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Chapter 16 of the Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
This is a Discerning Hearts recording read by Correy Webb
CHAPTER XVI. EIGHTH MEDITATION.
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God.
2. Invoke His aid.
1. Represent to yourself a lovely calm night, when the heavens are bright with innumerable stars: add to the beauty of such a night the utmost beauty of a glorious summer’s day,—the sun’s brightness not hindering the clear shining of moon or stars, and then be sure that it all falls immeasurably short of the glory of Paradise. O bright and blessed country, O sweet and precious place!
2. Consider the beauty and perfection of the countless inhabitants of that blessed country; —the millions and millions of angels, Cherubim and Seraphim; the glorious company of Apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, and saints. O blessed company, any one single member of which surpasses all the glory of this world, what will it be to behold them all, to sing with them the sweet Song of the Lamb? They rejoice with a perpetual joy, they share a bliss unspeakable, and unchangeable delights.
3. Consider how they enjoy the Presence of God, Who fills them with the richness of His Vision, which is a perfect ocean of delight; the joy of being forever united to their Head. They are like happy birds, hovering and singing forever within the atmosphere of divinity, which fills them with inconceivable pleasures. There each one vies without jealousy in singing the praises of the Creator. “Blessed art You forever, O Dear and Precious Lord and Redeemer, Who does so freely share with us Your Own Glory,” they cry; and He in His turn pours out His ceaseless Blessing on His Saints. “Blessed are you,—you are my own forever, who have served Me faithfully, and with a good courage.”
Affections and Resolutions.
1. Admire and rejoice in the Heavenly Country; the glorious and blessed New Jerusalem.
2. Reprove the coldness of your own heart for having hitherto so little sought after that glorious abode. Why have I so long lingered indifferent to the eternal happiness set before me? Woe is me that, for the sake of poor saviorless earthly things, I have so often forgotten those heavenly delights. How could I neglect such real treasures for mere vain and contemptible earthly matters?
3. Aspire earnestly after that blessed abode. Forasmuch, O Dear Lord, as You have been pleased to turn my feet toward Your ways, never will I again look back. Go forth, my soul, towards your promised rest, journey unweariedly to that hoped for land; why should you remain in Egypt?
4. Resolve to give up such and such things, which hinder you on the way, and to do such others as will help you toward that place.
Give thanks, offer, pray.