Open/Close Menu Resources for Joyful Living Inspired by Saints Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal

“Let us be what we are, and be that well, so that we may bring honor to the Master Craftsman whose handiwork we are. People laughed at the painter who, intending to paint a horse, came up with a perfect bull; the work was handsome in itself, but not much credit to the artist who had had other plans and succeeded in this one only by chance. Let us be what God wants us to be, provided we are His, and let us not be what we would like to be, contrary to His intention. Even if we were the most perfect creatures under heaven,what good would that do us if we were not as God’s will would have us be?”

–Saint Francis de Sales in a letter to Madame Brulart, June 10, 1605 Quoted in Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal:Letters of Spiritual Direction (Peronne Marie Thibert, VHM trans.), New York: Paulist Press, 1988, p. 111


How often have we wanted to be someone else who we thought was killer handsome, or coordinated enough to play a mean guitar, or tall enough to dunk the basketball, or smart enough to ace every test. When those particular traits simply do not belong to us, wouldn’t our energy and plans be better focused on what we are and what we can do and become rather than reaching for those things that are beyond our grasp? And of course, when it comes down to it, we don’t even have the potential to be someone else (not even a poor imitation of them.) But we do have the potential to be the best US, a genuinely good person! Everyday, ask yourself: How can I be my best self today? How can I do the most good? If everyday we were all good men and women, the very best we could be, how different the world might be!

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From My Heart: Personal Messages and Self-Reflections of Francis de Sales to Jane de Chantal

From My Heart: Personal Messages and Self-Reflections of Francis de Sales to Jane de Chantal
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Close to 300 letters, originally selected and translated in German by Oblate Father Reisinger in 1962, are now made available in English for the first time. Even the well versed reader of DeSales’s writings will be touched by these words of Francis, revealing his inner thoughts and everyday personal life.
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