Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On acquiring virtue

St. Francis de Sales
“[T]here are some virtues of universal application, and which should infuse their own spirit into everything. We have but rarely opportunities for the practice of courage, magnanimity, and great sacrifices. But every action of our daily life should be influenced by gentleness, temperance, humility, and purity. … Every station in life imposes some peculiar obligation; different virtues are incumbent upon a bishop, a prince, or a soldier –the wife has her duties and the widow hers, and although all should practice every virtue, still each should seek chiefly to advance in those peculiarly required by the state of life to which God has called him. … Amongst those virtues not especially involved by our position, we should cultivate the most excellent rather than the most showy…It is a good practice to select some particular virtue at which to aim ---not neglecting the others, but in order to give regularity and method to the mind.”
Introduction to the Devout Life
I remember reading that St. Francis had a violent temper in his youth, but conquered it so completely through daily confession (it's reputed he sometimes confessed three times daily) that by the time of his death he was known as mild mannered.
HT Mary Vitamin

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