sales pray for us 24 jan 2020



Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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