SAINTS: Francis de Sales — From Lawyer To Spiritual Guide, by Greg Friedman

Daily Reflections

Francis de Sales Greg Friedman

From: Lent With The Saints

Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9; Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20; Matthew 5:17-19

When we think of Moses, we often think of the Ten Commandments, the laws that God gave to Israel.  Today’s First Reading offers an address by Moses to the people, in which he encourages them to observe the Law and thus witness to the nations of the greatness of their God.

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is portrayed as the “new Moses,” as he teaches the Torah, the Law of Moses, in the Sermon on the Mount but expands it in light of the kingdom.  Jesus offers ways in which the Law is to be enfleshed in love and mercy, even beyond what Moses taught.

Saint Francis de Sales was marked by his family for a legal career, following in his father’s footsteps as a distinguished jurist in France.  After receiving legal training, however, Francis opted for the priesthood.  In doing so, he became an interpreter of the Law of God as Jesus teaches it.  His spiritual writings, especially his Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God, are the best known among his many writings.  They were meant for ordinary people, making it clear that anyone can become a saint, with God’s help.

Francis’s pastoral style graced not only his writing on the spiritual life but his service as a bishop as well.  His own personal struggle with a fierce temper was informed by the meekness Jesus taught in the Beatitudes.  Francis learned well how to translate the Law into the life Christ brings us.

Today’s Action

Spend some time with a book of spiritual reading or inspiration.

Prayer

God, who gave the Law to Moses, help us not to forget how you led us through the wilderness and brought us to our home.  Show us the way to teach others how Jesus fulfills the Law in love.

Amen.

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