Letter: How to be attractively pious Making piety attractive

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The Independent Online
Maybe the disapproving "Girl from the god squad" (Real Life, 16 June) should read St Francis de Sales (1567-1622). Of the devout he says, "they have beautiful and cheerful faces because they receive all things with happiness and contentment". In a letter of guidance to a married woman, he says, "you must not only be suitably devotional and lead a spiritual life, but make it acceptable to everyone around you.... The sick will respect your devotion if it brings them loving comfort; your family, when they realise it makes you more attentive to their welfare, more approachable in a crisis... your husband, when he sees you making progress in your spiritual life and as a result smiling on him more and showing your love towards him by your gentle conduct.... In short, as far as possible, make your piety attractive."

Sue Norton