The same in private as in public
Francis de Sales is one of the revered saints of French history. A bishop planned to write a biography of de Sales, so he wanted to know what de Sales was really like. Therefore, when he visited de Sales, the bishop drilled a hole in the wall so he could spy on de Sales’ conduct, to see if he could find the secret of his holy life. What he learned was almost nothing, but it was also almost everything. He discovered that de Sales was the same in private as in public. He slipped out of bed quietly early in the morning, being careful not to awaken his servant. He prayed, answered correspondence and took care of his ordinary tasks in the same gracious manner that he followed when he was in public. Francis de Sales had clean hands; his conduct was honorable, in private and in public.
Do you know someone like that? Someone who is exactly what they appear. There is no difference between their “walk” and their “talk”. It takes self-awareness, often times born through healing, that allows us to have this kind of integrity of life. When we don’t really know who we are, we become whatever surrounds us. In one situation we respond in one way, in a different situation we can be totally different. We bend to blend in with the crowd.
In contrast, when we have knowledge of who we are, we carry that with us into every situation. We can be the person God created us to be to every audience. Francis de Sales was a shining star because he had this authenticity of self and authenticity of faith. I pray we all can continue to grow in that direction.