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Part 2 – Chapter 9 of the Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
This is a Discerning Hearts recording read by Correy Webb
PART 2 – CHAPTER IX. FOR THE DRYNESS WHICH MAY BE EXPERIENCED IN MEDITATION
IF it should happen, Philothea, that you have neither relish nor consolation in your meditation, I implore you not to be in the least troubled thereat, but sometimes open the door to vocal prayers: complain to our Lord, confess your unworthiness, ask him to come to your aid, kiss his image if you have it, say to him these words of Jacob: I will not let you go, Lord, unless you bless me; or those of the woman of Canaan: Yes, Lord, I am a dog, but the whelps also eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters. At other times, take a book in your hand and read it with attention, until your spirit be awakened and restored within you; sometimes stir up your heart by some posture or movement of exterior devotion, prostrating yourself on the ground, crossing your hands upon your breast, embracing a crucifix; that is, if you are in some private place.
But if after all this you obtain no consolation, be not troubled, however great your dryness may be, but continue to keep yourself in a devout attitude before your God. How many courtiers there are that go a hundred times a year into the prince’s presence-chamber without hope of speaking to him, but only to be seen by him and to pay their respects. So also, my dear Philothea, should we come to holy prayer, purely and simply to pay our respects and give proof of our fidelity. If it please the divine Majesty to speak to us and to converse with us by his holy inspirations and interior consolations, it will doubtless be a great honour for us, and a very delightful pleasure; but if it please him not to show us this favour, leaving us there without so much as speaking to us, as though he saw us not and as though we were not in his presence, we must not, for all that, depart, but, on the contrary, we must remain there before this sovereign Goodness, with a devout and peaceful mien; and then infallibly will he be pleased with our patience, and will take notice of our diligence and perseverance, so that another time when we come again before him, he will favour us, and will converse with us by his consolations, making us realize the sweetness of holy prayer. But even though he should not do so, let us be satisfied, Philothea, that it is an exceeding great honour for us to be near him and in his presence.
For other chapters of the Introduction to the Devout Life audiobook visit here –