Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Thursday 02 February |
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Aleteia logo
Spirituality
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Why St. Francis de Sales was skeptical of self-proclaimed mystics

Religious-and-young-man-in-church-with-congregation-faithful-and-hands-together

PeopleImages.com - Yuri A | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 01/23/23

St. Francis de Sales would look at the life of a mystic to discern whether or not they were being deceived by Satan.

You can get Aleteia inspiration and news in your inbox. Our specially curated newsletter is sent each morning. The best part? It's free.

Sign up here

St. Francis de Sales was skeptical of any person who claimed to have mystical visions or a deep spiritual life but were uncharitable toward their neighbor.

Pope Francis quotes the saint’s writings on the topic in his apostolic letter, Totum amoris est.

If you see a person who in prayer has raptures that exalt him above himself to God, and yet has no ecstasy of life, that is, he does not lead a life elevated and joined to God, above all by means of constant charity, believe me, Theotimus, all his raptures are exceedingly dubious and dangerous.

St. Francis de Sales goes even one step further, and claims that if a mystic does not lead a life of charity, their spiritual experiences could be from Satan himself.

Being above ourselves in prayer, but beneath ourselves in life and action, being angelic in meditation, but brutish in conversation, is a true sign that such raptures and ecstasies are nothing other than diversions and deceits of the evil spirit.

St. Francis de Sales’ words are a reminder to us all that while the spiritual life is important, it must be reflected in our works.

Our love of God naturally leads to a deeper love of our neighbor.

Tags:
Francis de SalesSaintsSpiritual Life
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here. It's Free!