14 August 2009

Be who you are

St. Francis de Sales is rapidly becoming my new favorite saint.

I'm reading Introduction to the Devout Life (when I actually have time to sit down and read uninterrupted!), and today I was loaned another marvelous little book based on Francis' wisdom. I'm eating it up.

It seems like nearly everything he says shoots straight to my heart like an arrow and leaves me stunned. Like this one:

"Don't waste your time dreaming of being, trying to be, someone else. Work and pray at being yourself. Be who you are, where you are."

Perhaps most folks would read that and think, "Well, duh! That's obvious. What's so brilliant about that?" But it was a newsflash for me. It's something I'm going to be chewing on for a long time. It might just be the tip of the iceberg...

Do you ever just wish you could skip the million steps between you now and you where you want to be? My patience with myself runs thin... isn't it amazing how patient our Father is with us?

Part of the need to rush comes from fear, I think. The fear that I won't ever get where I want to be if I don't hurry up and get there today. God forgive me... pitiful me forgets that He will take me there in His perfect time in His good way. I cannot fill my basket with flowers if I don't stop along the way to pick them.


Dirtdartwife said...

Absolutely! While the quote seems like common sense, it really does feel difficult to put into practice due to our own selves. I agree that we rush too fast to get where we want to be and I've noticed, in my life, when I'm rushing like that, I tend to miss where God is really trying to lead me. So when things are totally FUBARed, I sit wondering what happened... then it dawns on me that I tried to do things MY way, on MY terms, in MY time because it was (what I thought) MY dream.

Gabriella said...

I also find he's a great saint and an awesome example for our bishops!

Anne said...

Jennifer, I understand exactly how you feel! I was just complaining to my spiritual director the other day that I wish I had all the knowledge of the books I want to read now! I am so impatient to hurry along in the spiritual life and struggle to be satisfied with where God has me right now.

I love St. Francis de Sales and that is my favorite quote of his "Be what you are and be it well." Have you read "Letters of Spiritual Direction?" He is so loving to everyone he writes to. He tells them all that he has a deep love for them. Wouldn't you just love to hear someone saying that to you and know that they mean it?

My Chocolate Heart said...

No, I haven't read that particular book, but now I want to! St. Francis is the BEST.

~ Judy ~ said...

Oh how WELL I know St Francis...truly one of my MOST favorites! My poor copy of ITDL is literally falling apart for I have been in and out of it so many times.
I find what he writes about music...and our music choices VERY fascinating...much of that book was life-changing for me when I first opened its pages many many years ago.
And I STILL grow closer to Christ every time I read it.
Oh Jennifer...if we could only see and love ourselves the way God does, huh? Someone once gave me good advice: I would complain that I was having difficulty conquering a vice, say, selfishness, for instance. And this person told me that instead of trying to conquer the vice, by trying to conquer the vice...I needed to instead...simply practice the virtue OPPOSITE the vice (every vice has an opposite virtue)...this has helped me not to be so hard on myself...and somehow...it works! It's easier to implement a positive action than to scrutinize ourselves for every negative one...just wanted to share that!


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