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Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint…

Introduction to the Devout Life (1619)

by Saint Francis de Sales

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Introduction to the Devout Life is one of the best books I've read on Christian formation. Written in the 17th Century, Francis De Sales' practical and grace-filled advice is ageless. De Sales' advice is Catholic-centric, nevertheless the book should be read by Christians of all denominations. Introduction to the Devout Life is a timeless gem and I was truly blessed by reading it. ( )
1 vote pmackey | Aug 15, 2015 |
This is a proven classic and is often referenced by those leading others in their quest for a deeper devotional life in Christ. It has had more than forty editions since it was first published by St. Francis de Sales in 1609. It gives much detail on how to think and act in the various conditions and situations of life that may otherwise impede one's path toward greater holiness. In other words it is practical - so much so that it sometimes it feels a bit tedious. To avoid this I suggest reading a few chapters at a time. St. Francis, a Doctor of the Church, has outstanding qualifications both from the standpoint of education as well as practical experience. He received a doctorate in both civil and canon law, and a masters in arts and philosophy. However, it was his winsome unassuming Christlike qualities that caused many - both of the common and noble classes of society - to seek his guidance even some who were his former adversaries.
1 vote allenkeith | Jul 13, 2015 |
  saintmarysaccden | Sep 6, 2013 |
All true and living devotion presupposes the Love of God

This spiritual classic is written not by a monk for monks but by a catholic bishop advising a young wife of an ambassador to live a pious life. Mme. de Charmoisy found it difficult to maintain a devout spirit in the midst of all the glamour of courtly life. So she wrote to Frances de Sales for advise.

Francis de Sales starts with an explanation of what a devout life is. Then follows very practical advise on prayer introducing topics to meditate on and several resolutions. In the third section he describes various virtues and how to pursue them - then there's a section on temptations and how to overcome them. The last part focuses on the conscience and how to maintain a pure heart and a love for God.

I found Francis de Sales very balanced in his understanding of spiritual formation and direction - of course when he gets practical on "worldly" things like card playing, how to dress etc. time and culture has changed in the last 400 years.

What was specially helpful was the section on virtues - when he talks about patience, humility, gentleness, purity, poverty of spirit and the chapters on true and false friendships. These parts I will return to, no doubt. ( )
4 vote ctpress | Jul 25, 2012 |
Where have I been all my life to not discover this book and this discipline. I feel that at age 70 I am starting all over in my spiritual walk.
Just read chapter X on morning prayer - good guide for the day. ( )
1 vote BeardedPapa | Jul 28, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Saint Francis de Salesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Egan, Edward M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kepler, Thomas S.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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How to live a holy life in the secular world is the focus of this masterpiece of Christian literature by a 16th-century priest. Drawn from the letters of St. Francis de Sales, this enduring spiritual guide offers clear and direct advice about praying, resisting temptation, and maintaining devotion to God.… (more)

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