Preparing for Pentecost with St Francis de Sales, Day 1to 9
St. Francis de Sales had a deep devotion to the Holy Spirit.
Over the next nine days, as a”creative” novena, we will share excerpts of his profound understandings of the Holy Spirit.
May 26 “ These gifts are inseparable from charity. Charity is made up of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit as of so many sacred steps. They are: wisdom, understanding, science,counsel,fortitude,piety, fear.
Source: Treatise on the Love of God, Book 11
May 25 “When the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, wishes to make our soul docile, tractable and obedient to his divine movements and heavenly inspirations, which are the laws of his love, he gives us seven properties and perfections . They are called the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Source: Treatise on the Love of God, Book 11
May 24 ” The Holy Spirit invisibly presides over councils and had judged, determined and and concluded matters by the mouth of His servants whom He has established as the pastors of Christendom. Resolution and acceptance are made in the sanctuary, where the Holy Spirit, who animates the body of the Church, speaks through the mouths of its chiefs, as Our Lord promised.
Source: Treatise on the Love of God, Book 2
May 23 “Our works are in no way comparable in greatness to the tree of glory they produce. Still they have the vigor and virtue to produce it because they proceed from the Holy Spirit. By a wondrous infusion of His grace into our hearts He makes our works become His and yet at the same time lets them remain our own, since we are members of a Head of which he is the Spirit and since we are engrafted on a tree of which He is the divine sap.”
Source: Treatise on the Love of God, Book 11, Chapter 6
May 22 “One of the best marks of the goodness of all inspirations and especially the extraordinary is peace and tranquility of heart in those who receive them, since the Holy Spirit is indeed violent but with a violence that is gentle, mild and peaceful. He comes “like a violent wind” and like thunder from heaven, but He does not overthrow them nor does he trouble them. The fear seizing them at His sound is momentary and is immediately followed by a sweet assurance. For this reason the fire “sits on each of them” as if finding and also giving them its sacred repose. “
Source: Treatise on the Love of God, Book 8, Chapter 12
May 21 “The Holy Spirit dwells in us if we are living members of Jesus Christ,who therefore said to His disciples, “He who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit.”This is because one who abides in Him partakes of His divine Spirit, who is in the midst of man’s heart as a living fountain springs up and flashes its waters unto life everlasting.”
Source: Treatise on the Love of God
May 20: “The Holy Spirit teaches us that the lips of the heavenly spouse, that is, the Church,are like a strand of scarlet and like a comb dripping with honey so that everyone may know that the doctrine she proclaims consists of sacred love. This love is of a red more brilliant than scarlet because it is inflamed by the blood of her spouse, and it is sweeter than honey because of the sweetness of the Beloved who covers her over with delights.
Hence when this heavenly spouse willed to begin the promulgation of His law, he sent down upon the assembled disciples whom He had appointed to this task many tongues of fire.By this He showed clearly that the whole purpose of preaching the Gospel is to set men’s hearts on fire.”
Source: Treatise on the Love of God, Preface
May 19: “If we accepted God’s inspirations to the full extent of their power in how short a time would we make great progress in holiness! Abundant as a fountain may be, its water does not enter a garden in full flow but only according to the size, small or large, of the channel by which it is brought there.
The Holy Spirit is like a fountain of living water that flows into every part of our hearts so as to spread its grace therein. Still, since He has no wish for it to enter into us unless it be with our will’s free consent, He will pour it out only in accordance with His own good pleasure and our disposition and cooperation.”
Source: Treatise on the Love of God, Book 2, Chapter 11
May 18: “When the soul is completely restored to health by the charity of the Holy Spirit that is placed upon its heart, then it can go forward and stand by itself upon its own feet. Although it can walk by itself, it must still render all the credit to God who has given it such vigorous and study health.
Whether the Holy Spirit strengthens us by movements that He impresses on our hearts or supports us by the charity He infuses into them, whether He saves us by way of His help in lifting us up and carrying us forward, or whether He strengthens our hearts by turning upon them his invigorating and enlivening love, it is always in Him and by Him that we live, walk and work.”
Source: Treatise on the Love of God, Book 3, Chapter 3