Bitter-Sweet

Bitter-Sweet

The following is an excerpt from Francis de Sales in his Introduction to the Devout Life: 

“Watch a bee hovering over the mountain thyme; the juices it gathers are bitter, but the bee turns them all to honey - and so tells the worldling that though the devout soul finds bitter herbs along its path of devotion, they are all turned to sweetness and pleasantness as it treads; and the Martyrs have counted fire, sword, and rack but as perfumed flowers by reason of their devotion. And if devotion can sweeten such cruel torments, and even death itself, how much more will it give a charm to ordinary deeds? We sweeten unripe fruit with sugar, and it is useful in correcting the crudity even of that which is good. So devotion is the real spiritual sweetness which takes away all the bitterness from mortifications; and prevents consolations from disagreeing with the soul: it cures the poor of sadness, and the rich of presumption...

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