Lift Up Your Heart: A 10 Day Personal Retreat with St. Francis de Sales by John Burns

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Lift Up Your Heart is an unique introduction to the writings of St. Francis de Sales, offering readers a personal, ten-day mini-retreat based on ten famous meditations from de Sales spiritual classic, Introduction to the Devout Life.

Rev. John Burns is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Ordained in 2010, he has served as an associate pastor and pastor in Milwaukee as well as an adjunct professor of moral theology at the Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology. Burns completed a doctorate in moral theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome in 2019. His doctoral research focuses on the theology of healing through forgiveness.


Burns speaks at conferences, preaches missions, and directs retreats throughout the country. He is the author of Lift Up Your Heart. Burns works extensively with the Sisters of Life and Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity and has given retreats, conferences, and spiritual direction for the sisters in Africa, Europe, and the United States.

Review Quotes:
"After reading this book, you'll crave holiness in a whole new way and find yourself equipped with time-tested tools for renewing your relationship with God and living a daily life of communion with him." -- Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York


"Reading this book is a true retreat--it quickly drew my prayer life to new depths. Fr. John takes us through the timeless wisdom of St. Francis de Sales in a way that is accessible and applicable for anyone at any age. A must-read and a real gift!" -- Sarah Swafford, Author of Emotional Virtue


"This is an altogether beautiful book filled with wholesome and attractive spiritual wisdom. It presents the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales in a lively, accessible style that is utterly sincere. It should gain the widest possible readership, and may very well endure as a small, portable classic in its own right. Highly recommended." -- John C. Cavadini, Professor of theology and director of the Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame


"In this book, Fr. John Burns helps us access the famous meditations of St. Francis de Sales in order to put ourselves in the presence of God. This is a gift that ultimately speaks to our salvation and cultivates the daily decisions that help us choose God now and in everything we do. This book is for all who take their faith seriously but somewhere along the way dismissed the notions of heaven and hell. Through his commentary on St. Francis deSales's themes of judgment and death, heaven and hell, Fr. John Burns reminds us of their centrality to our eternal life and implications for our time here on earth." -- Carolyn Woo, Former president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services

Publisher Marketing:
Winner of a 2018 Catholic Press Association Award: First-Time Author, Spirituality Softcover (First Place) and a 2018 Association of Catholic Publishers Award: Inspirational (Second Place).


For more than four-hundred years, Introduction to the Devout Life by Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales has been regarded as the essential guide to holiness and loving God. This spiritual classic takes on new life in Lift Up Your Heart, where Rev. John Burns has interpreted ten meditations for the modern reader and distilled them into a ten-day mini-retreat that can easily be completed in the midst of a busy life.


This practical book goes right to the heart of helping you kick the habit of floating along on your spiritual journey to start actively pursuing holiness and devotion to God. During the course of the retreat, you'll learn the basics of forming a daily prayer routine, including how to offer yourself to God, meditate on his love, and maintain peace in the face of suffering and clarity in the midst of temptation. The meditations will help you:
  • Adopt gratitude as a daily prayer practice.
  • Examine and reorder your priorities and relationships to better reflect your love for God.
  • Discern between good and evil in your life.
  • Desire to love and serve as Jesus did.
In a very real sense, Burns helps you take St. Francis de Sales as your spiritual director for ten days. As you do so, you'll feel God's fatherly love and restart your faith life, equipped with the tools to connect with God and live for heaven now.