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Tuesday - Third Week after Epiphany -- ST. FRANCIS DE SALES (January 29th)

His faith, hope, and charity

From book "Morning Meditations for all days of the year from texts of Saint Alphonsus of Liguori"... They who love God never doubt in matters of Faith...

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Morning Meditations

Saint Alphonsus

They who love God never doubt in matters of Faith. It is only those who do not live according to the dictates of their Faith who doubt its Truths. O my God, cries out St. Francis, the beauty of our holy Faith appears to me so delightful that I could die of love for it!

I. Great was the Faith of St. Francis de Sales. Such was his delight when he thought of the beauty and excellence of Faith, that he was heard to exclaim, "O my God, the beauty of our holy Faith appears to be so delightful that I could die of love for it, and it seems to me that I ought to enclose this precious gift which God has bestowed upon me, in a heart full of the sweetest perfumes of devotion." Hence he was never satisfied with giving God thanks for having blessed him with the favour of being born a child of the true Church: "O bountiful God," said he, "great indeed are the favours by which Thou hast bound me to Thee; but how shall I ever sufficiently thank Thee for having enlightened me with the true Faith?" And he declared that, although he had constantly had so much to do with heretics, he had never once doubted in the least of the truth of his Faith. They who love God never doubt in matters of Faith: it is only those who do not live according to the dictates of their Faith who doubt of its Truths.

Great also was the Hope of St. Francis. He was always firmly convinced that God continually watches over our welfare, and hence he was always calm and intrepid in the midst of the greatest dangers. In the very dangers which threatened his designs for the glory of God, he never lost confidence. And this he always endeavoured to instil into others. On one occasion he is related to have said to a timid soul: "Do you desire to belong entirely to God? Why, then, do you fear on account of your weakness? Do you hope in God? And shall he who hopes in God be ever confounded? Be not afraid of your fears." He who loves God much, confides much in Him. Love always cuts out fear.

II. Great likewise was his love for God. The very fear which he experienced in the early part of his life, that he might not be worthy to love God for all eternity, ruined his health and nearly deprived him of life. It was his great Charity which inspired him to expose himself on so many occasions to death for God's sake. He was so careful to expel from his heart every affection which was not directed towards God, that he said, "If I knew that there existed in my heart a single fibre of affection that is not from God and for God, I would immediately pluck it out." He always aspired to the purest love of God. He said: "I would rather not exist than not be entirely devoted to God." In one of his letters he writes: "My heart is filled with an unbounded desire of being forever sacrificed to the pure love of my Saviour." And he tells us how tender his love was, especially for Jesus Christ, when he says: "Let us contemplate our Divine Redeemer nailed to the Cross and dying upon it for the love of us. Ah! why do we not cast ourselves upon the same Cross to die on it with Him, for His having been pleased through love for us to die Himself upon it? I will embrace Him and will never leave Him. I will die with Him and will burn in the flames of His love. The same flame shall consume the Divine Creator and His creature. I will live and die upon His bosom. Neither life nor death shall ever separate me from Him."

Holy Saint, since thou art now in Heaven loving Jesus face to face, obtain for me the grace to love Him, as thou didst love Him in thy lifetime.

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Let us hasten to give ourselves to God

Monday - Third Week after Epiphany