The Life of St. Jeanne de Chantel: Choose Love
Jeanne de Chantel was born in France in the 16th century. Married at the age of 20 to a baron, she suffered through the death of three of seven children, and after eight years of a happy marriage, her husband died in a hunting accident.
In 1604, she heard Francis de Sales speak and thus began a long spiritual friendship, during which they co-founded the Order of the Visitation of Mary. In her lifetime, the order grew to 80 communities in several countries.
She was a gifted spiritual teacher, reminding her charges that “No matter what happens, be gentle with yourself.”
What would it mean to take St. Jeanne’s words to heart? In what ways can we be gentle to ourselves? Sometimes the most critical voice we hear is the one in our heads, so today, when we hear a voice of self-criticism, let’s s top and say, “I choose love.” I choose love over fear, doubt, anxiety and worry. When we choose love, we are allowing God’s voice to ring true in our lives. What a difference that makes as we approach each day.