Introduction to the Devout Life (A Vero House Abridged Classic)

Introduction to the Devout Life (A Vero House Abridged Classic)

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Overview

(Edited for modern English, with minor abridgement.) Since its initial publication, more than four centuries ago, Introduction to the Devout Life has become the most popular Catholic "how to" guide to spiritual formation. Written for the laity, and emphasizing charity over penance, it quickly became immensely influential.

It's author was an extraordinarily gifted man of prayer and study, who became known as "the gentleman saint." Francis de Sales was the eldest of six French brothers, born into the comfortable world of Savoy nobility. He was educated by Jesuits, eventually receiving his doctorate in law and philosophy. But law and luxury were not prime motivators for Francis. In Paris, while contemplating the eternal consequences of his life, Francis experienced a profound spiritual awakening, which prompted him to consecrate himself to the Virgin Mary with a vow of chastity.

Francis was ordained at the age of 26, and elevated to bishop nine years later. Yet, the young pastor would not have an easy flock to shepherd. He was assigned to the diocese of Geneva, a stronghold of Calvinist Protestants, making him the target of repeated assassination attempts. After all, some firebrand preachers had condemned his Introduction for tolerating dancing and even jokes!

But the patient bishop's gentle spirit proved useful in soothing the resentments of Christian rivals. Eventually, his eloquent faith -- spoken, written and lived -- converted 40,000 Protestants.

At a time wracked by religious resentment, his motto became, "He who preaches with love, preaches effectively." His message was, "God is love." Consequently, his enduring Catholic spirituality is often referred to as "The Way of Divine Love."

Every Christian can benefit from the wisdom shared by this prayerful Doctor of the Church.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780997596038
Publisher: Vero House Publishing, Corp.
Publication date: 06/11/2016
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)

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Introduction to the Devout Life 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
St. Francis de Sales in this timeless classic directs the average person in the spiritual life to a deeper union with Jesus Christ.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
St. Francis teaches how to conduct all aspects of our lives in a way that orders them toward a closer relationship with God. A must for those seeking to deepen their faith.
MorganGMac on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is definitely one of the most inspiring books I've read. Francis De Sales was a spiritual adviser to a lay woman and wrote letters to direction and encouragement to her. When others in the church read them, they urged him to publish a book of spiritual direction that would be applicable to all lay persons, based on the letters he'd already written. The book keeps the letter format, addressing an allegorical character, Philothea ('lover of God'). Francis de Sales does not beat around the bush. His intent is to offer clear, specific advice to lay people on how to live a devout life, as opposed to a life of mediocre attention to God. He spends quite a bit of time talking about how we must recognize our sinfulness and God's ever-abundant greatness. Then, he goes into the daily practice of the devout life, everything from meditative prayer, reading scriptures and inspirational books, and attending mass to forming intentional friendships, responding to irritating people with love, and controlling even our smallest sinful inclinations. This is not just a general inspiration type book - it's very specific, but it's a wonderful reminder that we should consider how every single aspect of our lives should be devoted to God, even the seemingly insignificant ones. It is written for a Catholic audience, but 90% of it would be just as beneficial to non-Catholic Christians. If you wanted to bypass references to Mary, the Eucharist, Confession, ad the saints, you'd still derive a huge amount of inspiration from this classic devotional text. I'd recommend this to everyone.
deanc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Francis De Sales (1577-1622), a Roman Catholic priest and one of the 33 Doctors of the Church (so honored by Pope Pius IX in 1877), published this work in 1609. It is a collection of lessons or meditations, grouped into five parts, on the "purgative way, the illuminative way, and the unitive way, the three levels of thought and conduct that are required for a completely moral and religious life" (from the Translator's Introduction of the Image Books edition, p. 6). Each meditation is addressed to "Philothea" (lit. "lover of God"), a pseudonymn for a young female member of the French nobility to whom De Sales served as spiritual director (i.e., mentor or tutor). He published them for the benefit of "all who aspire to devotion." Laced with references to Scripture and the writings of earlier devotional masters, most of these meditations have to do with specific, practical aspects of living a life wholly consecrated to God. Topics covered include the purging of sin from one's life, death, Paradise, Hell, partaking of the sacraments, humility, speech, temptation, chastity, spiritual poverty, pastimes, marital relations, spiritual dryness, prayer, contentment, propriety in dress, friendships, and much more. While his instruction is legalistic or trite in places, there are many useful suggestions, helpful reminders, and challenging ideas to guide thoughtful readers toward a more devout Christian life.If you're not a Catholic you will likely take some of his teachings with a grain of salt, such as the occasional references to venial and mortal sins, invoking the aid of the Blessed Virgin and the saints, etc. Although four centuries have passed since De Sales wrote the Introduction, much of it remains as relevant--and desperately needed--today as it was then. It should be the on the reading list of all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like it, but the chapters are incredibly short. :/
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah. Try to make these longer. Including emotions of characters would work.