Meditations by Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Secondary Patron of the North American College
Memorial, January 24
First Meditation: Creation
O my great and good Creator, how much I owe to you. that in your mercy you raised me from nothing to make me what I am. What can I possibly do to bless your name or to thank you enough for your inestimable goodness? Yet, my Creator, instead of uniting myself to you by loving service, my inordinate desires have made me a rebel. I have cut myself off from you by preferring sin, dishonoring you as if you were not my Creator. O my God, with all my heart I offer you myself, as you have made me. I dedicate and consecrate myself to you.
Second Meditation: Sin
What was I thinking about, my God, when not of you? What was I remembering when I was forgetful of you? Where was my heart when not set on you? Truth should have been my food and yet I gorged myself with vanity, a slave to my own desires. My God and my Savior, from now on I will think only of you; no more will I think of things which displease you. My memories will always be of your greatness and of your mercy which you have so tenderly exercised on me. My heart shall find all its joy in you, and you shall be the object of its love. From now on I will detest the vain follies which have occupied my days and all the vain objects of my love. Accept, O God, these desires and aspirations, and give me your blessing, that I may put them into practice through the grace of your Son, who shed His blood for me on the cross.
Third Meditation: Death
One day my soul must depart from his body. When will it be? In winter or summer? In town or country? During the day or night? Suddenly or with warning? Due to illness or an accident? Shall I have a chance to confess my sins? Shall there be a priest to assist me? I know none of these things. One thing only is certain, that I will die, and sooner than I would like. Dear God, take me into your arms on that most important day. May all other days be sad, if only that day may be happy. I tremble with fear at the prospect, yet I know that you, and you alone, can save me. Set my whole heart on your promise of heaven. Guide my feet in your ways, O Lord, that I may walk the straight path towards eternal life. Let me cast off everything that holds me back on my journey here, so that all my strength may be directed towards that goal.