Chapter 15 of the Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
This is a Discerning Hearts recording read by Correy Webb
CHAPTER XV. SEVENTH MEDITATION.
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God.
2. Humble yourself and ask His Aid.
3. Picture to yourself a dark city, reeking with the flames of sulphur and brimstone, inhabited by citizens who cannot leave.
1. Even so the lost are plunged in their infernal abyss; —suffering indescribable torture in every sense and every member; and that because having used their members and senses for sin, it is just that through them they should suffer now. Those eyes which delighted in impure vicious sights, now behold devils; the ears which took pleasure in unholy words, now are deafened with yells of despair; —and so on with the other senses.
2. Beyond all these sufferings, there is one greater still, the deprivation and pain of loss of God’s Glory, which is forever denied to their vision. If Absalom cared not to be released from exile, if he might not see his father’s face, 1how much sorer will it be to be deprived forever of the blessed vision of God?
3. Consider how insupportable the pains of Hell will be by reason of their eternal duration. If the irritating bite of an insect, or the restlessness of fever, makes an ordinary night seem so long and tedious, how terrible will the endless night of eternity be, where nothing will be found without despair, blasphemy and fury!
Affections and Resolutions.
1. Read the Prophet’s descriptions of the terrors of the Lord, and ask your soul whether it can face them—whether you can bear to lose your God forever?
2. Confess that you have repeatedly deserved to do so. Resolve henceforth to act differently, and to rescue yourself from this abyss. Resolve on distinct definite acts by which you may avoid sin, and thereby eternal death.
Give thanks, offer yourself, pray.