Alice von Hildebrand wrote an interesting reflection in 2015, which, with the crisis in the Church showing no signs of abetting, is even more pertinent nearly three years later. As this tragic crisis unfolds, the temptations to heresy and schism will increase.
There is a profound reason for it: not only is it classical, (above time and fashion), but it has a value for people of the most varied backgrounds. It is like bread: it will never be outdated. This great saint’s message is couched in such gracious terms that he combines depth of thought, and gentle charm.
One typical temptation of beginners in spiritual life, is to feed their soul on mystical literature, such as the Dark Night of the Soul of St. John of the Cross. Its very title attracts a large number of beginners convinced that they know by personal experience what this great saint and mystic is referring to. Being spiritually immature, they easily fall prey to an exaltation that favors dangerous illusions. St. Francis of Sales’ book combines profound spiritual wisdom, with what I shall term “holy sobriety”. Such spiritual food prevents one from falling into the very many illusions which are traps set by the devil to make many people endorse spiritual fallacies and leave the safe road of humility.
All I intend to do in this brief essay is to meditate on one chapter in Book 3, which, in my personal life, I have found to be a gold mine of insights. It refers to our attitude toward the faults and sins of others -- a topic of crucial importance because all of us have to deal with it, and very few are aware of only valid Christian response. Any sin calls for tears because first and foremost, it is an offense of God. Had men not sinned, Christ would not have been crucified. This should be our primary concern.
Read the full essay here.