It is a great help to humility to accustom ourselves to draw from all things reflections suited to raise our hearts to God, by beholding in them all His perfections, or else the love He bears us, and our obligation to serve Him faithfully. -Scupoli
Such was the practice of St. Francis de Sales. On beholding a beautiful landscape, he would say, “We are fields cultivated by God.” If he saw magnificent and richly adorned churches, — “We are the living temples of God; then why are our souls not as well adorned with virtues?” If he looked at flowers, — “When will the time come that our flowers shall change into fruit?” If he saw rare and valuable pictures, — “Nothing is as beautiful as the soul made in the image of God.” If he walked in a garden, — “When will that of our soul be dotted with flowers, filled with fruit, well arranged, and free from dust and rubbish?” If he came to a fountain, — “Oh, when shall we drink our fill from the fountains of the Savior?” If to rivers, — “When shall we go to God, as these waters do to the sea?” Thus he made use of all visible things to raise his soul to God.
Monseigneur de Palafox would say in his heart: “I desire nothing, I wish for nothing, I cling to nothing, except Thyself, my God and my All! Glory? it is Thine, and I seek it only for Thee! Honor? all my honor, my Jesus, is Thy honor. Satisfaction? my only satisfaction and pleasure is that Thou art satisfied and pleased.”
Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).