Always Recollected

It is a great error of certain souls otherwise good and pious, that they believe they cannot retain interior repose in the midst of business and perplexities. Surely there is no commotion greater than that of a vessel in the midst of the sea; yet those on board do not give up the thought of resting and sleeping, and the compass remains always in its place, turning towards the pole. Here is the point: we must be careful to keep the compass of our will in order, that it may never turn elsewhere than to the pole of the Divine pleasure. -St. Francis de Sales

St. Vincent de Paul excelled in this. He was never perturbed by the multiplicity of business, nor by the difficulties he encountered, but he undertook every thing with inexhaustible spiritual strength, and applied himself with method, patience, and tranquillity, making the will of God his constant aim. This was especially visible when he had a seat in the king’s Council and at the same time the government of his own Congregation and of many other Communities, Assemblies, and Conferences, together with other employments which almost overwhelmed him. One might have supposed that he would have been in a state of distraction, divided, as it were, among a hundred thoughts and cares, and with his mind, in consequence, harassed and agitated. But no. In the midst of a constant ebb and flow of persons and employments, he appeared always recollected, self-possessed, master of himself, with as much evenness of temper, peace, and tranquillity, as if he had only one thing to think about.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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