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Pre-Publication Special: Pontifical Council for the Family Collection (10 vols.)

Get the Pontifical Council for the Family Collection for 20% off

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Understanding the role and importance of the family is increasingly important in our modern age, and the questions that circle around it continue to grow. What are the rights of the unborn? What constitutes a marriage? How do we participate in the discourse about population growth? What about birth control? Divorce?

These questions are difficult and important. They’re universal questions affecting all of us—individuals and society.

The Pontifical Council for Family Collection spans 20 years of crucial texts regarding family, marriage, sexuality, and globalization. In Verbum, these documents link to other relevant resources in your library—helping you study not just the modern discourse surrounding these issues, but also the historical and Scriptural context in which they are rooted.

Add these resources to your Verbum library to start studying the family with more context and authority.

Get the Pontifical Council for the Family Collection for 20% off today!

Pre-Publication Special: The Grail Psalms

Get the Grail Psalms for 25% off!

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The Psalms were meant to be sung. The Grail Psalms are special translations that aim to place the Psalms in their original context: music. We learn in the General Instruction on the Liturgy of Hours that,

“The Psalms are not readings nor were they specifically composed as prayers, but as poems of praise. Though sometimes they may be proclaimed like a reading, nevertheless, because of their literary character, they are rightly called in Hebrew tehillim, that is, “songs of praise,” and in Greek psalmoi, “songs to be sung to the sound of the harp.” In all the Psalms there is a certain musical quality that determines that correct way of praying them. Therefore, though a psalm may be recited without being sung even by an individual in silence, its musical character should not be overlooked.” (no. 103)

The Grail Psalms translation helps you see and hear the rhythm and structure within the text. It also helps you understand what’s at the heart of Psalms. In his The Spirit of the Liturgy, Pope Benedict the XVI said,

“In their prayed poetry, the Psalms display the whole range of human experiences, which become prayer and song in the presence of God… Quite spontaneously, the Psalter becomes the prayer book of the infant Church, which, with equal spontaneity, has become a Church that sings her prayers.” (p 139)

This collection includes both the original Grail Psalms translation (carried out in 1963) and the new revised Grail Psalms. The new translation brings the Grail Psalms in line with contemporary principles of Scripture scholarship, matters of authentic translation, and requirements for appropriate rendering for liturgical use.

Singing the Psalms help us connect with God on a deeper level. In a General Audience on April 4, 2001, Pope Benedict the XVI also said,

“. . . in singing the Psalms, the Christian feels a sort of harmony between the Spirit present in the Scriptures and the Spirit who dwells within him through the grace of Baptism. More than praying in his own words, he echoes those ‘sighs to deep for words’ mentioned by St. Paul (cf. Rom. 8:26), with which the Lord’s Spirit urges believers to join in Jesus’ characteristic invocation: ‘Abba! Father!’ (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6).” (General Audience, April 4, 2001)

In this translation, all 150 Psalms are arranged according to Catholic liturgical use, especially with the Liturgy of the Hours in mind.

Right now, you can get the Grail Psalms for 25% off! Be the first to get these masterfully translated works in Verbum, where you can study them alongside other translations and texts.

Study the Gospel with Us this Lent

Today we begin Lent, the season in which we imitate Christ’s 40 days of fasting and prayer in the desert.

There are many ways to unite ourselves to Christ’s suffering during the Lenten season: some choose a certain food or luxury to give up, while others will give of their time to serve the poor or needy (and Pope Francis has stressed this latter form of sacrifice for this year).

As we offer ourselves up in service to God and others, we also must return to the source of nourishment that gives us strength. We find this nourishment in the Sacraments of the Church, especially the Eucharist, and in Holy Scripture.

This year, deepen your understanding of Lent as we study the daily Gospel readings. Join Verbum’s Lenten Journey and receive daily Gospel reflections delivered right to your inbox. You’ll also get Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections for free, and you can study alongside others in the Verbum Faithlife group throughout this Lenten season.

Join the Lenten Journey today.

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Carnival and the Sacramental

Last year, Andrew wrote a fantastic piece about how the meaning of Mardi Gras has dramatically changed. Andrew dismissed the idea that medieval Carnival was simply a “pressure valve” to release social tension, or a carrying-over of the “folk culture” against the repressive culture of the upper classes. Instead, it’s more helpful to understand that the medieval person lived with a different sense of time:

To the medieval mind there were really two courses of time. There was the linear time of sequence—one thing came after the next, forever—and there was the higher-order time through which the transcendent came into contact with the immanent . . . Before the reign of Grace, there had been a time of the reign of the body . . . it was a time of moral and social chaos . . . Carnival was a participation in this part of the drama of redemption. [read more]

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Today I want to elaborate on this idea and show not only that Carnival was an explicitly theological event, but that it even has biblical precedent.

In 2 Samuel 6:14, King David does something very similar to the carnival actors in the Middle Ages. He “plays the fool,” dancing nearly unclothed in the streets with reckless abandon:

michal despise david-1Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart . . . . When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” David said to Michal “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

There are two things I want to point out here:

1)   David, in the face of the “moral criticism” coming from Michal, defends his actions by saying that he did them “before the LORD.” David didn’t act for the sake of carnal indulgence or merriment—his antics had a fundamentally theological meaning and purpose.

2)   David mentions that he will be “humiliated” in his own eyes. What is happening here except for a kind of role reversal? Just as paupers and layfolk would, in medieval Carnivals, play priests and bishops (reversing their social and ecclesial roles), so too David acted like a “fool,” abandoning, temporarily, his dignified position as king.

These two elements—his reckless abandon before the LORD and his “self humiliation” are both elements we can see in the medieval Carnival. But it’s important to remember that these actions always exist within the larger season of Lent—a season of repentance and one of the few (if not only) times a person would participate in the Sacrament of Confession every year. Carnival was part of a drama, connected to the meaning of sin and redemption, fundamentally linked to the worship of God.

Though the scene of David’s dancing in 2 Samuel isn’t a Carnival per se, it does show that there is biblical precedent for the kinds of ecstatic action that we see in Christian celebrations like Carnival in the Middle Ages. It’s hard for us to understand the role that something like Carnival plays in a modern age that’s moved so far from a sacramental worldview. But we can see that, in the context of a world in which time is marked by seasons within a liturgical framework, the actions of individuals and communities take on different meaning.

The question we face in the midst of suffering or celebration doesn’t terminate in whether or not our experience was “good” or “bad”—but rather what meaning our experience has. As Andrew mentioned last year, the debauchery of Carnival in the Middle Ages certainly wasn’t “morally good” behavior—but then again, King David’s half-nude dancing wasn’t exactly morally exemplary. But this is the whole point—our behavior takes on a different meaning in the context in which it was enacted. Does this mean that all of the behavior in a medieval Carnival was good? Of course not. But to ignore the liturgical context in which these events transpired is to miss the heart of both Carnival and Lent.

Can Carnival today mean what it meant in the Middle Ages? Most likely not—we live in a culture broken away from a Christian sacramental view of the world: our shared conception of time is not liturgical. Because of this, Mardis Gras tends to end up being revelry for revelry’s sake, with no understanding of the great drama of sin and redemption that surrounds all our social acting. I don’t think this means we can’t enjoy ourselves on Tuesday night, however. In fact, just the opposite—if we think carefully about Mardis Gras’ historical meaning, then—as we celebrate, like King David, “before the LORD”—our celebration becomes truly meaningful.

As we go forth into a season of fasting and repentance, let us remember that the same principle applies to our suffering as well as our celebration. We celebrate with reckless abandon, and sacrifice our whole lives—not for ourselves or before our fellow men, but before God.

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Prov. 16:3).

 Join us as we study the Gospel this Lent

If you haven’t already, sign up for free daily gospel reflections delivered right to your inbox. Journey alongside others as you share your thoughts and reflections in the Verbum Lenten Journey.

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Join the Verbum Lenten Journey

This Lent (beginning March 5th) we’re doing something special. Until Easter, we’re giving away a free copy of Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections so you can study the daily readings along with us and hundreds of others. Not only can you get this book for free in Verbum, you can have the readings delivered straight to your inbox all through Lent!

To get daily Lenten emails, simply sign up here.

Study with others in the Verbum Faithlife group

Faithlife lets you share notes, collaborate in groups, and discuss what you’re learning with others who are in the same group as you. This year, our Lenten discussion will be held in the Verbum group.

To join the Verbum group, first sign into Faithlife. If you don’t already have an account, simply go to faithlife.com and register (it’s free!)

Once you’ve registered, go here to join the Verbum group. Click “Join,” and you’re in!

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Start by connecting to the 2014 Lenten Journey reading plan. Joining the reading plan helps you keep up-to-date with the daily readings, as well as make and read community notes.

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Don’t just study—share.

It’s easy to share with others using the free Verbum App. If you don’t already have Verbum for your phone or tablet, simply type in “Verbum” in your app store and install it.

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Once you have Verbum, sign in with your Faithlife credentials and open up to the 2014 Lenten Journey reading plan to start studying. (Keep in mind, the reading plan doesn’t start until Ash Wednesday.)

In Verbum, there are two kinds of notes you can make. The first is a private note, one that is kept on your device(s) and only visible to you. Just like highlighting and adding notes in the margins of your own books, private notes help you engage with and organize whatever you’re studying. Community notes are different in that they are visible to anyone you decide to share them with. So, for example, if I wanted to share a thought from the daily readings in Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel ReflectionsI would simply highlight the text I wanted to share and select “note.”*

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Then, choose “community note” to share it with the Verbum Faithlife group:

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This way anyone in the Verbum group can respond to the notes you’ve made, as well as glean from your own reflections on a verse or topic.

If you want to learn more about using Faithlife, check out this post.

Make this Lent fruitful. Study the Gospel readings each day, then read and share reflections with other users. Join us this Lent as we study God’s word to better prepare our hearts in this season of sacrifice.

*The UI will look different on different devices, but the process is the same. These screenshots were taken on an Android device.

Our Lady of Lourdes

Photo by Manuel González Olaechea y FrancoOn February 11, 1858, a young peasant girl was gathering firewood near a grotto in the small town of Lourdes, France. Seeing a “dazzling light,” she looked up at a nearbalcove and saw a “small young lady” standing there. Over the following weeks, this lady continued to appear to the young girl. She spoke of the need for prayer, penance, and faith in God. Word of this mysterious lady rapidly spread. Some believed the peasant girl’s reports. Others believed her to have a mental illness.

In the face of such skepticism, the claims of the peasant girl were subjected to intense scrutiny from the Church and the scientific community. The grotto, where miraculous healings were already being reported, was investigated by scientists. Patients claiming supernatural cures were examined by doctors. And the young girl was questioned by friends, family members, and numerous Church authorities.

After much deliberation, the Bishop of Tarbes issued the following declaration on January 18, 1862:

“We have . . . been advised by a commission composed of holy, learned and experienced priests who have questioned the child, studied the facts, examined and weighed everything. We have also sought the opinion of scientists and we are finally convinced that the Appearance is supernatural and divine, and that consequently, She whom Bernadette has seen is the Most Blessed Virgin Herself. Our conviction is based, not merely upon the testimony of Bernadette herself, but more especially upon the events which have taken place and which can only be explained by divine intervention.”[1]

Today, February 11, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. This day marks the anniversary of St. Bernadette’s first encounter with the Blessed Virgin Mary. The encounter, along with the events following it, have much to teach us—not only about our Holy Mother, but also about Holy Mother Church. By reading the stories of saints like Bernadette, we see how they harmonize with the Tradition of the Church. We see how they exemplify the love of Christ. And we see how they call us to a deep sense of humility.

This call to humility ought to profoundly challenge us. We are all too often stubborn, narrow-minded, and resistant to the possibility of encountering God in new ways. If young Bernadette were to come to us with news of a Marian apparition, we would be among those who called her crazy. Rather than responding in a spirit of charity, we judge, ridicule, and dismiss those whose experience is different than ours.

The Immaculate ConceptionThis attitude is directly challenged by Pope Francis in his recent Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. Speaking of popular piety, he encourages us to approach such expressions of the Faith “with the gaze of the Good Shepherd, who seeks not to judge but to love. Only from the affective connaturality born of love can we appreciate the theological life present in the piety of Christian peoples, especially among the poor.”[2] In this light, we can accept devotion to the Blessed Virgin as a valid expression of a faith-filled life. Heeding Francis’ warning to “not stifle or presume to control this missionary power,”[3] we also fulfill Paul’s charge to the Thessalonians when he tells them: “Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying.”[4]

Yet this charge continues: “but test everything; hold fast what is good, abstain from every form of evil.”[5] The Church, while celebrating the piety of the poor and lowly, also respects reason. The investigation of the events at Lourdes demonstrates this fact. Not only was young Bernadette thoroughly questioned, Pope Pius X commissioned the Lourdes Medical Bureau to investigate all reported miraculous healings from a medical, rather than ecclesiastical, perspective. Having scrutinized thousands of people since its inception, the bureau has declared 69 cases to be scientifically inexplicable miracles.[6] This rigorous examination of the facts, respecting the lights of both faith and reason, demonstrates to the world that the Church has both a heart and a mind.

This is all well and good for our ability to trust the Church, and more importantly, our ability to love those around us (particularly the poor). But what of our own relationship with Mary? Do we believe that Our Lady of Lourdes has anything to offer to us? In answer to this question, the Church directs us to St. Louis de Montfort. Writing in the seventeenth century, he laments:

Is it not astonishing and pitiful to see the ignorance and short-sightedness of men with regard to your holy Mother? I am not speaking so much of idolaters and pagans who do not know you and consequently have no knowledge of her. I am not even speaking of heretics and schismatics who have left you and your holy Church and therefore are not interested in your holy Mother. I am speaking of Catholics, and even of educated Catholics, who profess to teach the faith to others but do not know you or your Mother except speculatively, in a dry, cold and sterile way.[7]

Coronation of the VirginThese words, coming from his Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, ought to resonate with us. Our rational and reductionist view of Christ and his Kingdom too easily precludes devotion to Mary and other forms of popular piety. We refuse to pray the rosary, simply because we have the Eucharist. We do not implore Mary or the saints for assistance, because our hearts have only room enough for Jesus. We completely miss the fact that Christ’s Kingdom is inherently relational, and that we are called to love everyone simply because Christ loves everyone. All of us on Earth and in heaven are inseparably woven together as members of one human family. And, as St. Louis de Montfort notes, the bond between us, Mary, and Jesus is perhaps the strongest of them all:

She is the sure means, the direct and immaculate way to Jesus and the perfect guide to him, it is through her that souls who are to shine forth in sanctity must find him. He who finds Mary finds life, that is, Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life.[8]

Today, as we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, let us turn to Mary with humble hearts. Let us recognize our own poverty of Spirit. And let us discover anew the God who is love.


[1] Bertrand Laurence, Bishop of Tarbes, Report of the Episcopal Commission, January 18, 1862, http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/statements/lourdes_comm_report.html.

[3] Evangelii Gaudium, § 124

[4] 1 Thess. 5:19–20, RSVCE

[5] 1 Thess. 5:20–22

[6] Lourdes Medical Bureau, “Miraculous Cures in Lourdes,” June 20, 2013, http://en.lourdes-france.org/deepen/cures-and-miracles/miraculous-cures-in-lourdes

[7] St. Louis de Montfort, Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virigin, § 64, http://www.ewtn.com/library/montfort/truedevo.htm

[8] Ibid., § 50

 

Ludwig von Pastor: Papal Historian

Ludwig_von_PastorJust a few days ago we celebrated the birthday of historian Ludwig von Pastor, the famous German Catholic historian and diplomat to Austria. Professor Pastor was an extremely important historian in his time, and the hard work and dedication he poured into his studies continue to serve both historians and Catholics today.

His magnum opus, History of the Popes, is an outstanding, detailed work spanning the pontificates of 56 popes from the fourteenth to late eighteenth centuries.

Pastor began his work on the history of the popes in response to another popular historian’s work, Leopold von Ranke’s History of the Popes. Pastor opposed much of Ranke’s historical methodology and, as a Catholic, he was able to gain access to the Vatican archives, which had previously been unavailable to scholars like Ranke. Through meticulous research and diligent study, Pastor compiled the most complete and exhaustive papal study of the Middle Ages ever written.

the-history-of-the-popes-from-the-close-of-the-middle-agesPlace your bid on the History of the Popes today, and select your price for this amazing 20,000+ page resource. You can help put this amazing resource into production, adding enormous value to your library at a fraction of what this collection would cost in print.

Bid now.

3 important topics discussed by St. Thomas

the-triumph-of-st-thomas-aquinas-1484Today we celebrate the feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the brilliant Doctor of the Church who gave us such great works as the Summa TheologicaSumma Contra Gentiles, and over 60 other texts that have deeply impacted the course of theology throughout history. Here are three topics that St. Thomas Aquinas talked about that are especially relevant today:

1) Atheism

In his Summa Theologica, Aquinas begins by providing his famous Quinque viæ—or five ways—a set of five arguments to prove from reason that God indeed exists. Aquinas first admits “that God exists is not self-evident,” but goes on to list ways in which God’s existence can be logically demonstrated:

1)   The argument from motion

2)   The argument from causation

3)   The argument from contingency

4)   The argument from excellence

5)   The argument from harmony

Aquinas teaches us how to better engage in the most important questions through implementing reason

2) Theology

St. Thomas understood theology as a science. In his Summa Theologica, on the question of Sacred Doctrine, Thomas sets out to prove that though reason provides us with knowledge, Revelation is primarily necessary for salvation. After revelation is received, man can proceed to explain them it and draw conclusions—this is the science of theology. St. Thomas understood it as a science because the conclusions that flow forth from theology begin with certain revealed principlesAquinas reminds us of the importance of not just listening to revelation, but understanding it, which is precisely what he his works help us with.

3) Scripture 

Aquinas understood the Scripture as having several senses: it is not just historical (excluding the allegorical) or literal (excluding the tropological, moral, and anagogical), it takes on different meaning depending on context. Aquinas says, “The author of Holy Writ is God, in whose power it is to signify his meaning, not by words only . . . but also by things themselves . . . [therefore] it is not unfitting, as Augustine says (Confess. xii) if, even according to the literal sense, one word in Holy Write should have several senses.” Aquinas’ exposition of the Scriptures in all his works maintains not just a high regard for the authority of Scripture, but also a deep understanding of the Scriptures, one that helps us read and study today.

In Verbum, you can study the great writings of Thomas Aquinas like never before. With an integrated library of texts that reference both the Angelic doctor’s citations and other texts that reference Aquinas, you can read St. Thomas in very same context he was thinking in.

Verbum is also working on translating never-before-translated Aquinian works that you can help put into production.

Take some time in honor St. Thomas’s feast day to read and study this great theologian and Doctor of the Church.

The Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle

conversion-of-saint-paul-1600(1)St. Paul’s conversion marks an enormous shift in Christian history. In an attempt to destroy the growing Christian movement, St. Paul had brutally persecuted Christians. In his famous conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), Jesus called out to him, asking, “Why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4) After this traumatic event, St. Paul devoted his life to proclaiming the gospel, planting and guiding churches all around Asia Minor.

Here are six things to know about St. Paul before and after his conversion:

1)   Prior to his conversion, St. Paul was called Saul of Tarsus. He was one of his day’s most learned and pious Pharisees and claimed himself a “Hebrew born of Hebrews” (Phil. 3:5)

2)   St. Paul had dual citizenship, both Roman and Jewish. This allowed him to appeal to the Roman government for a court appointment with Caesar.

3)   St. Paul grew up in Tarsus (Acts 22:3–16), a large and central trading city on the Mediterranean coast. Because he grew up in such a cultured and influential area, he was familiar with popular Greek philosophies like Stoicism. He also knew Koine Greek, the lingua franca of the Roman Empire, allowing him minister to both the Gentiles (Rom. 11:13) and the Jews.

4)   There are three accounts of St. Pauls’ conversion—Acts 9:1–31, 22:1–22, and 26:9–24.

5)   After Christ visited him, St. Paul began his ministry. He began by preaching to the Jews (Acts 9:19–20), and, between AD 45 and AD 47, he would embark on three great missions (Acts 13:1–14:27, Acts 15:36–18:22, Acts 18:23–21:26)

6)   13 New Testament books are attributed to Paul (14, if you count the traditional attribution of Hebrews) out of 27 total, giving Pauline thought a central position in Christian theology.

As we celebrate this feast day, let us remember that Paul thought of himself as the “worst among sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15) and yet Christ called and used him to change the course of history. Through St. Paul’s example, we remember that Christ is greater than we can imagine—that, like Paul says, “through [the worst of sinners], Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:16).

The Process of Conversion in Real-Time

Today’s guest post is by Brandon Rappuhn, a Logos copywriter.

Franz_von_SalesAccording to Catholic teaching, the process of sanctification is an ongoing quest. Humility doesn’t permit us to often talk about our process of sanctification, but seeing that I’m not yet perfect, I’ve taken the time to reflect on how I’ve been growing in imitation of Christ. It wasn’t until recently that I had discovered that it was St. Francis de Sales who was helping me along this process. A year ago, I began studying my way through St. Francis de Sales with his famous Introduction to the Devout Life. He taught me to speak well and highly of God and of others with the careful and clear words of a mentor:

But speak always of God, as of God; that is, reverently and devoutly; not with ostentation or affectation, but with a spirit of meekness, charity, and humility, distilling, as much as you can, as is said of the Spouse in the Canticle (Cant. 4:11), of the delicious honey of devotion, and of the things of God, drop by drop, into the ears sometimes of one and sometimes of another, praying to God in secret, that it may please Him to make this holy dew sink deep into the hearts of those that hear you.[1]

This is much as our Lord taught us in St. Matthew 6:6–7, and I began praying that way. I then discovered, through the writings of both St. Louis de Montfort and St. Jane Frances de Chantal, that de Sales was a devoted Mariologist. De Chantal writes,

While [Francis de Sales] was still a student, he made a vow to say the rosary every day of his life, in honour of God and of the Blessed Virgin, to obtain deliverance from a grievous temptation which molested him, and from which he was delivered. He always carried it in his belt as a sign that he was the servant of Our Lady, he persevered until death in saying it, and always said it with great devotion, spending an hour in so doing, for he meditated while saying it.[2]

I was so inspired that I’ve since carried my rosary under my belt everywhere I go, praying my friends, family, colleagues, and priests.

Now, St. Francis de Sales, the patron for writers and the conversion of Protestants, is appearing throughout my studies in Catholic apologetics. He wrote hundreds of theological treatises and disseminated them throughout the region of Le Chablais, calling into question the motives of the leaders of the Reformation in the region while defending the Rule of Faith (Tradition and Sacred Scripture), the doctrines of the Sacraments and Purgatory, and the authority of the Catholic Church. But his writing provides a spiritual approach to apologetics that I’ve been missing this whole time. In a letter to a woman involved in a legal dispute, St. Francis has this to say:

Remember that our Lord never spoke one word against those that condemned him. He did not judge them. Instead, even though he was unjustly condemned, he was gentle as a lamb and his only revenge was prayer for his enemies. We, on the other hand, judge everyone, our antagonists and our judges. We bristle with complaints and reproaches. Believe me, dear daughter, we must be steadfast in loving our neighbor.[3]

Here is a man who endured the toughest of hardships in bringing Catholic apologetics to the Protestant-dominated region of Le Chablais. He endured threats and violence, suffered under extreme weather conditions that threatened his mission, and never lost the peace and love he exhibited every day.

The apologetics of de Sales are not without the practical element of religious practice: love. Doctrine, theology, philosophy—we can study these things all day long, but without love, we are nothing (1 Cor. 13:2).

I pray that we could all have that Christ-like strength of spirit and longsuffering as we study the life and teachings of St. Francis de Sales.


[1] An Introduction to the Devout Life (p. 174).

[2] The Depositions of St. Jane Frances de Chantal in the Cause of the Canonisation of St. Francis de Sales (p. 61)

[3] Courage in Chaos: Wisdom from Francis de Sales (p. 47)

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