A Year with the Saints – 6 July


Astuteness is nothing but a mass of artifices, inventions, craft and deceit, by which we endeavor to mislead the minds of those with whom we are dealing and make them believe that we have no knowledge or sentiment as to the matter in question, except what we manifest by our words. This is wholly contrary to simplicity, which requires our exterior to be perfectly in conformity with our interior. – Saint Francis de Sales

When this good Saint was told by a friend of his that he would have been successful in politics, “No,” he replied, “the mere name of prudence and policy frightens me, and I understand little or nothing about it. I do not know how to lie, to invent or dissimulate without embarrassment, and political business is wholly made up of these things. What I have in my heart, I have upon my tongue; and I hate duplicity like death, for I know how abominable it is to God.”

Saint Vincent de Paul, too, was utterly opposed to worldly policy, and in his dealings with others was most careful to avoid all evasions and artifices. The very shadow of falsehood affrighted him, and he had a horror of equivocations, which deceive an inquirer by answers of double meaning.

MLA Citation