“By loving his children, the pilgrims, and all those who approached him, Padre Pio united himself more intimately with God. Those who were rehabilitated by Padre Pio’s union with eternal love could not be amorphous creatures; they had to be dynamic. Padre Pio’s spiritual children could be distinguished from other Catholics by their spirit of altruism, by their disposition to righteousness, by their public and private prayers, by their sacrifices which were known only to God, by their professional honesty, by their serenity and wholesome joy.”

—from the book Padre Pio: A Personal Portrait by Fr. Francesco Napolitano

**

“The life of the body is the soul; the life of the soul is God.”

– St. Anthony of Padua

**

“Francis [de Sales] insists that true devotion must touch every area of our life. True devotion is not just a matter of spiritual practices but of bringing all our life under the lordship of Christ. Francis is known for his slogan: ‘Live, Jesus! Live, Jesus!’ What he means by this is an invitation to Jesus to ‘live and reign in our hearts forever and ever’ . . . In other words, for Francis, to live the devout life is to reach the point in our love for God and neighbor that we eagerly (‘carefully, frequently, and promptly’) desire to do His will in all the various ways in which it is communicated to us: in the duties of our state in life, in the objective teaching of God’s Word, in opportunities and occasions presented to us, in response to our interior inspirations.”

— Ralph Martin

 

 

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“Good mothers want nothing more than to ease the pain of their children. They would rather endure the pain themselves than see their children suffer with it. That is exactly the kind of good mother Mary is—she would rather endure the pain herself than to see us suffer. She cares not only about the fact that the pain is there, but also about how to help us heal from it. She loves us and wants to become the instrument of our healing. And she will, if we allow her.”

—from Forgiving Mother: A Marian Novena of Healing and Peace by Marge Steinhage Fenelon

**

 

“Like the apostles who were sent forth from the Upper Room out into the world, each week, each one of us is sent forth from our parish church to the world to be witnesses to Jesus’ saving love. Pope Francis writes “every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love.”

—from Meeting God in the Upper Room: Three Moments to Change Your Life by Peter J. Vaghi

**

“I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but rather, I believe in order that I may understand.”

— St. Anselm of Canterbury

**

“So when we pray, we must stand in His presence, on His level. We must see His suffering in the same way that we see His greatness, and as we picture His compassion. But we must also remember that that suffering, that greatness and that compassion will one day judge us. We shall be weighed in the balance by them; and if we are found wanting in any way, we shall hear the words: ‘Depart from me. . .’ ‘Go elsewhere; go to those who refused to be my friends.'”

— Dom Augustin Guillerand

 

 

 

“God looked at the world he had created, teeming with life, stars flung across the heavens, every bird and bug and animal and flower in its most glorious state, the rivers and mountains and valleys and seas, and man—perfect in his reflection of the image of God—he looked at all of that, and saw that it was incomplete, that something was still missing. Before the Lord of the universe could sit back and rest, he longed for one more thing—to bring woman to life.”

—from the book When We Were Eve: Uncovering the Woman God Created You to Be by Colleen C. Mitchell

**

“And above all, be on your guard not to want to get anything done by force, because God has given free will to everyone and wants to force no one, but only proposes, invites and counsels.”

— St. Angela Merici

**

“We have difficulty understanding this, just as a blind man has difficulty understanding color, but our difficulty doesn’t alter this fact: God’s omnipotence and omniscience respects our freedom. In the core of our being we remain free to accept or reject God’s action in our lives—and to accept or reject it more or less intensely. God wants us to accept him with all our ‘heart, soul, mind, and strength’—in other words, as intensely as possible. But he also knows that we are burdened with selfishness and beset by the devil, so it will take a great effort on our part to correspond to his grace. … Every time our conscience nudges us to refrain from sharing or tolerating that little bit of gossip, every time we feel a tug in our hearts to say a prayer or give a little more effort, every time we detect an opportunity to do a hidden act of kindness to someone in need, we are faced with an opportunity to please the Lord by putting our faith in his will.”

— Fr. John Bartunek

 

 

“Again and again, Pope Francis reminds us that we’re to go out to meet people where they are, not wait for them to come to church. While he would be the first to remind us that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, he also knows that sometimes it’s a long journey to get there. And we can’t wait at the top while people struggle on the way up. We need to join them on the journey. We need to bring Christ to them on the way.”

—from the book Pope Francis and Our Call to Joy by Diane M. Houdek

**

“We have received baptism, entrance into the Church, and the honor of being called Christians. Yet what good will this do us if we are Christians in name only and not in fact?”

– St. Andrew Kim Taegon

**

“Many people seem to worry themselves a great deal more over the things they cannot help than over the things that they can. … This want of proportion is doubtless observable in myself. Do I think more of the accidents of birth, fortune, and personal appearance than of the self that I have created? For I myself am responsible for myself. ‘To be born a gentleman is an accident; to die one is an achievement.’ Other things, then, I may not be able to help; but myself, I can. As I am at this very moment, as my character is—truthful or untruthful, pure or impure, patient or impatient, slow to wrath or quick-tempered, eager, enthusiastic, energetic, or lazy and dull and wasteful of time—I have no one to thank but myself … the fact remains that I myself alone am responsible for my own character; for character is an artificial thing that is not born, but made.”

— Fr. Bede Jarrett

 

 

 

“There is no spiritual wellness without the wholeness of a fully integrated body and soul. We cannot pursue spiritual wholeheartedness and intimacy with God living in bodies that bear shame, bodies we have come to see as enemies to our wellness. We were created as body and soul at once, and both aspects of our humanity are marked with the fingerprints of God.”

—from When We Were Eve: Uncovering the Woman God Created You to Be by Colleen C. Mitchell

**

“If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master’s presence. And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord’s presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed.”

— St. Francis de Sales

**

“Resist anything that leads to moodiness. Our prayer each day should be, ‘Let the joy of the Lord be my strength’. Cheerfulness and joy were Our Lady’s strength. This made her a willing handmade of God. Only joy could have given her the strength to go in haste over the hills of Judea to her cousin Elizabeth, there to do the work of a handmaid. If we are to be true handmaids of the Lord, then we too, each day, must go cheerfully in haste over the hills of difficulties.”

— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

“It’s easy to become discouraged that we do not pray as often or with the intensity that Saint Francis had. Yet prayer is the last place where we should compare ourselves to others. We don’t know if another person’s prayer reflects a life already turned over to God’s grace or a life with much to be relinquished to God’s grace. Long prayers are not necessarily better. What matters is the integrity of prayer, the openness the person praying shows to conversion to the Lord’s

“ways. 

–from Peace and Good: Through the Year with Francis of Assisi by Pat McCloskey, OFM

**

“He took what is mine in order that He might impart to me what is His. He took it not to overturn it but to fill it.”

– St. Ambrose

**

“A hidden and obscure life affords great security to those who sincerely desire to love God. Our Divine Master Himself deigned to teach us this by His own example, for He spent thirty years in the obscurity of Nazareth and the workshop of a humble carpenter. In imitation of their Divine Model, many saints withdrew into the desert and lived in remote caves to escape the esteem of men. The desire to put ourselves forward and merit the plaudits of men, to be regarded as very successful in our undertakings, is, according to St. Vincent de Paul, and evil that causes us to forget our God; it vitiates our holiest actions and more than anything else impedes our progress in the spiritual life. To be pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God, we must therefore banish from our hearts the desire to appear before men to win their approval and applause and especially the desire to rule over others.”

— St. Alphonsus Liguiori

 

 

“Traditional Catholic prayer is fundamentally oriented to Christ and his body, the Church, and its sacraments.

It recognizes that Christ continues to live out his paschal mystery in the lives of the faithful and understands that prayer is the key to remaining united to him at all times.”

—from the book Prayer in the Catholic Tradition by Robert J. Wicks

**

 

“O God, who created beings both visible and invisible, we praise you for the service and protection of your angels. Through the intercession of your archangel Raphael, guide us on our journey and guard us on our way. We pray for your merciful cure upon those most in need of the care of your angel Raphael, and we implore your healing from all our afflictions in body, mind, and spirit. May we rejoice with all your angels and saints as we praise your glory forever. Amen.”

–from the book Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions by Stephen J. Binz

**

“Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.”

— St. Thomas Aquinas

**

“You judge me, O Lord, for, although no one ‘knows the things of a man but the spirit of man which is in him,’ there is something further in man which not even that spirit of man which is in him knows. But you, Lord, who made him, know all things that are in him. Although I despise myself before your sight, and account myself but dust and ashes, yet I know something of you which I do not know about myself. In truth, ‘we see now through a glass in a dark manner,’ and not yet ‘face to face.’  … Let me confess, then, what I know about myself. Let me confess also what I do not know about myself, since that too which I know about myself I know because you enlighten me. As to that which I am ignorant of concerning myself, I remain ignorant of it until my ‘darkness shall be made as the noonday in your sight.'”

— St. Augustine

 

“As the pilot of a vessel is tried in the storm; as the wrestler is tried in the ring, the soldier in the battle, and the hero in adversity: so is the Christian tried in temptation.”

— St. Basil the Great

**

“Our confidence in God must be founded on His infinite goodness and on the merits of the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, with this condition on our part: that we should preserve and recognize in ourselves an entire and firm resolution to belong wholly to God, and to abandon ourselves in all things, and without any reserve, to His Providence. Observe that I do not say that we must feel this resolution to belong wholly to God, but only that we must have it and recognize it in ourselves; we must not concern ourselves with what we feel or do not feel, since the greater part of our feelings and satisfactions are only the movements of self-love. Neither must it be supposed that in all this practice of abandonment and indifference, we shall never have desires contrary to the will of God, or that nature will never shrink with repugnance from the dispositions of His good pleasure, for these will often occur. The virtues of abandonment and indifference reside in the higher region of our soul; the lower region, generally speaking, has nothing to do with them. We must remain at peace, and paying no attention whatever to what that lower nature desires, we must embrace the divine will and unite ourselves to it—whatsoever this may entail. There are very few persons who reach this height of perfect self-renunciation; nevertheless, we must all aim at it, each according to his little measure.”

— St. Francis de Sales

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