Advice for Christian Living from S Francis de Sales


One form of gentleness we should practise is towards ourselves. We should never get irritable with ourselves because of our imperfections. It is reasonable to be displeased and sorry when we commit faults, but not fretful or spiteful to ourselves.
            Some make the mistake of being angry because they have been angry, hurt because they have been hurt, vexed because they have been vexed. They think that they are getting rid of anger, that the second remedies the first; actually, they are preparing the way for fresh anger on the first occasion. Besides this, all irritation with ourselves tends to foster pride and springs from self-love, which is displeased at finding that we are not perfect.
            We should regard our faults with calm, collected and firm displeasure. We correct ourselves better by a quiet persevering repentance than by an irritated, hasty and passionate one. When your heart has fallen raise it gently, humbling yourself before God, acknowledging your fault, but not surprised at your fall. Infirmity is infirm, weakness weak, and frailty frail. 
(S Francis de Sales  Introduction to the Devout Life  III:9)

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