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Relevant Catholic Divine Inspirations and Holy Lights
Saint Francis de Sales - “Prayer washes away the soul’s imperfections”
Saint Francis de Sales - “Prayer washes away the soul’s imperfections”
Saint Francis de Sales - “Prayer washes away the soul’s imperfections”
 
 
 

 
 

Saint Francis de Sales giving Saint Jane de Chantal the Rule of the Order of the Visitation by Noël Hallé (1711-1781); Saint-Louis-en-l’Île Church, Paris, France;
commons.wikimedia.org
 
 
Regarding the Necessity of Prayer
From An Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales
(Second Part - Various Advisements for the Elevation of the Soul to God, by means of prayer and the Sacraments; Chapter One)

1. PRAYER, by taking our understanding towards the clarity of Divine Light and by inflaming our will in the fire of Celestial Love, purifies our understanding of its ignorance, and reveals to our will its depraved affections; it is the water of blessing that, with its pouring out, makes the plants of our own good desires green and blossom, cleans our souls of its imperfections and turns off in our hearts the thirst for passions.

2. But I recommend to you, in a most special manner, affectionate mental prayer, especially that which converses over the life and Passion of our Lord. Contemplating upon Him frequently in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with Him. You will learn His way of acting, and your actions will conform with the model of His own actions as well.

Our Lord is the Light of the world; therefore in Him, by Him, and for Him we are to be enlightened and illuminated; He is the tree of good and Divine Desire, under the shadow of which we are to be remade; He is the Living Fountain of Jacob’s well, where we are to recover and purify ourselves from all our distortions and defilements.

Finally, children, listening to their mothers and babbling with them, learn to speak their language; in this way we, remaining close to the Savior, through meditation and observance of His words, His actions and His affects, we learn, with His grace, to speak, act and love like He does.

It is convenient that we stop here, Philothea; believe me, there is no other way to go to God save through this door. Just as the glass of a mirror would not reflect our image if it did not have a layer of tin or lead behind it, the Divinity could not be well contemplated by us, in this world, if it had not been united to the Sacred Humanity of the Savior, whose life and death are the most complete, delightful, pleasing and advantageous subjects that we can choose for our daily meditations.

Not in vain is He called the Savior, Bread descended from Heaven, because - as bread is to be eaten with all types of delicacies, the Savior is to be meditated upon, considered and found in all our actions and prayers. Many authors, so as to facilitate our meditation on the Lord, have focused on His life and death bringing to light many revealing observations: in a special way I recommend to you the writings of Saint Bonaventure, Bellintani, Bruno, Capilia, Granada and La Puente.

3. Give an hour every day to meditation before dinner; however, if you can, let it be early in the morning, because, with the rest of the night completed, you will have your spirit less fatigued and more expeditious. Do not devote more than an hour, unless you are specially advised to do otherwise by your spiritual father.

4. If you can practice this exercise in church, and there you have enough quiet time for it, this will be easy and comfortable for you, because nobody, neither father, mother, husband, wife, nor anybody else, will impede you to be one hour there.

5. Begin all type of prayers, be they mental or vocal, by placing yourself in the presence of God, and fulfill this rule without exception; and, you will see in just a little while the advantages you will obtain from them.

6. If you want to believe me, say the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Creed in Latin; at the same time though, apply yourself to understand, in your tongue, the words these contain so that, while you pray them in the common language of the Church, you can at the same time savor the admirable and pleasing meaning of these prayers: as it is necessary to recite them fixing one's thought and engaging the affect for their meaning, and not reciting them in a hurry so you can pray more. Instead, strive to say what you pray with your heart, as a single Our Father said with feeling is much more valuable than many Our Fathers prayed in a precipituous hurry.

7. The Rosary is a very useful manner of prayer, so long as the appropriate Mystery is prayed when it is proper. To pray the Rosary properly procure to have some little book that teaches the way to pray it correctly. It is also very advantageous to pray the Litanies of Our Lord, of the Most Holy Virgin and of the saints, and all other vocal prayers which are found in the sacred manuals for the approved Hours; fully understanding that, if you have the gift for the facility of mental prayer, then this type of prayer must be given first place or priority. This is so that if, after praying mentally, due to your business or any other motive, you cannot pray orally, you may not become disquieted by this circumstance and instead, be content with saying, simply, either before or after your meditation, the dominican prayer, the Angelic Salutation or the symbol of the apostles.

8. If, while reciting vocal prayers, you feel your heart inclined and moved to inner or mental prayer, do not deny yourself the experience of entering into it; rather, let your spirit softly go there, and do not be preoccupied because you have not finished the vocal prayers you endeavored to recite, as the mental prayer that you have done in its place is more pleasing to God and more useful for your soul. The exception is the Ecclesiastical Office; if you are obligated to pray it then you have to fully carry out this obligation.

9. In the case when the entire morning goes by without having practiced this holy exercise of mental prayer, due to the many needs of your affairs or anything else (which, as much as possible, it is necessary that you not allow it to happen), repair this fault in the afternoon, but some time after eating, because if you carry out your prayers right away - and before your digestion is well advanced - a strong drowsyness might overtake you, with possible detriment to your health as well. And, if you cannot carry out your sacred prayers at all for the entire day, it is then advantageous that you repair this loss, by multiplying your ejaculatory prayers, reading some spiritual book, carrying out some penitence that will impede the repetition of this fault, and with the firm resolution to return to your holy habit the following day.


Translated from the Spanish by Jan Paul von Wendt - http://www.dfests.ua.es/~gil/intro-vida-devota.pdf
(University of Alacant, Spain)

 
Regarding the Necessity of Prayer
From An Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales
(Second Part - Various Advisements for the Elevation of the Soul to God, by means of prayer and the Sacraments; Chapter One)

1. PRAYER, by taking our understanding towards the clarity of Divine Light and by inflaming our will in the fire of Celestial Love, purifies our understanding of its ignorance, and reveals to our will its depraved affections; it is the water of blessing that, with its pouring out, makes the plants of our own good desires green and blossom, cleans our souls of its imperfections and turns off in our hearts the thirst for passions.

2. But I recommend to you, in a most special manner, affectionate mental prayer, especially that which converses over the life and Passion of our Lord. Contemplating upon Him frequently in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with Him. You will learn His way of acting, and your actions will conform with the model of His own actions as well.

Our Lord is the Light of the world; therefore in Him, by Him, and for Him we are to be enlightened and illuminated; He is the tree of good and Divine Desire, under the shadow of which we are to be remade; He is the Living Fountain of Jacob’s well, where we are to recover and purify ourselves from all our distortions and defilements.

Finally, children, listening to their mothers and babbling with them, learn to speak their language; in this way we, remaining close to the Savior, through meditation and observance of His words, His actions and His affects, we learn, with His grace, to speak, act and love like He does.

It is convenient that we stop here, Philothea; believe me, there is no other way to go to God save through this door. Just as the glass of a mirror would not reflect our image if it did not have a layer of tin or lead behind it, the Divinity could not be well contemplated by us, in this world, if it had not been united to the Sacred Humanity of the Savior, whose life and death are the most complete, delightful, pleasing and advantageous subjects that we can choose for our daily meditations.

Not in vain is He called the Savior, Bread descended from Heaven, because - as bread is to be eaten with all types of delicacies, the Savior is to be meditated upon, considered and found in all our actions and prayers. Many authors, so as to facilitate our meditation on the Lord, have focused on His life and death bringing to light many revealing observations: in a special way I recommend to you the writings of Saint Bonaventure, Bellintani, Bruno, Capilia, Granada and La Puente.

3. Give an hour every day to meditation before dinner; however, if you can, let it be early in the morning, because, with the rest of the night completed, you will have your spirit less fatigued and more expeditious. Do not devote more than an hour, unless you are specially advised to do otherwise by your spiritual father.

4. If you can practice this exercise in church, and there you have enough quiet time for it, this will be easy and comfortable for you, because nobody, neither father, mother, husband, wife, nor anybody else, will impede you to be one hour there.

5. Begin all type of prayers, be they mental or vocal, by placing yourself in the presence of God, and fulfill this rule without exception; and, you will see in just a little while the advantages you will obtain from them.

6. If you want to believe me, say the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Creed in Latin; at the same time though, apply yourself to understand, in your tongue, the words these contain so that, while you pray them in the common language of the Church, you can at the same time savor the admirable and pleasing meaning of these prayers: as it is necessary to recite them fixing one's thought and engaging the affect for their meaning, and not reciting them in a hurry so you can pray more. Instead, strive to say what you pray with your heart, as a single Our Father said with feeling is much more valuable than many Our Fathers prayed in a precipituous hurry.

7. The Rosary is a very useful manner of prayer, so long as the appropriate Mystery is prayed when it is proper. To pray the Rosary properly procure to have some little book that teaches the way to pray it correctly. It is also very advantageous to pray the Litanies of Our Lord, of the Most Holy Virgin and of the saints, and all other vocal prayers which are found in the sacred manuals for the approved Hours; fully understanding that, if you have the gift for the facility of mental prayer, then this type of prayer must be given first place or priority. This is so that if, after praying mentally, due to your business or any other motive, you cannot pray orally, you may not become disquieted by this circumstance and instead, be content with saying, simply, either before or after your meditation, the dominican prayer, the Angelic Salutation or the symbol of the apostles.

8. If, while reciting vocal prayers, you feel your heart inclined and moved to inner or mental prayer, do not deny yourself the experience of entering into it; rather, let your spirit softly go there, and do not be preoccupied because you have not finished the vocal prayers you endeavored to recite, as the mental prayer that you have done in its place is more pleasing to God and more useful for your soul. The exception is the Ecclesiastical Office; if you are obligated to pray it then you have to fully carry out this obligation.

9. In the case when the entire morning goes by without having practiced this holy exercise of mental prayer, due to the many needs of your affairs or anything else (which, as much as possible, it is necessary that you not allow it to happen), repair this fault in the afternoon, but some time after eating, because if you carry out your prayers right away - and before your digestion is well advanced - a strong drowsyness might overtake you, with possible detriment to your health as well. And, if you cannot carry out your sacred prayers at all for the entire day, it is then advantageous that you repair this loss, by multiplying your ejaculatory prayers, reading some spiritual book, carrying out some penitence that will impede the repetition of this fault, and with the firm resolution to return to your holy habit the following day.


Translated from the Spanish by Jan Paul von Wendt - http://www.dfests.ua.es/~gil/intro-vida-devota.pdf
(University of Alacant, Spain)



 
 
 
 
January 24 (New) / January 29 (Traditional) - Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) - Regarding the Necessity of Prayer - Excerpt from An Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales


 
 

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top
X
OUR FATHER

Our Father, Who Art In Heaven
Hallowed Be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy Will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Liberate us from all temptation[*]
And deliver us from all evil. Amen



[*] Liberate us is in keeping with the original Latin text.
       God usually does not "lead us" to temptation
       (unless we are tested),
       but gives us the grace to overcome and/or resist it
X
HAIL MARY

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art though among women,
And blessed is the fruit
Of thy womb, Jesus.
 
Holy Mary, Mary of God
Pray for us sinners
Now, and in the hour
Of our death. Amen


 
X
APOSTLE'S CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the
[work and grace of the] Holy Ghost,[*]
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into the Dead.[**]
On the third day, He rose again;
He ascended into Heaven,
And sits at the right hand of God,
the Father Almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge
the living and the dead.
 
I believe in the Holy Ghost,[*]
The Holy Catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins.
The resurrection of the body,
And life everlasting. Amen


[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
[**] the Dead: "inferi", the underworld or the dead in Latin.
X
GLORIA

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all her iniquities.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice
of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.

V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gate of hell.
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May then rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with Thy Spirit.

(50 days indulgence to all who pray the De Profundis with V. and R.
"Requiem aeternam" (Eternal Rest) three times a day.
Pope Leo XIII, February 3, 1888)


Let us pray:
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all
the faithful, we beseech Thee to grant
to the souls of Thy servants the remission
of their sins, so that by our prayers
they may obtain pardon for which they long.
O Lord, who lives and reigns,
world without end. Amen

May they rest in peace. Amen

CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
PADRE NUESTRO

Padre Nuestro,
que estas en los Cielos
Santificado sea Tu Nombre;
Venga a nosotros tu Reino;
Hágase Tu Voluntad
en la tierra como en el cielo.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día;
Perdona nuestras ofensas,
Como también nosotros
perdonamos a los que nos ofenden,
No nos dejes caer en la tentación,
y líbranos del mal. Amén
 
CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
AVE MARÍA

Dios te salve, María,
llena eres de gracia;
El Señor es Contigo;
Bendita Tú eres
entre todas las mujeres,
Y bendito es el fruto
De tu vientre, Jesús.
 
Santa María,
Madre de Dios,
Ruega por nosotros
pecadores,
Ahora y en la hora
De nuestra muerte.
Amén
 
CERRAR
CREDO

Creo en Dios, Padre Todopoderoso,
Creador del cielo y de la tierra.
Creo en Jesucristo,
Su único Hijo, Nuestro Señor,
Que fue concebido por obra
y gracia del Espíritu Santo,
Nació de la Santa María Virgen;
Padeció bajo el poder de Poncio Pilato,
Fue crucificado, muerto y sepultado,
Descendió a los infiernos,
Al tercer día resucitó de entre los muertos,
Subió a los cielos
Y está sentado a la derecha de Dios,
Padre Todopoderoso.
Desde allí ha de venir a juzgar
a los vivos y a los muertos.

Creo en el Espíritu Santo,
La Santa Iglesia Católica,
La comunión de los santos,
El perdón de los pecados,
La resurrección de la carne
Y la vida eterna. Amén
 
 
CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor; Señor,
escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos
a la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?
Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia.
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

X
GLORIA

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor;
Señor, escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos a
la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?

Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia,
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

V. Dadles, Señor, a todas las almas
el descanso eterno.
R. Y haced lucir sobre ellas
vuestra eterna luz.
V. Que en paz descansen.
R. Amén.