The Thinking 

The Seasons of the Soul

May 11, 2017


Early May, Daniel Garber; 1948

“I perceive that all the seasons of the year are to be found in your soul: sometimes winter, with sterility, distractions, torments, disgusts, and weariness; sometimes the roses of May, with the sweet scent of holy little flowers; sometimes the heats of desire to please our good God. There only remains autumn, when, as you say, you do not find much fruit, but it often happens that, in threshing the wheat and pressing the grapes, we find much more than the harvest and the vintage had promised. You would like always to have spring-time or summer; but it is necessary to have a change internally, as well as externally. In heaven, there will be a perpetual spring as to beauty, a perpetual autumn as to joy, a perpetual summer as to love. There will be no winter there; but here, winter is required for the exercise of self-denial, and for the growth of a thousand beautiful virtues which flourish only in sterility. Let us, then, make our little steps forward; if we have a good and resolute affection, we cannot but advance well. It is not necessary for the practice of virtues to be always attentive to them all. That would entangle and perplex your thoughts too much. Humility and charity are the antiphonarians; all the other virtues are annexed to them. The preservation of a house depends on the foundation and the roof; if we attend to which, the rest will give us no great difficulty. Humility and charity are the mothers of virtues; the others follow them, as little chickens do the hens.”

—-  St. Francis de Sales

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