Kari’s article introduces us to St. Francis de Sales, a doctor of the Church and author of the spiritual masterpiece, Introduction to the Devout Life. It just so happens that Fr. Patrick’s brother, Fr. John, wrote a book, Lift Up Your Heart, that brings St. Francis’ classic ten meditations into present day language and thought.
In the book’s introduction, Fr. John admits he was “half asleep” and “unable to awaken within myself that rich movement of grace that opens the eyes of the heart to the deeper realities of human existence.” It was then he “stumbled” upon St. Francis’ book, which changed his life.
He goes on to explain the reason St. Francis penned his book in 1609 was to help people to “embrace a more vibrant and authentic imitation of Christ, which he calls ‘the devout life’.
Devotion as he speaks of it, ‘is simply true love of God.’”
Fr. John continues, “God created humanity out of love and for the sake of love. In loving, and loving correctly – not according to the demands of the world but the ways of Jesus Christ – the human heart finds its rest, true peace and happiness.”
The faith journey is all about the disposition of the heart and where it is aimed. Does it crave the promise of eternal life in heaven or does it wander through life looking for relief in worldly, but finite, comforts?
St. Francis de Sales composed the ten meditations to re-orient the human heart straight to heaven. Fr. John’s version simply updates St. Francis’ thoughts in an easy-to-read style with beautiful imagery. Either book assists the heart and mind on the lifelong quest of finding one’s intentional place in God’s divine plan.
Written by: Tobey Neuberger