Salesian Spirituality is a practical everyday spirituality for living in the modern world as learned, lived and shared by St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) and St. Jane de Chantal (1572-1641), spiritual friends. Salesian spirituality gives expression to a way to journey in the spiritual life as we embrace the duties of our state in response to the universal call to holiness - in the words of St. Francis de Sales to "bloom where you are planted." It's a "spirituality of the heart," as relevant today as in the time of St. Francis de Sales himself, an all-embracing, down-to-earth spirituality for everyone.
The essence of the spirituality can be found in the "Introduction to the Devout Life," a book written by St. Francis de Sales at the beginning of the 17th century. The book, often referred to as a spiritual classic, contains the collective wisdom of the first sixteen centuries of the Christian experience and is divided into five parts: (1) instructions and exercises needed to lead the soul from its first desire for the devout life until brought to a full resolution to embrace it; (2) various instructions for elevating the soul to God through prayer and the sacraments; (3) instructions on the practice of virtue; (4) necessary councils against frequent temptations; (5) exercises and instructions for renewing the soul and confirming it in devotion.
St. Francis de Sales wrote another spiritual classic, "Treatise on the Love of God." It is comprised of twelve books written for individuals more advanced in the spiritual life and addresses topics such as the human tendency to love God, meditation and prayer, an explanation of the history of divine love, the difference between benevolent and complacent love, and affective and effective love. The "Treatise on the Love of God" focuses on: the fundamentals of Francis' science of love of God and the application of these basic principles. Francis' spirituality is found in numerous other writings including many of his sermons and letters.
The context for the "Rule of Life," which is followed by many Daughters and Sons of St. Francis can be found in Romans 13:10, "Love is the fulfillment of the law." Salesians commit themselves to living according to the Spirit of Jesus and living the Gospel in the Church and in the world, as disciples of St. Francis de Sales and with Mary, the mother of the Church.Continue Reading