Once the holidays wind down and we begin to slip in our New Year’s resolutions, we may have the temptation to fall into despair. In fact, the term “Blue Monday” was coined to explain the depressing mood many feel around the third Monday of January. It’s so easy to look at what’s causing the gloominess in our lives and it becomes increasingly hard to focus on the blessings God has given us.
Enter Saint Francis de Sales.
The gentleman saint was known and revered for his humility, patience, and gentle manner. Though his words were written nearly 400 years ago, they are still relevant in our modern times. Here are five hand-picked quotes of consolation for when we feel like we’re going through a hard time and need to remember that they’re not being suffered in vain.
Struggling with illness?
“Place yourself under the divine will, which leads you to what is best for you. Pray to our Lord that he will be your consolation, that he will allow you to understand that it is ‘through many tribulations’ that you will ‘enter the kingdom of Heaven’” (Acts 14:22). These crosses and trials should be more precious to us than contentment and spiritual delight, because our Lord chose them for himself and chooses them for all his true servants.”
“Take care not to allow yourself to complain, but instead constrain your heart to suffer in tranquility. If some sudden surge of impatience should come over you, restore your heart to peacefulness and meekness. God indeed loves those souls who are tossed about by the storms and waves of the world, provided they receive their travails from his hand and, like mighty warriors, endeavor to remain faithful amid the fray.”
“Fear is a greater evil than evil itself. O you of little faith: what is it you fear? Do not be afraid. You are walking on water, amid wind and wave, but you are with Jesus. What is there to fear? If fear takes hold of you, cry out strongly, ‘O Lord, save me!’ He will hold out a hand to you. Hold on tight and go forward with joy.”
Suffering in general?
“Let us practice that holy resignation and pure love of our Lord that is never as perfect as it is amid suffering… We must pray for that holy resignation so that God can shape our hearts into a fitting place for him to dwell and reign in eternity… Seek help, but with the resignation that should his divine majesty wish the illness to conquer you, you will accept it, and if he wishes you to be healed, you will bless him.”
Feeling like a failure?
“Be patient with all, but especially with yourself. Do not trouble yourself about your imperfections. Always have the courage to pick yourself back up and begin again every day, for there is no better path to success in the spiritual life than always to begin again and never to think that you have done enough.”