August 12, 2011

A Thought for the Weekend

Continuing August's run-through-and-celebrate-all-the-awesome-saints Feast Day Extravaganza, today is the feast of St. Jane Frances de Chantal.  Besides loving her great friend and spiritual advisor, I have always had a soft spot for this powerhouse of love and action.  She was generous, well educated, single-minded in her devotion to our Lord, and a great writer too.  What I love most, though, is her practicality.  Everything she wrote says: love God and love your neighbor, but she pinpoints the how, rather than just repeating the platitude (ok, not platitude: the command!).

Cordial love of the neighbor does not consist in feelings. This love flows not from a heart of flesh but from the heart of our will. We must stop twisting and turning about to discover what we like or dislike. Whether we experience aversion or inclination for something really does not matter, provided only that in our wills, we remain firm and unswerving in pure love. Then we will give God proofs of love amidst the strongest distastes and aversions as well as during consolations and sensible love. Only if we proceed in this way will we improve!

--St. Jane Frances de Chantal

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