July 1
Our will has an enemy that causes us a lot of trouble and often alienates us from the spiritual life. This enemy is the multiplicity of desires. How many desires have you in the will? "We have two," you will answer me. But two are too many because it is enough for us to have one. Our Lord teaches us: "... one things only is required; Mary has chosen the better portion..." [Lk 10:41] So one thing alone is necessary. And what is this one thing? It is God alone, my dear souls! We need to love Him alone and nothing else. Certainly, the person who is not satisfied with God, Who is, after all, everything, does not deserve anything else. (Sermons 30; O. IX, p. 300) 

July 2
When you are sick, offer to Our Lord all your grief, pain and weakness, and beseech Him to join them to the torments He suffered for you. Obey your doctor, take your medicine, food and other remedies for the love of God, remembering the gall He drank out of love for you. Do not refuse sufferings to obey Him, yet desire to get well so as to be able to serve Him. If it should be God's will, prepare yourself for death, to praise Him and to be happy with Him forever. Remember that while bees are making honey they live and feed on bitter food. Likewise, we can never perform acts of greater sweetness and patience, or create the honey of excellent virtues, better than when we eat the bread of bitterness and live amid afflictions. Just as the best honey is gathered from the blossoms of thyme, a small, bitter, herb, so also virtue practiced in the bitterness of the most vile, low and abject humiliations is the most excellent of all. (INT. Part III, Ch. 3; O. III, pp. 137-138) 

July 3
In this world we often undergo great hardships in order to find satisfaction and rest, but as a general rule our labor is in vain. However, those who have their intellect enlightened by supernatural light know full well that God alone can give them a true and perfect feeling of contentment. Hence they do not entrust their hearts or affections to creatures here below. In fact, if we give our hearts to other people, what will we get out of it? Our search will be useless. Since they are in the same human condition as ourselves, they cannot give us anything but an exchange of affection, loving us so that we will love them. God alone can love us fully, and, jealous of our love, does not want us to find any other object for our love and affections. (Sermons 46; O. X, pp. 43-44) 

July 4
When Our Lord corrected Saint Martha, He said, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things..." [Lk 10:41] Note that she would not have been troubled if she had been merely diligent, but she was overly concerned and uneasy; she was hurrying about and all stirred up. Rivers that flow gently through the plains carry along large boats and rich merchandise. Rains that fall gently on open fields make them fruitful in grass and grain, while violent storms devastate fields and pastures. A job done too eagerly and hurriedly is never done well. "He who is in a hurry should go slowly,: says the proverb. We perform actions quickly enough when we do them well. Drones make more noise and work more eagerly than worker bees, but they make only wax and not honey. So also, people who hurry about with tormented anxiety and solicitude never accomplish much, nor do they do anything well. (INT. Part III, Ch. 10; O. III, p. 170) 

July 5
If we think about death with apprehension, this thought will prove to be more harmful than useful. By all means think about death, but peacefully and with tranquility of spirit. Trust in Divine Providence, without worrying about when and where you will die or in what manner, and whether you will be assisted or not at the time. Let us place our trust in the goodness of God and believe that whatever He allows will be for our greater good. (Sermons 62; O. X, p. 324) 

July 6
I do not want you to be too worried about your prayer made without words, as you put it to me, because it is good if at the end it leaves you with noble affections in your heart. Therefore, follow the path along which the Holy Spirit is calling you, without neglecting to prepare yourself for meditation. It is necessary to give yourself a sufficient preparation which mirrors your attitude; when God lifts us up to lofty heights, to Him alone be the glory! (Letters 49; O. XIII, p. 334) 

July 7
The reason why we never receive the grace of sanctification (one single Holy Communion would be enough to make us saints) is that we do not allow the Lord to reign in us as He, in His goodness, desires. The Divine Savior comes into our heart and finds it full of desires, affections and vain aspirations. This is not what He wants; He wants to find our heart empty so He can become its one and only Master. Therefore He says to the holy lover that she should put a seal on her heart [cf. Sg 8:6], so that no one can enter without permission. (Spiritual Treatises XVIII; O. VI, pp. 340-341) 

July 8
The great Job cries out, "We accept good things from God; and should we not accept evil?" [Jb 2:10] Oh God, these are the words of a mighty spirit of love! Job professes that he loved the goods he had received, not so much because they were good, but because they came from the hand of God. Since this is so, he concludes that he must bear up lovingly under adversities because they come from the hand of the same Lord, Who is equally kind when he apportions affliction as when He gives consolations. (T.L.G. Book 9, Ch. 9; O. V, p. 115) 

July 9
The present life is given to us only to earn eternal life. If we forget this, we tend to concentrate all our affections on the things of this world, where we are but birds of passage. So it happens that when we have to leave this world we become frightened and upset. Believe me, if we want to live as happy pilgrims, we must always have in our hearts the hope of finally reaching that country where we will settle down forever. But at the same time we must believe, and believe with all our hearts (this is a most sacred truth!), that God keeps a loving eye on us as we walk toward Him, and never lets anything happen to us that is not for our greater good. (Letters 1502; O. XVIII, p. 343) 

July 10
With the single exception of sin, anxiety is the greatest evil that can happen to a soul. Just as sedition and internal disorders bring total ruin to a nation and leave it unable to resist the enemy, so also if our heart is inwardly troubled and disturbed, it loses both the strength necessary to hold on to the virtues it has acquired and the means to resist the temptations of the enemy. We then use up our energies fishing in troubled waters, as they say. (INT. Part IV, Ch. 11; O. III, p. 311) 

July 11
If your eye is simple, so will your whole being be, says Jesus. [cf. Mt. 6:22] Strive to walk simply, without wasting time in many discussions and disputes. As far as you are concerned, there is no one in this world but yourself and God, so you should not get too worried about others, unless God gives you this task to perform. And if God commands you to do this, I beg you not to be influenced by personalities or human respect. Fix your eyes only on God and yourself, and I can assure you that you will never see God divorced from goodness nor yourself without your defects. All the same, see the goodness of God as always favorable to you, and consider your misery always as the object of the Divine Goodness. (Letters 174; O. XII, p. 168) 

July 12
The Lord tenderly loves those who have the happiness of abandoning themselves totally to the fatherly care of Divine Providence. They do no stop to consider if it is advantageous or not to their own interests. Let us be convinced that the fatherly heart of God will never allow anything that is not for our greater good. (Sermons 29; O. IX, p. 284) 

July 13
The best kinds of abjection, those most profitable for our soul and most acceptable to God, are those which come accidentally. This is because we have not selected them for ourselves but have received them as sent to us by God. To say it once and for all, our own choice and selection spoil or lessen almost all our virtues. (INT. Part III, Ch. 6; O. III, p. 156) 

July 14
The sacred gift of prayer is held in the Savior's right hand; if you empty yourself, that is, if you are very humble, the Lord will communicate it to your heart. Be patient and walk with small steps, until you have legs for running or wings for flying. For the present, be satisfied to be simply a young bee in the hive, and soon you will become a bee producing honey. Humble yourself before God and neighbor, because God speaks to those who have their ears turned to Him. (Letters 1700; O. XIX, p. 332) 

July 15
Sometimes the Lord desires that our souls be nourished by a firm and unfailing resolution to persevere in serving Him in the spiritual life amid hardships, dryness, repugnances and delusions, deprived of every consolation. Our souls indeed experience no spiritual enjoyment, but believe that they are not worthy of anything except to remain close to their Savior by a courageous spiritual effort, without any support except the Divine Will. This is Your will; how ardently I desire it! (Spiritual Treatises II; O. VI, p. 27) 

July 16
Why should I worry whether God prefers that I say the rosary or the office of Our Lady? There are not such great differences between the two as to require a long inquiry. The same applies to questions such as: Should I go to the hospital to visit the sick rather than attend Vespers? Should I go to hear a sermon rather than visit an indulgenced church? Ordinarily, there is no greater importance in one than the other, nor need for lengthy deliberation. We must proceed in good faith and without making subtle distinctions in such affairs. Do freely what seems good at the moment, and do not worry your mind or waste your time! (T.L.G. Book 8, Ch. 14; O. V, p 106) 

July 17
The mortal flesh with which the Divine Redeemer invested us is nothing but dust and ashes, but through the union of the divinity in Him it has become so excellent, pure and holy that the skies and the sun are but mud in comparison with it. In a similar fashion, the Host in Holy Communion has the appearance of bread so that we can take and eat it. My God! What joy to think that our heart, while waiting to be united with God in Heaven, can be united with him in such a marvelous manner in the heavenly mystery! (Letters 743; O. XV, p. 150) 

July 18
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; when divine love reigns in our hearts, it tames sensual love, reduces it to obedience, and puts under its sway all sensual passions. In sum, the love of God 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 II, Ch. 20; O. V, p. 309) 

July 19
After you have finished your examination of conscience and conferred with a suitable spiritual director concerning your defects and the remedies for them, turn to the following considerations. Use one of them each day by way of meditation, and spend some time during your mental prayer on it. Always keep to the same method for the preparation and the affections as you used in the meditations for the first part. That is, immediately place yourself in God's presence and implore His grace to establish you in His holy love and service. (INT. Part V, Ch. 9; O. III, p. 333) 

July 20
It would have been a good thing if you had knocked down and trampled the infernal dragon under your feet like Saint Margaret, and had clutched the cross strongly to your breast, with your eyes fixed on Heaven! Do no force yourself to destroy pride, but rather make sure that you practice humility, exercising it in humble actions; and have no doubts, because so long as you hold the cross in your arms, you will trample the enemy under your feet. (Letters 405; O. XIII, pp. 300-301) 

July 21
When we see our neighbor, created in the image and likeness of God, we should say to one another, "See and consider this creature as the likeness of the Creator." And considering him as such, should we not weep over him in love? Should we not give him a thousand thousand blessings? And this should be done purely out of love of God, from whom he is, whose he is, by whom he is, in whom he is, for whom he is, whom he resembles in a singular manner. (T.L.G. Book 10, Ch. 11; O. V, p. 206) 

July 22
Today I want to wish you one of the blessings accorded to Saint Mary Magdalene; not her ecstasies or extraordinary gifts, but imitating her by sitting at the feet of Jesus all the days of our life. Above all, I hope you have the courage to overcome the difficulties that impede you from God. Therefore, continually seek the Lord and do not give up until you have found Him. Seek Him out during this mortal life, not risen and glorious, but crucified and dead. Prepare your shoulders to carry the cross of the Crucified with love, and if the burden is heavy, console yourself, because courage and love will give you the strength. (Sermons 48; O. X, p. 96) 

July 23
Be optimistic and make sure you keep in mind the beautiful eternity that awaits you. Usually the children of this world confess only on their deathbed that this present life is unworthy of consideration if not viewed with the future life in mind, but the children of God daily touch this truth with their own hands. The traveler who is returning home dreams of the rest he will have when he finally gets there. So you also should continually long for the eternal peace toward which you are traveling. To acquire it, you should be prepared to work hard here below. (Letters 1305; O. XVII, p. 396) 

July 24
We must take two equally strong resolutions into our heart: one is to resign ourselves to seeing noxious weeds growing in the garden of our soul; and the other is to keep trying to get rid of them. While we are in this life our self-love will die, and it is just this that produces these nasty plants. Rest assured that it is not a great disorder to commit some venial fault, provided we immediately return to God, humbling ourselves gently. You must not think you can live without sin, because only the blessed virgin had this privilege. These small faults, even though they make you stumble for a moment, should not cause you to deviate from the path of perfection; a simple glance of your soul toward God is enough to make up for them. (Spiritual Treatises IX; O. VI, p. 154) 

July 25
Perseverance is the most desirable gift we can hope for in this life; we can receive it only from the hand of God, for He alone can strengthen the weak and raise up those who fall. For this reason, we must unceasingly ask for perseverance through those means that God has provided for obtaining it: prayer, fasting, almsgiving, frequenting the sacraments, association with good companions, hearing and reading Holy Scripture. This previous gift does not come from our own power, yet it should be the object of desire by our will. It is likewise true that the grace of God is necessary to will to persevere, but heavenly grace is never lacking to those who really want to do good. (T.L.G. Book 3, Ch. 4; O. IV, p. 182) 

July 26
Try to nourish within yourself the spirit of gentleness, of holy joy and humility, which is the most apt path toward union with God. Do not get upset about this or that but walk in the way of union with great confidence in the mercy of God, Who will lead you by the hand right to your heavenly home. In the meantime, keep well clear of arguments and avoidable disputes. (Letters 98, O. XXVI, p. 168) 

July 27
It is a terrible temptation to be saddened and all upset because you have to remain in this world, when you must do so out of necessity. Divine Providence is wiser than we are. To us it may seem the better thing to change ships. Yes, by all means, provided we change our conduct! How much we are victims of these dangerous and evil desires! On these occasions, even when what we desire is good in itself, it becomes an evil because God does not want us to possess that good at this present time, but something else, to give us a chance to exercise our virtue. The Lord wishes to speak to us amid thorns and briars, as He did to Moses, and we instead want Him to talk to us amid pleasant, fresh breezes, as He did to Elijah! (Letter 51; O. XIV, pp. 120-121) 

July 28
A father's gentle, loving rebuke has far greater power in correcting a child than rage and passion and brings about an improvement. So too, those who have committed some fault are best corrected by a gentle and mild explanation of what they have done wrong. We show more compassion for the wrongdoers by trying to convince them of the need of amendment than by a show of anger against them. Repentance obtained in this way will sink far deeper and penetrate more effectually than an angry, stormy condemnation. (INT. Part III, Ch. 9; O. III, p. 167) 

July 29
Be careful and attentive to all the matters God has committed to your care, but if possible do not be solicitous or worried; that is, do not burden yourself over them with uneasiness or anxiety. This worry only disturbs reason and good judgment and prevents you from doing well the very things you are worried about...A job done anxiously and hurriedly is never done well; we must do things with coolness and calm. (INT. Part III, Ch. 10; O. III, pp. 169-170) 

July 30
With gentleness and peace, make your small efforts to better serve the Divine Goodness, but do not be frightened by the difficulties that crop up. What good, what precious thing has ever been obtained without effort and hard work? On our part, it is only necessary to remain faithful to our resolution to reach the perfection of holy love by doing all we can to make it perfect. If we do not do that we are not aiming very high. (Letter 1324; O. XVIII, p. 35) 

July 31
The great saints took such keen delight in little acts of simplicity and humility in order to hide themselves and defend themselves from vain glory. Such acts were found more pleasing in God's sight than the great and famous deeds of many others, performed with little love of God. It is said that the sacred spouse attracts her Beloved with a single one of her hairs; this is because seemingly very trifling deeds are highly pleasing to the Diving Majesty, and so capture divine love. (T.L.G. Book 11, Ch. 5; O. V, p. 252) 

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