2. A Sense of Proportion
Dear Father Francis,
Thank you for answering my letter; your advice was a great help. I've been trying to begin each day in a peaceful frame of mind, as you suggested. It does make a great difference: I feel better for it already. But although I try hard, I still make a lot of mistakes. I hope you will continue to help me.
M de la Flechere
Dear Mrs de la Flechere,
I'm delighted to see from your letter that our lord has given you a little taste of that peace of soul. With the help of his grace we must try to preserve it amid the pressure of the many activities demanded by our state in life.
I have high hopes for you. I've gained the impression that you have deeply rooted resolve to serve God, and it makes me confident that you will be faithful to your spiritual exercises.
Don't be surprised at your many failures; they come from human frailty. Deeply regret the fact that you have offended God but cultivate that cheerful humility which is perfectly willing to feel and accept the weakness of human nature.
As often as you can throughout the day make sure that you don't become too deeply engrossed in what you're doing and so lose your sense of proportion; make sure, too, that you have one hand firmly in the grasp of our Blessed Lord.
If you find that you are slipping, calm yourself; try to regain your peace of soul. Imagine that you are quietly working with one hand, while holding on to our Lord with the other, as our Blessed Lady must so often have done during His childhood. How recollected she must have been.
When you are at peace inside, increase your efforts to meet things calmly and gently. In this way you'll train yourself to become serene and self-possessed.
Don't stop to argue with the little temptation you may meet. Simply turn to Jesus crucified as though you were about to imprint a loving kiss upon his sacred feet or side.
With great goodwill I devote myself to spiritual service. For the future your soul will be as dear to me as my own. May our Lord be ever the Master of our hearts, as I am in him.
FRANCIS DE SALES
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6