Part 1 – Chapter 11 of the Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
This is a Discerning Hearts recording read by Correy Webb
CHAPTER XI. THIRD MEDITATION.
On the Gifts of God
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God.
2. Ask Him to inspire your heart.
1. Consider the material gifts God has given you—your body, and the means for its preservation; your health, and all that maintains it; your friends and many helps. Consider too how many persons more deserving than you are without these gifts; some suffering in health or limb, others exposed to injury, contempt and trouble, or sunk in poverty, while God has willed you to be better off.
2. Consider the mental gifts He has given you. Why are you not stupid, idiotic, insane like many others? Again, God has favored you with a decent and suitable education, while many have grown up in utter ignorance.
3. Further, consider His spiritual gifts. You are a child of His Church, God has taught you to know Himself from your youth. How often has He given you His Sacraments? What inspirations and interior light, what reproofs, He has given to lead you aright; how often He has forgiven you, how often delivered you from occasions of falling; what opportunities He has granted for your soul’s progress! Dwell somewhat on the detail, see how Loving and Gracious God has been to you.
Affections and Resolutions.
1. Marvel at God’s Goodness.
How good He has been to me, how abundant in mercy and plenteous in loving-kindness! O my soul, be ever ready to share the great things the Lord has done for you!
2. Marvel at your own ingratitude.
What am I, Lord, that You remember me? How unworthy am I! I have trodden Your Mercies under foot, I have abused Your Grace, turning it against You; I have set the depth of my ingratitude against the depth of Your Grace and Favor.
3. Kindle your gratitude.
O my soul, don’t not be faithless and disloyal to your mighty Benefactor! How should not my whole soul serve the Lord, Who has done such great things in me and for me?
4. Go on to refrain from this or that material indulgence; let your body be wholly the servant of God, Who has done so much for it: set your soul to seek Him by this or that devout practice suitable from this point forward. Make diligent use of the means provided by the Church to help you to love God and save your soul. Resolve to be constant in prayer and seeking the Sacraments, in hearing God’s Word, and in obeying His inspirations and counsels.
1. Thank God for the clearer knowledge He has given you of His benefits and your own duty.
2. Offer your heart and all its resolutions to Him.
3. Ask Him to strengthen you to fulfil them faithfully by the Merits of the Death of His Son.
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
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.
Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
At the end of your meditation linger a while, and gather, so to say, a little spiritual bouquet from the thoughts you have dwelled upon, the sweet perfume that may refresh you through the day.