January 1
We must begin the year with Christ and His most holy mother. So today, with all the affection I can muster, I have recourse to the Son and the mother; O Jesus, fill our hearts with Your divine name, so that Your gentle kindness may influence all our senses and perfume all our actions. O glorious name which the mouth of the Divine Father pronounced from all eternity, be ever written in our souls. Since you are our Savior, we will be eternally saved. Virgin Mary, who among all human creatures pronounced this name of salvation for the first time, inspire us to use it profitably, so that all that is in us may rejoice in that salvation which your Child brought us. (Letters 739; O. XV, p. 143) 

January 2
Happy are we if we can pronounce with affection the holy name of our Savior, because this will be the watchword that opens the way for us to Heaven; it is the name of our redemption. It makes the angels rejoice; it saves us and makes the devils tremble. So we must impress it deeply in our hearts and in our minds. Pronouncing it frequently, blessing it and honoring it in this life, we will be found worthy to sing it eternally with the blessed in Heaven. Long live Jesus Christ! (Sermons 52; O. X, p. 163)

January 3
Genuine, living devotion presupposes love of God; it is simply true love of God. Yet it is not always love as such. Inasmuch as divine love adorns the soul, it is called grace, which makes us pleasing to the Divine Majesty. Inasmuch as it strengthens us to do good, it is called charity. When it has reached a degree of perfection at which it makes us not only do good but also do this good carefully, frequently and promptly, it is called devotion. (INT. Part I, Ch. 1; O. III, pp. 14-15)

January 4
The bee has not other remedy for its sickness but expose itself to the rays of the sun, expecting heat and healing from its splendor. Let us all place ourselves before the Crucified and say to Him: O splendid Sun of our hearts, You will revive us with the rays of Your goodness. Here we are almost dead before You; we will not move from here until Your heat brings us back to life. (Letters 904; O. XVI, p. 50)

January 5
When Holy Scripture mentions a good, mild, innocent person totally dedicated to God, it says: "This was the son or daughter of the year." Well, if in the past we have not corresponded to the love of this sweet Savior with an inseparable union of our affections with the Divine Will, from now on we should determine to act in such a way that at the end of this new year we will also be called "children of the year." (Letters 1589; O. XIX, p. 97)

January 6
...Let us come close to the crib. If you love riches, you will find the gold that the kings brought; if you are looking for the smoke of honors, you will find that in the incense; and if you take delight in the delicacies of the senses, you will find the delicate perfume of myrrh that pervades the stable. Be rich in love for this adorable Savior, respectful in the familiarity with which you relate to Him, and delight in the joy of experiencing in your soul so may inspirations and affections because you belong exclusively to Him. (Letters 1033; O. XVI, p. 291)

January 7
On our journey through life we do not wish to meet any difficulties or contradictions. We want constant consolations, no periods of dryness, no unpleasant times; health without sickness, repose without work, and peace without disturbance! But can't you see our folly when we want to have something we cannot have? Unallayed good is found only in paradise, as in hell is found nothing but evil. The great Chrysostom says: "O man, you who get all upset when things do not always go your way, are you not ashamed when you ponder that what you want was not to be found even in the family of Our Lord? ... Consider, I beg you, the events, the contradictions, and all the things that happened. The angel of the Lord said in a dream to Saint Joseph, 'Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you otherwise. Herod is searching for the child to destroy him.' [Mt. 2:13] This, indeed, was a moment of great sorrow for the Virgin Mary and for good Saint Joseph." (Spiritual Discourses III; O. VI, pp. 32, 38)

January 8
Consider how uncertain is the day of your death. My soul, one day you will leave this body. When will it be? In winter or in summer? In the city or in the country? By day or at night? Suddenly or after due preparation? From sickness or by accident? Will you have time to make your confession or not? Will you be assisted by your confessor and spiritual director? Unfortunately, you know nothing whatever about all this. Only one thing is certain: we will die -- and sooner than we think. (INT. Part I, Ch. 13; O. XII, p. 399)

January 9
All that we do must be motivated by love and not force. We must love to obey rather than fear to disobey. I leave you the spirit of liberty; not the liberty that excludes obedience, because this would be a liberty of the flesh, but the true spirit of liberty which includes obedience. When you have to omit your practices of piety for a just and charitable reason, I want you to make use of this occasion as a kind of obedience; then love will compensate for the spiritual exercises you have missed. (Letters 234; O. XII, p. 359)

January 10
We recognize genuine goodness as we do genuine balm. If balm sinks and stays at the bottom when dropped into water, it is rated the best and most valuable. So also, in order to know whether a person is truly wise, learned, generous and noble, we must observe whether his abilities tend to humility, modesty and obedience, for in that case they will be truly good. If they float on the surface and seek to show themselves, they are less genuine insofar as they are showy. (INT. Part III, Ch. 4; O. III, p. 141)

January 11
As soon as you are conscious of being tempted, follow the example of children when they see a wolf or a bear out in the country. They immediately run to the arms of their father or mother, or at least call to them for help and protection. In the same way, turn to God and implore His mercy and help. This is the remedy Our Lord Himself has taught us: "Be on guard and pray that you may not be put to the test." [Mk 14:38] (INT. IV. Ch. 7; O. III, p. 304)

January 12
There is no clock, no matter how good it may be, that doesn't need resetting and rewinding twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. In addition, at least once a year it must be taken apart to remove the dirt clogging it, straighten out bent parts and repair those worn out. In like manner, every morning and evening a person who really takes care of his heart must rewind it for God's service by means of certain practices of piety. At least once a year he must take it apart and examine every piece in detail; that is, every affection and passion, in order to repair whatever defects there may be. (INT. Part 5, Ch. 1; O. III, p. 340)

January 13
"You need patience to do God's will and receive what he has promised," says the apostle. [Heb 10:36] True, for our Savior Himself has declared, "By your patience you will possess your souls." [cf. Lk 21:19] It is our great happiness to possess our own soul, and the more perfect our patience the more completely do we possess our soul.. Therefore, it is very necessary that we perfect ourselves in this virtue. (INT. Part III, Ch. 3; O. III, p. 133)

January 14
We must not voluntarily nourish a desire to continue and persevere in venial sin of any kind. It would be an extremely foolish thing to wish deliberately to retain in our heart anything so displeasing to God as a will to offend Him. (INT. Part I, Ch. 22; O. III, p. 63)

January 15
I am not terribly concerned about living out these brief and passing moments, so long as I can live eternally with my God in glory. We have already started out on our trip to eternity, and we have taken the first steps; provided our eternity is a happy one, why worry about the passing moments of trial in this life? These tribulations last three or four days and are to be followed by so much eternal glory and joy! How is it possible that we are not prepared to put up with them?... Everything that has no bearing on eternity is mere vanity. (A.S. p. 359)

January 16
It is a very fine thing to feel ashamed of oneself when one realizes one's own imperfections and misery, but the feeling must not drag on lest one lose heart. It is necessary to raise the heart to God with a holy confidence, founded not in our strength but in God. We indeed change, but God never does; He always remains equally good and merciful toward us, whether we are weak and imperfect or perfect and strong. I always say that our misery is the throne of God's mercy, and so we must realize that the greater our misery, the greater should be our confidence in Him. (Spiritual Discourses II; O. VI, p. 22)

January 17
Considered in themselves, tribulations certainly cannot be loved, but considered in their origin, namely in the Providence of the Divine Will which has brought them about, they are to be loved with an infinite love. Just consider Moses' staff: laid on the ground, it was a ferocious serpent; in the hands of Moses it was a wonder-working wand. In like manner, tribulations in themselves are terrible, but considered as a manifestation of the will of God they are indications of love and delight. Likewise, love either removes the harshness of the trial or renders it lovable. (T.L.G. Book 3, Ch. 2; O. V, pp. 112-113)

January 18
To persevere in the devout life it is a matter of deciding upon some excellent and generous maxims, with the right intention. The first I would suggest to you is that of Saint Paul, "All turns out well for those who love God." [cf. Rom 8:28] If we agree that God can and does draw good out of evil, will He not do that especially for those who give themselves to Him without reserve? Even our very sins (from which may God preserve us!) are destined by Providence for the good of those who serve God. If David had not sinned, he would not have learned his deep sense of humility! ... (Letters 1420; O. XVIII, p. 209)

January 19
Our Lord Jesus Christ died for love of us, so we should, if required, be prepared to die for Him. Even if we cannot die for love of Him, we can at least live for Him alone. If we do not live for Him alone, we are really the most treacherous and ungrateful of creatures. Then is it true that the Divine Redeemer died for us?...Yes, He died nailed to the cross to give us life. Those die who do not imitate him, since there is neither death nor resurrection apart from the One on the cross. (Sermons 65; O. X, p. 364)

January 20
State openly that you desire to be devout. I do not say that you should assert that you are devout but that you desire to be devout. Do not be ashamed to practice the ordinary, necessary actions that bring us to the love of God. Acknowledge frankly that you are trying to meditate, that you would rather die than commit a mortal sin, that you are resolved to frequent the sacraments and to follow your director's advice. This candid confession of our desire to serve God and to consecrate ourselves entirely to His love is most acceptable to His Divine Majesty. (INT. V, Ch. 18; O. III, p. 365)

January 21
Take note: the great Agent of mercy converts our miseries into graces, turning the poison of our sins into a healing antidote for our souls. Tell me, then, what grace will do to heal our afflictions, soften our crosses and persecutions that we have to suffer. Therefore, when some misfortune strikes, of whatever nature it may be, be assured that, if we love the Lord with all our hearts, all will be converted into good; and later, though you cannot understand where this good comes from, be sure that it will most certainly happen. (Letters 1420; O. XVIII, pp. 209-210)

January 22
Love has its source in the heart, and we cannot love our neighbor too much or go to excess, provided love continues to reside in the heart. However, our external demonstrations of love may err or get out of control, passing the limits and rules of reason. The glorious Saint Bernard says that the limit of loving God is loving God without limits; His love must spread its roots as widely as possible. And what is said about love of God must also apply to love of our neighbor, so long as the love of God is greater and holds first place in our hearts. (Spiritual Treatises IV; O. VI, pp. 56-57)

January 23
Receive Holy Communion with courage, peace and humility, in response to the Divine Spouse, Who, in order to unite Himself to us, humbled Himself and so wonderfully abased Himself as to become our very food--we who will soon become a meal for worm...He who receives Communion according to the spirit of the Divine Spouse humbles himself and says to the Lord, "Masticate me, digest me, annihilate me, but convert me totally into You!" (Letters 1529; O. XVIII, p. 400)

January 24
During the course of the day, recall as often as possible that you are in God's presence. Consider what God does and what you are doing. You will see His eyes turned toward you and constantly fixed on you with incomparable love. Then you will say to Him, "O God, why do I not look always at You, just as You always look at me? Why do You think so often of me, O Lord, and why do I think so seldom of You?" Where are we, O my soul? God is our true place, and where are we? (INT. Part II, Ch. 12; O. III, p. 92)

January 25
I desire very little, and what I do desire I desire very little; I have hardly any desires, but if I were to begin my life all over again I would want to have none at all ... Ask for nothing, refuse nothing; we must simply abandon ourselves into the hands of Providence, without nourishing any other desire but to do whatever God wills. St. Paul practiced this act of absolute abandonment at the very moment of his conversion. When he was deprived of his sight, he immediately said, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" [cf. Act 22:10] From that moment on he put himself completely at God's disposal. All our perfection consists precisely in the practical application of this principle. (Spiritual Treatises XXI, O. VI, pp. 383-384)

January 26
We must have a good opinion of those we see practicing virtues, even though imperfectly, since we know that the saints themselves have often practiced them in this manner. As for ourselves, we must be careful to practice virtues not only faithfully but prudently. To this purpose we must strictly follow the advice of men, not to rely on our own prudence but on the judgment of those whom God has given us for direction. (INT. Part III, Ch. 2; O. III, p. 131)

January 27
Self-love dies only when our body dies, so we must, while we live in this land of exile, continue to counterattack its assaults on our senses and its underhanded tactics. It is enough if we firmly withstand, giving no willful or deliberate consent ... When we feel within ourselves the first movements of self-love or of other passions, let us prostrate ourselves immediately before the heart of God and tell Him, in a spirit of confidence and humility, "Lord, have mercy on me because I am a very weak creature." Then let us tranquilly rest in peace and put ourselves at God's disposal. (Letters 1675; O. XIX, pp. 272-273)

January 28
This poor life is only a journey to the happy life to come. We must not be angry with one another on the way, but rather we must march on as a band of brothers and sisters united in meekness, peace and love. I state absolutely and make no exception: do not be angry at all if that is possible. Do no accept any pretext whatever for opening your heart's door to anger. Saint James tells us positively and without reservation," ... a man's anger does not fulfill God's justice." [Jas 1:20] (INT. Part III, Ch. 8; O. III, p. 162)

January 29
To ensure that the saints pray and intercede for us, we must invoke them and ask their help The best way to celebrate their feasts is to realize the power they have with God for obtaining the graces of which we stand in need. Our Lord is so pleased when we profit from the intercession of the saints that, wishing to bestow on us some favor, He often inspires us to seek their mediation and invites us to ask them to pray for us. With full confidence we should seek their help and turn to them, especially on their feast days, without doubting for a moment that they will listen to us and will obtain for us what we are asking. (Sermons 51, O. X, pp. 136-137)

January 30
Keep this maxim well in mind: God is our Father, because if He were not, Jesus would not have commanded us to say, "Our Father..." What have you to fear if you are children of such a Father without whose Providence not even one hair of our head would fall? Is it not extraordinary that, being children of such a Father, we have or could have any other preoccupation than that of loving Him and serving Him? (Letters 1420; O. XVIII, p. 210)

January 31
What a great mystery the human spirit is! Religious would like to sing the song of the bishops, and married people that of religious, "so as to serve God better," they say. You fool yourself, my dear friend. You should not say you want to do this to love and serve God better, but to serve your self-satisfaction better. It is your own self-satisfaction that you love, far more than God's satisfaction! The will of God, for example, can be found in sickness and as a general rule even better than in good health. If we prefer good health, please do no let us say we do so because we want to serve God better. (T.L.G. Book 3, Ch. 10; O. V, p. 140)

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