Friday, 24 May 2013

How to Profit from One's Faults - PART 3 - Joseph Tissot

How to Profit from One's Faults - PART 3 - Joseph Tissot

3. Never be discouraged with our faults
a. We should not be discouraged on seeing our faults

1. "I have forgotten to give you a very important piece of advice: Come what may, do not ever get discouraged!
--- Unknown Retreat Master

2. "Do not ever despair! I will say this every time I address you, in all my conversations.[...] Our salvation has two mortal enemies: presumption while innocent and despair after a fall. The second is the more terrible." ---St. John Chrysostom, Homily On Penance.

3. And if he (Satan) does manage to lead it to total despair, the least he does is to paralyze the soul on its way to virtue [...] to weaken its more powerful efforts and freeze its fervour. Thus the soul is led to melancholy and discouragement; everything is turned turtle, 'no care is now put into making reparation for faults and this leads to real lukewarmness' with its almost irreparable harm." 
---Fr. Tissot

b. Has God's mercy been abused?

1. "Despairing soul: What gives joy to the enemy are not so much your faults as the depression and the distrust of the mercy of God which they produce in you. [...] This is the greatest evil which can come over a creature." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letters 35 and 5

c. Weakness is no great evil

1. "One should die rather than consciously and deliberately offend God. But if we do fall, we should try to be prepared to do everything before losing enthusiasm, hope and resolve." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letter to a Lady, 771

2. "The distrust you feel toward yourself is good, provided that you use it as a basis for the confidence you ought to have in God. [...] Never permit your spirit to dialogue with or rebel in favour of a disquiet or dispirited heart to which you may be inclined... not even on the false pretext of humility." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letter to a Superior of the Visitation, 706.

d. A paradox

1. "The sinner falls through having ignored his own weakness and through having exaggerated God's mercy. After the fall, these two sentiments are reborn, but in reverse. Weakness acquires excessive proportions in one's eyes [...] The guilty soul fears him [God] and is ashamed of itself. [...] This is discouragement..." 
---Fr. Tissot

2. "It is a real pity that simply having a desire for perfection is not sufficient to actually have it; one may have to attain it by the sweat of one's brow and the effort of work." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent

e. No reason to lack confidence in God

1. "Feed your soul with a filial confidence in God. In the same measure which you find yourself replete with imperfections and weaknesses, lift up your heart to regain hope." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letter to a Lady, 814

2. "After falling, we ought to say to our heart, 'My friend, take courage in the name of God; let us tread with care; let us ask our God for help.'" 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letter to a Lady, 831

3. "There is no reason to lack confidence, for however miserable they may be, God is merciful towards those who truly want to love Him and who have placed all their hope in Him." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Letter to a Lady, 173

f. Hope and fear

1. "'Have fear--but hope!' Fear so that you do not fall into pride; but hope so as not to fall into despair or to become discouraged. For hope without fear is presumption. [...] With confidence and great fear we should fill those valleys of discouragement which were formed when we got to know our sins." 
---St. Francis de Sales, Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

g. The devil confesses

1. "The devil repeated: 'If only I had a single instant of the many you waste. Just one moment and a Mary, and I would not be a Devil.'" 
---Eyewitness Sr. E.C. of Tours, sacristan of the first convent of the Visitation of Annecy. Declaration on the miracles and favours worked at the tomb of Blessed Francis de Sales

Never be discouraged with our faults
How to Profit from Your Faults

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