Addicted to entertainment? Here’s St. Francis de Sales’ challenging advice


His words can be hard to swallow, but may provide the key to lasting joy and happiness.

Regarded as one of the most influential saints in the past 500 years, St. Francis de Sales made great strides in the 17th century as a spiritual writer. He wrote one of the most popular spiritual classics of all time, called Introduction to the Devout Life. It changed the landscape of spiritual writing and has provided inspiration to countless souls since its publication. His gentle spirit and practical advice has made his book something applicable in every age.

Here are five powerful quotes from this profound book, where de Sales challenges the soul to examine his attachments to various entertainment.

Sports, balls, plays, festivities, pomps, are not in themselves evil, but rather indifferent matters, capable of being used for good or ill.

I say that although it is lawful to amuse yourself, to dance, dress, feast, and see seemly plays,—at the same time, if you are much addicted to these things, they will hinder your devotion, and become extremely hurtful and dangerous to you.

The harm lies, not in doing them, but in the degree to which you care for them.

No one blames children for running after butterflies, because they are children, but is it not ridiculous and pitiful to see full-grown men eager about such worthless trifles as the worldly amusements before named, which are likely to throw them off their balance and disturb their spiritual life?

It is a pity to sow the seed of vain and foolish tastes in the soil of your heart, taking up the place of better things, and hindering the soul from cultivating good dispositions.

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