Centuries ago, Francis de Sales–bishop of Geneva during the lifetime of many first generation Protestant Calvinists–wrote about the importance of having a spiritual director. Yet he later told his biographer such a person “would be difficult to find,” suggesting that in these circumstances, “We can look for guidance among the books of authors who are no longer living. Devotional books are our best Directors.”
Today, de Sales serves as such a spiritual director to countless modern day believers, and his Introduction to the Devout Life is recognized as one of the truly great works of devotional literature. Originally written as a series of letters of religious guidance, this enduring book is filled with thoughtful spiritual illustrations and radiates with a warm humanity that touches people of all religious backgrounds.
A classic masterpiece of spiritual writing, de Sales’ book is acknowledged to be among the top handful of guides to Christian living. No matter where readers are in their spiritual development–whether they are beginners or skilled theologians–this modern interpretation, an “honest paraphrase” of de Sales’ work,will gently guide them down the clearest path imaginable into a deeper and more authentic religious life.
Bernard Bangley|Francis De Sales
About Bernard Bangley
Bernard Bangley (M.Div.) lives in Virginia with his wife, Anna. He is currently pastor of Quaker Memorial Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, VA. Among his books centered on devotional writers are Christian Classics in Modern English (with David Winter), Growing in His Image and Spiritual Treasure.
About Francis De Sales
Francis de Sales (1567-1622) was born into a privileged family and studied law before abandoning his prospects for the religious life. He was appointed Provost of Geneva, a center of Calvinism. With his quick mind and the persuasive pamphlets that he wrote, he converted thousands to Catholicism, and at thirty-five became Bishop of Geneva. Besides his well-known books, Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God, he carried on a vast correspondence. He was canonized in 1665 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Universal Church in 1877.
Authentic Devotion by Francis de Sales, edited by Bernard Bangley