01 September 2012

Concluding post this week from Sr. Joanne

Here at Georgetown Visitation as in other Visitation communities throughout the world, the monastery library has many, many books either about Saint Francis de Sales or containing his own writings.  One of the books here, printed in 1884 in London and in New York, is part of a set entitled Library of St. Francis de Sales.  The title is LETTERS TO PERSONS IN THE WORLD.  The following is taken from a letter St. Francis de Sales wrote “To a Lady” – he addresses her as “Madam my dear sister”: 
Persevere in thoroughly conquering yourself in the small daily contradictions you receive; know that God wishes nothing from you at present but that.  Busy not yourself then in doing anything else:  do not sow your desires in another’s garden, but cultivate well your own.  Do not desire not to be what you are, but desire to be very well what you are. .. What is the use of building castles in Spain when we have to live in France? It is my old lesson and you know it well.
And the sentences below are from a letter written to “a Young Married Lady”: 
Be very gentle; do not live by humors and inclinations, but by reason and devotion.  Love your husband tenderly, as having been given to you by the hand of our Lord.  You must take great care to bring your spirit to peace and tranquility.  If you could stir the deep part of your soul to love the practice of gentleness and true humility, you would be admirable; but it is necessary to often think about it.
Sister Joanne Gonter, VHM

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