Another [person] gladly takes a coin out of his purse and gives it to the poor, but he cannot extract kindness from his heart and forgive his enemies. Another forgives [her] enemies but never pays [her] creditors unless compelled to do so by force of law. All these [people) are usually considered to be devout, but they are by no means such. Saul’s servants searched for David in his house but Michal had put a statue on his bed, covered it with David’s clothes, and thus led them to think that it was David himself lying there sick and sleeping. In the same manner, many persons clothe themselves with certain outward actions connected with holy devotion and the world believes that they are truly devout and spiritual whereas they are in fact nothing but copies and phantoms of devotion.
—From Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales, in A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People by Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck (Upper Room Books, 1990)
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“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
—Matthew 23:27-28 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Dear God, I am humbled to hear the good news that you love me and will never let me go. Guide me this day to share this good news with those around me. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
The featured book this week, A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People, is part of The Upper Room Guide to Prayer Series. You can find this book as well as A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God, and A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants on The Upper Room Online Store.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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