Salesian Spirituality

I have wished to engrave and inscribe on your heart this holy, sacred maxim, LIVE JESUS.

- St. Francis de Sales

Inspired Common Sense

Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish has been blessed with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales whose spiritual tradition and purpose is the spreading the spirituality of "the Gentleman Saint," St. Francis de Sales. This page’s purpose, and to some extent this entire website, is to provide a glimpse into a spirituality that was developed specifically for lay people, people leading very busy lives.  

Flowing from Francis’ many letters of spiritual direction, his Introduction to the Devout Life and his Treatise on the Love of God, comes the very clear message that we are all called to holiness, whether we are an auto mechanic,  a police officer,  a politician, a nurse,  a teacher,  whether we are single, married, ordained , or living a consecrated life. 

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There are many ways to introduce the Spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, known as Salesian Spirituality, but we have chosen a simple way with the hope that you will be moved by, inspired by, and drawn to his spirituality by one or more of his down-to-earth, psychologically and spiritually sound, sayings, quotes, and pieces of advice that fill his writings and find expression on this page and on other pages of this website.  A link to where you can get copies of, commentaries on, prayers and meditations flowing from, his works will be provided at the bottom of this page.  We have some of these works in the lobby of the Administration Building for purchase.  Please take advantage of these resources as well as those of our priests and your fellow parishioners who may be able to tell you, from their own experience of this Spirituality, the value it has had for them. We are all “on the road” together, growing in Faith.  We are here to help and support each other on the journey.

These quotes and sayings are not in any specific order.  “Taste and see” what might touch your heart.

  • Make a fresh start each day.  There is no better way of growing in the spiritual life than to be always starting over again.
  • The opportunity of doing great things does not come very often, but at every moment, we can do little acts with great love.
  • Well, here we are, fallen into the ditch which we had made so firm of resolution to avoid.  Get up!  Leave it.  Keep going!  Have courage
  • Do not worry about what might happen tomorrow; the same loving Father who takes care of you today, will take care of you tomorrow and every day.  Either he will shield you from suffering, or he will give you unfailing strength to bear it.    Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.
  • Do not look at the dangers you see in the distance.  They look like armies, but they are only willow branches; and while you are looking at them, you may make a false step.  Think only of living today well.
  • When you come before the Lord, talk to him if you can; if you can’t, just stay there, let yourself be seen, and don’t try too hard to do anything else.
  • Keep in mind the words he left us so that we would never forget it and could repeat it a hundred times a day: “Learn of me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.”
  • Never go out in the morning without carrying in your heart the good resolutions you have made before God, or retire in the evening without examining how well you carried them out.
  • A good vocation is simply a firm and constant will to serve God in the way and places the Almighty God has called him.
  • Do not wish to be anything save what you are and strive to be that perfectly.
  • The state of marriage is one which requires more virtue and self-sacrifice than any other.  Husbands, preserve a tender, constant heartfelt love for your wives; and wives, have a tender and affectionate reverence and respect for your husbands.
  • Those who are in the world need friendships in order to secure and assist one another amid the many dangerous passages through which they must pass.
  • It is not by the multiplicity of things we do that we will attain perfection, but by the purity of intention with which we do them.
  • Perfection does not consist in being perfect – or in acting perfect.  The striving is important.
  • Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing is so gentle as real strength.
  • When you are guilty of an act of anger, repair the fault immediately by an act of kindness and meekness.  Fresh wounds are more easily cured.
  • You can catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a barrel of vinegar.
  • Have patience with everyone, but especially with yourself.
  • Great designs are accomplished only by patience and the passage of time.
  • We must strive to love everyone equally since Our Lord did not say: “Love those who are virtuous,” but said: “Love one another as I have loved you,” without excluding anyone, imperfect though they may be.
  • No matter what course a ship may take, no matter whether it sails to the east, west, north or south, no matter what wind drives it, the mariner’s needle never points in any direction except toward the fair polar star.  Often we may be in confusion, our soul overwhelmed but, through it all, ever and always our spirit, which is our compass needle, will tend unceasingly toward God.
  • One single Our Father said with feeling has greater worth than many said quickly and in haste.
  • Worry prevents us from doing well the very things about which we are worried.
  • Let the waves roar, let the wind blow, let the world turn upside-down, let everything be in darkness, in smoke, in uproar.  Nothing can hurt you – God is near.
  • One kind word wins more willing service than a hundred harsh orders or stern reproofs.
  • You are a child of Jesus Christ crucified.  Why, then, should you wonder if you are called upon to share His cross?
  • Let us use God’s time well so that He will give us eternity.
  • Whether we live or die we are the Lord’s; those who hope in Him shall never be confounded.

Salesian Spirituality – Resources:

De Sales Spirituality Services - A Practical Path to Holiness.
De Sales Resources and Ministries - Books and Materials on Salesian Spirituality
The Salesian Center for Faith and Culture - Salesian Studies Online
International Commission on Salesian Studies

St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal:

Oblates of St. Francis DeSales
Sisters of the Visitation
Saints of the Salesian Tradition
St. Francis de Sales Association

There are many books about Salesian Spirituality on sale in the parish Administration Office lobby.  
All books have a price tag and can be purchased by submitting payment (either cash or check made payable to OLGC) in envelopes provided.  Envelopes can be received at the Administration Office window.