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Finding God's Will for You Paperback – October 1, 1998
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
From the Inside Flap
If your life seems to make no sense, or if you don't know which path to take, St. Francis de Sales will console and inform you. In this warm little book, he explains to you what God's will is and how He reveals it yes, even to you, and even in the seemingly random events of your life.
No matter what you're going through now (or may have gone through), you'll see why you should love and trust in God's will and long for its fulfillment. Best of all, you'll learn a sure method for discovering God's will in any situation today!
As you begin to discern God's loving hand even in seemingly chaotic events, St. Francis de Sales will lead your mind and your heart to the still waters of God's gentle consolation.
From St. Francis de Sales you'll learn:
Four signs that your heart conforms to God's will does yours
How to accept God's will even when it seems terrifying and painful
Sacred inspirations: not just for the prophets. The many ways God may be knocking on your door -- now!
Changing your life's direction: how to spot and avoid all-too-common dangers
The simple rule of charity: how it can help you make vital decisions
Are you as mature in the virtues as God wills you to be?
How to distinguish zeal for God's will from selfish arrogance
Three ways you can recognize a thought or sentiment that comes from God
The key ingredient that makes all your actions pleasing to God: can you name it?
Making decisions: practical advice to help you distinguish between times when you should move slowly and carefully, and when you should act quickly, without undue time for deliberation
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Top Customer Reviews
One thing in particular that I found extremely beneficial in this book is the distinction between a command and a counsel, found in chapter 1. First, Saint de Sales proves that true love of God implies love of his commandments, a truth that is often forgotten today. If we really love God, we will love everything that he commands, and embrace it totally. We must embrace the commands and accept them, not as "a sick person takes medicine" by forcing it down and tolerating it out of a fear of hell, but rather, our motivation for keeping the commandments should most perfectly be love of God. "The more difficult they [commandments] are, the sweeter and more agreeable it [the soul] finds them, since this more perfectly pleases the Beloved and gives Him greater honor." (p. 20) By contrast, a counsel is a recommendation which uses friendship to persuade and exhort. "All counsels are given for the perfection of Christian people, but not for that of each particular Christian." (p. 24) This explains why there are certain teachings of Christ in the bible (counsels) that are not necessarily binding on each individual man (e.g. `sell all you have' is a counsel, not command). Commands are absolute, but counsels are ruled by charity. Hence, if we do strive to fulfill God's Will perfectly, adhering to many of the counsels (if applicable) brings us closer to that goal. Another very interesting chapter is Chapter 3 "Following God's Will in making decisions." Here the Gentle Doctor gives examples of saints who, while admitting that their actions are admirable, are NOT imitable! This can be a shock for many... if the saints did it, shouldn't we do it also? In many cases, yes. But there are some extreme cases where we ought not to imitate the saints. Saint Francis gives examples and general principles on this discernment.
This is a wonderful, practice, and easy book for anyone wanting to grow in holiness. It is written by not only a saint, but a doctor of the Church. Furthermore, Saint de Sales has a simplicity and gentleness that makes him attractive to ALL Christianss, whether they be beginners, advanced, simple in their spirituality, or anything else. I highly recommend the book.
Since there's no TOC posted (though I intend to post an image of it) here's the breakdown:
1. Recognize the goodness of God's will
2. Keep a steady course in the pursuit of holiness
3. Follow God's will in making decisions
4. Learn to embrace your crosses
5. Do not be discouraged by your failings
6. Purify your love of God
7. Abandon yourself completely to God's will
St. Francis' words are so encouraging because he addresses both the person I am now and the person I want to be. He meets me where I am and tries to bring me to higher and deeper levels in my obedience to God. And before I forget, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a blogger who received this book for free to review.
Bottom line: while I don't think the book is as good as Treatise on the Love of God or Intro to the Devout Life (they're hard to top!) it's still definitely worth reading and highly recommended.
St. Francis de Sales takes a lot of time and effort to give us individual perspective on our relationship with God. For those wrestling with their faith, St. Francis helps in writings to give one a means of individual reconciliation with God.
We're not all the same; nor either saints or sinners. Each of us has to comprehend how we need to spiritually adapt to this life, in preparation for the next one.