Live In The Spirit
Since my return from the visit, I felt some symptoms of fever. Our physician would not order me any remedy except rest and I obeyed him. You know also that the remedy I willingly order is tranquillity and that I always forbid excitement. This is why, in this bodily repose, I have thought of the spiritual repose which our hearts ought to feel in the will of God, whatever portion it assigns to us. Let us live as long as it pleases God in this vale of miseries, with an entire submission to his holy and sovereign will. I thought the other day of what writers say concerning the halcyons, little birds which float on the waves of the sea. It is that they make nests so round and compact that the water of the sea cannot penetrate them. At the top of the nest there is a small hole. It is only through this hole that they can breathe. In these nests they lodge their young, so that if the sea surprises them, they may swim safely, the nests floating on the waves without filling or sinking. The air which comes through the hole serves as counterpoise and so balances these little balls or boats so that they never overturn. Oh, how I wish that our hearts were as compact and as well sealed on all sides, so that if the troubles and tempests of the world seized them, they might never penetrate them. How I desire that there were no opening but on the side of heaven, to breathe unto our Savior! While the halcyons build their nests and their young are still too tender to bear the dashing of the waves, God has care for them and pities them, keeping the sea from seizing the nests and carrying them away. O God! In the same way this sovereign goodness will secure the nest of our hearts for his holy love against all the assaults of the world, where he will defend us from being assailed. Oh, how I love those birds which are surrounded with water, living only on the air and seeing only the sky! They swim like the fishes and sing like birds. What pleases me more is that their anchor is thrown on high, and not beneath, to steady them against the waves. May sweet Jesus make us such, that, surrounded with the world and the flesh, we may live in the spirit; that, among the vanities of the earth, we may always look to heaven; that, living among men, we may always praise him with the angels; and that the security of our hopes may always be on high and in paradise. Everywhere and in everything, may holy love be our great love.
Francis de Sales. (2012). Courage in Chaos: Wisdom from Francis de Sales. (K. Hermes, Ed.) (pp. 83–85). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.