This week's devotional classic is from the introduction to The Devout Life by Francis de Sales (1567-1622. The author was a prolific writer of his day known for being a master of metaphor in describing the spiritual life. He wrote this book as a letter to "Philothea", a name meaning one who loves God. He writes about how a devoted life is perceived by different people according to the their individual strengths, levels of commitment, and place in their spiritual journeys. He says that "Everyone paints devotion according to his own passions and fancies," meaning that we tend to emphasize the doing of certain spiritual disciplines with which we are comfortable while neglecting others. Then he writes of three stages of spiritual growth (a beginning awareness - grace; strength to do good works - charity; and the ability to do good works frequently and promptly - devotion. He poses some interesting thoughts for the reader to ponder and reflect upon.