Monday, April 30, 2007

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:11-15

I had never seen Him like this. Standing in a Palestinian field, surrounded by sheep. The sheep ain't that white and beautiful. They've been grazing and their coats are filled with the dust of the road. His own clothes are also full of dust, his feet caked in dirt. His eyes forever squinting because of the sun. And the sheep grazing, quitely and joyfully at His feet. They know they are safe. He is right there, amongst them. The Lord is MY shepherd. Not "a" shepherd or "the" shepherd. He is MINE and I am His...

Friday, April 27, 2007

leave all to Him

the other day I posted in "Daily with De Sales" the quote for April 29 instead of April 26. It was a Providential "mistake."

So long as we tackle all our troubles ourselves, we shall be always worried and tired, and Our Lord will leave us to our own devices; but when we leave everything to Him, He will look after all our troubles Himself. The interest that God will have for us will be in proportion to the degree that we abandon ourselves to Him. I am not just speaking of temporal things, but also of spiritual ones. The Lord Himself taught this same truth to His beloved Saint Catherine of Siena: "Always think about me, my daughter, and I will think about you." Oh, how happy are those loving souls who know how to observe this rule, thinking only about the Lord, faithfully keeping themselves in His presence, listening to what He has to say to their hearts, obeying His divine inspiration and attractions, and not living or aspiring for anything but to please Him. (Sermons 71; O. X, p. 300)

I had been trying ''too hard.'' You know, prayer, mortification, ''dying to self'' all that good stuff but growing tired and discouraged at nos seeing "progress" ... and then this comes up: "but when we leave everything to Him, He will look after all our troubles Himself. " He is the one sanctifying me. Not me. Its not about me. Its about Him. It not about being ''sanctified'' its about living with Him.

We should become Saints without even realizing.
Just sitting at His feet.


and now...randomness:

don't ask, my brain works in weird ways. Turtles and Jackrabbits... yeah.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mexico legalizes abortion

Mexico City legalizes abortion

I am deeply saddened. I am ashamed. I really never thought this could happen in my home country... talk of it never really reached me. I felt that it would never go through. ''come on!" I would tell myself "it's Mexico! they are crazy to think that would ever happen!" Well, I was blind.

I've been ignoring the news for a while. Just chilling in my own little world. I haven't checked the news or prayed about them in a long time. Well, that's gotta change. I got enough stuff to offer up and enough time to pray.

I'm shocked and I can't believe it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

wait for the Groom

Lord. Child, where are you, where have you taken yourself?
Soul. (stares to the ground dejected, not hearing His voice) I hear nothing. Passions battle within me and I fight back. Confusion rages in my mind... why am I fighting again?
Lord. Child, look up.
Soul. I mortify my flesh, I mortify the senses. I pray unceasingly repeating over and over the psalms that I memorized. But they are like sand in my mouth and my heart is heavy.
Lord. Child, listen.
Soul. (still without hearing) Pain, pain, pain. Where am I supposed to look for help? I look up to the heavens and I receive nothing. And the Christ in the icon stares at me. Pursed lips, intense eyes without tenderness. Did I use the right antiphon today at lauds?

The Lord walks slowly and stands before the Soul. The Soul seems to look through Him.

Soul. (sounding dejected, not confessing, just complaining) I did not wake up in time today for the meditation. I said Lauds. I did not pray Lauds. I just said them. I envied, I was selfish, I answered back to my superiors, or even worse, I judged them. I tried to say aspirations and I found cynicism in my heart. It scared me. (the Soul looks at her hands in horror, and weeps frightened) I am a hypocrite! I am false! I am a lie! Do I even long for holiness any more? What is holiness? can I honestly say that I want to deny myself, to become withered and old and alone? To deny my senses to the point that when I eat a sweet I feel guilty the next three days and fear for my soul? when my heart grumbles when the bells call for vespers? The Rosary feels heavy in my hands! Is this holiness? The yoke is heavy, my soul is alone. No one understand, not even myself... And the horrors that assail me! How darkness hunts me! Oh I cannot say more! ( the soul covers her face and weeps)

Lord. (with profound tenderness) Child, where have you taken yourself?

The Lord takes a step towards the soul and embraces her. The soul sobs even louder and the sound of the weeping fills the area. The Lord keeps quiet as the soul quiets down gradually until there is absolute silence. The Lord lets go and takes a step back.

Lord. Child

Soul. (still does not see but seems to hear something far away) Lord... could it be? is it you?
(the soul grows agitated and searches around, ignoring the fact that He is standing in front) Oh Lord! its been so long! Oh let me pour my sorrows! let me tell you how...
The Lord puts his finger on her lips and she immediately quiets downs. She looks straight and seems like she is starting to see something.

Lord. Be not afraid. It is I. (He retires his finger from her lips, the soul looks at him not quite recognizing Him yet)

Soul. Lord...where have I been?

Lord. Always in my heart.

Soul. Oh Lord. I've suffered much.

Lord. I know. Suffer no more child. I am here. You drowned in sand, in tools, in mortification and prayers. You forgot why you fight.

Soul. For you, now I remember....for You. But Lord, I do not know you. I pray and fast and fight. I exhaust myself reading and reciting until the middle of the night. Demons come to torment me all night long and I fight and bleed. Yet I do not know you! What am I doing wrong?

Lord. Oh Child, you know about me. But you do not know me. Do you think you can save yourself? while you were occupied Why don't you just ask me?

Soul. ask you?

Lord. Yes. Only I can reveal myself.

(the soul seems taken aback at the simplicity of it. It seems that it doubts it and turns to the side, thinking that He cannot hear her, and thinking out loud)

Soul. Could it really be that simple? maybe this is another demon that is here to make become lax and abandon prayer and mortification. Is this an enemy? is this Him for whom I fight? And if it is Him, why does my heart not burn in love? Do I really lack that much love? (the soul paces back and forward, The Lord observes) Well... let us remember Truth. Is this one lying? From what I know about Him, does He want me to know Him? Truth is, there is truth in His words. I have been prideful to think that by my own means I can meet him. Why then mortify and pray? But then, he never said nothing about abandoning this practices. After all... even if I do not understand I know one thing...It is His Will. (after saying this the soul stops for a moment an closes her eyes) His Will. (she repeats delighting in the words. Suddenly she opens her eyes in delight, turns back to the Lord and takes His pierced hands in her hands) Oh Beloved! Reveal yourself to me! See how my heart is cold and without feeling, inflame me with Your Love!

Lord. (Delighted he looks upon her) Now, wait in patience, as your eyes clear out through loving prayer and mortification. Do not concern yourself, you will see me little by little. Do not doubt the Truth you've learned in your many books. Its real. I am Trinity, I am true man and true God. I am eternal, all just, all merciful, all knowing, all powerful. I am virtue. Those not in virtue are not in me. I love You. These are Truth. Use it as a lighthouse when the demons surround you in darkness and want to confuse you. Study, mortify, pray and act in virtue but all out of Love. If demons rage come to me in patience, and sit at my feet. And wait for the Groom.

Ohh... one day..when I am rich and have a house... I will have a beautiful Welsh Corgi... *tear *tear. I would name him Pancho.

St. Francis' Crisis

I love saints because they are real human beings. They experienced the same joys and pains we do, struggled with the same things, some of them are recovering addicts(Venerable Matt Talbot), others violent men (St. Paul), some of them became whole after emotional (and some of them even mental!) breakdowns (St. Albert), other's faced many other kind of crisis in their families(St. Margaret Mary) or in their spiritual life (St. Therese). They are human, and show us that being human and submerged in all our brokenness does not mean we cannot rise and become holy.

St. Francis of Sales is no different, and I love him so because of it.

When he was young he went to the College de Clermont in Paris where he was engulfed in a personal crisis. After attending a theological discussions about predestination he became increasingly oppressed with the thought that he was damned to hell. For a long time he lived in horrible and terrifying fear. In December 1586 his despair was so great that he was physically ill and even bed ridden for a time. In January 1587 he visited the Church Saint-Etienne des Gres with great difficulty. There in the middle of his despair he made an act of abandonment to God's will and devoutly recited the Memorae. At that instant Our Lord through the intercession of Our Lady lifted that heavy yoke from the saint's shoulders. Francis found himself free, rejoicing in the knowledge that Our Lord is a Loving God. There and then he made a vow of celibacy in order to dedicate his life to God.
If you want to read more about his crisis and its meaning there's an article on the Salesian Center written by (I think) a visitation nun. You can read it here.
Obviously the amazing thing is not that he had a crisis... the wonderful thing is that God raised Him up, just as He can raise us up from any kind of crisis. God is in our side, we need no to be ashamed of our brokenness. He has used broken vessels before and keeps doing it.

If you are suffering through some sort of crisis, and even if you are not, join me in this prayer please. Let us be confident in the knowledge that Our Lord loves us and so does Our Lady and all the saints.

Remember Oh most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided, inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee Oh Virgin of Virgins! My Mother! to thee do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful, Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions but in thy mercy hear and answer me!"

Monday, April 23, 2007

just a comment

I took off the Virginia Tech ribbon, just following the Mexican tradition of public mourning for 8 days (an octave!). We will all mourn privately for years and years after this. But let us shed the spirit of heaviness and let His Light clothe us with garments of Praise and Hope.
Thank you people for the great comments :D, I have to say that this blogging thing is going better than I expected! Sorry for disappearing during the weekend, that will probably be the way things work. I usually blog when I have a break at work and nothing else to do, but at home and specially during the weekend, well, its family and friends time! fidei defensor mentioned that ''roman catholic mexican'' was not very descriptive, so I guess I owe you all something a little more about yours truly.

No, I am not a Salesian, just a trying-to-be devout Catholic twenty something. Mexican, which means under the special protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe. An artist... or a wannabe artist, depending in how you define ''artist.'' An immigrant with all the joys and pains that entails. A globetrotter since it seems God likes taking me around the world (almost without me having a say) so at times I've ended up in U.S., Bosnia, Spain, France, plus several cities in Mexico.

So I guess that makes me a Mexican Roman Catholic immigrant globetrotter female artist ... HA!

God bless.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mental Prayer

wow! I never tought so many people would visit this blog! Praise God, that only means I've got to make it better! any recommendations? Anyways, thought we would talk about the method of ''mental prayer'' of Father De Sales.

1. Place yourself in the presence of God which can be done by any of the following means, but we should not attempt to use them all at once. Pick the one you ''click'' with:

  • saying with all your heart ''surely God is in this place'' or something like that
  • reflect that He is within you

  • reflect on Him looking down from Heaven

  • through imagination picture him present

2. Invoke His aid by short petitions like ''Make thy face to shine upon Thy servant, and teach me thine ordinances" or other short petitions asking for His help.

3. The Mystery. This is when you ''see'' the mystery you are trying to meditate on. I've found it helpful to meditate on the Gospel of the daily Mass readings. That way I can make sure I don't run out of themes for meditation. Father De Sales recommends using the imagination. I am very easily distracted so for this step I read the Gospel slowly.

4.Reflections. This is when you notice something specific in the mystery you are meditating on, for example in today's Gospel I noticed ''Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?" As I understand it, in this step we are to reflect why this strikes us. For me it is the fact that Jesus is so thoughtful and observant of peoples' needs. True love of neighbor in action.

5.Affections. What is your response to that reflection as it applies in your life? for me in today's Gospel it was ''Lord! That I could be observant of others' needs and by that live true love of neighbor!"

6. Resolution. Father De Sales says that ''you must not rest satisfied with general desires and aspirations, bur rather turn them into special resolutions for your individual correction and amendment" going all the way to specific situations and persons. For me it was the resolution to be observant of my family's needs today. To actually think about it. And very specifically to be observant of the needs of my grandparents. They live in a different country and are having a hard time with aging. A phone call gives them lots of joy but I barely make one from time to time. I resolved to call them each week. They have a need for attention and love and I can help.

I just barely started doing this kind of meditation and I think it is great that it focuses so much on Results, as Father says: " That desire is worth little unless you proceed to some practical resolution... in this way you will soon correct your faults, whereas mere desires will have but few and tardy results"

The jackrabbit has nothing to do with anything in the post...I just took a walk and there was an invation of jackrabbits in that field! I mean, seriously, I saw about 8 in total just standing there, munching and chilling...they crack me up. The are the akwardest animals created... and they are my favorites!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New Feature!

The wonderful Oblates of St. Francis of Sales have a Salesian Spirituality Center online which has all kinds of wonderful resources. One of them is "Daily with DeSales" which contains a thought or saying from the writings of St. Francis de Sales for each day. I check it every day so I've decided to make it readily available to you :D To the right of the page you will find the De Sales quote of the day each day. Don't forget to pay a visit to the Oblates' website. Its quite great.

Virginia Tech 2

You all have probably heard about the Virginia Tech tragedy. I really don't want to talk about it. Last night I could picture Christ weeping. Christ in the cross for those who died in fear, and who knows whether they were prepared to meet their Lord. Christ weeping for those for whom this tragedy will affect their faith... It was too sudden, too violent. Christ weeping because His children are weeping, Christ sobbing for the soul of the killer... The sad and scary thing is that there are many souls like that one. Please, offer today your sorrows and pains for the souls that right now in this moment are getting swallowed up by darkness. No sinner is too far from Christ...

Oh Lord God, allow me to cleanse your tears, just like Veronica did,I offer you my pain, joys, sorrows, work and prayers for those who are in most need of Your Mercy, specially for the violent and the tormented, that you might be glorified in their conversion. Oh Christ, find comfort in this, my humble heart, the heart of a sinner that You have rescued and stillrescue every day.
Mother Mary, bring to you the most hardened sinners just like you are slowly transforming me by drawing me to Your Immaculate Heart.St. Paul, you who were transformed from a violent man into a reflection of the love of Christ, pray for us. Jesus, Mercy!

I don't want to talk about this anymore. "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."Phil 4:8. So let us praise the Mercy of God, His Love and His glorious Redemption that has converted and will keep converting us sinners! Let us rejoice in that after this tragedy thousands, maybe millions of people are praying and being united! Let us rejoice because the Lamb has conquered death and violence!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virgina Tech

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.


venial sin IS NOT ok ! !

Once again St. Francis of Sales comes to the rescue:

You will discover then, my daughter... there yet linger in your heart various inclinations and dispositions to venial sin... we can never be wholly free from venial sins, at least not for any length of time, but we can be without affection for them. There is a wide difference between a chance falsehood concerning some trivial matter, which is the result of carelessness, and taking pleasure in falsehood or deliberately telling lies. Therefore I say we must purify the soul from all inclination to venial sins, that is to say, we must never willingly admit or continue in any kind of venial sin whatever. It would indeed be a fearful thing wittingly to burden our conscience with anything so offensive to God as a will to displease Him. And venial sin, however slight, does displease Him...If therefore venial sin so displeases God, all consent and affection on our part to it is nothing less than a willingness to displease His Divine Majesty. Can any pious soul not only offend God, but take pleasure in doing so?(Introduction. Part I, Chp.22)

And an interesting thought... we might be tempted to think " I don't really have any desire to be slothful or selfish, etc" but if God grants us light and we see deep enough we might find that we use other names for our particular sin.

We may have willful inclination to laziness and sloth under the name of ‘’rest and recreation’’, selfishness under the name of ‘’independence" or "respect,” and pride under the title of “intelligence’’ or ''intellectualism.'' Here I'm preaching to myself by the way. It is so easy to justify our sins...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Saint Francis' letters

Fr. Nicholas has just linked this blog at his blog. I'm quite honored I have to say :)

Anyway, when I first started reading St. Francis of Sales Introduction I had the same reaction as many. I read the first couple of chapters and dropped it because of the language! But thank God, St. Francis of Sales was not willing to let me go that easily so I came upon a book of his letters.

I feel the letters truly reflect his spirit and personality. In his letters he is intimate and direct, in a true fatherly tone. He lets go of the style of a work for publication and writes freely and intimately.

I haven't been able to find anywhere online where you can read his letters so from time to time I'm going to type up little sections of the letters (so I don't get sued for Copyright!), if you want to read the complete letters you can do so by buying the books Thy Will Be Done or Letters of Spiritual Direction. By the way, apologies to those who find fault with my English, I ain't a native speaker, I apologize at my horrible grammar and promise to work on it! Anyway, enjoy the letters:

To a young woman who is discouraged by spiritual failures.

... My good daughter, as you have half got out of those terrible paths that you have had to travel, I think you should now take a little rest, and consider the vanity of the human spirit, how prone it is to entangle and embarrass itself within itself... So know, take a little breath, rest a little, and by considering the dangers escaped, avert those that might come afterward...Know that the virtue of patience is the one that most assures us of perfection; and if we must have patience with others, so we must with ourselves...Pray hard for me, I beg you. It is incredible how pressed down and oppressed I am by this great and difficult charge. This charity you owe me by the laws of our alliance, and I pay you back by the continual memory that I keep of you at the altar in my feeble prayers. Blessed be our Lord. I beg Him to be your heart, your soul, your life; and I am
Your servant

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Art, the Incarnation and a Saint.

As a Catholic painter one of my main motifs has been the Ecce Homo. I am always in the lookout for unknown ''ecce homo'' paintings. Two of them have been specially significant not only in my art but in my spiritual life. One of them is this one. It was painted in the 1800's. Pretty modern in its sketch-like characteristics yet ''incarnational'' enough to be inside a Church.

Personally I believe religious art for Sanctuaries should reflect the Incarnation and therefore cannot be overly abstract. The theology behind the use of images in religious worship comes straight from the Incarnation. The Word was made flesh. That is the reason, in fact the only reason, of why we can now depict God in painting.

I am not saying that abstract art does not have a place in the ''religious art'' gallery. My own religious art tends to be mainly abstract. It does have a place...but that place is NOT inside a Church.I would never accept for one of my abstract paintings or one of my ''least realistic'' paintings to be put on a Sanctuary. It doesn't reflect the Incarnation as well as a ''realistic'' painting.

In this Ecce Homo, the wounds in the chest of Christ are powerful and painful to look at. The ropes around his neck break the straight line monotony of the background and provide fluidity and variety to the composition. One of the most touching characteristics is the red robe around the broken body of Christ. His Sacred Heart almost seems to behind the cloak. This Christ is real. You can almost see him breathing heavily and slowly. Its a real man. A real God.

But the most important characteristic of this painting is that it was painted in prayer, meditation and redemptive suffering by a great Polish Saint. Saint Brother Albert, whose baptismal name was Albert Chmielowski. There are many religious paintings, but very few of them have been created by canonized Saints. That is what makes this one so special. The heart in which this painting was conceived was a heart full of the presence of the Trinity.

Born to a wealthy aristocratic family, Albert Chmielwoski initially studied agriculture in order to manage the family estate. Involved in politics from his youth, he lost a leg at age 17 when injured while fighting in an insurrection. In Krakow, he became a popular, well-known and well-liked artist. Through his religious art he developed a growing relationship with Christ. Also his interest in politics and art made him keenly aware of the human misery around him. A gentle and compassionate soul, he felt called to help those in need.

He entered the Jesuits but because of an intense spiritual crisis he had to leave. His peace was restored when listening to a sermon on the Mercy and Love of God.

After years of reflection, he understood God was calling him to service and to Himself. He became a Franciscan Tertiary, taking the name Albert. He abandoned painting, and began a life of working with and for the poorest of Krakow. In1887 he founded the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants of the Poor, known as the Albertines (named for him) or the Gray Brothers (after their rough gray habits). In 1891 he founded the women's congregation of the Order (Gray Sisters). The Albertines organized food and shelter for the poor and homeless.

Albert preached that the great calamity of our time was that so many refused to see and voluntarily relieve the suffering of their miserable brothers and sisters. The "haves" lived away from the "have-nots" in order to ignore them and leave their care to others. In 1949 a young polish priest wrote the play ''Brother of Our God'' about the life of Brother Albert. Years later, that same polish priest, now known as Pope John Paul II canonized him.

Brother Albert discovered the beauty of the Incarnation, explored it, rejoiced in it and shared it through his art, but found the final expression of his Love for the Incarnated Word in the service of other. No longer did he find Christ in pigments and canvas, for he discovered the breathing Christ in the poor.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Some of the basics of the teachings of St. Francis of Sales. For your enjoyment and edification.
  1. Universal Call to Holiness. Father Francis wrote Introduction to the Devout Life mainly for lay people. He believed (and rightly so) that holiness is the vocation of every single Christian.
  2. Father De Sales favorite description of Christ is ''meek and humble of heart.'' He used to say we are called to be meek to our brothers and to ourselves and humble before our God.
  3. Humility. Father De Sales called his children to recognize their sinfulness in light of the Mercy of God.
  4. Father Francis has been called ''The Gentleman Saint" for his great gentleness. We are called to gentleness towards others. He called us to practice "the little virtues", namely patience, kindness, joy, the virtues that make life in community a path to holiness.
  5. He repeatedly calls us to gentleness to self.’Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself.” He scorned anxiety, scruples and fear. He considered them the greatest obstacle for a soul wanting to reach holiness.
  6. Father calls us to live perfectly our current state and to become Saints right there. “Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.”
  7. He calls us to Perseverance in our spiritual exercises and in the practice of virtue. “The soul that transplants its heart from plan to plan cannot profit or gain proper growth in perfection, since perfection does not consist in beginnings but in accomplishments”
  8. Father highlighted the necessity of living in the Now. He stressed that we should become Saints right now right here, never in despair of the past or in fear of the future. "The same Eternal Father who cares for you today will take good care of you tomorrow and every day of your life. Be at peace then and put aside all useless thoughts, all vain dreads and all anxious imaginations."


Who knows how long this blog will last?

I am hoping this will become a tool of accountability for myself, a tool to meet people in love with the Salesian spirit and maybe, by the Grace of Our Good God, a tool for people to learn about the Salesian spirituality and find His Sacred Heart through it.

Also there will be a lot of random posts... I am quite sure of that :D

So just an intro. One day in Eternity God told Saint Francis of Sales, ''ey, there's this girl down there who needs a good spiritual director, cuz' seriously! what messes she gets into! would you be up for the job?" My guardian angel (the poor good ol' boy) proceeded on recommending me to St. Francis but after realizing that there really was not much he could recommend me about just told Father Francis, ''well, she could really use your help.'' And my good Father Francis looked down from Heaven, and the Eternal Father infused some of His Fatherly love into Father Francis's saintly heart and Father Francis loved me and decided right there and then that he would take me under his protection.

At least that's how I picture it.

What happened is that suddenly Saint Francis of Sales started popping up everywhere. Little prayer cards with quotes from his writings would randomly reach me. Every time I read a religious book his name would pop up a thousand times. One day, without me even suspecting it, he turned out to be the patron saint of my college major. Then somehow surfing the web I ended up reading his biography and some time latter I happened to find a book of his letters... I read them. And never had I received so much consolation.

Later on I developed a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus...just to find out that Father Francis had one too! and that the main apostle of the Sacred Heart, Saint Margaret Mary, was a salesian Visitation nun!

After then he started becoming more and more evident in my life. I realize God had given him to me as a Father, and me to him as his daughter.

Ever since then whenever I have a question or whether I am in need of guidance, comfort, or scolding, Father Francis does it through his letters, prayers and companionship.
My spiritual path tends to be quite rocky due to my stupidity. Lots of ups and downs. But our Good Eternal Father always sends Father Francis with some words to bring me back on track.

So I guess this is enough writing for the first post...
Now, if you could please join me in prayer:

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit....

Prayer to St. Francis de Sales

O blessed Francis de Sales, who on earth
did excel in a life of virtue, especially in the
love of God and neighbor, I earnestly ask you
to take me under your compassionate care and
protection. Obtain for me conversion of mind
and heart. Grant that all people, especially
(names of those whom you wish to include)
may experience the depth of God’s redeeming
and healing love.

Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of
heaven even as I walk each day with my feet
planted firmly on the earth. Help me, through
the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise
cause me to stumble in my attempt to follow
Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy

Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity with
the hope experiencing my sacred destiny: eternal
life with God. Receive also this particular
need or concern that I now lift up in prayer
(mention your particular need).

O God, for the salvation of all, you desired
that St. Francis de Sales—preacher, missionary,
confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many along the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we, infused with
the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit
may experience eternal life. We ask this
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

* * * * *
IMPRIMATUR—Edmond J. Fitzmaurice, D.D.
Bishop of Wilmington
October 11, 1949
* * * * *