Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Review: Courage in Chaos

Courage in Chaos: Wisdom from Francis de Sales
Compiled by Kathryn Hermes, FSP
Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2012

Courage in Chaos: Wisdom for Francis de Sales is part of the Classic Wisdom Collection published by Pauline Books. The purpose of the series is to offer guidance for today's challenges by offering excerpts from works by prominent Catholic saints.

St. Francis de Sales was born into a French noble family in 1567. He became a priest and served as a missionary in Le Chalbais in Savoy to help bring Calvinists back into the Catholic faith. At age thirty-five, he became the Bishop of Geneva-Annecy. He wrote "An Introduction to the Devout Life" and "Treatise on the Love of God," as well as over 20,000 letters. With St. Jane Frances de Chantal, he founded the Visitation Sisters.

"Courage in Chaos" offers excerpts from St. Frances de Sales' writings gathered around themes such as "Be Just and Fair," "Be Not Too Anxious," "Do Small Things with Great Love," "The Need for Patience," and "Be Content." The compiler, Sr. Kathryn Hermes, has selected many pearls of wisdom, such as "Great works do not lie always in our way, but every moment we may do little ones with excellence, that is, with great love," and "Lose no occasion, however trifling, of exercising sweetness of heart toward anyone." There is much practical advice contained within these pages.

In her foreward, Sr. Hermes writes that she first discovered St. Francis de Sales in the 1960s - a time of turbulent change. She states that "Francis and his writings were balm to my spirit during a time that tried us all." And so, she offers his wisdom for readers today, during another time of change and chaos.

"Courage and Chaos" is not geared for spiritual beginners, but rather for those who have taken a few steps on the spiritual journey. St. Francis de Sales does, however, have much to say to those who are trying to live a God-centered life in a crazy world.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Courage in Chaos: Wisdom from Francis de Sales. They are also a great source for a baptism gifts or first communion gifts.

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