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affection for it, and their mouth filled with its praises ; and when absent they lose no opportunity to testify their affection by letters, and meet not a tree on whose bark they do not write the name of their beloved ; even so, they who love God can never cease to think on him, sigh for him, aspire to him; and they would, if it were possible, engrave the sacred name of Jesus on the breasts of all mankind." (Part ii, Chs. xii and xiii.)

Again, his happy way of illustrating spiritual principles is shown in such counsels as these :

"Do as little children do: little children, who with one hand hold fast by their father, and with the other gather strawberries or blackberries along the hedges ; do you, while gathering and managing the goods of this world with one hand, with the other always hold fast the hand of your heavenly Father, turning to him from time to time to see if your actions or occupations are pleasing to him ; but take heed, above all things, that you never let go his hand, thinking to gather more ; for should he let you go, you will never be able to take another step without falling." And further on he says: You should look to God from time to time like mariners, who, to arrive at the port to which they are bound, look more upward toward heaven than down on the sea on which they sail ; thus will God work with you, and in you, and for you." (Part iii, Ch. x.)

Francis de Sales' insistence on the need for cultivating what he calls the small virtues is one of the outstanding and oft recurring features of his teaching. "Occasions, he says in the Introduction,“ are seldom presented for the exercise of fortitude, magnanimity, and munificence ; but meekness, temperance, modesty, and humility are

virtues wherewith all the actions of our life ought to be tinged." And elsewhere he says,

We ought to cherish the small virtues that grow at the foot of the Cross, for they are watered with the blood of the Son of God. These virtues are humility, patience, sweet temper, kindness, helpfulness, goodwill, heartiness, sympathy, readiness to forgive, simplicity, truthfulness, and others like them. Such virtues are like the violets, which love the coolness of the shade, which are fed with dew, and which, though they have no brilliancy, cease not to shed fragrance around. There are great virtues on the top of the Cross, which have great splendour, especially when they are accompanied with love ; such are wisdom, justice, zeal, liberality, and the like ; and everyone wishes to have these virtues because they are the most esteemed and make us the most thought of. But we should not judge of the greatness or littleness of a virtue by that which it appears to the outward eye ; for a virtue that is very small in appearance may be practised with great love to God, while one that is more shining may go along with very little love ; yet this is the measure of their true value before God. I put more value on prayer, which is the torch of all the virtues; on devotion, which consecrates all our actions to the service of God; on humility, which makes us have a low esteem of ourselves, and of our actions ; on sweet temper, which makes us kind to all the world, on patience, which makes us bear all things; than on heroism, magnanimity, liberality, which do not cover so much ground, and are more seldom in use. And these more splendid virtues are a little dangerous,


because their brilliancy gives more occasion for vain glory, which is the true poison of all the virtues."1

And just as the cultivation of the small virtues should be our chief concern, since they are most needed in the daily round of our activities, most needed for the peace and happiness and help of those about us ; so it is in bearing the small ills and annoyances of our daily life, rather than in meeting great sorrows and trials, which come only now and then, that the truly devout spirit shows itself, and real progress in the inner life is made. The hand of the spiritual director surely reveals itself in such a passage as this : “Suffer meekly those small injuries, those little inconveniences, those inconsiderable losses which daily befall you ; for by means of such little occasions as these, managed with love and affection, you will gain God's heart entirely, and make it your own. These little daily charities, this headache or toothache, this ill humour of husband or wife, this breaking of a glass, this slight or rudeness, this loss of a pair of gloves, of a ring, or of a handkerchief; this little self-denial ... in short, all these trivial sufferings, being accepted and embraced with love, are richly pleasing to the Divine Goodness, who, in return for a cup of cold water only, has promised an ocean of all felicity to his faithful ones. And since these occasions present themselves every moment, to manage them well is a great means to heap up a store of spiritual riches.” (Part iii, Ch. xxxv.)

Here and there in the Introduction we come upon sayings that remind us of things in Thomas à Kempis' Imitation of Christ; as, for example, in the chapter on being just and reasonable, where we read:

1 See The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales, Part II, Ch. I, 7-9.

" It is reason that makes us men, and yet it is a rare thing to find men truly reasonable, because self-love usually leads us astray from reason, drawing us insensibly into a thousand small yet dangerous injustices and wrongs. We condemn every little thing in our neighbours, and excuse ourselves in things that are great; we want to sell very dear and buy very cheap; we desire that justice should be exercised in another's house, but mercy and connivance in our own; we would have everything we say taken in good part, but we are sensitive and touchy about what others say to us; we would have our neighbour sell us his property at the price we offer, but is it not more reasonable that he should keep his goods and leave us our money? We take it ill that he will not accommodate us, but has he not more reason to be offended that we should desire to incommode him ? ... We exact our own dues strictly, but we would have others lenient in demanding theirs ; we are punctilious in maintaining our own rank, but would have others humble and condescending; we soon find fault with our neighbour, but none must find fault with us; what we do for others seems always very great, but what others do for us seems as nothing ... We have two weights-one to weigh to our advantage, and the other to weigh to the detriment of our neighbour,

.. a greater to receive with and a less to deliver out withal. . . . Be fair and just in all your actions ; put yourself always in your neighbour's place, and put him in yours, and you will judge rightly; imagine yourself the seller when you are buying, and the buyer when you are selling, and you will sell and buy justly. These injustices are trifling, and do not require us to make restitution, inasmuch as they only consist in taking rigorous advantage of the conditions in our favour; yet we are bound to amend them, for they are great defects in reason and charity, and little better than cheating. Believe me, one loses nothing by being generous, noble and courteous, with a heart royal, just and reasonable. Therefore remember frequently to examine whether your heart is such towards your neighbour, as you would have his towards you, were you in his place; for this is the touchstone of true reason.” (Part iii, Ch. xxxvi.)

Francis de Sales was the author of several books besides the Introduction, the best known among them being one on the Love of God; but it is doubtful whether any of these other books of his is quite so precious as one that was written about him by his friend and disciple, Jean Pierre Camus, and is called The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales. Camus was bishop of a diocese close to that of Geneva, and he lived on terms of the greatest intimacy with Francis, for whom he had the utmost affection and reverence. Happily he was gifted with a Boswell-like memory, and he has given us one of the best lives of the saints ever written. Its title is very appropriate, for it is indeed the spirit of Francis, the singularly pure and wise and gracious spirit which breathes in the Introduction that we find in this delightful memoir. We get in this book many an illustration of Francis' skill as a director of souls. We find him dealing with all sorts and conditions of men and women, and for each of them he has the word in season. People came to him with their complaints and sorrows and sins, and they got the counsel they needed, though it was not

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