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Home Articles Articles A Love of God Is the Best Way to Perfection

A Love of God Is the Best Way to Perfection

Once I asked Blessed Francois how one may best become perfect. " You must love God with your whole heart," he answered, "and your neighbour as yourself."

"I did not ask in what perfection consists," I replied, "but how to attain it?"

"Charity," he repeated, "is both the means and the end, the one and only way by which we can attain that perfection which in truth is charity itself. It was St. Paul who said: 'I will show you more excellent way'; and then he elaborates more fully upon charity. It is the essence of all that is good. All graces die without charity. It is the one way to God, the only truth, the only life of the soul, for it carries us out of the death of sin in the life of grace. It nourishes faith and hope. And just as the soul is the life of the body, so charity is the life of the soul."

 

"I am aware of all that," I said, "but I want to know how one is to love God with one's whole heart and one's neighbour as oneself?"

Again he answered the same: "We must love God with our whole heart and one's neighbour as ourselves."

"I am still just where I was," I rejoined. " Tell me how I may acquire such love."

"The best way, the shortest and easiest way of loving God with one's whole heart - is simply to love Him wholly and heartily!" This is the only answer he would give.

Finally, however, Francois  said: "There are many others who would also like me to tell them of techniques and methods and secret ways of attaining perfection. Yet I can only tell them that the sole secret is a hearty love of God and the only method of acquiring that love  is by loving. You learn to speak by speaking, to run by running, to work by working. just so you learn to love God and man by loving. If you really want to love God, go on and love Him more and more - never look back. Move forward constantly. Begin as a humble apprentice and the very power of love will draw you on to become a master in the art. those who have made most progress will constantly press ahead, never for one moment thinking they have reached the goal. For charity should continue to increase in us until we draw our last breath. and those who are most advanced will say with David: 'O how I have loved thy law, O Lord! It is my meditation all the  day.' And with the great St Francis of Assisi: 'When shall we begin to love and serve God with our whole heart and our neighbours as ourselves?'"

From 'The Spirit of St. Francois de Sale', Jean-Pierre Camus. St Francois de Sales died in 1622.

 

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