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The devout life in St Francis de Sales

23 gennaio 2023


With the image of Jacob's ladder Francis summarises what he means by 'devout life'. It is a passage of great beauty and efficacy: "The uprights of this ladder represent the prayer that asks for the love of God and the sacraments that confer it, the steps are the different levels of charity by which one ascends from virtue to virtue either by descending to help and support one's neighbour or by ascending through contemplation to loving union with God. Those who stand on the ladder are full of strength and spiritual agility; they have wings to fly and launch themselves into God by holy prayer, but they also have feet to walk with men in holy and pleasant communication; their faces are beautiful and radiant [...]. The rest of their bodies are covered with a light robe, for they are truly in the world and use the things of the world, but in a clean and clear manner" (Introduction to the devout life I,2)

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