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Introduction to the Devout Life (Image Classics) Paperback – January 4, 1972
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
One of the great religious masterpieces of all time-- a spiritual guide for everyone seeking to live a truly Christian life, revised and updated for the modern reader.
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Here is an example from the section "Conclusion and Spiritual Bouquet":
Original French: "puis nous prions de mesme pour l'Eglise, pour nos pasteurs, parens, amis et autres, employans a cela l'intercession de Nostre Dame, des Anges, des Saintz. En fin j'ay remarqué qu'il falloit dire le Pater noster et Ave Maria, qui est la generale et necessaire priere de tous les fidelles."
CCEL translation: "You will further pray for the Church, and all her Ministers, your relations, friends, and all others, using the Our Father as the most comprehensive and necessary of prayers."
John K Ryan translation (much better): "We then pray for the Church, our pastors, relatives, friends, and others, using for that purpose the intercession of our Lady, the angels, and the saints. Lastly, as I have already noted, we must say the Pater Noster, and the Ave Maria, which are the general and necessary prayers of all the faithful."
The advice offered is excellent, grounded in sacred Scripture and the teachings of the saints, and enlivened with colorful metaphors. (St. Francis obviously had an affinity for bees.) Though St. Francis lived 400 years ago, his guidance easily translates to life in the 21st century. He had a keen insight into the workings of the human mind, the devious yet innocent-seeming temptations presented by the devil, and the challenges faced by the soul seeking to live a pious life amid the petty cares of everyday life. And his insights transcend time and culture.
No one can read this book without finding a section that directly applies to them, whatever their state of life. St. Francis's spiritual exercises, admittedly, are difficult. But who can doubt that following them to the full would have wonderfully efficacious effects on the soul? I have begun instituting a subset of them in my own life and have already reaped benefits. I hope to include more of them as time goes on and my spiritual stamina improves.
St. Francis's advice on correct behavior, attitude, and personal morality is incredibly wise. Those who read and accept these teachings will assuredly live happier, more fulfilling lives, which are more pleasing to God. The several chapters on friendship--specifically true friendship versus worldly friendship--were of particular utility to me. I think many young Catholics would do well to read and ponder St. Francis's words on the subject so as to avoid temptation and the near occasion of sin in their relationships.
In short, this book is a masterpiece of spiritual advice and I can't recommend it highly enough. Best of all, one need not read it cover-to-cover. It may be dipped into for incidental advice based on the reader's own flaws, strengths, state of life, and spiritual needs. If you are looking for a straight-forward, uncomplicated path to Christian devotion, this book is it.
If you wish to become closer to our Lord let Saint Francis teach you how to live a Devout Life and tast the joy of living close to Our Lord.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First, there is a basic statement of the devout life: A soul, perceiving the goodness...Read more