March 1
The obligations that we have toward the Eternal Father for creation, we have likewise toward Jesus Christ, Who, by the redemption, has acquired every right of sovereignty over all redeemed creatures. Let us, therefore, exclaim and say to Jesus, "Yes, my God and my King, reign over my soul, my heart and my will; possess all my faculties and submit them entirely to the sceptre of obedience." (Meditations for Solitude, p. 50)

March 2
Recall to mind how long it is since you began to sin; note how greatly sins have multiplied in your heart since that first beginning and how every day you have increased them against God, yourself and your neighbor by deed, word, desire and thought. Consider your evil inclinations, and how often you have given way to them. By these two points you will discover that your sins are more numerous than the sands of the sea. Cast yourself at the feet of the Lord and say to Him, "Lord, with the help of your grace, I will never again abandon myself to sin." (INT. Part I, Ch. 12; O. III, p. 41)

March 3
We must accommodate our heart to the condition of life in which we are, because life goes quickly and we are mortal, and death follows no set rules. It chooses here and there, without any pattern of selection and without method, taking the good and the bad, the young and the old. Happy are those who live in continual, vigilant watch! (Letters 132; O. XVIII, p. 25)

March 4
Watch the bees on the thyme; they find a very bitter juice, but, by sucking it, convert it into honey. O worldly people! At times devout souls encounter great bitterness in their works of mortification, but by performing them they change them into something most sweet and delicious. Because the martyrs were devout men and women, fire, flame, wheel and sword seemed to be flowers and perfume to them. If devotion can sweeten the most cruel torments and even death itself, what must it do for virtuous actions? (INT. Part I, Ch. 2; O. III, p. 117)

March 5
Do not limit your patience to putting up with only some kinds of injuries or afflictions, but accept all those which God sends you or lets happen to you. There are some who want to put up with only honorable afflictions, such as being wounded at war, persecuted for the faith or the like. These people love tribulations only because of the honor that goes with them. (INT. Part III, Ch. 3; O. III, p. 134)

March 6
Do not get upset about the dryness and coldness you are suffering; be consoled in the depths of your heart, remembering the words of our Lord, "How blest are the poor in spirit...Blest are they who hunger and thirst for holiness..." [Mt. 5:3-6] How happy you should be to serve God in the desert, without manna and without water, consoled only by the fact that He is guiding you and you are suffering for Him. (Letters 1986; O. XXI, p. 25)

March 7
How dangerous sin is, be it ever so small and slight! See that you do not loiter by the wayside, but always keep on walking straight ahead. During this mortal life it is impossible to remain long in one state, and the person who does not go ahead tends to slip back. Keep on the watch against venial sin, since, neglecting the help of grace even once, we leave ourselves open to commit the same sin again; and with the multiplication of venial sins we dispose ourselves to commit mortal sins. (Sermons 58; O. X, p. 259)

March 8
There is no need to get upset if we find that we are not on equally friendly terms with everyone, provided we love our neighbor cordially, with real affection, as the Lord has commanded us, preferring the other person always and in everything above ourselves, according to the order of holy charity, and never refusing to do anything we can for him or her. We must be prepared to do everything for our neighbor except damn ourselves! (Spiritual Treatises IV; O. VI, pp. 60-61)

March 9
Do not pay any attention to the kind of work you do, but rather to the honor that it brings to God, even though it may seem quite trivial. Desire only to do the Divine Will, following Divine Providence, which is the disposition of Divine Wisdom. In a word, if your works are pleasing to God and recognized as such, that is all that matters. Work hard every day at increasing your purity of heart, which consists in appraising things and weighing them in the balance of God's will. (Letters 280; O. XIII, p. 53)

March 10
The greatest fault we commit in our prayers, in our occupations and in our setbacks is the lack of confidence in God. This is the reason why we fail to receive from the Divine Goodness the help we deserve and ask for. (Sermons 56; O. X, p. 225)

March 11
Often during the day, even while outwardly engaged in conversations and business with others, remember to retire to the solitude of your heart to be with God. This mental solitude cannot be in any way impeded, even if many people stand about you, since they surround, not your heart, but only your body. Your heart remains alone in the presence of God. (INT. Part II, Ch. 12; O. III, p. 92)

March 12
Live humbly, gently and lovingly with your divine Spouse. Do not be worried, but put behind you the memory of your small failings by confessing them. As we fail so often without realizing it, so we also rise again without realizing it. It is said that the just person falls seven times, not that he sees or feels the fall. Even if he falls seven times seven without realizing it, he also rises. Do not be too worried about this, but with frankness and humility say to your confessor what you remember, leaving everything else to the gentle mercy of God. He puts His hand under those who fall without malice, provided they do no harm and do not remain wounded. He raises and heals them so quietly that they do not even realize that they have fallen, because the divine hand has caught them. They fail to realize what has happened because God's help came so quickly that they did not even have time to notice it. (Letters 1382; O. XVIII, p. 136)

March 13
We have two lives; the first is according to the "old man" with the faults, weaknesses and infirmities inherited from our father Adam. Therefore we live in the sin of Adam, and ours is a mortal life, more like death than life. In the second life we live according to the "new man"; namely, according to the graces, favors and will of the Savior. As a consequence, we live in the redemption, for eternal salvation. This new life is a loving, full and sanctifying one. Everyone who wishes to live according to this new life must pass through the death of the old life, crucifying his flesh with all its evil appetites. (Letters Book 1, Ch. 7; O. V, pp. 31-32)

March 14
Do not love anything too much, I beg you, not even virtues, for by loving them too much we run the risk of losing them. Be what you are and do it well, to honor the Artificer who has made you...Be what God wants..., Provided that you belong to him totally. Do not try to be what you want to be, contrary to God's will. Even if we were the most excellent creatures in the world, of what use would this be if we are not living according to the will of God? (Letters 289; O. XIII, p. 53)

March 15
We should approach holy prayer purely and simply to do our duty and give witness to our fidelity. If it pleases His Divine Majesty to speak to us and aid us by His holy inspirations and interior consolations, it is certainly a great honor and the sweetest of delights. But if it does not please God to give us this grace, ignoring us as if He did no see us or as if we were not in His presence, we must not leave on that account but remain there devotedly and peacefully. The Lord will infallibly be pleased with our patience and note our diligence and perseverance, so that when we come before Him again He will favor us with His consolations and enable us to taste the delights of deep prayer. (INT. Part II, Ch. 9; O. III, p. 87)

March 16
Our intellect is ordinarily full of ideas, opinions and considerations suggested by self-love. This is the root of many conflicts within the soul, putting before us all sorts of reasons dictated by human prudence to justify our pretensions. People who make use of this false prudence, instead of enlightening their intellect, obscure it. They reject advice given to them and let those reasons prevail in their minds which support their own opinions, even wrong ones. Make use of the virtue of prudence because it is good, but make good use of it. Employ it only rarely, with simplicity, and solely for the glory of God. (Sermons 30; O. IX, pp. 297-298)

March 17
A will resigned to God's will should have no other desire but to simply live out that Divine Will. As a person who is traveling on a ship does not move along by his own efforts but lets himself be carried along by the ship, so likewise a heart that is embarked on the divine good pleasure should have no other will but that of permitting itself to be led by God's will. In such a case, the heart no longer says, "... Not my will but yours be done," [Lk 22:42] for there is no will to renounce. It simply says, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." [Lk 23:46] (T.L.G. Book 9, Ch. 13; O. V, pp. 150-151)

March 18
Lent is the autumn of the spiritual life during which we gather fruit to keep us going for the rest of the year. Enrich yourselves with these treasures, which nobody can take away from you and which cannot be destroyed. I am accustomed to say that we will not spend Lent well unless we are determined to make the most of it. Let us, therefore, spend this Lent as if it were our last, and we will make it well. Listen to the sermons, because holy words are pearls; they are ships of infinite mercy - the true ocean of the East. (Letters 329; O. XIII, p. 144)

March 19
Thinking of the grandeur of Saint Joseph, consider the words, "Lord, look with favorable eyes on the good and upright of heart." [cf. Ps 36:11] I would like to say a few words about this saint whom we love so much because he has cultivated love in every heart. My God, how good and upright this great saint must have been if the Lord gave him the lofty privilege of being entrusted with His mother and His Son! With these two responsibilities, he could have been envied by the angels. Could anyone in all heaven possess any greater privilege than this? Who is there among the angels who could be compared with the queen of angels? And who can compare with the Son of God Himself? Yet Saint Joseph was closer to them than anyone else. (Letters 671; O. XV, p. 33)

March 20
To receive Holy Communion every week we must be free of mortal sin and have no affection for venial sin. We should also have a great desire to go to Communion. To go to Communion every day it is necessary, in addition, that we have overcome most of our evil inclinations and that we have consulted our spiritual director. (INT. Part II, Ch. 20; O. III, p. 118)

March 21
The means necessary to build a spiritual edifice and acquire the precious pearl of perfection is the entire renunciation of ourselves and our own will - nothing else. This involves breaking away from all our evil inclinations and aversions. In fact, it is absolutely certain that perfection can be attained in no other way. (Sermons II; O. IX, p. 82)

March 22
So you want to know the best time to serve the Lord? It is the present time, which is in your possession here and now. The past is no longer yours; the future has not come yet and is uncertain. The best time is really the present, which you should spend in serving God. If you want to recover lost time, do your best, with fervor and diligence, in the time that still remains to you. (Sermons 16; O. IX, p. 132)

March 23
There is no need to fear that knowledge of the gifts that God has given us will make us proud, so long as we remember that none of the good in us comes from ourselves. Do mules cease to be dull, disguising beasts because they are carrying the precious belongings and perfumes of a prince? What good do we possess that we have not received? And if we received it, why do we glory in it? On the contrary, a lively consideration of the graces we have received makes us humble, because knowledge of them causes us to be grateful. (INT. Part III, Ch. 5; O. III, p. 346)

March 24
Live totally united to God and in Him alone, because life separated from Him is nothing but death! You do well not to influence your daughter's will; it is solely the work of the Holy Spirit to send good inspirations according to His own pleasure. On my part, I still have some hope and good indications that He will make her totally and perfectly His own. I do not doubt that she will obtain sufficient help to discover the truth, seeing that she seems marked for divine favor. (Letters 1090; O. XVII, p. 10)

March 25
Think for a moment of the piety of the Madonna when the angel told her that the Spirit would overshadow her. What sentiments of humility, confidence and courage! At the very moment when she understood that God had given her His heart, that is, His Son, she gave herself to God. Her soul was flooded with charity, so she could say with the sacred spouse, "...My heart trembled within me, and I grew faint when he spoke." [Sg:5:4] As far as we are concerned, we receive a similar grace in Communion, because not an angel but Jesus Christ Himself assures us that in it the Holy Spirit descends on us. Heavenly power covers us with its shadow and the Son of God really comes to us. He can say that He is conceived and born in us. Truly then, the soul can respond with the Madonna, "I am the servant of the Lord; let is be done to me as you say." [Lk 1:38] (Spiritual Directory, Art. 12)

March 26
Oh, contemplate how Jesus Christ our Savior, at the moment of His Incarnation, took us all without exception on His shoulders, because from that moment He accepted the task of redeeming us by His death on the cross! The Redeemer's soul knew all of us by name, above all on the day of His passion, when He offered His tears, His prayers, His blood and His life for all, and addressed His Eternal Father on our behalf with this loving aspiration: "Father, I take upon myself all the sins of poor Theotimus. I am ready to undergo torment and death so that he may be freed." O supreme love of the heart of Jesus! What heart can ever bless You as devoutly as it ought? (T.L.G. Book 12, Ch. 12; O. V, p. 344)

March 27
If at times it seems that the Lord is not listening to us, we must be careful not to lose heart. It may be that He wants us to shout a little louder into the ears of His goodness, to prove as a result the greatness of His mercy ... When the Lord withdraws His consolations in prayer, He does not do this to discourage us or create a gulf between us, but to force us to come closer to His goodness, to practice perseverance and to give some proof of our patience. (Sermons 58; O. X, p. 229)

March 28
It is better to learn to live without anger than to try to employ it wisely and moderately. When, through imperfection of weakness, we find ourselves victims of this passion, it is better to drive it away quickly than to start entertaining it. Once we start dallying with it, we let it take control ... So we must immediately gather all our forces and cry out to God with gentleness, "Have pity on me." (INT. Part III, Ch. 8; O. III, p. 164)

March 29
Observe how kind Divine Providence is to us! God encourages us to have confidence in Him. A son will never perish while he is in the arms of his Almighty Father. If God does not always give us what we ask, He only does this to keep us near Him. He wants us to ask Him for help, storming heaven with a loving violence. He is kind and merciful. As soon as we submit ourselves to His will, He immediately grants our wishes. (Letters 1513; O. XVIII, p. 369)

March 30
Holy detachment is one of the virtues which Our Lord Jesus Christ spread abroad with a delightful scent. It was a lovely flower in His most holy passion. It is the most excellent of virtues because it shares in the firmness of charity, in the perfume of humiliy, in the merit of patience and in the fruit of perseverance. Great is this virtue, worthy of being practiced by all the children of God. (Sermons 29; O. IX, p. 283)

March 31
If we have a taste for divine things, worldly things will no longer excite our appetite. How can it be possible, after having considered the goodness, the stability and the eternity of God, to have a heart in love with the vanities of this world? We must put up with the vanity of the world, but we must love only the truth of God. (Letters 439; O. XIII, p. 382) 

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