2023 Halfway Point! Check Your Christian Walk with St. Francis de Sales

Dear friends,

We are officially halfway done with 2023! It’s about time we check-in on our personal Christian journey.

As many of you may recall, every year our Pilgrim Center of Hope staff selects a saint with whom we will journey spiritually throughout the year. In addition to our personal experiences in discovering this saint, we share reflections and tidbits of knowledge during our monthly Staff Meetings.

This year, I selected St. Francis de Sales as my saint… Imagine how surprised I was when Pope Francis released an apostolic letter celebrating the 400th year since Francis de Sales entered eternal life. The letter is called Totum amoris est which could be translated, Everything pertains to love!

I highly recommend that you read this letter, because it is rich with spiritual wisdom for our time. Francis de Sales was, of course, a man of his own time. Yet, in many ways, he was also very ahead of his time, and provided eternal wisdom for those of us who are striving in our Christian journeys. The Holy Father does a wonderful job of summarizing these lessons.

Highlights from this letter include the following quotations from St. Francis de Sales:

  • On the Primacy of Love: It is love that grants perfection to our works. I will tell you much more. Take a person who suffers martyrdom for God with an ounce of love; that person merits much, since he could give nothing greater than his own life. Yet another person who has only suffered a scratch with two ounces of love will have much more merit, because it is charity and love that give value to our works.
  • On Guiding Someone Toward Reform: I believe it is better simply to indicate the disease and put the scalpel in their hands, so that they themselves can make the necessary incision.
  • On Guiding Someone Toward God: We are not drawn to God by chains of iron, like bulls or oxen, but by invitations, enticements and holy inspirations… rightly befitting the human heart, which is naturally free.
  • On True Devotion: Devotion must be practiced differently by the gentleman, the craftsman, the chamberlain, the prince, the widow, the young woman, the wife. Moreover, the practice of devotion must be adapted to the abilities, affairs and duties of each.

Click here to read the letter.

With this wisdom in mind, I invite you to consider the following:

  1. Where is my spiritual life right now? What goals do I have in my progress as a Christian?
  2. When measured by love, how successful am I living as a Christian?
  3. What draws me to God? How can I apply this into improving my Christian life?

I pray that we all may grow closer to the Lord as we enter into the second half of 2023!

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life.

Angela Sealana is Media Coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope, having served at the apostolate since 2010. She also serves on the PCH Speaker Team.

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