A Spiritual Vintage
Just as wine is made by pressing the grapes, so we make a spiritual vintage by pressing upon God's grace and his promises. To press upon God's grace, we must multiply our prayers by brief but lively movements of our hearts. To press upon his promises, we must multiply our works of charity, for it is to these that God has joined his promises. "I was sick and you visited me," he said (Matt. 25:36).
Each thing has its season: in one we press the grapes, and in another we bring the vintage forth from the cellar, but we must press, and do so carefully and without anxiety. On the Cross, there is but one grape, although it is worth more than thousands. How much nourishment have holy souls found there, by thinking upon the graces and virtues that our Savior showed forth to the world. Make a good harvest of your earthly labors, and they will serve you as a ladder to climb to spiritual ones.
St. Francis loved the lambs and the sheep because they reminded him of his dear Savior, and we ought to love our work in gathering the harvest and making temporal wine, not only because these tasks correspond to the requirement that we earn our bread each day, but also, and much more so, because they lift our minds to a spiritual vintage. Keep your heart full of love, but with a love that is mild, peaceful, and firm. Consider your faults, as well as those of others, with more humility than severity. Live joyously, for you are entirely dedicated to an everlasting joy, which is God himself, who wishes to live and reign forever from the very heart of your heart.
St. Francis de Sales