November 1
Conduct and hold your spirit fast to the glorious paths of the heavenly Jerusalem, where from every side you hear the praises of God resounding. Look at the variety of saints and find out how they arrived at Heaven. You will learn that the apostles go there especially through love, the martyrs through their constancy, the doctors through meditation, the confessors through mortification, the virgins through purity of heart, but all of them through humility. (Letters 1715; O. XIX, pp. 360-361) 

November 2
Souls who are in Purgatory are there because of their sins, sins that they now supremely detest. But as for abjection and pain at being detained in that place and at being temporarily deprived of enjoying the blessed love that is paradise, they suffer it lovingly and devoutly according to the canticle of divine justice, "Righteous and true are Your ways..." [Rv 15:3] Therefore, let us patiently wait for our spiritual growth, and instead of disturbing ourselves because we have made so little progress in the past, let us diligently strive to do better in the future. (T.L.G. Book 9, Ch. 7; O. V, p. 131) 

November 3
Follow the example of Saint Bernard and repeat those well-known words of his: "What is your mission in this life? What does God want from you?" Then abandon yourself totally to His Divine Will. Let Him carry out His plan in you. Let Him dispose of you as He wishes without any reserve whatever! Have a sincere devotion to the holy virgin and to your guardian angel. Finally, remind yourself that, as a superior, you need more humility to command than to obey! Be careful not to be too meticulous in all that you have to do. Only have the right intention to act for the love of God and for His honor and glory! Keep strictly to this resolution; never desire to do anything that is not for God or which could be viewed with displeasure by Him. (Letters 40; O. XXVI, p. 344) 

November 4
When Saint Charles was dying he had the picture of the dead Christ brought to him, so that he could die happily in the thought of his Savior's death. And this is really the remedy for all those who fear death: to think often of Him Who is our life, and never to think of one without the other. (Letters 512; O. XIV, pp. 119-120) 

November 5
We are like stags on which powerful princes have placed collars bearing their coat of arms. Even after they have been let out and set free in the forest, whoever comes upon them must recognize them as having once belonged to this prince...God has put a desire for Himself in our souls, and this is a sign that we belong to Him. He has reserved the right to bring us back again to Himself and to save us according as His sweet and holy Providence shall dictate. (T.L.G. Book 1, Ch. 18; O. IV, pp. 84-85)

November 6
Desire to be what you are and to be good at what you are; all your thoughts should be directed to perfecting yourself in this. Be ready to carry all the crosses you will be asked to bear in the process. Believe me, it is a great secret, but one that is least understood in the spiritual life, because everyone loves to do his own thing and few want to live according to the plan and wishes of Our Lord. (Letters 400; O. XIII, p. 291) 

November 7
Look often with your inward eyes on Jesus crucified; think of the torments the martyrs endured and those so many people now endure that are incomparably more grievous than yours, and say: "Alas! Are not my hardships consolations and my thorns roses in comparison with those who without help, assistance or relief, live a continual death under the burden of afflictions infinitely greater than mine?" (INT. Part III, Ch. 3; O. III, p. 130)

November 8
It still remains to us to specify the conditions necessary to pray well. I know that the old masters of the Spirit specified several when they were dealing with this subject--some fifteen, some eight, etc. But since those numbers seem to be excessive, I will be content to mention only three. The first is that we must be little and humble, the second, that we must have a goodly supply of hope; and the third is to keep our minds fixed on Jesus Christ crucified. (Sermons 8; O. IX, p. 53) 

November 9
God's will lies in exercising restraint amid consolations and in practicing patience in tribulations. Hearts that are resigned prefer the second because it contains more of God's will. To sum up, God's good pleasure is the supreme object of the soul. Wherever it sees it, it runs after it. It always searches for the place where there is more of it, without any other consideration. This soul is led on by God's will as by a beloved chain, and wherever His will goes, the soul follows. Yes, it would prefer hell to paradise if it knew that it would find a little more of God's good pleasure in hell than in Heaven. (T.L.G. Book 9, Ch. 4; O. V, pp. 121-122)

November 10
If we want to be saved, we must cling to the cross of our Savior, meditate upon it frequently and carry in us its mortification, there being no other path to Heaven. Our Lord was the first to tread it; so have as many ecstasies and raptures as you like... but if with these you do not remain attached to the cross and they do not help you to practice mortification, I tell you quite clearly that all this is vanity. Indeed, there is no other path nor any other gate through which you can enter Heaven except that of humility and mortification. (Sermons 38; O. IX, p. 412) 

November 11
Do not be surprised at having distractions or at being cold and weary at prayer, as these are the effects of the sensitive and emotional part of our being and of the heart, over which we have little control. For this we should not give up going to Holy Communion, because no one can better recollect our spirit than its King; nothing can better warm it than the Sun; nothing can better sweeten it than such balm. (Letters 1382; O. XVIII, pp. 135-136) 

November 12
It is the evil spirit, deprived forever of sacred love, who would like to stop us from enjoying the fruits of that which the Holy Spirit wants us to practice. In holy relations between us, we find a means of more perfectly carrying out the heavenly will. (Letters 1519; O. XVIII, pp. 378-379) 

November 13
One of the most important lessons for the spiritual life is that we must try to maintain unaltered evenness of spirit. We need to remain constantly fixed in our desire to seek God alone, no matter if everything within us and around us is confused. Our heart must unceasingly lean on the love of God, its Creator, whether our soul is overwhelmed with sorrow or with joy, with peace or anxiety, with temptation or with repose. (INT. Part 4, Ch. 13; O. III, pp. 316-317) 

November 14
Let us set out to practice certain virtues that are adapted to our weakness and that have more to do with descending than climbing. They are patience, tolerance, the service of others, humility, gentleness of soul, affinity, putting up with one's imperfections and similar small virtues. I do no say, of course, that at times it is not a good things to elevate ourselves by means of prayers, but this must be done slowly, slowly. (Letters 190; O. XII, p. 205) 

November 15
We have no way of knowing whether the good which animates us at present will last for all our life. There is reason to doubt this, as nothing is so weak and subject to change as our will. However, we should not get unduly upset about all this but often present our will to the Lord, placing everything in His hands. Certainly He will keep renewing it as many times as is necessary for the course of our mortal life. (Sermons 61; O. X, p. 310) 

November 16
Happy are those whom God can direct as He wishes and who are submissive to His will, whether it be in time of tribulation or of consolation. However, the true servants of God have more love for the path of adversity as being more conformable to that of our Head. In fact, Christ did not want to work out our salvation and His glory except by means of the cross and opprobrium...and it is along this path that He has always led His greatest and dearest servants. (Letters 1999;O. XXI, p. 41) 

November 17
The small crosses of obedience, affability and docility in following the will of someone else, especially that of superiors, have great value, as the wonderful example of the saint we honor today shows. Because she looked so pale, Saint Gertrude was treated more delicately than the others by the superior of the convent, who do not allow her to practice the austerities of religious life. What do you think the holy woman did then to become a saint? Nothing else but submit her will to the abbess. Although her piety urged her to do more and suffer more, she never expressed this. She acquired such a spirit of peace and tranquility that the Lord revealed to Saint Matilda, her companion, "If anyone wants to find Me on this earth, let him first see Me in the Blessed Sacrament and then in the heart of Gertrude." In fact, in the heart of this great saint there did not exist even a shadow of her own will; therefore, God willingly took delight in possessing it. Obedience is the salt that gives taste and flavor to all our actions and renders them meritorious for eternal life. (Spiritual Treatises XV; O. VI, pp. 273-274)

November 18
Keep correcting some fault in yourself, but do not do this through coercion but through love, just as those who delight in going camping bring with them trees from their own garden. Without doubt the Lord will supply what is missing to keep you close to Him, so long as for your part you love Him alone and seek to follow Him alone. (Letters 837; O. XV, pp. 319-320) 

November 19
Let us make a firm decision to serve God with all our heart and with all our life, but let us not worry about tomorrow. Let us concentrate on doing good today. When tomorrow comes, it will also be called today, and so we will have to think of it as such. In all this, however, it is necessary to have great confidence and resignation in the Providence of God. We must provide ourselves with manna for today and nothing more. We must have no doubts; God will make it rain tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and so on, for all the days of our life. (Letters 190; O. XII, pp. 205-206) 

November 20
In the course of this our earthly pilgrimage, the Lord leads us in His ways; either He gives us His hand to have us walk with Him or He carries us in the arms of His Divine Providence. He holds us by the hand when He enables us to walk by the exercise of virtue; if He did not, we would not be able to walk at all on this blessed way. There is plenty of evidence that those who let go of His fatherly hand cannot take one step without falling and hitting their nose on the ground! Without doubt the good God wants to lead us, wants to help us on our way, but also wants us to do our part by taking small steps in cooperation with His grace. (Sermons 16; O. IX, pp. 133-134) 

November 21
The greatest happiness of the glorious virgin derives, as a privilege, from her being perfectly obedient to God, not only in the observance of the divine commandments and the manifest will of God, but also in the execution of divine aspirations. Imitate her in this; it will be easy to do so if you have the intention of pleasing God and being acceptable to Him. (Sermons 26; O. IX, p. 138) 

November 22
It is often we ourselves who are the cause of our own sterile, arid state. God holds back consolations from us when we have a foolish complacency in them. He departs from us as a punishment for our laziness when we are negligent in seizing the opportune time to make use of the richness and delights of divine love. The heavenly Spouse knocks at the door of our heart and urges us to take up our spiritual exercises once more, but we do not wish to have anything to do with Him because it costs us too much to give up our vain occupations and separate ourselves from false pleasures. Then He passes us by and leaves us to our own devices. When we desperately go searching for Him, we have no one to blame except ourselves. (INT. Part IV, Ch. 14; O. III, p. 326) 

November 23
Above everything else, you must procure tranquility of spirit, not only because it is the mother of contentment but because it is the daughter of the love of God. Occasions to practice this virtue crop up daily; wherever we are, we will never be free of contradictions, and when they do not come from others we initiate them ourselves. Oh, how holy and pleasing in the eyes of the Lord we will be if only we know how to make good use of the occasions of mortifying ourselves, using all that our vocation presents us with! (Letters 469; O. XIV, p. 53) 

November 24
It is not enough to say, "I want to save my soul." It is not enough to say, "I want to embrace the means suitable to arrive at eternal salvation." With absolute resolve we must will and embrace the graces God presents to us. God gives us the means of salvation; we must receive them just as we must desire salvation as God desires it for us and because His will desires it. (T.L.G. Book 8, Ch. 4; O. V, p. 70) 

November 25
This life is short but is very valuable, for by means of it we are able to acquire eternal life. Happy are those who know how to use it for this purpose and how to apply these passing moments to gain a happy eternity. Nothing is so pleasing to the heart of God than to see us persevering in the exercise of small virtues. It is just these very virtues that can make us perfect if we persevere in them to the end, rather than the big virtues that we can exercise only from time to time. (Letters 1997; O. XII, pp. 37-38) 

November 26
God in His goodness is not satisfied with giving us many graces and favor. He further repays the services we render Him with such excessive generosity that the person who corresponds to a grace disposes himself to receive another; he who corresponds to the second disposes himself to receive the third, and so on. God never fails to do His part. If the soul is faithful in accepting His graces, He gives it more and more. Thus it is an ongoing process. Advancing in this way by faithfully responding to grace, the soul becomes worthy of receiving outstanding graces and of accomplishing great things. (Sermons 40; O. IX, p. 439) 

November 27
Prayer is the means by which we ascend to God; the sacraments are the channels by which God descends to us. But what dispositions are required to receive them with profit? The first is purity of intention, which is absolutely necessary not only to receive the sacraments but in all that we do. A pure intention is union with God without any mixture of self-interest...The second disposition is attention to the grandeur of the act we are about to undertake...The third is humility, an indispensable virtue if we are to receive with abundance the graces that flow from the channel of the sacraments. (Spiritual Treatises XVIII; O. VI, pp. 337-339) 

November 28
You ask me why it is that we receive the Holy Spirit and with Him all His gifts when we receive the sacraments with the right dispositions, and yet we fall so often into sin? We go to confession, in which we receive the Holy Spirit with the remission of our sins, and yet it so often happens that we fall back into the same sins after our confession. This is because we lack courage; we are too weak. (Sermons 70; O. X, pp. 425-426) 

November 29
When we are troubled with bodily ailments or are suffering from poor health, there is no need to ask any more of our soul than acts of submission and acceptance of sickness and a holy union of our will with the divine pleasure--all acts that are formed in the innermost regions of the soul. As far as external actions are concerned, we must do the best we can, satisfied even if performing them reluctantly, languidly and with difficulty. Thus the lead of sickness changes into the finest gold by the practice of joyfulness of heart. (Letters 1704; O. XIX, pp. 340-341) 

November 30
The cross is the royal gate by which we enter the temple of sanctity. He who looks for it elsewhere will not find even a trace. Do not look upon crosses except in the light of the great cross of Christ, and you will find them so small and so welcome that you will begin to love suffering because you will find in it more consolation than in any pleasure...Have a great love for the cross, which, if you look upon it with the eyes of love, will seem to be made of gold. (Letters 1983; O. XXI, p. 22) 

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