Friday, September 6, 2013

St Francis de Sales: Spiritual Directory

On the topic of Rules, I found this brief Spiritual Directory by St Francis de Sales (PDF) which was apparently written as a simple rule for the Visitation Sisters, but is easily adapted for lay life.    It was surprisingly hard to find online information on this Spiritual Directory, but there is a bit here: An Everyday Approach to Spirituality, and also a bit here at the Oblates of St Francis de Sales site

The Spiritual Directory is very short and simple.  It covers regular spiritual practices like  Mass, Liturgy of Hours, Examination of Conscience, and Confession as well as ordinary daily practices like work, meals, recreation, sleeping at night and rising in the morning.   Though simple and direct, it is infused with the Saint's gentleness and mixture of spirituality and practicality. 

For example, with regard to meals
If some tend to be too particular or too eager in eating, they should, upon entering the refectory, make a firm resolution and invoke the grace and help of Our Lord to courageously exercise self-control. Let him who is too particular consider the gall offered to Our Lord at the height of his bitterest sufferings. Let him who is too eager think of the abstinence and strict fasts of the Fathers of the desert and of so many other saints who so effectively mortified their appetite.

Almost all the directions are like that -- very specific, but always with a reminder to ally one's own life with our Lord's life.    I think it would be useful for a beginner.  You wouldn't have to do everything in the Directory.  You could just start with one area and work on that.   It seems to me that some of the ideas would even be helpful in raising children. ... not so much on the specifics of disciplining, but more in guidance and perspective.

My family is just back from a trip to Oregon, during which time my husband's game just got pre-released online, and so that is about all I have to contribute at the moment.  I'm glad Chari has been keeping the TUAR candle lit with some interesting links to follow : ). 

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