Wisdom From Blessed Louis Brisson, OSFS

1. On mortification:

We experience the most useful aspect of self-denial in the act of love, which the directory demands of us. Self-denial is nothing other than mastering one’s self in order to be one with God and with our neighbor, the latter being a natural result from this union with God. (Chapter 1897: 42-44) 

2. On respect:

To be sure, we have committed any number of faults during our lifetime. Many of these are rooted in the fact that we have forgotten something very fundamental – the basic tenet of respect for our fellow human beings, especially for their thoughts and opinions. Take particular care not to tear down what others have built up. (Retreat: 1894: 56-58) 

3. On Advent:

Advent is not only a time for reflection that unites us even more closely to God but also a time of holy aspirations, promises and spiritual communions. More and more we should bind ourselves spiritually to the Advent of the Messiah and the coming of our saving Lord into our hearts. (Chapter 1888: 53) 

4. On Advent:

Through lively and continual prayer, through a burning desire for the coming of the lord and his kingdom we should allow the coming of the Lord to become real in us. We should pray the plea contained in the Our Father with devotion - “your kingdom come” - in such a way that it will take root in our hearts and flow into the hearts of others. (Chapter 1888: 53) 

5. A Thought for the Day:

All of our actions should rise above, that is, should lead us to heaven. Every action in our daily life provides the necessary and essential material for our sanctity and our salvation. (Retreat 1887: 9-11) 

6. A Thought for the Day:

Everything in our daily life can – and should - assist us in achieving sanctity. Everything carries with it a certain element of the divine and thereby deserves the same respect as any of the Sacraments. (Chapter 1888: 33) 

7. A Thought for the Day:

To the extent that we accept with peace and joy every contradiction and every burden that we encounter in the course of every day, they will have a tremendous influence on the formation of our character. (Chapter 1888: 40) 

8. A Thought for the Day:

Our vocation continues to deepen with each passing day. What we do here on earth will continue in heaven. The Lord God will not transform fully on this earth our soul, inclinations, or actions. God will only completely redeem them and raise them to the highest perfection in heaven. (Chapter 1891: 2) 

9.  A Thought for the Day:

Continue, then, to embrace your vocation with your entire heart and rejoice in everything. We will find the divine good pleasure in everything and the people whom we encounter should learn the same from us. (Chapter 1888: 41) 

10. A Thought for the Day:

Everything - every person, every contradiction - should find us in a state of joy and interior peace. That was an outstanding virtue of our patron Francis de Sales. (Chapter 1888: 40) 

11. A Thought for the Day:

Before our every action - especially those that will cost us something - we must encourage ourselves to be joyful and strive to experience interior peace. Regardless of the ministry we are doing, there are always things that challenge and stretch us. Let us go forward toward everything that may face us with happy hearts. Let us always accept these difficulties with peace and genuine joy. (Chapter 1888: 40) 

12. A Thought for the Day:

However difficult the person, however annoying the circumstance, let us remain grounded in a sense of peace and serenity that will benefit our soul and, in addition, will build up our neighbor. We will have achieved a great service before our God because the little sacrifices that one accepts without complaining are of great benefit. (Chapter 1888: 40) 

13. A Thought for the Day:

We should not only fulfill the assignments given to us but we should fulfill them well within our abilities and with the grace that God gives us. (Chapter 1888: 40) 

14. On Aging:

As we grow older, it is far too easy for us to become whiners. However, God takes no pleasure in our complaints and neither, for that matter, do other people. This is why I try my best to be happy when I am with others. 

15. On the Apostolate:

You will produce something good for the benefit of others if you try to bring out the grace of God in them rather then to fill them with your own ideas and opinions. (Chapter 1897:48-50) 

16. On Work:

We extend fraternity and friendship to all laborers. They are our brothers and sisters. Jesus Christ was a laborer just as they are. He ate the bread that he produced with the sweat of his brow. When I see laborers at their trades, I bow my head because work is something holy for me. Indeed, I carry workers in my heart. The worker has a right to all the goods of nature and the beautiful things of life. Moreover, we should do our level best to see to it that their families have enough to eat and become good Christians. We wish them everything good, the fullness of faith and the blessings of good fortune. 

17. On Work:

The great question of our day is not Protestantism - even less this or that point of Christian civilization - but rather the worker and his organization. (Retreat 1891: 21-23) 

18. On Work:

We Oblates carry out a very important mission as it relates to the realm of the worker in order to be closer to him and have a holy influence on him. Nothing produces more trust that the example of one’s own work. (Retreat 1891: 21-23) 

19. On Work:

A cardinal who received us in Rome said, “The present day world is nothing more than a large sewer, a swampy marshland.” Do we want to avoid work and remain on the fringes? No, if we want to reach the world and attract it to us to help to save it, we must jump in with both feet, even if that means facing the possibility of getting dirty – really dirty. Let us make it our responsibly to try to sanctify and cleanse it. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

20. On Work:

Our perfection, our sanctity consists in this alone; we must do our work passionately well. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

21. On Work:

Let us perform the tasks before us conscientiously because it fulfills the divine will. (Chapter 1896: 8-10) 

22. On Work:

To become a worker we must learn a trade. To become a carpenter, we must take courses in carpentry. To become a locksmith or a mechanic we go to a mechanic’s place of business. To become a jeweler or goldsmith we must take courses with them. This is the only way to learn how to work. Even do manual work, if the circumstances permit it and god and obedience call us to do so. (Retreat 1891: 21-23) 

23. On Work:

If the world wishes to free itself from evil, then it must do so by the order established by God – through work. When sanctifying and deep-reaching events come to fruition, it will be due to the power through which all things are accomplished: by the action of the worker. (Retreat 1891: 21-23) 

24. On Work:

We know well enough that we should keep in contact with workers and indeed become workers ourselves if we want to stay in touch with our age and assist the Church in keeping in touch with its members. (Retreat 1891: 21-23) 

25. On Work:

We never shrink back from manual labor when it presents itself. It is not something extraordinary or unusual. Our vocation should welcome opportunities to perform hard work. By working as hard as we possibly can, we will experience the practice of poverty and humility and be certain that doing so will sanctify us. (Retreat 1891: 21-23) 

26. The Task of being an Oblate:

We act as divine intermediaries. God does not come down to earth continuously; God did that only once. It is up to us to continue to do God’s work, to stand in God’s place. God uses all of us - our organs, our limbs - while God functions as the head. (Chapter 1888: 33) 

27. The Task of being an Oblate:

Based on the words from the Good Mother, we can conclude that our foundation should find a strong resonance in the entire world and should complete a whole host of tasks. We are dealing here with something complete: not with a partial truth which is limited to certain points of faith and morals. It is a total view. It is unconditional and universal. The soul that walks this path is in total agreement with the mind and will of the Lord. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

28. The Task of being an Oblate:

Form an opinion about all material things so you will better be able to serve the neighbor and thus more easily win him or her for God. We do not want to become moral judges and masters over others. We want to be able to give some useful advice when the opportunity arises. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

29. The Task of being an Oblate:

The Lord, our God, redeemed the world through his life, passion and death. He wants to redeem it again, but since he no longer dwells in his humanity on earth, he wants to make use of us. God wants to save the world through our life, suffering and death. We cannot get around this. (Chapter 1888: 42) 

30. The Task of being an Oblate:

St. Francis de Sales is not recognized exclusively for his penance, for his devotion to preaching or his poverty. We best remember him for his complete submission to the will of God. His motto was not “all for the greater glory of God” but “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. That is the quintessence of his spirit. We, too, must achieve this high ideal. (Chapter 1888: 43-44) 

31. The Task of being an Oblate:

The circumstances in which we find ourselves show us that God pursues us with very specific intentions; not only those things which concern our personal sanctification but for the greater good of the entire Church. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

32. The Task of being an Oblate:

I would like to begin our day of recollection with these words of our Good Mother: “I must be an apostle.” We must become apostles of the gospel, apostles of the Good News, apostles of the words of our Savior, of the teachings of the Church, the teachings of St. Francis de Sales, of St. Jane de Chantal, of the Good Mother. It is in doing all this that our apostolate consists. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

33. The Task of being an Oblate:

This commandment must find its fulfillment: the law of love, the union with God through the help of the practices of the religious life and the cordial union with our confreres. (Chapter 1888: 42) 

34. The Task of being an Oblate:

It would not be right for an Oblate teacher to spend forty years teaching in a classroom and to grow ignorant of things outside of the school. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

35. The Task of being an Oblate:

Virtue for us consists in accepting God’s plans, in obeying God’s wisdom and God’s providence. We vow to the will of God, obedience without reservation or conditions. Because of this, we submit ourselves to those whom God has placed over us. That - and nothing else - is our spirit. (Chapter 1888: 44) 

36. The Task of being an Oblate:

Above all, let us have great respect for everything that belongs to our area of responsibility. Let us pay careful attention to everything entrusted to us: this is part-and-parcel of our mission. (Chapter 1888: 33) 

37. The Task of being an Oblate:

I must make clear to you God’s task, which is the mission each of us has received from God. It is just as holy as that of the first apostles. Christ is the same today as he was in the time of the apostles. You work in his service just as the apostles did - perhaps with less grace and on a smaller work field - but the word of Christ is the same and so is the divine character of our mission. (Chapter 1898: 29

38. The Task of being an Oblate:

We exist in the eyes of the church as a religious congregation. In the eyes of the world, we are just individuals. Therefore, we must take great care of ourselves and through our work and our abilities be able to earn and achieve the necessities of life. (Chapter 1893:10-13) 

39. The Task of being an Oblate:

Let us not be lifeless beings, as it were like stones stacked next to one another that cause the whole building to collapse. Let us not be men who do exactly what others tell us to do but who do not feel the necessity of standing together and letting ourselves be associated with the One who leads us. It is the grace of God and the Lord himself who is the inspiration and fulfiller of our good works. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

40. The Task of being an Oblate:

Should we act like May flies that flit left and right and stick their noses in every branch? Obviously not! Each of us should remain in his place and complete the duties of his office. At the same time we must be ready for anything and above all build for ourselves a proper reputation. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

41. The Task of being an Oblate:

Carry to each soul with whom you come in contact the Good News, one soul after the other. Carry it word for word just as St. Paul, St. Francis de Sales and the Good Mother did before you. (Sermon 1892: 80-83) 

42. The Task of being an Oblate:

Let us do everything with thoroughness and attention. In this way, we will gain the hearts of the faithful and the heart of God. (Chapter 1883: 30) 

43. The Task of being an Oblate:

In order to become a good Oblate, we must possess sound judgment. We must possess an open - not rigid - intellect without any peculiarities or idiosyncrasies. We must possess an open acceptance of God’s will without focusing on any specific virtue but on all the virtues together because the will of God is contained in all of them. (Chapter 1888: 45) 

44. The Task of being an Oblate:

Our life’s task is the same as that of the apostles and it is just as holy as theirs was. The same Lord who commissioned the apostles has commissioned us. We can - and should - consider ourselves to be the legitimate successors of the apostles, albeit not in worthiness, authority and sanctity but as successors with the same burdens and collaboration in the work of Christ. (Chapter 1888: 32) 

45. The Task of being an Oblate:

If what the Good Mother said is true (and I believe firmly that it is), we are called as Oblates of St. Francis de sales to effect something in the Church and in the world. We have received a mission, a mission that provides an answer to the needs of the times. (Retreat 1891: 21-23) 

46. The Task of being an Oblate:

We have received a task to which we must dedicate ourselves with passion. The teacher should dedicate all his energy to teaching; the parish priest should apply himself as though on fire to his pastoral ministry. In addition to things such as these, each of us must be skilled in other areas as well. (Chapter 1893:10-13) 

47.  The Task of being an Oblate:

We cannot in the blink of an eye change the economic realities of life. Let us jump in with both feet and without reservation. Having said this, we must understand something: we should earn for ourselves a good reputation and a good opinion of us from others. We will not accomplish that if we do not concentrate ourselves on the duties of our office and allow ourselves to be distracted by other matter, for example, questions about our living conditions, finances, clothing, etc. (chapter 1893: 10-13) 

48. The Task of being an Oblate:

We continue on earth the work of the Lord, his impact and his mission. Let us remain true to this point of view. (Chapter 1888: 32) 

49. The Task of being an Oblate:

Because of our apostolic work, we must remain in close contact with the world. (Chapter 1893: 16-19) 

50. The Task of being an Oblate:

We are not adventurers or cheap salespersons. Consider your situation well. Prepare yourself to give an accounting of your life. Study your surroundings and above all pray well. (Chapter 1896: 10-13) 

51. The Task of being an Oblate:

We should bring a sense of awe to our earthly and spiritual vocation. Whatever we pursue, we should do passionately well as did our holy founder Francis de sales. When fulfill the duties of our state in life with integrity within the parameters of the plans put in place by God for us, then the smallest duty, the most insignificant job will lead to the sanctification of souls. (Chapter 1888: 33) 

52. The Task of being an Oblate:

Should we use both ordinary and extraordinary methods to fulfill our duties? Certainly! But how will we know which one to use? Let me say it loud and clear: Use the Directory. The directory lived by you, lived by those you guide and lived by the entire community in whose midst you labor will provide both ordinary and extraordinary means. (Sermons 1892: 80-83) 

53. On Dealing with Foreigners:

We must love even more those who come to us from other lands and whose customs are different from ours. To do so is thoroughly Christian. They have a right to receive greater love because they make a greater sacrifice. They come to us to guide their lives according to our practices and customs. (Chapter 1896: 57) 

54. On Dealing with Migrants:

If we should love those who love us, how much more we should love those who come from other countries. (Chapter 1896: 57) 

55. On Vocations:

The best way to win souls is to allow them to feel and comprehend our ideals through our example Let us then be religious - indeed good ones - and we will attract souls like a magnet. (Chapter 1893: 53-54) 

56. On Vocations: 

Priestly and religious vocations are the salt of the earth. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

57. On the Practice of Modesty: 

In all our interactions with others, we should practice the words of the apostle Paul: “Your modesty should be known to all.” The saint understands modesty to be a kind of simplicity, a natural way of being open. He adds, the Lord is therefore nearby. When we are modest and simple, the Lord is always present with his grace. (Chapter 1891: 5) 

58. On Meditation: 

St. Francis de Sales advises us to meditate even when our soul is distracted, worried, sad or even disgusted. To remain with God without saying anything and simply going to him is your surest refuge. If you do this, you will be doing well. (Chapter April 25, 1894) 

59. On Enthusiasm: 

One of the greatest means of sanctification that we have is zeal for our duty. St. Francis de Sales says that we must perform out duties passionately well. The one who works with this in mind can rest assured that he is doing the will of God. 

60. On Meditation: 

Meditation is an act of the soul by which it sees the truth more clearly, understands the things of God and the holy mysteries in a more complete way or it energize us in a loving way. (Chapter April 25, 1894) 

61. On Meditation: 

Meditation is not an act that needs the intermediary of either a book or intellectual reflection. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

62. On Meditation: 

Meditation is not about reading. There is a better method according to Francis de Sales. Place yourself in the presence of God like a beloved disciple just as the angels in heaven place themselves before God. Francis calls this passing time in an intimate union with God. Simply remain there and quietly adore him. (Chapter April 25, 1894) 

63. On Meditation: 

Meditation that is satisfied with thinking about one’s self and only reflecting on how one would act in this or that situation without putting our self in intimate contact with our God is nothing more than a diversion. It is entirely a mere human reflection. It is not a prayer. (Chapter may 16. 1894) 

64. On Meditation: 

I would like to consider on this basis how we are to go about in reconciling our meditation with our daily duties: to prepare our words and our actions in union with our Lord so that God might bless and guide us. (Retreat 1887: 9-11) 

65. On Meditation: 

No one should make his mediation using sophistry or subtle musings. This is misses the point. With practice, meditation should become a prayer from the heart as distinct from an exercise in study. Meditation is a dialog. (Chapter April 25, 1894) 

66. On Meditation: 

I do not care so much for the method of making meditation a kind of study rather then an exercise that is useful to the soul. Make your meditation naturally, tenderly and without any intellectual force. This is our method of meditating. Otherwise, it will begin to torture us and unfruitful and problematic. The outcome for the soul hardy produces any positive effects. (Chapter April 25, 1894) 

67. On Meditation: 

We should include in our meditation our daily work, which includes for us the small things of the forthcoming day, the inclinations of our heart, and the acts of our will. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

68. On Meditation: 

We define meditation as a conversation with God, an intimate dialog concerning our personal worries about our needs and the needs of others for whom we are responsible. (Retreat 1887: 9-11

69. On Meditation: 

Do you have a difficult class, an unreachable student or a lazy boy in front of you? We should speak with God about these situations. Do you will think that is funny? No, that is a real meditation when you ask for God’s help when you call God down upon your work. In this way, you are working with God and you are doing nothing without him. Your life will become a holy one, a life based on the Gospel. (Retreat 1897: 1-3) 

70. On the Brothers in the Congregation:

According to the constitutions, the brothers have the same privileges as the fathers. They have a share in the good deeds and spiritual advantages of the congregation. Even in material things they are to be treated the same as the fathers. It must be obvious that both brothers and fathers form one single family in which both ranks have one the same spirit. We are not different congregations but one single one. (Chapter 1888: 49) 

71. To be Christ-like in the world: 

We should not shut ourselves off from the world. We should not satisfy ourselves with just a few points of contact with the world. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

72. To be Christ-like in the world: 

Our strength lies with our Lord and his grace. Only one desire should lead us: to live with those who are there for us - the apostles and the Lord. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

73. To be Christ-like in the world: 

We are nothing by ourselves. However, we can become something if we adopt the life style of the apostles, that is, their words, their way of speaking and their way of acting. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

74. On the Practice of Humility: 

Being humble means that we must occupy the place where truth has put us. It challenges us to know ourselves and to assess ourselves accurately. (Chapter 1888:4) 

75. On the Practice of Humility:

“I will not serve.” These words, which Satan chose as his motto, also affect the human family. We know very well the temptation that lies in these words. Satan knows that God respects the will and freedom of humankind: God considers them as something holy. For God there is neither service nor guilt unless we freely chose it. (Chapter 1889: 70-71) 

76. On the Practice of Humility: 

Lengthy meditations on humility do not make us more humble if we do accept our fellow human beings as God has made them. (Chapter 1888: 4) 

77. On the Practice of Humility: 

Every individual has both good points and faults. The latter are not any of our business. We may never act towards our neighbor except with great respect. Let us not consider ourselves better than others despite whatever misery burdens them or they may have committed. (Chapter 1888: 4) 

78. On the Practice of Humility: 

Our prayer should be marked with humility. In addition, we should be well aware of our lowliness. What beautiful virtue humility is! It shows us our proper place, fills us with happiness and encases the spirit, the heart and the conscience and brings with it peace and pardon. We may never consider humility something small. We must increase in it constantly. (Chapter 1888: 21) 

79. On the Practice of Humility: 

Above all else, humility is the most difficult virtue to define. You cannot say where it begins or where it ends. If you desires others to have a good opinion of you then seek that most appropriate virtue: humility. People judge you according to your true worth: they are seldom attracted by pride. (Chapter 1897: 45-48) 

80. On the Practice of Humility: 

We have an axiom by which we should strive to live: let us never rely on ourselves but leave ourselves in the hands of a good God who is our personal protector. This frame of mind guaranties our success. (Chapter 1896: 50-54

81. On the Things of the World:

You can see how intelligent and hard-working people like to busy themselves with the things of the world and who form an opinion on the value of everything. Let us do the same. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

82. On The Spiritual Directory: 

All of our actions and deeds - no matter what they may be - must be marked with the spirit of the directory. All of our labor - whether it is mental or physical - must be accomplished in this way. Then we will be strong, generous and powerful. Our souls will know no weakness (at least no paralyzing ones) since small faults will always crop up. (Chapter 1896: 60-61) 

83. On The Spiritual Directory:

All other congregations that carry the name of St. Francis de sales do good things. They study the saint and love him. They try to understand his teachings and to embody them. That is fine. What do we possess that they do not? They do not have the directory. They are lacking the heart of his thoughts, his life and his spirit. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

84. On The Spiritual Directory

Let us strive to become truly interior men. We have for this purpose an outstanding means at hand that St. Francis de Sales himself offers to us: the directory. We should base our lives upon it. We should preach the directory and teach it to souls. It is our treasure, our inheritance. (Chapter 1896: 60-61) 

85. On The Spiritual Directory

The The Spiritual Directory is nothing other than the Gospels put into action. It is the living Gospel. It is not some silly book of meditations but a complete lesson in living an authentic Christian life. (Sermons 1892: 80-83) 

86. On The Spiritual Directory:

You will soon conclude that the Directory and its practices are the most effective ways to bring the Gospel to souls. (Sermons 1892: 80-83) 

87. On The Spiritual Directory:

In our Directory, we possess a sure and certain means of sanctifying all of our actions. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

88. On The Spiritual Directory:

When you first read the Directory, you may think that it is full of unimportant things. Some people will say, “This little book can help us as a support, but it is in no ways binding.” For the record, I must firmly disagree with this assessment. The Directory is binding on Oblates precisely because it is marked with the Oblate stamp. Without the Directory, there is no Oblate. In order to go to the heart of what it is to be an Oblate, you must practice the Directory. (Chapter 1891: 10) 

89. On The Spiritual Directory:

Preach the Gospel with the aid of the Directory: the presence of God, the direction of intention, love for the union and reunion of our will with the will of God. (Sermons 1892: 80-83) 

90. On The Spiritual Directory:

What great good the Directory brings us. Let us think about god when we dress, shave or do this or that! It seems insignificant and yet is powerful. We build up the religious life with it. Moreover, with it comes the union with god. (Chapter 1891: 6) 

91. On The Spiritual Directory:

We must penetrate into the internal core of the Directory. We must get to the point that all our actions depend on God and return to him. All our actions must occur with our sights set on him and under his eyes and out of love for him. Then and only then will our soul be bound and imbued by God. We must experience god in all our actions and let them bring us closer to him. We will become one with him. (Chapter 1896: 60-61) 

92. On The Spiritual Directory:

We will only be able to do good things because of our personal holiness. The success of our labors and of our pastoral work depends fundamentally on our faithfulness to the constitutions and especially to the directory. I say “especially” because the practice of the directory must guide us continuously. It must become a habit. The Directory is the scaffolding and underpinning of our religious life. (Chapter 1888: 52) 

93. On the Practice of Respect:

Respect must permeate our bearing at every moment: respect towards boys, girls, men and women. Then we will be everywhere what God wants us to be. (Chapter 1888: 39) 

94. On the Practice of Respect:

Let us always be polite. Let us give everyone great respect because the proper respect for our neighbor is the basic rule of love. (Chapter 1888: 38) 

95. On the Gospels:

The Gospels can save and bring all these lost beings the words of love, of live and of happiness. (Sermons 1892: 80-83) 

96. On Our Abilities:

Certainly, we do not all have the same ideas and abilities. The one who exhibits outstanding abilities in one area may be lacking in another. Intelligence is like a table covered with a tablecloth. When the tablecloth is too small and does not cover the table completely, if you tug on one side the other side is exposed. Be careful to pull the tablecloth toward yourself; otherwise, the place will be uncovered in front of where your confrere is sitting and you will be offering him a view of your nakedness and misery. (Chapter 1896: 50-54) 

97. On the Practice of Fasting:

I can assure you the control of your speech is of more useful than not eating a piece of meat. We must practice and teach this lesson. (Chapter 1897: 42-44) 

98. On the Practice of Fasting:

Controlling our opinion and desires raises us to a level of existence that no animal can achieve. An unintelligent and narrow-minded individual can never soar to these heights but an intelligent and clever person can easily silence his own judgment (Chapter 1897: 17) 

99. On the Practice of Fasting:

When you fast, only you gain profit immediately from the act: nobody else is edified or inspired by it. However, when you perform an act of love, - whether you are gentle, patient or accommodating - everyone is edified. Let us consider living this way. (Chapter 1897: 42-44) 

100.  On the Season of Lent: 

We are often plagued more by temptations during Lent then at any other time of the year. Let us consider the temptations of the lord. We are his disciples and walk in his footsteps. Let us take our refuge immediately in prayer. Let us say to the Lord from deep within our hearts, “I want to remain true to you. Everything which is evil in me, I hand over to you”. (Chapter 1891: 12) 

101. On St. Francis de Sales: 

The Good Mother is considered by the scholars whom I met in Rome as the most faithful and comprehensive interpreter the teachings of Francis de sales. (Retreat 1890: 59-61) 

102. On St. Francis de Sales: 

With Francis de Sales, we are certain that we will be of use for something good. Outside the authentic spirit of Francis de sales, we are nothing. We cannot do anything on our own. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

103. On St. Francis de Sales: 

Everything that comes from Francis de Sales conceals under an unpretentious exterior a deep understanding of life. We must draw from it our treasure. In this way, we will all come to be alike and be copies of our holy founder. Then we will become, according to the words of the good mother, the savior walking this earth again. (Chapter 1888: 27) 

104. On St. Francis de Sales:

The spirit of Francis de Sales is comprehensive and all embracing. Above all things, he insists that we must avoid all peculiarity. Do not act in an unnaturally stiff or unusual way; do not draw attention to ourselves by strange behavior. By contrast, we must go about business humbly and modestly. (Chapter 1888: 56) 

105. On St. Francis de Sales: 

It is certainly true that St. Francis de Sales was gentle. However if you penetrate deeper into his teachings you will recognize how complete and through his interior and exterior mortifications were. (Chapter 1897: 42-44) 

106. On St. Francis de Sales: 

There are certainly other congregations that have been established in the name of Francis de sales and who live from the wealth of his teachings. Others may possess more or less of the teachings of St. Francis de sales; but in our case the Oblates can call his teachings in their totality as their own. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

107. On St. Francis de Sales: 

Let us stay close to the principles and the teachings of St. Francis de Sales that we have received. We are the genuine inheritors of the treasure of his teachings. Then everything that we attempt will be good and fruitful. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

108. On St. Francis de Sales: 

Without exception, our total life lies in the teachings of St. Francis de Sales: to die to self in order to live for God alone. That is the source of all our actions. (Chapter 1897: 42-44) 

109. On St. Francis de Sales: 

Every congregation has its own “talent” which has been entrusted to it as a special treasure from which is must profit. Our special treasure - our special “talent” - is the spirit of the good mother Mary de sales Chappuis that is nothing other than the spirit of St. Francis de sales. (Retreat 1891: 1-6) 

110. On St. Francis de Sales: 

I have to disagree slightly with our holy founder, Francis de Sales. He was certainly a very good man but he over loaded and strained his spirit to the point that he used it all up in an untimely manner and died from bleeding of the brain. (Chapter 1888: 26) 

111.  On St. Francis de Sales: 

Let us realize well that we are oblates of St. Francis de sales. When we entered the congregation, we had no idea of the life style that awaited us. Maybe we had no other idea than to become a religious in one or another congregation. At the most, we felt some attraction to the teachings of St. Francis de sales. That may be all right at the beginning but it certainly is not enough to advance. (Chapter 1896: 8-10) 

112. On St. Francis de Sales: 

Why are so many people drawn to St. Francis de Sales after their first contact? It is because his spirit is a short, sure and successful way to find the Lord. In his spirit, you find medicine for your worries and salve for you injuries: the peace that every heart seeks. 

113. On St. Francis de Sales: 

We strive to imitate the life of St. Francis de Sales; his sentiments, his ideas, his way of acting, to grasp his entire soul and give it form through us. That is our task: that is our duty. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

114. On St. Francis de Sales: 

We do not just place ourselves under the protection of St. Francis de Sales: his teachings should become ours, his example our model, his spirit the rule of our life. (Chapter 1888: 43) 

115. On St. Francis de Sales: 

We do not want to overlook the fact that God has done us the favor of putting us on an unshakeable foundation we are established on the teachings of St. Francis de Sales. You know that Pius IX said that we could call him the “infallible doctor”. When we draw support from him and ground ourselves in him we are able to correctly understand him and to explain him to others because we have as our guide the Good Mother. (Retreat 1890: 59-61) 

116. On Peace: 

In today’s world, we can no longer conquer force with force. We can address the power of the world (which has grown by leaps and bounds) by mastering our passions. (Chapter 1893: 24-26) 

117. On Piety: 

Piety should not be something grafted onto our works and activities but rather just the opposite. Religious life must be the very foundation upon which all our works are based. Then our lives will serve to honor - and glorify - God and bring peace to our hearts. (Chapter 1891: 7) 

118. On Piety: 

Piety is certainly something to recommend. However, do not fool yourself. When you give yourself to it, you are journeying on the way to holiness. Consider whether you are failing against the love of god. (Chapter 1895: 72-74) 

119. On Piety: 

There is a saying that goes something like this: pious women have bad tongues. There may be such women. Nevertheless, I indeed know quite a few men who are exactly as the fabulist says. They are old women. They have the spirit of contradiction; they like to taunt; they show their dislike openly. They can grow accustomed to talking badly about this one or that, letting lose their judgment in a random way and with such a certainty that you can the impression from them that they consider themselves better than everybody else. (Chapter 1895: 72-74) 

120. On Prayer: 

Prayer is simply discussing with the Lord our problems: to converse with him in a loving way and not simply about our spiritual problems, but about all of our problems. (Chapter may 16, 1894) 

121. On Prayer: 

Let us ask the Lord to give us what we are lacking in order to better serve and love him, in the same that all this creatures love and serve him. (Chapter April 25. 1894) 

122. On Prayer: 

We do not recite the breviary only for our own personal profit but for the good of all creation. We do not pray simply for our congregation, or for the church, or for rational creation or even for irrational creation: we pray that all creation may achieve the goal for which it God created it all. (Chapter 1888: 5) 

123. On Prayer: 

Prayer is the first and most important means at our disposal for progressing in holiness: praying in all circumstances. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

124. On Prayer: 

Prayer that does not include the problems of daily life is imperfect: it does not achieve the full impact that it should have. (Chapter may 16. 1894) 

125. On Prayer: 

Interior prayer that unites us with God should be a specialty of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. (Retreat 1887: 9-11) 

126. On Prayer: 

The fruit of your prayers should not be anything less than the conversion of souls, if you give yourself to it passionately. As if this were not enough, you achieve for souls the grace of eternal life. 

127. On Prayer: 

Always pray. Of course, this is necessary but it is not everything. For one thing, you cannot always pray: not everyone who would like to it can do it. I would like to clarify this theology: you cannot always pray as you want, that is, to offer a prayer that guarantees achieving everything for which you are praying. However, we can attempt to bring about the things for which we pray. Let us look at the example of Jesus: “He began to act and to teach.” Our Lord began with an act; he could have begun with a prayer but he began by acting. He did something. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

128. On Prayer: 

In today’s world, hardly anyone thinks with the heart. The great misfortune for the faithful believers is they no longer learn to speak with God in prayer. (Chapter April 25, 1894) 

129. On Prayer: 

Above everything else, we must pray. We must recommend to God the things, the people and the tasks that God entrusts to our care. (Chapter 1897: 48-50

130. On Prayer: 

You must avoid losing sight of your goal in praying: tell God of your duties and tasks. You must accustom yourself to discuss everything with the Lord, God. (Chapter may 16, 1894) 

131. On Prayer: 

It is not our thoughts and words which win for us heaven but our deeds. The individual practices of our daily work, the circumstances that fill our time and the work that forms our life and actions. With these, we achieve heaven. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

132. On Prayer: 

Without prayer, you can never have success. It would be foolish to any of us to attempt to do so. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

133. On Prayer: 

Do you think your prayer is useless and. produces no fruit? Do not deceive yourself. God hears you and fulfills your prayers. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

134. On Prayer: 

What a beautiful and meaningful prayer: renew in me the right spirit, the spirit of truth and sincerity! My actions, my passions and my weaknesses have often depleted my strength. Lord, grant me a sprit of good judgment and right behavior, a spirit that helps me to recognize the true value of all things. (Chapter 1888: 30) 

135. On Prayer: 

What we say to the Lord and promise him leads us to kneel at his feet and stay in his arms. When we ask God for his light to guide us; when we ask him how to act in order to serve him; when we ask him to come to our aid - that is genuine prayer. (Chapter may 16. 1894) 

136. On Prayer: 

Our prayer is proper when we want to speak to him about our spiritual needs. We are making use of a great help in so doing. Our lives are preoccupied with exterior acts that deal with the world around us, more than with interior and spiritual acts. (Chapter may 16, 1894) 

137. On Prayer: 

We must not become creatures of habit or subscribe to prayer wheels. We must do everything - especially praying - must be done with our whole heart, done with understanding and thought, so that it not only produces an interior sweetness but also that we may achieve guidance for ourselves and for others. (Chapter 1888: 27) 

138. On Prayer: 

We run the danger in our prayers of concentrating on ourselves instead of binding ourselves to God: constantly thinking about ourselves instead of placing ourselves in submission to God. (Chapter may 16, 1894) 

139. On the Presence of God: 

An unbroken union with God protects us from the infection of the world. It helps us to be faithful to our religious life and protects us from becoming strange and whimsical men. We do not want to stand out externally in any way from other people. We want to be compassionate and edifying for everyone. (Chapter 1891: 6) 

140. On the Presence of God: 

Remain at all times under the watchful attention of God. Let us remain in this holy love so that at the end of our meditation we will be like the prophet Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai. He looked upon God and something from the splendor of God illuminated his countenance. (Chapter 1891: 6) 

141. On the Presence of God: 

The present world has been able to remove God from all aspects of public life. Indeed, the only exception to this appears to be when people take the name of God in vain. God is supposed to disappear from all our customs and habits. In contrast, the love of God should always be the center of our conversation. (Chapter 1891:3) 

142. On the Presence of God: 

Every rising, every morning meditation must bring with it a renewal of our resolutions and promises: to serve God on that particular day with greater faithfulness then in the past days. We must give ourselves to God without reservation or qualification. (Chapter 1891: 3) 

143. On the Presence of God: 

Let us make it our goal in our life and of our actions to remain in the presence of God. To be of use to the Church through our work, our prayers and our sufferings must help us to save others. (Chapter 1891: 11) 

144. On the Presence of God: 

All our actions, prayers and sufferings must be guided by the desire to be one with God. This must become a hard and fast habit in our deeds and actions. 

145. On the Presence of God: 

Let us continue our way with small steps, but with deep courage. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

146. On the Practice of Obedience: 

Situations may place demands on me that contradict my taste, my ideas and my desires. In this case I try to submit myself by an act of the will that supersedes my own taste, ideas and desires. I submit myself because I want to submit myself. From this perspective, obedience is both positive and noble. It is the highest example of the power of my will. Yet at the same time an act of genuine independence. This is the true meaning of obedience. (Chapter 1889: 70-71) 

147. On the Practice of Obedience: 

The vow of obedience is without doubt the hardest to practice and demands of our nature the greatest amount of self-control. (Chapter 1889: 70-71) 

148. On the Practice of Obedience: 

There is a direct relationship between the good that we do and perfect obedience. (Retreat 1890: 59-61) 

149. On the Practice of Obedience: 

This is our way: a way of greatest freedom and independence. Submit to no one but God. Even then, do so out of love not out of force. (Chapter 1896: 65-67) 

150. On the Practice of Obedience: 

The greatest motivation for obedience is the imitation of our Lord. Do it out of love. Such obedience is perfect and springs from a noble and sublime motive. (Chapter 1889: 70-71) 

151. On the Practice of Obedience:

The greatest difficulty lies with the person who gives the obedience rather than with the person who receives it. Obedience demands that we follow the wishes of the superior of the house, and the confreres who occupy various offices according to the constitutions and the rule. Our obedience however goes farther. It should extend to the character and divine mandate of the superior. (Chapter 1898: 22-23) 

152.  On the Practice of Obedience: 

Loving obedience is very good and noble. It is not a passive obedience, the submission of our will to another’s. It is the submission to the will of god; it is the love for the will of god. We cannot make a more noble or splendid use of our freedom. When we are obedient in this way, we enjoy an unbridled freedom. (Chapter 1893: 32-33) 

153. On the Practice of Obedience: 

A religious is anything else but stupid or someone who acts like a machine that runs only if it is jump-started. Yes, you have entered into a congregation to be obedient. However, you have not become slaves who only behave when whipped. If you would understand monastic obedience then you are in the wrong place. (Chapter 1893: 32-33) 

154. On the Practice of Obedience: 

Reason must inform your obedience. This means any thought of cowardice or weakness must be far away from obedience. (Chapter 1889: 70-71) 

155. On the Practice of Obedience: 

Francis de Sales was a qualified philosopher. Instead of destroying a personality or reducing it to a machine, he changes it through obedience into the full possession of its will power and freedom. (Chapter 1893: 32-33) 

156. On the Practice of Obedience: 

If someone gives us a job to do, let us not make objections. It is certainly not forbidden however to express one’s feelings with Salesian simplicity and with the complete interior readiness to obey anyway despite how we feel. If we receive a formal obedience we must implement it without any contradiction. (Chapter 1897: 12-13

157.  On the Practice of Obedience: 

To see God in our superiors is not always easy, whether in earthly, or spiritual or moral matters. You must take the supernatural point of view: I am doing this for God; I am doing the will of god. It makes no difference where obedience leads. (Chapter 1897: 12-13) 

158. On the Practice of Obedience: 

If you possess a generous heart, then it does not make any difference if you do without material things and earthly pleasures. Our own will, on the other hand, dies with the greatest difficulty and stays with us to the end. What we would like to do is to submit our will to the will of God; it will not do this easily; it will not give in. This is why it is smarter to bend our will to the spirit than try to tear it out or destroy it. (Chapter 1889: 70-71) 

159. On the Practice of Obedience: 

I have taken a vow of obedience and so I fulfill a command with the full force of my will. The renunciation of our own will is a heroic act. It is a kind of martyrdom; the highest act of the will. It stands above all other acts that we may perform on our own. (Chapter 1889: 70-71) 

160. On the Practice of Obedience: 

You act well when you approach God through obedience. Moreover, every time when, you act contrary to obedience, you are acting incorrectly, even if you are doing something good. (Retreat 1890: 59-61) 

161. On the Practice of Obedience: 

If we understand by obedience only the annihilation and destruction of our own will, then we are committing a very serious fault. Obedience is exactly the opposite. It is the most noble and highest action of our will power. (Chapter 1889: 70-71) 

162. On the Practice of Obedience: 

What kind of obedience must we practice? Are we to act like a corpse? No, the Oblate is a living human being. When he obeys, he does so with the entire force of his abilities, of his will power and of his being. He does not annihilate himself when he obeys. (Chapter 1893; 30-31) 

163. On the Practice of Obedience: 

When an Oblate obeys a constitution, he does so because he has chosen to do so: he wants to do so. True he has chosen the vow of obedience and in so doing has submitted his will. Nevertheless, he so acts as though it were his own will. Moreover, it this lies the strength of an oblate. (Chapter 1893: 24-26) 

164. On the Practice of Obedience. 

If you have no responsibility or office, many things bother you: many decisions of the superior, you own opinion, imaginings over this or that. I feel just the opposite. I do not feel that you with your ideas are wrong. However, you may not omit obedience because of the superior. You should not hesitate to submit your judgment and to fulfill your responsibilities well. (Retreat 1889: 35-38) 

165. On the Practice Obedience: 

How much I enjoy coming back to these philosophical and theological thoughts. Nothing is freer than obedience. You place yourself under it because you want to. (Chapter 1889: 70-71) 

166. On the Practice of Obedience:

We obey God’s will and we obey God himself. We do this is total freedom of the spirit and in love for him. (Chapter 1892: 32-33) 

167. On the Practice of Obedience: 

We should not obey in a spirit of dependence on the superior but obey out of love: what should motivate us in not the spirit of servitude but of friendship with god. (Chapter 1893: 32-33) 

168. On Spiritual Direction: 

There are two methods in spiritual direction. The first one springs from a spirit of authority. I am the master and I know what is good for you. I would like you to do what I ask of you. That is not the method of the Lord. The second method is that of conviction. We go to the other person to try to discover how we can engage him in conversation. That is the method of the Lord. He did not preach dogma. He told parables. He did not use force on the conscience of others. He led them to see what was good. 

169. On Spiritual Direction: 

The guidance of souls is not an act of force that uses a more or less official formula; rather, it deals with souls, with intelligence and with heart. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

170. On Money: 

Material things are in a certain sense necessary for religious life. They represent the basis for the life of the congregation. From this fact, flows the knowledge that we should have a great care for everything, which has to do with the community welfare. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

171. On Money: 

Let us not forget that we are not angels, but a community that needs the means and the help to live. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

172. On Money: 

Let us have the same sense of duty toward material things that we have toward the spiritual you must understand that. We have to employ all our strength and influence to acquire what we need: to get everything that we are able to get through integrity and love. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

173. On the Vows: 

St. Francis de Sales had considered it possible to found an order without any other bond but the bond of love. He wanted to put the individual vows aside. Love seemed to embrace everything. He believes this vow of love would produce virtuous acts. These acts would exercise such a great power over the heart of god that you could waive the need for vows. St. Jane de Chantal was of a similar mind. (Chapter 1895: 72-74) 

174. On Community: 

Let us remain with one another bound with a bond of love. Be of one heart and soul. (Chapter 1891: 4) 

175. On Community: 

A confrere does not act the way we would like him to. We criticize him and treat him very unkindly. That shows little intelligence and very little virtue. (Chapter 1897: 42-44) 

176. On Community: 

A community is like an individual. Anyone who belongs to the same community as we do is a part of an individual entity, of one moral being. Putting down one of our confreres means we demean our own value and that of our congregation. (Retreat 1894: 56-58) 

177. On Community:

Let us gain something from the wide spectrum of personalities around us. Let us never judge with pettiness or narrow mindedness. Lift up your hearts! Let us nurture the union with our confreres! Let us be one with our community, and you will be placing yourself in a better relationship with God. (Retreat 1894: 56-58) 

178. On Community: 

I have never met a holy religious who did not long greatly to grab on to the community with his entire being, with all his energy, to use it in every way possible and stand up for it with all this strength. If these thoughts have never occurred to you, or if you have not thought about it sufficiently enough, then do it now and do it will your entire heart. (Chapter 1888: 55) 

179. On Community:

A community is like a factory, where everyone has their own particular job. If people there do a lousy job or waste time, then production suffers. Every little wheel has its own function and is indispensable. When the machines run well, the factory produces outstanding work. The driving force behind all this is dependability. 

180. On Community: 

My wish is that every province has a place in the heart of our dear god, in the heart of our superior general and in the heart of every oblate. I want every province to be Catholic, apostolic, Roman, and Salesian. I expect that everyone feel himself at home in any other province and in every community of the congregation. (Chapter 1896: 55-57) 

181. On Community: 

Every one should do his part; contribute his little bit to the family. The congregation is our home, is our house. I cannot find the exact words. It is our home where we belong. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

182. On Community: 

Every time some one speaks badly about your confrere, when someone says that he has this or that fault, defend him. At least defend his good intentions, his honesty, and his simplicity if necessary. Above all, never judge one of your confreres according to your own judgment. That would be a sin, a very great fault. (Retreat 1894: 56-58) 

183. On Community: 

Let us not allow bitterness toward our confrere to arise. Let us not only put up with his frailty but also with his weaknesses, his faults and sins. (Retreat 1894: 56-58) 

184. On Community: 

Let us love one another! Let us be considerate toward another’s personality, toward the circumstances in which he lives, toward those who work with you whom you find repugnant. Put all that into the refining oven, into the chemical retort as St. Francis de Sales stressed. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

185. On Community: 

Let us love in the imperfect confrere the good, which the Lord has put into him, the gifts of God. Let us consider him from that point of view in all our dealings with him, in our appreciation for him and in our judgments on him. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

186. On Community: 

Let us unite ourselves more closely to the congregation and so contribute more to it. Our advancement depends on you. Do not get wrapped up in your own concerns! Let there be no individualism! Let us concern ourselves more with the sprit of the congregation. Do not let us do anything just for ourselves. Let our attention be continuously on the welfare of the congregation. (Chapter 1896: 2-7)

187. On Community: 

Never let it become a goal of ours to damn the work of a confrere. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

188. On Community: 

Give you interest, your respect, you inclinations and work to everything that affects the community, especially when others ask you about it. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

189. On Community: 

The Oblates may not just strive for an interior life, a life of obedience or a life concerned with the holy rule but also be attentive to the rules of external interaction with others. They should not isolate themselves for any reason. Everyone but be of the same mind and on the same page as the community and with the entire institute. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

190. On Community: 

Let us practice forbearance towards one another. We all have our weaknesses and imperfections. Let us learn to have compassion with the confrere. Let us make the effort to love and respect each of our confreres and their work. (Chapter 1896: 50-54) 

191. On Community: 

We should not be indifferent to what our confrere does. We must be interested in it. We must foster it with our love and our co-operation as much as we can. We must consider it whenever possible as well done. If it really is not so well done, we should give him some discreet advice. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

192. On Community: 

We must devote our hearts and love to the congregation and to our confreres. We should love its “teachings,” its manner of thinking, it way of judging and acting, and speaking. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

193. On Faith: 

Religion is often considered only a collection of beliefs. Faith is nothing more than memorized instructions. It is not right to allow our duties to descend to this point. We must fulfill them too. We are other wise like a worker who feels he has mastered his profession when he has the memorized theory. (Chapter 1893: 16-19) 

194. On God: 

I have the need to return to my core being to find god. When I walk around in the inner courtyard of my cloister, I feel more air in my lungs. God is there and I find him anew. 

195. On God: 

It is true, Lord, that I held you in my hands when I spoke the words. That is my body. Yes, I believe it, I feel it, and I see it. Yes, it is you. the charm of the child in the crib, the all embracing wisdom of the Messiah, the total submission of the lord on the cross, the splendor of the Son at the right hand of the Father, it is all that, that I find before my eyes, in my hands and very close to my heart. Jesus is to me a Jesus! 

196. On God: 

Let us grasp onto god and never let us be separated from him regardless of what may come our way. May he be the core of our soul, the deepest part of our soul? (Chapter. 1891: 4) 

197. On God: 

Light, movement and electricity are essentially the same. I am saying that not because it appears in some book, but because God is one. Everything comes together in God and God is one. God is the original force of creation. Why should we be surprised the created order mirrors the simple unity of the Creator? 

198. On God: 

There is nothing stronger than a human being united with God. Nothing can happen that will separate him from god. Neither life nor death, neither danger or cross, or suffering can tear such a person from God. God is ever near to him. (Chapter 1891: 4) 

199. On God: 

What fate does god has in store for me? He keeps it hidden from me, but when it does come, it will not come from his hands but from his heart. 

200. On Union with God:

As soon as you let go of god, there is no solid foundation anymore. Everything falls apart. (Retreat 1890: 59-61) 

201. On Union with God: 

we sense that our pure natural abilities are not useful for anything, because our own person is insignificant and we can do nothing on our own. Just the opposite is true when we are in union with God. (Chapter 1896: 8-10) 

202. On the love of God: 

Above all, there is the love of the Lord. It is above everything else. It is the desire to continue in our life what he did in his. (Chapter 1889: 70-71) 

203. On trust in God: 

Lord God, you are the only one whom I can trust. To whom else can I turn? 

204. On trust in God: 

Trust God more than anything else. I am convinced that god has a special purpose for the oblate sisters and us oblates. The Good Mother said this and Rome confirmed it. Let us keep in our spirit, resignation to god. Let us trust him. Let us feel safe in his hands. We can certainly do everything possible to protect ourselves in today’s problems and to come through the evil designs. However, I would prefer to see that we stay close to God. 

205. On the Reason for our Foundation: 

Pope Leo XIII told me: “Everything you do in your undertakings, God wills that you do it. Anybody who works with you is doing personally what God wants. God wills what you are about to begin. God wants it not only from you but also from your collaborators. What more of a guarantee do you want? I, the Pope, guarantee it to you and what is more, I send you out.” 

206. On the Reason for our Foundation: 

As the Good Mother said in her talks, we must preach the Gospel. She spoke in the clearest and most poignant way to promote the Gospel with the means used by the Lord himself. Souls must draw from the Good News everything that our Savior wants to give. We must use the same method. (Sermons 1892: 80-83) 

207. On the Reason for our Foundation: 

Studying the history of our own congregation has an immense advantage. It helps us to appreciate its goal as well as the means for achieving the goal. 

208. On the Reason for our Foundation:

You are the congregation of the Oblates: in ten years, in one hundred years or two hundred years, however long we exist. You are the congregation: understand that! You have received an inheritance that you are to hand down through the years. Do not allow it to spoil while in your hands. (Retreat 1894: 26) 

209. On the Reason for our Foundation: 

The Oblates must enter human society just as it is and to use all means to achieve this, and not simply through preaching or teaching: we must immerse ourselves into the working life of people. We must enter into the world of industry and labor. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

210. On the Reason for our Foundation: 

The Oblates exist to harvesting in the present moment the fruits of the God’s saving work. We must bring the world the grace-filled means to save it from destruction. That is why we are here. Let us be of good courage! (Chapter 1891: 7) 

211. On the Reason for our Foundation: 

Mother Mary de Sales Chappuis received in the novitiate one day a great insight. She foresaw the foundation of the oblates. God allowed her to know that the foundation would be the result of the effort of the most blessed trinity especially of the father and the son. This realization was of an exceptional nature. (Retreat 1885: 77-83). 

212. On the Reason for our Foundation: 

If people would look the Oblates directly in the eye and ask them: “why they were called into being?” If people looked at their deeds to see if they could find something brand new they would find nothing new. Why found something new if nothing new or unusual appears? It goes without saying it is always the same Gospel. There is only one Gospel. You can present the Gospel message to a large number of souls in a different garment: that is what we offer. Christ himself must stand at the pinnacle of this new beginning. (Sermons 1892: 80-83) 

213. On the Reason for our Foundation: 

God revealed to the Good Mother, he had formed in his love a special plan of salvation for the world and numerous graces and spiritual blessings stood ready to be dispensed because of that love. (Retreat 1885: 77-83) 

214. On the Reason for our Foundation: 

In every century, God has founded different religious orders to deal with the problems of the time: to warm the cold world and to bring life again into it. Whom is he sending in the present moment? God is sending us! We must grasp that. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

215. On the Reason for our Foundation: 

St. Jane de Chantal asked St. Francis de Sales to found an order of priests. “Form an order of priests who are like you and who preserve your spirit.” We came along three hundred years later to fulfill this inheritance, and we came at just the right time. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

216. On the Reason for our Foundation: 

The Oblates should not be teachers or preachers only. We must work under every circumstance and in every condition. (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

217. On the Direction of Intention: 

With us - and I repeat it -the Direction of Intention must be the torch that lights our way in the darkness and guides us on the way chosen by God. The Direction of Intention is the interior union of our soul with God. (Chapter 1888: 1) 

218. On the Direction of Intention: 

Through this right and pure intention, all our actions will be of service in the eyes of the savior and the result intended by St. Francis de Sales will be achieved which is none other than the path of holiness. Let us use this means with respect, love and piety. Faithfulness in this practice allows our soul to correspond with the grace of God. (Chapter 1888; 10) 

219. On the Direction of Intention: 

For the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, the Direction of Intention is a genuine means to holiness. I think it is the only means. (Chapter 1888; 1) 

220. On the Direction of Intention: 

The reason and intention of the Direction of Intention is not for us one of many acts of piety. It is to encompass our whole life: to bind it with God and to dedicate it to him. (Chapter 1888: 17) 

221. On One’s Demeanor: 

We oblates should present ourselves with a certain modest and disciplined behavior. We should not adopt a stiff composure but rather a plain, modest, well-bred comportment that marked by respect and reverence. This self-control should be especially evident in the chapel and at prayer. (Chapter 1888: 4) 

222. On Holiness: 

Attention and vigilance must become the inseparable companions of our life. They must become second nature. This is a necessity and nothing can dispense us from it. Perhaps I am not expressing myself clearly enough. I beg God that he will allow you to understand you should not attempt anything without the hard and fast determination to offer your entire intelligence and heart, if you desire to become a saint. (Retreat 1892: 33-35) 

223. On Holiness: 

It only takes a little courage to become a great saint. 

224. On Holiness: 

As soon as we become aware of some carelessness on our part, and we no longer think about sanctity, we paralyze our spiritual abilities and lose courage. That means we must make an enormous effort to make up for the lost time. (Retreat 1892: 35) 

225. On Holiness: 

What does sanctity cost, what is its value? What does it cost? It demands of us an unbroken awareness. We must continuously keep our eyes attentive and directed to ourselves: and we must be convinced that we are to become holy. And not just for this or that moment. Our zeal should allow no flagging of our spirit. In everything that we do, we must be aware of this resolution. (Retreat 1892: 33-35) 

226. On Holiness: 

If the priest and the religious showed no more energy, faith and holiness, it would be certain that their influence would be non-existent. This is why we are all duty-bound to be holy. (Retreat 1892: 33-35) 

227. On Holiness:

We are not bad people. We have good intentions. No one may act with merely human means. All of us want to fulfill the will of God let us go about it quietly, peacefully. What is lacking to us is the active, driving wish to become holy; the constant and effective desire to strive for holiness. (Retreat 1892: 33-35) 

228. On the Practice of Abandonment: 

The poor roses crushed by the elements, or lifelessly floating up and down on the waves of a river, glorify its creator just as much as the healthy oak tree whose crown soars into the sky. Lord may my heart bow only under your love. May its weaknesses give you glory and may my heart say at every moment: you are my God, you are my everything. 

229. On the Practice of Abandonment: 

The happiness moments of my life were my first communion and my ordination to the priesthood. Yet my ordination to the deaconate touched my heart deeply. I had given myself without reservation to the lord god. I know very well that we are not giving anything special. We only have ourselves. I cannot offer God more. 

230. On the Practice of Abandonment: 

You can determine whether a person is big hearted and magnanimous if he generously gives of himself. It is not the recipient who is strong and proud but the giver who gives freely and gladly. He indeed is a real man, a personality and he proves the strength of his will. (Chapter 1896: 50-54) 

231. On the Practice of Abandonment: 

Our service does not depend on what others do but on what each of us does on his own by giving himself unreservedly to God. (Chapter 1893: 27-28) 

232. On the Practice of Abandonment: 

What constitutes our value is our own will. We are not slaves, not soldiers of some regiment but men who have surrendered themselves to God. (Chapter 1893: 27-28) 

233. On the Practice of Abandonment: 

Let us dedicate our hearts every morning to god and renew every moment of the day our morning submission to him. Let us do this unceasingly but without any kind go force. This should become for us simply a habit. (Chapter 1891: 3) 

234. On the Virtue of Hope:

Today I would like to say a word to you about hope and support. Support for the present and hope for the future. Over and over the Good Mother said: “When everything seems lost, everything is upside down and every shred of hope has been lost, the Lord will show his power and his influence. It must become clear the decision lies solely in his hands. We human beings can do nothing.” (Chapter 1891.7) 

235. On the Interior Life: 

We encounter the spirit of the interior life in the teachings of St. Francis de sales as well as from the good mother. We cannot buy it with money. We can acquire it only at the cost of constant struggle united with fidelity and attention to it. It is acquired one step at a time. It will not come all at once and certainly not like one big clap of thunder. No, it descends on us like the Holy Spirit on the twelve apostles. Like dewfall, it comes on us one drop at a time. Take these thoughts deep into your soul let it become your way of looking upon things. Make it your own. This must be part of our special charism to see things in this way and to judge them so. We must work hard to make ourselves interior men. (Chapter 1896: 60-61) 

236. On Jesus: 

The Savior must mean everything to us. His word must echo to us in everything. He is not only our lawgiver, laws we know. He is much more. “I call you my friends.” (John 15:15) he wants to work with us as a friend indeed even more: he is our life; he is the juice that circulates in every grape of the vineyard. He wants to enliven our heart, our soul and even our limbs. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

237. On Jesus: 

You must be imbued thoroughly with the Gospels. The words of our Savior inspire your life. His breath and being must live in us. We want to touch him not just with our understanding but also with our heart and with our whole being. (Retreat 1887: 1-3) 

238. On the Practice of Chastity: 

The vow of chastity is an enormous guarantee for us. It is good that we feel ourselves bound not only as Christians and priests but also as religious. (Retreat 1887: 17-20) 

239. On the Practice of Chastity: 

The vow of chastity is in the spirit of St. Francis de sales, a vow of union with God. The religious renounces earthly attractions in order to dedicate his life to divine love. To fulfill the vow of chastity, the religious tries to unite himself to God from the very core of his being. (Retreat 1887: 17-20) 

240. On the Practice of Chastity: 

By the vow of chastity, we give our heart undividedly to God. (Retreat 1887: 17-20) 

241. On the Practice of Chastity: 

The vow of chastity forbids on one the one hand and commands on the other. The latter is the beautiful side of the vow. While the one side protects and strengthens the soul when the vow is burdensome and difficult, the other is sweet and light to the loving heart. Does this gentle love for the Lord fit only women and has no place in the character of a man? No. The good religious loves the Lord like the beloved John, like Peter and all the apostles. Did they love him, his companionship, and his deeds? They offered him their blood and their lives and with great pain. That is how far they expressed their love for him. (Retreat 1887: 17-20) 

242. On the Practice of Chastity: 

We have the need to love someone. What do we do with this unused need? Let us raise up our soul. Let us climb up to the Creator, Himself. Let us lift it up to the Redeemer. He created us for himself. (Retreat 1897: 17) 

243. On Criticism: 

In the case of difficult questions, when contrary opinions clash, you may of course defend you point of view. However, do so with kindness and good will so you may win your point because of your conciliatory tone. You will make a good impression by your insightful presentation. (Chapter 1891: 6) 

244. On Criticism: 

This philosophical point can also be of use to you and it is for that reason that I am including it. If someone attacks, you then seek the help of God. You have nothing to gain from the help of men. On the contrary, with the help of God you can strengthen yourself in a most remarkable way. (Chapter 1888: 9) 

245. On Criticism: 

A proverb states it is not good to say everything that is true: love demands it. On the other hand, we do not need to say to someone that he is right if we clearly see that he is not. Even less so do we have to say he is acting correctly when he is doing wrong, or to say that he is talented when if fact he is good for nothing. However, even in these cases, there is a loving way to express ourselves without hurting the person in question. Truth does not insult. (Chapter 1896: 50-54) 

246. On Criticism: 

Let us go to God when our soul meets some opposition. Let search out the secret reasons behind the opposition of our fellow human being. Let us see in a non-partisan way what good and correctness may be contained in the contradiction. Let us accept what is true in the contradiction that can bring forth a positive effect, even if this process concludes in a manner that falls short for what we hoped. In this way, unity is preserved and love is saved. You mutually support each other and your hearts agree. (Chapter 1896: 50-54) 

247. On Criticism: 

Whoever allows himself to be crushed by the criticism around him will be destroyed: nothing will remain of his work. (Retreat 1890: 59-61) 

248. Living in the Presence of God: 

It would be of a great advantage for us to become accustomed in our decisions not to be alone; to make our decisions not as an individual, as someone who is isolated, but to make our decisions with the help of God. With God’s inspiration all the actions of the day will become very good and even excellent because all of them arise from a dependence on God and are in unity with God. (Chapter may 16, 1894) 

249. Living in the Presence of God:

God must be included in everything we do: that will show us the right way and the right direction that our soul must follow. Turning toward God sanctifies all our actions. (Chapter may 16, 1894) 

250. On Being a Superior: 

The main stipulation to be a good superior is respect that should imbue all our dealings with our confreres, our students and all the souls entrusted to us. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

251. On Being a Superior: 

Love should not become weakness. If we must correct a confrere then we must do it with love, so that he can feel our sincere good will. What will be the result of that? Those around us will highly respect us and will obey and love us in response. People will trust us. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

252. On Being a Superior: 

In our time, the world will not allow itself to be ruled as it previously was. The world seems to have little or know respect for authority. It is sufficient to say the word authority to arouse all kinds of dissatisfaction and complaints from all sides. As a result, we must choose other ways. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

253. On Being a superior: 

When you were ordained a priest, and you received the honor of being a priest, it was said to you, you must preside, and you must lead. How are you to preside, to lead? You must lead the souls who entrusted to you. That means to stand above them and in front of them to see, to recognize, to judge, to support and to defend them. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

254. On the Practice of Love: 

The principle of love must guide all of our actions. (Chapter 1893: 32-33) 

255. On the Practice of Love: 

Love is the foundation of our special charism. Weren’t we founded so the Lord might be seen again walking on this earth? (Chapter 1895: 72-74

256. On the Practice of Love: 

The bond of love that should bind us all must be strong and all encompassing. It must really be the only bond. It must he the bond of perfection that is as strong as death and more permanent than anything you can conceive. (Chapter 1896: 57-57) 

257. On the Practice of Love: 

Let us make strong resolutions on the point of love. We all know how difficult it is to practice. (Chapter 1895: 72-74) 

258. On the Practice of Love: 

Love in your speech, love in your actions and love in your mutual relationships. Let us practice consideration and forgiveness! Let no bitterness exist among us. (Retreat 1894: 56-58) 

259. On the Practice of Love:

Let us practice fittingly negative love through which we abstain from evil and practice positive love in which we do good. (Chapter 1895: 72-74) 

260. On the Practice of Love: 

Instead of narrowing the boundaries of your love, let them always become wider and wider. You will earn God’s blessing by doing so. God blesses a loving heart. (Chapter 1895: 72-74) 

261. On the Practice of Love: 

We have but one heart! Let us remember that. God did not err in his creation. God put in every heart treasures of love and gentleness according to the vocation that they have embraced. This love must spring from the heart, spread out and be shared with others. That is the law of love. (Retreat 1897: 17) 

262. On the Practice of Love: 

We oblates of St. Francis de sales should practice brotherly love in a very special way. It is our special bond, our essential virtue. It must be our main virtue, our most noble religious act. Love must be our foundation. (Chapter 1895: 72-74) 

263. On the Practice of Love: 

The individual is not a machine. He does not belong to some regiment; he is not subjected to the whims of some low ranking officer, not even to a general. He is and remains in full possession of his will and energy. What he does, he does because he chooses to do it. He does so in full possession of his freedom. He hands over to authority freely his movements, his actions and his intentions. In his religious life, he is king. Who but yourself motivates you? Who watches you? Who is enslaving you? No one and nothing. (Chapter 1896: 65-67) 

264. On the Individual: 

Every individual represents something great. We may not destroy him or debase him. (Chapter 1893: 32-33) 

265. On the Individual: 

What is the value of an individual? What does he represent? What makes him in the last instance a human being? His interior, his cooperation with grace, his inner disposition, his intentions and his entire being make him human. The exterior depends essentially on the interior. Intelligence guides all human activity. It determines and prepares the means to achieve this or that goal. An individual is essentially an interior being and his entire exterior is the result of his interior thoughts and perceptions. (Chapter 1896: 60-61) 

266. On the Mass: 

Take to heart what I have said concerning the importance of holy Mass. It is the preparation for the offering on the cross of Golgotha and the synopsis of our entire religion. It must be the foundation of your religious life, the basis of your faith, the summary of your teachings and morals. (Chapter 1888: 24) 

267. On the Missions: 

Our missionaries must have a lasting personal influence on their surroundings. They must inspire reverence and trust. Otherwise, all their endeavors and actions will remain fruitless. Such deep reaching influence flows from their generous submission and faithfulness to their duties, especially the Directory. (Chapter 1888. 46) 

268. On the Missions: 

If one goes to the missions, then self-sanctification must be our greatest concern. If we go to a foreign land for this purpose - to help others to gain their redemption - this work must be so determinedly pursued that it becomes visible outside the pores of our very own ego. (Chapter 1888: 46) 

269. On our Co-workers: 

We should never underrate or disdain the value of those with whom we interact. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

270. On Courage: 

We should live by two great mottoes. First, whatever we do we must do it passionately. Second, let us be full of courage. (Retreat 1890: 59-61) 

271. On the Love of the Neighbor: 

The love of the neighbor goes hand in hand with the love of God. At the very least, it should follow close to it. The practice of brotherly love tears the soul from the earth and unites it in the most intimate way with God. Incomparable graces are associated with this virtue. The most valuable virtue of all is sanctity. (Chapter 1895: 72-74) 

272. On the Love of the Neighbor: 

If someone acts in a wrong way, it is not necessary because of love to say, or to think, that he was acting rightly. If he has done wrong perhaps, he has a wrong-headed way of looking at things. If he is acting out of a clearly evil will, let us not jump all over him and judge him. Here we see weakness and misery. Help him just as you would an unfortunate person, a poor man, a weak person. Help him as much as you can to come out of his misery. (Chapter 1895: 72-74) 

273. On the Love of the Neighbor: 

Each of us has his own way of viewing things, of thinking. This one or the other gets on our nerves. Associating with him is a real burden, or we have a natural antipathy towards him, his way of acting annoys us. He is becomes a stumbling block or an irritation: I cannot ignore my thoughts about him. I will whisper quietly in my heart, “My God, I will pay no attention to all this. That costs me a lot but it is for you!” (Chapter 1895: 72-74) 

274. On the Love of the Neighbor: 

Nothing corresponds with the spirit of St. Francis de Sales and attracts hearts faster than when we respect and accept the way the neighbor goes about his duties and his ideas. (Chapter 1896: 57-57) 

275. On the Love of the Neighbor: 

We should see our neighbor in god and god in our neighbor, with all his virtues and pluses. Our founder St. Francis de Sales taught in this way and loved in this fashion. (Chapter 1889: 39) 

276. On the Office of Superior: 

If there is for a religious, some pain involved in obeying a superior who has an incorrect or even false impression of him, what must he do? (Chapter 1893: 10-13) 

277. On the Office of Superior: 

The superior must love each of those around him. We must preserve love toward those over whom we are placed. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

278. On the Office of Superior: 

Superiors have a right to your love because they are your neighbor and they have more claims to your compassion and sympathy than others. (Retreat 1889: 35-38) 

279. On the Office of Superior: 

Love is a right of the superiors because they have an office that is not pleasant to fulfill. You must have sympathy for them. (Retreat 1889: 35-38) 

280. On the Office of Superior: 

One imagines that being a superior is easy. The burden is heavy. The superior must not only obey the rule himself but also bring others to obey it too. What really is present is not an individual superior but the rule itself. (Retreat 1889: 35-38) 

281. On the Office of Superior: 

Many imagine that the position of being superior raises one confrere over the other. That is false. Being superior means being a servant. The Holy Father is only “a servant of the servants of God.” That is true in the full extent of this expression. There is no religious who is as much a subject as the Pope is. (Retreat 1889: 35-38) 

282. On Being an Oblate: 

If it takes twenty or thirty years to become an Oblate, then that is not too long. The Good Mother told me that it could take as long as thirty years. Only with hard work on ourselves, fidelity to the Directory and genuine obedience in all the offices given us can we hope to succeed. I have said that seven or eight times and I will continue to say it. (Chapter 1893: 28-30) 

283. On Being an Oblate: 

The Oblate prays to put his affairs in order. As far as he does this, he is imitating the businessperson who prepares his day early in the morning. He considers what he should do, what he should avoid and what he will have to try out. If he feels himself prone to anger, he must deal with this fault so as not be guilty in the judgment of God. (Chapter April 25, 1894) 

284. On Being an Oblate: 

We should thoroughly understand that the life of an Oblate is more interior than exterior. The exterior acts and behaviors of each Oblate are regulated by his inner desire. An Oblate is according to his essence an interior man: a man of prayer and meditation. He lives in the presence of God to be of service to God. If he neglects his prayer life, he is no longer an interior man. He will never be able to fulfill his duties and will do everything wrong. (Chapter 1893: 28-30) 

285. On Being an Oblate: 

Water serves many purposes and for this reason, it should not have any unusual or noticeable taste. Nevertheless, it tastes good. People should say that say about us. He is an Oblate and just the same as other Oblates. That would be very good indeed. (Chapter 1888: 56) 

286.  On Being an Oblate:

The value of the congregation always lies in the amount of love you have for it. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

287. On Being an Oblate: 

A Jesuit is a Jesuit. An Oblate must be a total Oblate. An oblate may not be a Jesuit, a Capuchin or a man of the world. We must be something else. We belong to a family. We come from another spirit. We have different obligations. We are destined for other tasks. We have a special way of doing things. We have a special grace and so a special mission in the world. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

288. On Being an Oblate: 

An Oblate of St. Francis de Sales is an individual whom God has called to collaborate in his plans and to fulfill his will and good pleasure. We Oblates hand ourselves over fully without looking back into the hands of God in order to fulfill the divine will and its good pleasure. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

289. On Being an Oblate: 

An Oblate is in the truest sense not a monk but a human being. He submits himself without flagging to God in all his works and in his daily duties. He lives in the presence of God. (Chapter 27-28) 

290. On Being an Oblate: 

An Oblate must raise himself above himself. He must say, “I am nothing.” The word, the action of God is everything. God is everything that concerns the soul. If God works in mysterious ways, what concern is that to me? It is not my place to judge but to accept. (Retreat 1894: 56-58) 

291. On Being an Oblate: 

An Oblate should not be a machine, a spoke in a wheel or a steering mechanism. He is something total and absolute. He is not a part of the whole. (Chapter 1893: 24-26) 

292. On Being an Oblate: 

Your studies, the education of youth proceed from this principle: I am an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales. I must become that more and more. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

293. On Being an Oblate: 

We must not be indifferent toward the congregation and certainly not destructive. Let us give our heart and our love freely. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

294. On Being an Oblate: 

We must be happy that we are an Oblate of St. Francis de sales. We have a very special charism as I have told you a thousand times before. We have a special spiritual form. We have an incomparable gift from God. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

295. On Being an Oblate: 

I would like to compare the Jesuits with Arabian stallions and the Oblates with simple carriage horses. The comparison may wobble a bit. Carriage horses are good natured and alert animals that lack fire and energy. Arabian stallions on the other hand are fiery and lively. (Retreat 1896: 53)

296. On Being an Oblate: 

I must also live by the teachings of the Oblates and through this get closer to the souls of others. With this torch, I can illuminate and brighten everything in me and around me. I can warm everything with this fire: then the congregation will be something. Our own personalities are not weeping willows, which stand by the wayside. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

297. On Being an Oblate: 

I do not want to maintain that the Oblates are the crown of creation. I only dare to state: Oblates are different from all other religious. (Chapter 1893: 28-30) 

298. On Being an Oblate: 

I hope you will form an exact idea of religious life. Especially about religious life as practiced by the Oblates. Our life is not like that of other congregations. (Sermons 1895:21-22) 

299. On Being an Oblate: 

The worse the times are the better Oblates we must become. (Chapter 1891: 3) 

300. On Being an Oblate: 

An Oblate follows the will of God completely and totally in his actions. He acts according to the spirit of St. Francis de Sales. (Chapter 1893: 28-30) 

301. On Being an Oblate: 

None of us would dare to believe he is better than another Oblate. If we do have some value, it is not because of our personal service but because we are Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. (Chapter 1896: 2-7) 

302. On Being an Oblate: 

To make a correct judgment about an oblate of St. Francis de Sales we must see him as an individual who recognizes he is the property of God and gives himself to God. (Chapter 1893: 28-30) 

303. On Being an Oblate: 

What makes our congregation stand out is the same thing that attracts souls who seek God for the sake of God. Who will separate themselves from themselves to become a humble tool in the hands of God? (Chapter 1888: 45) 

304. On Being an Oblate: 

We have our Directory and our constitutions, which we are to observe. If we did that then the superiors and the novice master would have nothing else to do except look out for themselves. This means of following the rule by being faithful to our own personality confers great strength on us. (Chapter 1892: 27-28) 

305. On Being an Oblate: 

We do not act according to our feelings, our attractions, our passions and our moods. What guides us, what determines our Oblate life is rooted in our interior and unshakeable desire that we go to God in all things to fulfill his will and good pleasure. What characterizes an Oblate is exactly this inner desire to remain faithful to ourselves in the deepest part of our soul: that is our way, a way of the greatest freedom and independence. (Chapter 1896: 65-67) 

306. On Being an Oblate: 

We are certainly religious. We must remain human beings, too, and that more so than other people, because we - more than others - stand on our own. (Retreat 1894: 56-58) 

307. On Being an Oblate: 

We are not men like others, we are not jokesters the nobility of our vocation must be visible in all our acts and conduct. (Chapter 1888: 46) 

308. On Being an Oblate: 

We are oblates. We must never lose sight of that. Everything we do relies on that basis. We want to complete our works, save souls not because we are German, Austrian, French or Italian but because we are Oblates. Whatever a true Oblate of St. Francis de Sales says should have the same resonance and effect in all languages, in all countries and in the middle of all peoples who have different customs and habits. (Chapter 1896: 55-57) 

309. On Being an Oblate: 

We do not want to give the impression of being professional comics. We do not want to remove from the core of our being seriousness and dignity. That does not mean that we are to remove from our conversation all humor or levity. When we have a clever flash of wit, we can use it when the occasion presents itself. Nevertheless, in every case it should fall within the parameters of religious charity. (Chapter 1891: 5) 

310. On Being an Oblate: 

We should not just take a lively interest in what we are and what we have accomplish but should show an interest in everything which happens in the congregation. We should take its teachings and works to heart. (Retreat 1896: 30-33) 

311. On Being an Oblate: 

We do not hold ourselves up before the Lord, the absolute Lord of all things and circumstances. We are humble and obliging. We allow others precedence when we believe that we are acting correctly and are not contradicting a commandment of God or going against our own duties. (Chapter 1896: 50-54) 

312. On the Oblate Sisters: 

What is an Oblate Sister? She is nothing. She is like a small quill in the hand of the Lord. The Oblate Sister who is nothing looks on the Lord and says to him, “I love you.” The Lord God will answer her in the interior of her being, “I love you, too.” 

313. On the Oblates: 

The Church needs religious at all times. Individuals who want to bind themselves completely and totally to the salvation of souls. In all epochs, religious accomplished a considerable part of this work of the Church - of God - and therefore they have an important share in the results. (Retreat. 1893:1) 

314. On Vocations: 

The calling of others to the priesthood and to the religious life is an obligation of our state in life. The farmer does not expect the grain to ripen itself. He plows the field himself and sows the seed. If he were to wait for the earth to produce grain on its own, he would only get brambles and weeds. (Chapter 1893: 14-15) 

315. On Vocations: 

The best way to gain souls for our Oblate way of life is to let them sense and understand our ideals by our example. When we live like religious – indeed, good religious - we will attract souls like a magnet. (Chapter 1893: 53-54) 

316. On Vocations: 

God presents the gift of a vocation to a large number of individuals. A few notice the gift and make it their own. A large number, however, do not give it a second thought. The environment in which they grow up is not conducive. Everything around them and in them stands in direct contradiction to a dedicated life. What should I, a poor teacher, do about it? Pray, then your influence will bring forth fruit. Make the attempt and you will see what god will allot each of them from you. (Chapter 1893: 14-15

317. On Vocations: 

Do you know where vocations come from? What awakens them is the prayer of a good teacher and pious parents. They implore the good god for them. Offer your prayers and sacrifices up for this intention. God will hear you. The child will receive the gifts of grace that your prayers have brought about. Good pastors proceed in the following way: during religious instruction, they notice a young boy, they pray for him, they form his soul and prepare him for the priesthood. That is the case of over three fourths of all the vocations in seminaries. Each of us must make it his task to foster vocations, whether teacher, study-hall moderator or catechist. (Chapter 1893:14-15) 

318. On Vocations: 

Why is there a lack of vocations to the Oblates? We must all understand that the main cause for that is ourselves. We have not observed the commandment of brotherly love toward each other seriously enough. It is true enough that we have not torn each other to pieces, but how many little attacks, how many malicious judgments, how many evil criticisms could we identify? These things stand in flagrant contradiction to the spirit of our order. That has scandalized more than one and driven them from us. (Chapter 1893: 57-58) 

319. On Vocations: 

We can count among the duties that we are to fulfill with fidelity, the need to care for vocations. It requires our prayers so the master will send workers into his vineyard. A religious who neglects this prayer, fails against an essential duty of his state in life. (Chapter 1893: 53-54) 

320. On Religious life: 

The work of a genuine religious is like a reliquary that produces graces. (Chapter 1888: 50) 

321. On Religious life: 

Whoever is looking for rest and avoiding sacrifice should not enter the religious life. (Chapter 1888:50) 

322. On Preaching: 

The Word in today’s world has almost no effect. People do not pay much attention anymore to the Word because they do not see people practicing it. Only good example remains. Therefore, the words of the Good Mother are true. People must see in you the Savior walking on the earth again. (Chapter 1891: 5) 

323. On Preaching: 

A priest is not a parrot. If we preach a memorized educated sermon, we are like parrots. We leave hearts cold and our words swagger away useless. Nevertheless, if our words come from the deep recesses of our hearts, from our own treasury then something of our heart captivates. Our words have life in them and awaken life in others. Something personal is contained in that and God works in union with us. (Chapter 1888: 25) 

324. On Preaching: 

I remember a famous preacher who was invited to preach during Lent. He had prepared 20 sermons. He fumed and raged in the pulpit with what he had to offer, he shook out all over the people in the pews. However, he really spoke directly to no one who was sitting there. He was five meters above them and never came down to their level. 

325. On Trials: 

Just like a storm shaken tree that drives its roots farther into the ground, so trials can strengthen us. (Chapter 1888: 7) 

326. On the Practice of Gentleness: 

We must always go about with gentleness and frankness together. This spirit disarms our opponent because they can find no place to attack. (Chapter 1896: 50-54) 

327. On the Practice of Gentleness:

When someone angers us and puts our patience to the test, let us accept it with gentleness. Let us approach each other with complaisance and speak of each other with respect. (Retreat 1894: 56-58) 

328. On the Constitutions: 

In every point of our Constitutions, we find a breath and spark of life. A ray of divine truth and divine life is contained there. (Chapter 1897: 42-44) 

329. On Creation: 

Do you know why I made this clock? Because it mirrors an image of what God has created. The more perfect a clock works, the more it resembles the creation of God. The movement of the earth and the stars determine and accompany our lives. The clock continues to tick until that hour comes in which we leave this world and go to God where time no longer exists. I liked working on the clock. That is very interesting for me and I find God again in it. 

330. On the Care of Souls: 

The Church does not oppose industrialization, civilization, electricity, steam power or the railroad. She even lends helpful hand to it when she sees a use in it. Together with the Church, we need to recognize there is an eternal give and take even into accidental events of life and above all in the fortunes of life. (Sermons: 1892: 80-83) 

331. On the Care of Souls: 

We lead souls to God when we go to meet them where they are. (Chapter 1896: 10-13) 

332. On the Care of Souls: 

It is of greatest importance that we are all on the same page when we take care of souls. We may not proceed according to our own insights or taste. Otherwise, we will not grow together into a religious community. Moreover, we would do better to go our individual ways to realize our own ideas. (Chapter 1888: 47) 

333. On the Care of Souls: 

Let us make a firm resolution to treat everyone in every situation of life with respect and reverence, to grab by the arms all those souls who have been entrusted to us with all our strength that they may use all means available to them to correspond faithfully to the divine good. (Chapter 1888: 37) 

334. On the Care of Souls: 

I must be careful and not become a fireplace damper or a candle extinguisher that puts out the divine light, the Holy Spirit, in souls. (Chapter 1897: 48-50) 

335. On the Care of Souls: 

You should not say to souls, “Come over here. I am waiting for you.” Rather take the first step toward them. (Chapter 1896: 10-14) 

336. On the Care of Souls: 

When guiding the faithful, let all the Oblates be attentive to re-teaching the meaning of holy Mass. You must teach them how to attend it devoutly. You must bring the faithful to the point where they have a special devotion to holy mass and a rock-strong trust in it. (Chapter 1888: 22) 

337. On the Care of Souls: 

In pastoral ministry, we are not acting in our own interest but lending God our help to effect what he wants. (Chapter 1888: 47) 

338. On the Care of Souls: 

We will not create anything lasting through external methods but rather through the purity of our motives, faithfulness to our duties and the directory. We will not produce fruit through loud noise and busyness. We will be strong and successful only then when we remain bound with our whole heart through faithfulness to his grace. The kingdom of God is in you. (Chapter 1888: 36) 

339. On the Care of Souls:

Let us open up the understanding of people to the fact that in every life situation, in every stroke of fate they can achieve holiness. Share with them with this life giving instruction, then the deep sense of the divine good pleasure will enter into them and they will go on their way with great happiness and deep courage. (Chapter 1888: 36) 

340. On the Care of Souls: 

Do not begin with strife but on good terms. (Chapter 1896: 10-13) 

341. On the Care of Souls: 

Let us prefer the method of the Gospels. Our Lord goes out to the people and does not wait until they come to him on their own. (Chapter 1896: 10-13) 

342. On the Care of Souls: 

Those who are holy have much more success with souls than those who are indifferent or of average piety. However good the person is, so is his effect. Do not have any illusions about that. (Retreat 1892: 33-35) 

343. On Self-renunciation: 

Does it mean there is no sacrifice when you give up you own will? That costs more than begging for bread or fasting until two o’clock in the afternoon. There is no sacrifice or self-abnegation that compares with the unbroken offering of one’s own will. It is one difficult thing - a martyrdom suffered for God - to deny oneself, and to renounce oneself at every moment. Let us practice it because on it the strength of the congregation relies and from it springs its inner force. (Chapter 1896: 50-54) 

344. On Self-renunciation: 

At every possible opportunity, we should offer everything in our character and in our judgment, in our inclinations, in our emotions. We should avoid anything that could interfere with or disturb the care of souls. (Chapter 1896: 50-54) 

345. On Pride: 

Let us not act as though we possessed all knowledge, every ability, experience and cleverness as part of our inheritance. That is simply false and would be ridiculous. (Chapter 1896: 57-57) 

346. On Pride: 

If we are not careful, we can come to think that our idea and habits are the best in the world. (Chapter 1896: 57-57) 

347. On Our Talents: 

We may not throw the gifts of God away. We must use them to produce good fruit. (Chapter 1896: 8-10) 

348. On the Practice of Fidelity:

 In a clock there are wheels that only turn slowly and on some days only make one cycle, but even they must not fail because they have their part to play in the general movement of the clock. Each of us in his own small work area, in his struggles must remain resolutely faithful. Then we will accomplish God’s work. (Chapter 1888: 15) 

349. On the Practice of Virtues: 

It takes a strong soul to practice humility, gentleness and love. Often, that means giving up your own interests and insights. You must step aside so others can proceed. (Chapter 1897: 45-48) 

350. On the Practice of Virtues: 

Once there lived a good and holy professor of theology, Mr. Godot. He was certainly very hard working and possessed real virtue. However, Mr. Godot was not Salesian. When he was meditating, he did not want to be disturbed but his housekeeper, Jeannette, did so one day. ”Jeannette, do not bother me,” he cried. She spoke to him a second time. “Jeannette, you are getting on my nerves,” he declared. She tried yet a third time. “Jeanette, you are really bothering me,” he shouted. She tried a fourth time and received a gentle slap on the cheek: that was the spiritual bouquet from the meditation of Mr. Godot on patience and gentleness. (Chapter 1897: 45-48) 

351. On Trust: 

I have often said that we must stay resolute. We must stand fast and have trust. It does not depend on whether we have accomplished great things, but rather, that we have great patience, great hope and great expectations. (Chapter 1891:7) 

352. On the Preparation of the Day: 

According to Francis de Sales, the preparation of the day is not simply a preparation. We must do it with love and affection. Without love this preparation would become an all too human an act, but with love, it becomes a prayer. (Chapter: April 25, 1894) 

353. On the Preparation of the Day: 

When your preparation of the day - what you are to do, what you are to say - is well prepared with god then you have preformed a good act. Without hesitating say and do what is necessary. It is the immediate consequence of you prayer. (Chapter: may 16, 1894) 

354. On the Truth: 

What is evil is evil and can never be good. (Retreat 1887: 17-20) 

355. On “The Way:”

 This is “The Way,” as the Good Mother understood it. It is clear, positive and practical. You acquire it through reverence and imitation of the Lord. We acknowledge it as clear that we are to cherish fidelity and love for the person of the Redeemer. We are to live in a unity of heart and behavior with him. (Retreat 1900: 73) 

356. On “The Way:” 

“The Way” is the fidelity with which we walk in the company of Jesus, allowing him to live again in us and imitating him in all things. The way is loving obedience in all our duties. It is walking the path of grace. It is fidelity to our Directory, to the Direction of Intention. (Retreat 1900: 73) 

357. On “The Way:” 

The correct definition of “The Way” is union with God, the union of the will and of the heart: the willingness to accept what God wants and gives. Love the good pleasure of God in all he sends and allows. (Retreat 1891: 1-6) 

358. On “The Way:” 

What is the true definition of the expression, “The Way?” It is simply the union of our will with the will of God, the unity of our heart with his. We must unite our entire being with the Lord by our behavior, by our decisions, emotions and affections. (Retreat 1891: 1-60) 

359. On “The Way:” 

What did the Good Mother understand by “The Way”? She described it as a state of the soul that consists in uniting ourselves to the will of God in everything good. We receive everything that God sends or allows as something good. This is what imitating the life of the Savior is about. (Louis Brisson, vie de vénérée Mère Marie de sales Chappuis, 419-423) 

360. On “The Way:” 

How should an oblate explain the practice of “The Way” of the Good mother? Certainly, we can see in it the love and unending mercy of God, a new intimate grace. I hope rather that we see the expectation, which God expects from us in relation to this grace. Above all, let s see in it our desire to imitate the Lord: “I am the way. No one comes to the Father without me.” (John: 14:6) (Retreat 1900:73)

361. On the Will of God: 

Let us strive to accept the adorable will of god with the same readiness, to embrace him with the same love and to submerge our will into his good pleasure so that we first practice in ourselves what we want others to practice. We will achieve great things, if we do. (Chapter 1891: 3) 

362. On the Will of God: 

This is our reward: the certainty that God is with us and works with us. We must fulfill his holy will and his good pleasure: that is possibly the best and highest reward. We are to do God’s divine will everywhere, always and without reservation. (Sermons 1890: or 1891: 27-28) 

363. On the Will of God: 

This is our main spring; this is what makes us tick. Let us remain every minute in the hands of God. We are to bind ourselves to his holy will. Let us will what God wants! (Chapter 1893: 27-28) 

364. On the Will of God: 

The will of God is our law of gravity. Just as the law of gravity effects all objects – and supernatural things have similarity with natural things - so the force of attraction of the divine will produces effects in everything and over everything. (Chapter 1888: 45) 

365. On the Will of God: 

Let us ask, “Is this you will, Lord? Then I want it, too! My entire pride struggles against that. However, Lord, I submit everything to you. I make myself your slave; o, not your slave, but a friend of your heart. God speaks to me. I receive a blessing this way and you help me to receive it.” (Chapter 1893: 30-31) 

366. On the Will of God: 

Let us learn to go toward the will of God unceasingly. (Chapter 1888: 42)