Chatting about Charity in the Treatise on the Love of God


The word “love” has many different meanings in our society. We may say “I love ice cream” or “I love Saturday mornings” or “I love my spouse.” In your opinion, do these statements really refer to the term “love” as St. Francis de Sales understands it? If not, why? According to St. Francis de Sales, charity is the love by which we love God with our whole heart, our whole mind, and our whole will. This is a very holistic love. How does this love relate to expressions of love such as: “I love ice cream.

Jan 3, 5:33 PM
Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): “I love Saturday mornings.”; “Out of all my friends, I love Jennifer the best.”?
In Book 1 chapter 15, St. Francis de Sales says that we have a natural attraction, or affinity, to God based on three areas. What are they?
We have a natural desire to love God above all things, but on our own we cannot love God. What must we receive from God in order to begin to love God?

Jan 3, 5:33 PM
Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): Chat Sun Jan 7 at 730pm est

Jan 7, 1:29 AM
Ruth (Guest): /bccatholic.ca/content/canada-awaits-st-francis-xavier

Jan 7, 1:30 AM
Ruth (Guest): Just an FYI — story about relics of SFdS being brought to Canada with Papal blessing.

Jan 7, 1:32 AM
Ruth (Guest): I had watched the video and was about to post this about four hours ago . . .

Jan 7, 1:32 AM
Ruth (Guest): Good night. I plan to be with you tomorrow evening.

Jan 7, 4:14 PM
Judy (Guest): Hi Everyone! I am very much under the weather today, so I will not be chatting tonight. Hope you all have a great chat. May I ask some special prayers from all of you on Wednesday–it will be my 73rd birthday. I find it hard to wrap my brain around that fact. Thanks and God’s blessings on all of you.

Jan 7, 7:23 PM
Lisa C: Hi Mother

Jan 7, 7:29 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Hi Lisa

Jan 7, 7:29 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Switched computers just now

Jan 7, 7:30 PM
Lisa C: It’s so cold!

Jan 7, 7:30 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Yes! Welcome Carroll V

Jan 7, 7:30 PM
Lisa C: Hi Carroll

Jan 7, 7:30 PM
Lisa C: Hi Ruth

Jan 7, 7:30 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): The topic is a bit heavy tonight when you read thru the chapters did you think so

Jan 7, 7:30 PM
Carroll V (Guest): Hi- Thank you

Jan 7, 7:30 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Hi Ruth

Jan 7, 7:31 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): We can go easy!

Jan 7, 7:31 PM
Lisa C: I think it is because he does several chapters at once

Jan 7, 7:31 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Yes that is it I think we need to go one or two at most

Jan 7, 7:32 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): It’s simple enough tho to think about “lovong” ice cream vs loving God!

Jan 7, 7:32 PM
Ruth (Guest): Hello Sr., Lisa, Carroll V. — and viewers.

Jan 7, 7:33 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Hi Guest 8389 as well

Jan 7, 7:34 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): The term charity in St Francis de Sales writings also has a different meaning to some extent than what we usually mean by it today

Jan 7, 7:34 PM
Ruth (Guest): And because some of the language is antiquated.

Jan 7, 7:34 PM
Carroll V (Guest): Seems like this is a good way to ort of survey and get the overall gist, but it would also be nice to savor little bits at a time and hopefully assimilate a little more, too… I guess this is one of those books to do that with over many years!

Jan 7, 7:34 PM
Carroll V (Guest): sort of

Jan 7, 7:35 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Hi Sr Susan , Carol ,Lisa , and Ruth ! God Bless You ! Brian

Jan 7, 7:35 PM
Lisa C: Hi Brian

Jan 7, 7:35 PM
Lisa C: Hi Dawn

Jan 7, 7:35 PM
Dawn (Guest): Hi Mother Lisa Ruth Carroll and Brian

Jan 7, 7:35 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Yes- it is a deep work and I think needs to be done as you say in bits . So we can rearrange our chat to fit that right now

Jan 7, 7:35 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Hi Brian!

Jan 7, 7:35 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Hi Dawn ! God Bless You ! Brian

Jan 7, 7:36 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): In our language love is such a generic word

Jan 7, 7:36 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): I imagine other cultures may have more specific terms.

Jan 7, 7:36 PM
Ruth (Guest): Hi Brian

Jan 7, 7:37 PM
Ruth (Guest): Yes, Sr. SusanMarie. We probably all know agape.

Jan 7, 7:37 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Yes and that is not a term that St Francis used in his work- I don’t belive anyway;

Jan 7, 7:38 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Should we define it, for the record?

Jan 7, 7:38 PM
Ruth (Guest): Plus, we distinguish filial love, i.e. brotherly love, and romantic love.

Jan 7, 7:38 PM
Carroll V (Guest): Does agape + charity?

Jan 7, 7:38 PM
Carroll V (Guest): =

Jan 7, 7:38 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): I think it would be “benevolent love” in St Francis de Sales’ works

Jan 7, 7:38 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): The essence of agape love is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love

Jan 7, 7:39 PM
Dawn (Guest): yes, benevolent

Jan 7, 7:39 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Carroll were you putting the 2 together, agape and charity, for a third term

Jan 7, 7:39 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Hi Dawn!

Jan 7, 7:40 PM
Dawn (Guest): Hi Mother!

Jan 7, 7:40 PM
Carroll V (Guest): no, just confusing charity and benevolence

Jan 7, 7:40 PM
Ruth (Guest): Yes, but more than just benevolent, the highest form of love.

Jan 7, 7:40 PM
Ruth (Guest): Hi Dawn!

Jan 7, 7:41 PM
Dawn (Guest): Hi Ruth !

Jan 7, 7:41 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): In so far as divine love beautifies our souls. And makes us pleasing to His divine Majesty, it is called grace; in so far as it gives us strength to do good, it is called charity;(SFDS)

Jan 7, 7:42 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): The Treatise gets very specific and almost analytical in its definitions but is balanced out by an overflow of imagery and examples

Jan 7, 7:42 PM
Ruth (Guest): I should probably put “highest” in quotation marks.

Jan 7, 7:43 PM
Dawn (Guest): selfless, love is but not the term to call it

Jan 7, 7:43 PM
Ruth (Guest): Love of God for man and man for God.

Jan 7, 7:43 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): I think that is correct, the highest

Jan 7, 7:43 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): one can’t have charity towards ice cream, for instance!

Jan 7, 7:44 PM
Ruth (Guest): Interesting distinction.

Jan 7, 7:45 PM
Ruth (Guest): Based on the effects of divine love.

Jan 7, 7:45 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): To quote the newsletter question: According to St. Francis de Sales, charity is the love by which we love God with our whole heart, our whole mind, and our whole will. This is a very holistic love.

Jan 7, 7:45 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Childlike Love

Jan 7, 7:46 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Simple uncomplicated

Jan 7, 7:46 PM
Lisa C: Love is the same as real life. The life that lasts is a manifestation of God acting in us.

Jan 7, 7:46 PM
Lisa C: If that happens we act in love and have life.

Jan 7, 7:46 PM
Ruth (Guest): I had a little trouble with that: heart, mind, will. Wholistic? Is “heart” also emotions, therefore also bodily?

Jan 7, 7:46 PM
Dawn (Guest): so, love is not an emotion, rather an act

Jan 7, 7:46 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): and the will

Jan 7, 7:47 PM
Lisa C: 1 John 4:7-21

Jan 7, 7:47 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): To put that childlike love above life itself ! Remember St Stephen and Soo many others !

Jan 7, 7:47 PM
Ruth (Guest): Is an act an action?

Jan 7, 7:48 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Total Sacrifice, Brian?

Jan 7, 7:49 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): We put our Love for God above life itself ! Willing to do God’s Will even if it means giving up our life ! That’s what Jesus did for us !

Jan 7, 7:51 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Though we have not reached this chapter Brian your statement brings us to the end of the Treatise, which is on Mount Calvary!

Jan 7, 7:51 PM
Ruth (Guest): I think I understand love as a choice, and action of the will, in this case — and why it is possible for anyone to make a covenant, as in marriage, even knowing that there will likely be ups and downs of feelings.

Jan 7, 7:51 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Good point Ruth

Jan 7, 7:52 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): We are Soo unified with God that are willing to always do the next thing He wants us to do ! That’s how all of you are living !

Jan 7, 7:52 PM
Ruth (Guest): Trying to, Brian.

Jan 7, 7:52 PM
Dawn (Guest): thank you for scripture 1John

Jan 7, 7:52 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Even amidst interior struggles(emotions) we can continue to do God’s Will

Jan 7, 7:53 PM
Carroll V (Guest): So, to truly grow from self-serving love to the truest benevolence and charity, do we just have to be still and wait for God’s grace? I know we can pray for purity of intention and practice doing good for others, but it seems that a thread of self-seeking (even seeking to please God so that He will be pleased with ME, keeps coming back to “self,” in spite of wanting otherwise

Jan 7, 7:54 PM
Ruth (Guest): And yet, I’ve been thinking a bit about the difference between Mary’s Fiat — let it be done onto me according to Your will” and the more ACTIVE yes, of, say living out one

Jan 7, 7:54 PM
Ruth (Guest): s vocation.

Jan 7, 7:54 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): There will always be weeds among the wheat in our case I think but one can dominate the other

Jan 7, 7:54 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Like St Paul said we have learned to be content in all situtions life presents

Jan 7, 7:55 PM
Ruth (Guest): DOing God’s Will, and letting God’s will be done to/with/through/in us.

Jan 7, 7:55 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Our Love for God is greater than our feeling or circumstances in life

Jan 7, 7:56 PM
Amy Cochran: hello

Jan 7, 7:56 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): We can do all things through Christ who Strengthens Us !

Jan 7, 7:56 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): We love God as we have an affinity with God, we are in His likeness

Jan 7, 7:57 PM
Dawn (Guest): Hi Amy

Jan 7, 7:57 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Hi Amy !

Jan 7, 7:57 PM
Amy Cochran: hi

Jan 7, 7:57 PM
Ruth (Guest): Hello Amy.

Jan 7, 7:57 PM
Lisa C: Carroll, I think it is ok to want God to be pleased with what we do and the other side of that is doing His will. So it is both of what you ask

Jan 7, 7:57 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Welcome Amy’

Jan 7, 7:58 PM
Amy Cochran: Thank you, Sister

Jan 7, 7:58 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): How do we resemble God? Certainly in our ability to love even if not perfectly

Jan 7, 7:59 PM
Lisa C: We are His children made in His image

Jan 7, 7:59 PM
Ruth (Guest): That seems to me quite insightful, Carroll. And yet, if we do not love ourselves, rightly, how can we really love anyone else? God or human.

Jan 7, 8:00 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): We also know when we are out of God’s Will we understand conviction because we Love God and we hurt when we are out of His Will

Jan 7, 8:00 PM
Ruth (Guest): And that is amazing, Sr. And even more so, that he chose to be like us (in all things but sin.)

Jan 7, 8:02 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Yes but not all people understand why they are hurting and that would be a good place to begin to show a person about God’s Will

Jan 7, 8:03 PM
Dawn (Guest): “How do we resemble God” ?

Jan 7, 8:03 PM
Carroll V (Guest): I think of loving myself rightly as loving His creation and my body as His temple… I think of “self-love” as “what’s in it for me.” That’s the weeds

Jan 7, 8:04 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): SFDS” Our soul is spiritual, indivisible, immortal; understands and wills freely, is capable of judging, reasoning, knowing, and of having virtues, in which it resembles God. ”

Jan 7, 8:04 PM
Ruth (Guest): Weeds that are where they are wanted are wild flowers.

Jan 7, 8:04 PM
Carroll V (Guest): Our desire for union with Him resembles His desire for us, perhaps?

Jan 7, 8:05 PM
Amy Cochran: I think a good example of God’s will….I was stuck with no way home and was picked up by this nice man who started talking to me about God’s presence. He told me that his mother used to tell him that God may not always seem to be there but He is always on time. I thought that was pretty profound

Jan 7, 8:05 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): A Real Barometer for us can be the more we Love God the more we Love and Serve Others . As we drift away from God it’s more and more about us .

Jan 7, 8:05 PM
Ruth (Guest): Just a thought. Maybe it is Who the Gardener is that makes the difference.

Jan 7, 8:06 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Amen Amy !

Jan 7, 8:07 PM
Ruth (Guest): Interesting, Amy.

Jan 7, 8:07 PM
Carroll V (Guest): wildflowers- that’s beautiful, Ruth

Jan 7, 8:07 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): yes Carroll, the desire for union

Jan 7, 8:08 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): God’s ultimate desire is to save every person . Every person even your greatest enemy !!!

Jan 7, 8:08 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Love your Ememies ! Truly !

Jan 7, 8:08 PM
Ruth (Guest): He’s always on time. Sometimes he SEEMS to delay. That’s in our version of time.

Jan 7, 8:09 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): I experienced that in my life, God’s timing, often too in those providential moments

Jan 7, 8:10 PM
Carroll V (Guest): He;s certainly “always in the details…” even when it comes to time and timing.

Jan 7, 8:10 PM
Ruth (Guest): Sometimes I wonder if loving a neighbor, enemy or not, if he’s done you great harm, MEANS, pointing out the harm he

Jan 7, 8:10 PM
Amy Cochran: true union with God can only be in heaven, and i think the Eucharist is a glimpse of that. As we get closser to that goal of heaven, God allows us to turn away or have taken away more and more of our earthly desires

Jan 7, 8:11 PM
Guest9863 (Guest): The Jesus Eucharist is the center of everything.

Jan 7, 8:11 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Welcome guest 9863 and YES!

Jan 7, 8:11 PM
Ruth (Guest): s done, even though he HAS to know it, and pretends to forget the whole matter, or has forgotten because his conscience is so lax that it does not matter to him. And then, maybe seeking legal recourse or restitution may actually be a way of loving.

Jan 7, 8:11 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Tough love?

Jan 7, 8:11 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): God is always reaching out to the maximum amount of people He can . That is why His timing is always perfect !

Jan 7, 8:12 PM
Guest9863 (Guest): He does not want anybody to perish

Jan 7, 8:13 PM
Amy Cochran: Yes, like the saying, God writes straight with crooked lines..we tend to wander on our own paths and get sidetracked, but in the end His will be done

Jan 7, 8:13 PM
Guest9863 (Guest): Amen!

Jan 7, 8:13 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): The newsletter question that follows- do you think the statement is true? We have a natural desire to love God above all things, but on our own we cannot love God. What must we receive from God in order to begin to love God?

Jan 7, 8:14 PM
Carroll V (Guest): Amen, Amy!

Jan 7, 8:14 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Forgiveness unleashes God’s Love like nothing else !

Jan 7, 8:14 PM
Dawn (Guest): Grace. the Sacraments

Jan 7, 8:15 PM
Guest9863 (Guest): Let ourselves be loved by God.

Jan 7, 8:15 PM
Ruth (Guest): More like, if your brother sins against you, go to him; if he doesn’t listen, go to the assembly.

Jan 7, 8:15 PM
Lisa C: We need the Holy Spirit

Jan 7, 8:16 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Amen Lisa !

Jan 7, 8:16 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Yes

Jan 7, 8:16 PM
Guest9863 (Guest): We need to be open to God

Jan 7, 8:16 PM
Dawn (Guest): as he says in John 14: 27…..

Jan 7, 8:16 PM
Ruth (Guest): I think we need to KNOW God — however imperfectly. We can start by learning ABOUT God.

Jan 7, 8:17 PM
Guest9863 (Guest): Yes.

Jan 7, 8:18 PM
Lisa C: Even though Jesus is God, when He was Baptized the Holy Spirit came over Him and God the Father said that He is His Son whom He loves and with whom He is well pleased.

Jan 7, 8:18 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): and tomorrow is the anniversary of His Baptism!

Jan 7, 8:18 PM
Amy Cochran: You cannot know God well without knowing the Son.

Jan 7, 8:18 PM
Dawn (Guest): meaning John 14:26 …..

Jan 7, 8:18 PM
Lisa C: So the Holy Spirit connects even the Father and Son via love

Jan 7, 8:19 PM
Guest9863 (Guest): The Holy Trinity.

Jan 7, 8:19 PM
Amy Cochran: I’ve been volnteering with recovering addicts and most say that it’s not just the God of AA that helps them recover, but it is the experience of Jesus in their lives

Jan 7, 8:19 PM
Ruth (Guest): His Baptism — a kind of epiphany!

Jan 7, 8:20 PM
Carroll V (Guest): What a grace it is that Holy Church gives us so many ways to get to know the truth about God, so we can grow to truly know Him!

Jan 7, 8:20 PM
Dawn (Guest): may we have epiphany’s everyday!

Jan 7, 8:20 PM
Guest9863 (Guest): Amen!

Jan 7, 8:21 PM
Lisa C: Blessed Mother is full of the Holy Spirit and that is how she was able to receive Jesus into her

Jan 7, 8:21 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): He who rejects the Son also rejects the Father . When I shared this with a Muslim friend he seemed to be deeply touched !

Jan 7, 8:21 PM
Ruth (Guest): That makes a lot of sense, Amy. It is God — made manifest through Jesus — who can love IS LOVE — not some god-like force or principle.

Jan 7, 8:22 PM
Amy Cochran: and the Mercy of God

Jan 7, 8:22 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Bless you for sharing your faith!

Jan 7, 8:23 PM
Ruth (Guest): Is the Muslim man a father — the one we’ve heard about before.

Jan 7, 8:23 PM
Amy Cochran: So many addicts spend so much time talking about the why, and when they just let go and say, it was done, but there is the Mercy of God, they can begin recovering which also has an intense guilt which can only be relieved through Jesus

Jan 7, 8:23 PM
Ruth (Guest): And prayed for.

Jan 7, 8:24 PM
Amy Cochran: and the unconditional love of Jesus on the cross

Jan 7, 8:24 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Such a special work and so needed right now more than ever!

Jan 7, 8:25 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Soo Greatful to God for freeing me from Soo many addictions !

Jan 7, 8:25 PM
Guest9863 (Guest): Jesus is the way the life and the truth.

Jan 7, 8:26 PM
Ruth (Guest): At a local residential treatment center for alcoholics and drug addicts, there used to be a daily Mass (when the Franciscans owned and ran the place). It was so REAL, so authentic how the participants prayed from the heart.

Jan 7, 8:26 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): We thank Him!

Jan 7, 8:26 PM
Amy Cochran: St Maximilian Kolbe is the patron of addicts and alcoholics. how perfect

Jan 7, 8:27 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): God is Soo Good !

Jan 7, 8:27 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): I did not know that Amy

Jan 7, 8:27 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): His Gifts to us help us to love Him, for Himself!

Jan 7, 8:28 PM
Ruth (Guest): Amy, I did not realize that. Wasn’t he the nazi prisoner who volunteer to take the place of a family father who was to be executed?

Jan 7, 8:28 PM
Amy Cochran: I think it’s for two reasons. First he was killed by an injection of something, and secondly, addiction can be like a personal concentration camp

Jan 7, 8:28 PM
Ruth (Guest): Hmmm, interesting.

Jan 7, 8:29 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Thanks for sharing that

Jan 7, 8:29 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): We are drawing to a close- tomorrow is the Baptism of the Lord which ends the Christmas season. Blessed Ordinary time to all and prayers!

Jan 7, 8:29 PM
Lisa C: Please pray for everyone who is lost and does not believe in God and does not even know how much he/she needs Him

Jan 7, 8:30 PM
SrSusanMarie (Guest): Thank you all for being here!

Jan 7, 8:30 PM
Amy Cochran: Amen, Lisa

Jan 7, 8:30 PM
Carroll V (Guest): Thank you!

Jan 7, 8:31 PM
Dawn (Guest): A needed prayer! so many ……..in the name of Jesus we pray, Amen

Jan 7, 8:31 PM
Guest9863 (Guest): Amen.

Jan 7, 8:31 PM
Carroll V (Guest): Amen.

Jan 7, 8:31 PM
Ruth (Guest): Thank you! Good night, and many blessings in the new year.

Jan 7, 8:31 PM
Amy Cochran: Good night

Jan 7, 8:31 PM
Guest9863 (Guest): Good night

Jan 7, 8:32 PM
Dawn (Guest): Good night Ruth, prayers for your warmth and safety out there

Jan 7, 8:33 PM
Dawn (Guest): G’night , peace and good.

Jan 7, 8:34 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Yes Ruth a very loving father . He had been impacted greatly by Christian Community in South when he was growing up . He and his father both Psychiatrists .

Jan 7, 8:35 PM
Guest8389 (Guest): Good Night Everyone ! Happy New Year ! God Bless You All ! Brian

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