Today is January 24, Feast of St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) known in Poland as Św. Franciszek Salezy.
I'm working on a little meditation journal for myself, collecting thoughts and quotes mostly for the fun of it but also as a way of finding inspiration and ideas for things that maybe someday I'll write about. I've been doing it for a while now and there are tons of resources but I decided I wanted to look for inspiration among my own tribe, my own people, so I'm reading books and diaries of Poles who lived in previous centuries and who felt it important to commit their thoughts to paper. I also like looking at the calendar in the morning to see which saint is being celebrated that day by the Catholic Church, people of my own faith who lived and died and left their particular legacy. Both sources are filled with examples of amazing individuals full of determination and fortitude who, once they found their groove, their star to follow, were unshakable in their purpose.
The very earliest saints left us their life as an example to follow but many of the later saints like St. Francis de Sales were also able to leave us their thoughts and words. He was a prolific writer, using his skill to bring people back into the church and gave spiritual direction through letters, pamphlets and books.
As a spiritual advisor he wrote to his advisee Bishop Jeane-Pierre Camus: Have patience with all things, but, first of all with yourself.
In his book The Introduction to the Devout Life he writes: Make occasional retreats into the solitude of your heart, whilst outwardly engaged in business or conversation.
And even back then, four centuries ago, he advises: Half an hour's meditation each day is essential except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.
I also like: Great works do not always come our way but every moment presents us with opportunities to do little ones with excellence.
The quote that resonates with me the most and has become part of my journal is this one:
"Be who you are, and be that well, in order to bring honor to the Master Craftsman whose handiwork we are."
St. Francis de Sales is the patron saint of Catholic writers, the Catholic press, and journalists.
One of the biggest moments in my life was being able to sign for my very own library card. When I'm not reading, researching and writing I'm riding my bike, sewing or gardening. I love flea markets, folk art, and traveling to Poland.