Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Made For This

My friend Howard Baker, professor of Spiritual Formation at Denver Seminary, sent this quote from St. Francis de Sales today:

God did not bring you into the world because He had any need of you, ... but solely that He might sho forth His Goodness in you, giving you His Grace and Glory. And to this end He gave you understanding that you might know Him, memory that you might think of Him, a will that you might love Him, imagination that you might realize His Mercies, sight that you might behold the marvels of His works, speech that you might praise Him, and so on with all your other faculties.

Consider how unhappy they are who do not think of all this, who live as though they were created only to build and plant, to heap up riches and amuse themselves with trifles.

Humble yourself in that hitherto you have so little thought upon all this. Alas, my God, of what was I thinking when I did not think of Thee? What did I remember when I forgot Thee? What did I love when I loved Thee not? Alas, when I ought to have been feeding on the truth, I was but filling myself with vanity, and serving the world, which was made to serve me.

Turn to God. Thou, my God and Savior, shalt henceforth be the sole object of my thoughts; no more will I give my mind to ideas which are displeasing to Thee. All the days of my life I will dwell upon the greatness of Thy Goodness, so lovingly poured out upon me. Thou shalt be henceforth the delight of my heart, the resting place of all my affections. From this time forth I will forsake and abhor the vain pleasures and amusements, the empty pursuits which have absorbved my time; the unprofitable ties which have bound my heart I will loosen henceforth, and to that end I will use such and such remedies [spiritual disciplines].

Thank God, Who has made you for so gracious an end. Thou hast made me, O Lord, for Thyself, that I may eternally enjoy the immensity of Thy Glory.

--St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, p. 19-20. First published in French in 1609.
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