Thought for the Day – 23 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Christian Formation of Character
“St Francis de Sales writes thus, with his usual simplicity:
“A way has been found of making bitter almonds sweet, by pucturing them at the base and squeezing out the juice.
Why cannot we eject our evil inclinations in order to make ourselves better.
There is nobody so good by nature, that a bad habit could not altogether corrupt him.
Similarly, there is nobody so bad by nature, that he could not be trained in goodness by the grace of God and his own perseverance.”
St Francis de Sales did not teach this in theory alone but, he put his advice into practice to an heroic degree in his own life.
He was endowed by nature, with a vigorous, irascible and resentful disposition and he bacame an angel of gentleness and affability.
From his youth, he was aware of the defects in his character.
He himself, admitted, that he struggled against them for twenty two years with God’s help.
He reached the point where he was able to remain silent when he was insulted and to refrain from defending himself, when he was slandered, for he had acquired an inward peace and a remarkable calmness of manner.
This gentleness of character enabled him to convert over seventy thousand heretics, to win back hardened sinners to Jesus Christ and, to set countless souls on fire with the love of God.
This is the man called “the Gentle Christ of Geneva” and “the Gentleman Saint!”
We have a great deal to learn from him!