The Art of Loving God

Some torment themselves in seeking means to discover the art of loving God, and do not know — poor creatures — that there is no art or means of loving Him but to love Him, — that is, to begin to practise those things which are pleasing to Him. -St. Francis de Sales

St. Vincent de Paul devoted himself nobly to this holy practice, observing God’s law with so much exactness, that those who watched him closely, assented that no one who was merely a man, could fail less than he.

He was constantly elevated above himself, upright in his judgments, circumspect in his words, prudent in his conduct, punctual in the practices of piety, and so perfectly united to God, so far as could be judged from the exterior, that it was plain that the love of God was what animated his heart, and ruled in all the powers and sentiments of his soul, to regulate every motion and act. It might be said that his whole life was a sacrifice to God, not only of honors, comforts, pleasures, and all other earthly blessings, but even of what he had received more directly from His most liberal hand, such as lights, affections, and holy desires.

Nor did he ever wish for anything except that God should be known and glorified, in all times and places, and by all kinds of people. To this end alone he directed all that he thought, said, and did.

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

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