Sunday, August 12, 2018

Our Patroness

The concept of the cloistered heart can be said to have several "patrons," but one saint in particular serves as a primary role model.  Why?  Perhaps the following will help, at least a little, to answer that question....

St. Jane de Chantal was Francis de Sales' co-founder of the Visitation of Holy Mary.  Before becoming a nun, however, Jane was a young widow consulting St. Francis for spiritual direction.  At that time, she was a busy laywoman with four children to raise.  

Recognizing the desires of her heart, Francis de Sales directed Jane "in her growing intimacy and conformity to the signified will of God.  He even confirmed her in the practice of imaging her own spiritual world with monastic imagery.  For example, she took the Virgin Mary as the Abbess of the cloister of her own heart."  
(Wendy Wright, Joseph Power OSFS and Peronne Marie Thibert VHM, Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal, Letters of Spiritual Direction, Paulist, 1988, p. 41) 

"The spirit of God does not depend on retirement.  Rather it is a spirit that strengthens and perfects all occupations." - St. Jane de Chantal

"Ah, what a happiness to live thus in the world without sharing in its miserable affections and aims!"  - St. Jane de Chantal

"You must adhere to this practice of looking at God within you and it will absorb all others."  - St. Jane de Chantal

"Our Lord, in no place of Scripture, says... give Me thy head, thine arms, thy life, but only:  My child, give Me thy heart.  Whoso has a person's heart, has the entire person.  The heart is the seat of love.  When I shall have thy heart, I shall set My love upon it.  I will make My love dwell therein and then all the rest will follow as a consequence."  - St. Jane de Chantal

This is a repost from the archives of 5/24/13.