US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Day 10. Saint Francis de Sales: Divine solitude

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Each day of Lent (minus Sundays) we'll bring you words of wisdom from spiritual guides.

10. Saint Francis de Sales: Divine solitude
Always remember to retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others. This mental solitude cannot be violated by the many people who surround you, since they are not standing around your heart but only around your body. Your heart remains alone in the presence of God.

Such was the exercise King David practiced amid his many occupations, and he testifies to it countless times in the psalms, as when he says, "O Lord, I am always with you"; "I see the Lord always before me"; "I have lifted my eyes to you, O my God, who dwells in heaven"; "My eyes are ever toward God." Indeed, our tasks are seldom so important as to keep us from withdrawing our hearts from them from time to time in order to retire into this divine solitude. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Doubleday)

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) was bishop of Geneva and one of the originators of lay spirituality.

Find spiritual advice for Lent from other guides in 40 days to a new you.