St. Francis de Sales

Simplicity – Sixth Day of July

“Be simple as doves.” — St. Matt. 10:16.


True simplicity is like that of children, who think, speak, and act openly, without malice. They believe all that is told them; they have no care over themselves, they do not even think for themselves, especially when with their parents: they keep close to them, hoping all from them, knowing that they are loved. — St. Francis of Sales.

“You have preached badly, you could not preach worse,” said a person in authority to a worthy priest who had very much simplicity. “I thank you,” he said. “Alas! I had the vanity to think I had not spoken so badly.”

“When I have committed a sin,” said a servant of God, “what touches me most is the thought that in sinning I have had the misfortune to offend Him Who is the tenderest of fathers. I hasten to Him and say: ‘O my Father, I have sinned.’ Pater, peccavi. I imagine I am like a little child ready to be chastised by his father for having disobeyed him, but who appeases his anger, so that the rod fall from the father’s hand when the child protests he is sorry for his fault and will not commit it again.”

It is related of St. Francis of Sales that, when a child, he used to say: “God and my mother love me well.” Let us say with simplicity: “God, Who is my father, the Blessed Virgin, who is my mother, love me well.” Or with St. Ambrose: “What a good master have we not in God!”


My God, Thou art my father, I am Thy child. Thou treatest me as the best of mothers treats her little child. I will go to Thee as a little child to his mother, whom he loves and by whom he is tenderly loved.

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