Sadness, Go Away

Marcel, Francis There’s a chapter in his Treatise on the Love of God where Saint Francis de Sales teaches us that sadness is, if not always, usually opposed to the fullness of charity. Why? Because joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), a fruit of love thrown into our soul by the Beloved Trinity. Of course, some sadness for an act of repentance does wonders. We must repent. But that, says Francis, is more properly a displeasure than a sadness. Sadness, real sadness chosen and not emerged from, is incompatible with real joy. We “may be excused for not always being bright”, as Saint Francis puts it; but the idea that sadness is not part of the battle is not the right idea either. And that’s why Little Brother Marcel Văn CSsR teaches that he had, and we have, a mission to change sadness into joy.

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