Lift up Your Heart: A10-Day Retreat with St. Francis de Sales by Rev. John Burns (Ave Maria Press, 2017) is an updated version of St. Francis de Sales’ meditations, originally published in 1609. Fr. Burns discovered these meditations during a time of his own spiritual searching and seeks to share them with a new generation.
According to Doctor of the Church de Sales, devotion “is simply true love of God.” But that love does not always come easy. For most of us, it requires “a radical reordering of priorities and relationships.” These ten meditations “represent, in their totality, a journey of the soul with the highest of hoped-for outcomes: right relationship with God and right understanding of one’s purpose.”
The ten meditations are: On our Creation, On the End for Which We Were Created, On God’s Benefactions, On Sin, On Death, On Judgment, On Hell, On Paradise, The Election and Choice of Heaven, and The Election and Choice the Soul Makes of a Devout Life.
As the list reveals, there are some weighty topic included in these meditations. People today don’t tend to spend much time contemplating the evil of sin or the pains of hell. But the meditations speak to questions that every individual wrestles with in life. Who am I? Why am I here? What is the purpose of life? What happens to me after I die?
For those who would like to read the original meditations, they are included in an appendix, however Fr. Burns has achieved his goal of updating St. Francis de Sales’ meditations for today. He writes in an accessible style appropriate for teens and adults. Reading about and meditating on the subjects of Lift up Your Heart has the power to transform your life if you are willing to make the choice to live for God.
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