February 1
Many are satisfied with carrying the Lord on their tongue, recounting His marvels and praising Him with great ardor; others carry Him in their hearts with tender and loving affection, which becomes part and parcel of their lives, thinking of Him and speaking to Him. But these two ways of carrying the Lord do not amount to much if the third element of carrying Him in their arms by good works is missing. (Sermons 2; O. IX, p. 22)

February 2
What greater or more profound humility can be imagined than that practice by the Lord and His holy mother, one coming to the temple to be offered like all the sons of sinful men and the other to purify herself like all other women? It is certainly no heroic effort on our part to abase ourselves or humiliate ourselves, since abasement and humiliation is often our due. Yet no sooner do little humiliations come our way than we immediately feel resentment, and, turning our backs on such a beautiful virtue, we wish to be esteemed as somebody! (Sermons 28; O. IX, pp. 251-252)

February 3
Just as little children learn to speak by listening to their mothers and lisping words after them, so also by keeping close to our Savior and meditating on and observing His words, actions and affections we learn by His grace to speak, act and will like Him. I assure you that we cannot go to God the Father except through this gate...Set aside an hour every day before dinner, or early in the morning when your mind is less distracted and fresher after the night's rest. Do no extend it for more than an hour unless your spiritual director expressly tells you to do so. (INT. Part II, Ch. 1; O. III, p. 70)

February 4
Let us embrace the good Jesus, living in daily attachment to Him and ready to die serenely in His presence. Place Him in your heart, like Solomon on his ivory throne. Make frequent visits there as the queen of Sheba did. Listen to His sacred words that He continually utters for our inspiration. Take care that your heart is always made of pure and firm ivory. Be constant in your resolutions and pure in your affections. (Letters 2010; O. XXI, p. 658)

February 5
Complain as little as possible about the wrongs you suffer. Undoubtedly, a person who complains commits a sin by doing so, since self-love always feels that injuries are worse than they really are. Above all, do not complain to irascible or fault-finding persons. If you feel the need to correct an offense or restore your peace of mind by complaining to someone, do so to those who are even-tempered and really love God. Instead of calming your mind, the others will create worse difficulties, and rather than pulling out the thorn that is hurting you, they will drive it deeper into your foot. (INT. Part III, Ch. 3; O. III, p. 136)

February 6
Certainly nothing can so effectively humble us before God's mercy as the multitude of His benefits, and nothing can so deeply humble us before His justice as the great number of our sins. Let us consider often what He has done for us and what we have done against Him. As we reflect on our sins one by one, let us also consider His graces one by one. There is no need to fear that knowledge of His gifts will make us proud, if only we remember this truth, they are from Him and not from ourselves. A lively consideration of graces received makes us humble, because knowledge of them begets gratitude for them. (INT. Part III, Ch. 5; O. III, p. 146)

February 7
In every class of society and in every position, we find the reprobate and the elect. Who is he, then, who has no fear, who is sure he does correspond to the graces proper to his position in life? We see Judas condemned and Matthias elected. Judas received far more graces than Matthias, who was not even called and numbered among the apostles by the Lord, but only elected by the apostles after the Ascension. Nevertheless, Matthias faithfully persevered and died a saintly death, while the miserable Judas, after being an apostle became an apostate! This gives every one of us reason to fear, in whatever call or condition we find ourselves, because there are dangers everywhere. (Sermons 58; O. X, pp. 248-151)

February 8
Do not get all worked up about the future disasters of this world, which may never occur anyway; when and if they do occur, God will give you the strength to bear them. Jesus commanded Saint Peter to walk on the water, but Peter, frightened by a gust of wind and the storm, almost drowned. Then he pleaded with the Lord, Who said to him, "What little faith you have ... why did you falter?" And putting forth His hand He saved him. [cf. Mt. 14:31] If God asks you to walk on the turbulent waters of adversity, do not doubt, do not fear, because God is with you. Have courage and you will be safe. (Letters 1420; O. XVII, p. 211)

February 9
Death, afflictions and other disasters which make up a large part of life and which are punishments for sin become, through the gentle mercy of God, so many steps to climb up to Heaven, so many means to grow in grace, and so many merits to gain glory. Therefore, it is right to say that we should love poverty, hunger, thirst, sadness, sickness, persecution and death, because they are just punishments for our faults, punishments so tempered by divine mercy that their very bitterness becomes something to be loved. (T.L.G. Book 3, Ch. 1; O. V, pp. 110-111)

February 10
Humility which does not produce generosity is false, because true humility, after it has said, "I can do nothing, I am good for nothing," must immediately give way to a generosity of spirit which says, "There is nothing nor can there be anything I cannot do if I place all my faith in God." The humble soul, relying on this confidence, with great courage takes up anything that is commanded. (Spiritual Treatises V; O. VI, p. 76)

February 11
The sacred spouse in the Canticle of Canticles says that His bride has ravished His heart with one of her eyes and one of her tresses [cf. Sg 4:9] Of all the outer parts of the human body, none is nobler in structure or activity than the eye and none of less value than the hair. Hence the sacred Spouse implies that He is pleased to accept the great deeds of devout persons, but that their least and lowest deeds are also acceptable to Him, and that to serve Him as He wishes we must take great care to serve Him well both in great, lofty matters and in small, unimportant things. With love we can capture His heart by the one just as well as by the other. (INT. Part III, Ch. 35; O. III, p. 254)

February 12
We know that there are several ways of obeying. Some people, for example, esteem this virtue and willingly speak about it. Talk is not enough, however; we must come to practice it as occasions present themselves. Others want to obey, but in things that are not difficult or contrary to their inclinations. The Lord is not pleased with this kind of obedience, but wants us to obey in difficult things as well as in easy ones, and to be constant in our obedience. (Sermons 85; O. X, p. 387)

February 13
Pearls conceived and nourished by wind or thunder claps are mere crust, devoid of substance. So also when virtues and fine qualities are conceived and nurtured by pride and vanity, they are without substance or solidity, having merely the appearance of good. Honors, dignities and rank are like saffron, which thrives best and grows most plentifully when trodden under foot. (INT. Part III, Ch. 4; O. III, p. 141)

February 14
Devotion is simply that spiritual agility and vivacity by which charity works in us or by aid of which we work quietly and lovingly. Just as it is the function of charity to enable us to observe all God's commandments in general and without exception, so it is the part of devotion to enable us to observe them more quickly and diligently. Hence a person who does not observe all God's commandments cannot be held to be either good or devout. To be good one must have charity, and to be devout, in addition to charity one must have great ardor and readiness in performing charitable actions. (INT. Part I, Ch. 1; O. III, p. 15)

February 15
Our miseries and weaknesses must not scare us, because the Lord has seen much greater ones. His mercy does not reject the miserable but gives them His grace and raises them from the depths of baseness and abjection to His throne of glory. I would like to have a good hammer to blunt the keen desire of your spirit to progress in its virtue. So often have I told you that, in the spiritual life, we must walk in a very simple way. If you do well, thank and praise God; if you do something wrong, make an act of humility! I know quite well that you do not want to do the wrong thing on purpose, so consider the wrong things you do as the means to keep you humble. (Letters 912; O. VI, p. 68)

February 16
Let us try sincerely, humbly and devoutly to acquire those little virtues our Savior has proposed as the goal of our care and labor. These are meekness, patience, mortification, humility, obedience, poverty, chastity, tenderness towards our neighbor, bearing with others' imperfections, diligence and holy fervor. Let us gladly leave the lofty virtues to lofty souls; we do not desire so high a rank in God's service, and we should be more than happy to serve Him in His kitchen or to be His lackeys, porters or chamberlains. While blessing God for the eminence of others, let us keep to our lower but simpler way. It is less distinguished but better suited to our littleness. If we conduct ourselves with humility and good faith, God will raise us up to heights that are surely great. (INT. Part III, Ch. 2; O. III, p. 132)

February 17
Take for yourself the maxim of the apostle, "May I never boast of anything but the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ!" [Gal 6:14] Put Jesus crucified in your heart, and all the crosses of this world will seem to be roses. Those who have felt the punctures of the crown of thorns of the Savior Who is our Head will in no way feel any other wounds. (Letters 1420; O. XVIII, p. 221)

February 18
Our Savior has instituted the most august sacrament of the Eucharist, which really contains His flesh and blood, so that whoever eats of it shall live forever. Therefore, whoever turns to it frequently and devoutly builds up his soul's health in such a way that it is almost impossible for him to be poisoned by evil infection of any kind. We cannot be nourished by this flesh of life and still suffer death within us. Just as the first man and woman dwelling in the earthly paradise might have avoided bodily death by the power of that living fruit which God had planted in it, so also can we avoid spiritual death by virtue of this sacrament of life. Tender fruits such as cherries, apricots and strawberries are subject to subject to decay, yet they are easily preserved for a whole year with sugar or honey. Is there any wonder then, that our heart, no matter how frail and weak, is preserved from the corruption of sin when sweetened by the incorruptible flesh and blood of the Son of God? (INT. Part II, Ch. 20; O. III, p. 116)

February 19
An interior conversion, a change for the better in one's life, is an indication of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Saint John the Baptist was sanctified in the womb of his mother; likewise, those who receive the Holy Spirit are transformed. So when you want to know if you have received the Spirit, keep a clear watch on your works; they will answer the question accurately. (Sermons 47; O. X, p. 72)

February 20
"Happy the man who knows how to control zeal," says Saint Ambrose. Saint Bernard adds, "the devil will easily delude you if you neglect knowledge. Therefore, let your zeal be inflamed with charity, adorned with knowledge and established in constancy." True zeal is the child of charity, since it is its ardor. Therefore, like charity, it is patient and kind. It is without quarrelling, without hatred, without envy; it rejoices in the truth, The ardor of true zeal is like the hunter's: diligent, careful, active industrious, eager in pursuit, but without passion, anger, bad temper or vexation. Otherwise, hunting would not be such a popular sport. In like manner, the ardor of zeal must be stable, industrious, untiring and likeable. Completely different is false zeal: it is turbulent, troubled, insolent, arrogant, choleric, impetuous and unstable. (T.L.G. Book 10, Ch. 16, pp. 189-190)

February 21
The Holy Spirit gives us His advice through the words of the prince of the apostles, "Take great care to use your time well and make sure of your vocation through good works." [cf. 2 Pt 1:10] This warning must make us live in great fear and humility in whatever state we find ourselves, but at the same time we must raise our heart to the divine Goodness invoking His grace and His help and keeping our affection fixed on Him by means of frequent and fervent ejaculations. (Sermons 58; O.X, pp. 259-260)

February 22
Love is the life of our heart. Just as weights give movement to the movable parts of a clock, so love gives to the soul whatever movement it has. All our affections follow our love. According to it, we desire, rejoice, hope, despair, fear, take heart, hate, feel sadness or aversion, grow angry and exult. We see how men who have given their hearts as prey to a base, ignoble love of women desire only what goes with such love. Hence, when divine love reigns in our hearts like a king, it brings into subjection all other loves possessed by the will. It is the saving water of which Our Lord has said, "... whoever drinks the water I give him will never be thirsty..." [Jn 4:14] (T.L.G. Book 11, Ch. 20; O. V, p. 309)

February 23
When, O Lord, will patience with our neighbor take possession of our hearts? This is the final and most excellent lesson of the teaching of the saints; happy that spirit who fully understands this! We are always anxious that others put up with our miseries, and that they tolerate us; yet the miseries and faults of our neighbor always seem so great and unsupportable! (Letters 1243; O. XVII, p. 289)

February 24
All of us will die on a day we do not know at present, but how happy we will be if we die with our dear Savior in our hearts! Indeed, we must always keep Him there, making our spiritual exercises in His company and offering Him our desires, resolutions and protests. It is a thousand times better to die with the Lord than to live without Him. If we live happily and courageously in His company, there is no reason to be terrified by death. I do not say we should have no fear, but that we should not be too disturbed by it. If the death of the Savior is propitious for us, our own death will be a happy one. For this reason we should often think of His holy death, and love His cross and His passion. (Letters 439; O. XIII, p. 382)

February 25
It is a difficult thing to have an exact idea of one's goal, but it is likewise true that all of us must perfectly pinpoint the virtue we are aiming to acquire. However, if we cannot do this, we must not lose courage or get upset; we must get as close to the goal as possible, because even the saints did not succeed in doing any more than that. Only Our Lord and the virgin most holy fully succeeded. (Spiritual Conferences IV; O. VI, pp. 59-60)

February 26
He who goes to Holy Communion according to the spirit of the Divine Spouse annihilates himself and says to the Lord, "Annihilate me, O Lord, and convert me into Yourself!" There is nothing in this world over which we have more control than food which we consume for our conservation. Well, Jesus Christ attained this excess of love: He made Himself our food! But what do we have to do to make full use of what He has done? Let Him possess us, let Him masticate us, let Him eat us and dispose us to do exactly what He wants. (Letters 1529; O. XVIII, p. 400)

February 27
Birds have nests in trees and stags have thickets where they can find shelter when the need arises. Deer know where to take cover, either to hid or to enjoy some cool shade during the summer. So also our hearts should each day choose some place, either on Mount Calvary or within Our Lord's wounds, or in some other place near Him, as a retreat where they can retire at various times to refresh and restore themselves during their exterior occupations. There, as in a stronghold, they can defend themselves against temptation. Blessed will be the soul that can truly say to Our Lord, "You are my place of strength and my stronghold to give me safety, my roof against the rain, my shade against the heat." [cf. Ps 46:1] (INT. Part 2, Ch. 12; O. III, p. 92)

February 28
Deepen day by day the resolution to serve God devotedly, to attend to His will and be entirely His. Reserve nothing for yourself or for the world. Embrace with sincerity the holy designs to God, whatever they are. Never deceive yourself that you have realized purity of heart unless you are entirely, freely and joyfully subject to God's holy will in all things, even the most repugnant. Therefore, do not consider so much what you do but the One Who commands you to do them. He will further His own glory and our perfections, even in those things that seem to us lowly and imperfect. (Letters 282; O. XIII, pp. 38-39)

February 29
Let us always bless the feet of the Savior and say to Him, "My heart, O Lord, protests my fidelity and my eyes seek Your face." Let us keep our eyes on Jesus Christ to contemplate Him, our mouth employed to praise Him, our whole heart intent on nothing less than to please Him without limits. (Letters 1155; O. XVIII, p. 128) 

Used with permission. 
Text taken from the book: "Every Day with SAINT FRANCIS DE SALES"
Edited by Francis J. Klauder, S.D.B. 
Library of Congress Card Catalogue Number 85-72838
ISBN 0-89944-082-7