Whenever I give my retreat talk titled “Broken, Beautiful, and Beloved: Learning to See Ourselves through God’s Eyes” (last weekend, for example), I quote St. Francis de Sales twice. Actually, I quote St. Francis de Sales a lot in my life — in posts, in books, in columns, in workshops, but in this particular talk I quote him twice. This 17th century bishop had so much to say that remains incredibly relevant to our 21st century lives.
St. Francis de Sales is one of my all-time favorites, and today is his feast day, so I thought I would share the two quotes from my retreat talk on brokenness because St. Francis has a lot to say about accepting our brokenness and learning to be who we are meant to be without a whole lot of angst and misery over what we’re not.
“Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.”
Easier said than done, right? But, still, great advice, and if we saw it on scrolling by on Facebook or Pinterest from some New Age guru or, say, Oprah, we’d probably think: YES! But somehow coming from a 17th century Catholic bishop, we give it less credence, or don’t pay any attention to it at all. What can he have to say that could possibly mean anything to me? A lot, as it turns out.
Here’s my other favorite:
“Our perfection consists of struggling against our imperfection. Think of the time before you were born. Where was your soul then? The world existed, but it saw nothing of you.
“God pulled you out of that void and made you who you are out of his own goodness.
“Think of the possibilities God has placed in you.”
So, today, on the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, reflect on these two pieces of timeless wisdom and consider what possibilities God has placed in you.
Oh, today also happens to be the SEVENTH anniversary of this blog. How did that happen?!? I kicked off Not Strictly Spiritual on the Feast of St. Francis de Sales since he is the patron saint of writers. Yet another reason I love St. Francis. Click HERE to read my very first blog post, which happens to include my favorite prayer by St. Francis de Sales.