Quotes & Themes – Perfection


There’s no better way of growing toward perfection in the spiritual life than to be always starting over again and never thinking that we have done enough. (Letter to Madame de la Fléchère)

The one who can preserve gentleness in the midst of sorrows and sufferings and peace in the midst of the multiplicity and busyness of affairs – that person is almost perfect. (Letter to Mere de Brechard, July 22, 1616. Oeuvres, XVII, 260)

For it is not through the multiplicity of things that we do that we arrive at perfection, but rather through the perfection and the purity of intention with which we do them. (Spiritual Conferences Vol. 2, 5)

The perfection of charity is the perfection of life, for the life of our soul is charity. (Letters to Persons in the World, VI, 52)

Virtue is something positive, not a mere absence of its contrary. (Spiritual Conferences, 10)

We can never attain to perfection while we have an affection for any imperfection. (Spiritual Conferences, 8)

Wheresoever we are, we can and should aspire to a perfect life. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part I, Chapter 3)

When we aim at perfection, we must aim at the center, but we must not be troubled if we do not always hit it. (Spiritual Conferences, 4)

We must not be astonished to see our­selves imperfect, since we must never see ourselves otherwise in this life. (Letters to Persons in Religion, I, 2)

We must suffer our imperfection in order to have perfection. (Letters to Persons in the World, I, 5)

Do not examine so anxiously whether you are in perfection or not. (Letters to Persons in Religion, I, 2)

One little fault for which we keep an affection is more contrary to perfection than a hundred others committed inad­vertently and without affection. (Spiritual Conferences, 8)

The person who would attain per­fection must bear with his own impa­tience. (The Spirit of St. François de Sales, IX, 1)

Perfection does not lie in not seeing the world, but in not tasting or relishing it. (Letters to Persons in the World, VI, 52)

We must not want to have all begin with perfection: it matters little how one begins, provided that one is quite resolved to proceed well or to finish well. (Letters to Persons in Religion, III, 31)

We must take all the care God wishes us to take about perfecting ourselves, and yet leave the care of arriving at perfection entirely to Him. (Spiritual Conferences, 3)

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