Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The necessity of a spiritual guide

St. Francis de Sales

I've been re-reading St. Francis de Sales' "An Introduction to the Devout Life," and almost his first bit of advice to those seeking to progress in the devout life (in Part First, Chapter 4) is to find a spiritual guide.   According to St. Francis, a spiritual guide is necessary because he

"...will guide our actions by his warnings and counsels, and thereby protect us from the snares and delusions of the Evil one; in all our sorrows, our sadness, our falls, he will be as a treasure of wisdom to us; he will be as a physician to give ease to our hearts, and help in our spiritual diseases; he will preserve us from evil, and forward us in what is good, and when we are conquered by some infirmity, he will save us from being overwhelmed, and will raise us from our prostrate condition."

Clearly, such a spiritual guide would be invaluable, but where is one to be found?  St. Francis assures us that, to "those who are lowly in heart and earnestly desire their spiritual advancement," and who "heartily pray," God "will supply [this] need in His own way"

So, today I begin to pray heartily for a spiritual guide. 

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