St Francis de Sales: Putting Everything into Perspective

St Francis de Sales: Putting Everything into Perspective


My God, Madame, we will soon be in eternity, and then we shall see how all the affairs of the world are such little things and how little it matters whether they turn out or not. At this time, nevertheless, we apply ourselves to them as if they were great things. When we were little children, with what eagerness did we put together little bits of tile, wood, and mud, to make houses and small buildings. And if someone destroyed them, we were very grieved and tearful at it; but now we know well that it all mattered very little. One day it will be the same with us in Heaven, when we will see that our concerns in this world were truly only child’s play.

I do not want to take away the care that we must have regarding these little trifles, because God has entrusted them to us in this world for exercise; but I would indeed like to take away the passion and anxiety of this care. Let us do our child’s play, because we are children; but let us not trouble ourselves to death in playing it. And if someone destroys our little houses and little designs, let us not torment ourselves greatly at this; because also, when this night comes in which it will be necessary for us to take shelter—I mean to say death—all these little houses will be of no use to us; we will have to take our shelter in the house of our Father. Faithfully attend to your obligations, but know that you have no greater obligation than that of your salvation and of the saving progress of your soul on the way to true devotion.

Have patience with everyone, but chiefly with yourself; I mean to say do not trouble yourself about your imperfections and always have the courage to lift yourself out of them. I am well content that you begin again every day; there is no better way to perfect the spiritual life than always to begin again and never to think you have done enough.

from: Thy Will Be Done: Letters to Persons in the World




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