“When you go to your quiet place, make the Sign of the Cross, thank the Lord for calling you into his presence, sit quietly for a moment, and then simply read the lines of a psalm. When you have finished, sit peacefully with the Lord. The conversation should be natural and unforced. The words of the psalm might linger in your thoughts, which is a good thing. The psalms provide us the perfect vocabulary for talking with the Lord and sharing what is in our hearts.”

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple

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“Be gentle to all, and stern with yourself.”

— St. Teresa of Avila

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“The works of man, whether they are good or bad, are not always isolated, transitory acts; more often, especially in the case of the leaders of nations and those who are invested with public authority, they continue to subsist after they are concluded, either in the memory of other men or in public acclaim, as a result of the consequences they have had and the scandal they have caused. Thus, at first sight, a particular, secret crime seems to be only a private, personal deed; but it becomes social on account of its effects. Certainly it is of faith that there is a particular judgment, and that every man, at the instant of his soul’s departure from the body, appears before the tribunal of God to hear his eternal sentence pronounced. Yet this judgment cannot suffice, and it is essential that it should be followed by another public judgment, in which God will not examine the actions in isolation and taken in themselves, but will examine them in their effects upon other men, in the good or evil deriving from them for families and peoples—in a word, in the consequences they produced and which those who perpetrated them ought to have foreseen.”

— Fr. Charles Arminjon

 

 

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“Thus, brethren, God has loved you from eternity, and through pure love, he has selected you from among so many men whom he could have created in place of you; but he has left them in their nothingness, and has brought you into existence, and placed you in the world. For the love of you, he has made so many other beautiful creatures, that they might serve you, and that they might remind you of the love which he has borne to you, and of the gratitude which you owe to him.”

— St. Alphonsus Liguori

“You must speak to Jesus, not only with your lips, but also with your heart; actually, on certain occasions, you should speak with only your heart.”
— St. Padre Pio

 

 

 

“What is God showing you that you are to do with your life? However small or great that is, it must be yours and not someone else’s. What a stripping, for example, is sickness or aging, or the loss of loved ones, or ultimately the stripping that is the embrace of Sister Death. The important thing is to give humbly and honestly of what God asks you to give. In the end you are the gift God wants; in the meantime each person struggles to know what God wants and whether or not one is really giving the gift of one’s self to God.”

—from Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality

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“When you pray, you only have to ask for two things: You should ask for the light to see the will of God, and you have to ask for the courage to be able to do the will of God.”

— Venerable Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz

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“My great God, you know all that is in the universe, because you yourself have made it. It is the very work of your hands. You are omniscient, because you are omnicreative. You know each part, however minute, as perfectly as you know the whole. You know mind as perfectly as you know matter. You know the thoughts and purposes of every soul as perfectly as if there were no other soul in the whole of your creation. You know me through and through; all my present, past, and future are before you as one whole. You see all those delicate and evanescent motions of my thought which altogether escape myself. You can trace every act, whether deed or thought, to its origin and can follow it into its whole growth and consequences. You know how it will be with me at the end; you have before you that hour when I shall come to you to be judged. How awful is the prospect of finding myself in the presence of my judge! Yet, O Lord, I would not that you should not know me. It is my greatest stay to know that you read my heart. Oh, give me more of that openhearted sincerity which I have desired. Keep me ever from being afraid of your eye, from the inward consciousness that I am not honestly trying to please you. Teach me to love you more, and then I shall be at peace, without any fear of you at all.”

— Bl. John Henry Newman

 

 

“I think there is a special place in purgatory for the person that originated the notion that some places count more than others do. Did this individual ever consider what this implies about the God who longs for us? Imagine God saying, “I’m not listening, Gary, because you are on the treadmill.” That is certainly not the God of Jesus Christ. The Father always hears us, whenever and wherever we cry out to him.”

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple

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“Christian optimism is not a sugary optimism, nor is it a mere human confidence that everything will turn out all right. It is an optimism that sinks its roots into an awareness of our freedom, and the sure knowledge of the power of grace. It is an optimism that leads us to make demands on ourselves, to struggle to respond at every moment to God’s call.”

— St. Josemaria Escriva

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“Many men keep the commandments in the way sick men take medicine: more from fear of dying in damnation than for joy of living according to our Savior’s will. Just as some persons dislike taking medicine, no matter how pleasant it is, simply because it is called medicine, so there are some souls who hold in horror things commanded simply because they are commanded . . . On the contrary, a loving heart loves the commandments. The more difficult they are, the sweeter and more agreeable it finds them, since this more perfectly pleases the Beloved and gives Him greater honor.”

— St. Francis de Sales

 

 

“Much of the history of medieval towns like Assisi and Gubbio remains impenetrable because of the destruction of documents and monuments due to wars and fires and the plague and other vicissitudes of ancient cities. But that is a part of their allure, part of the joy of continuing research and speculation, part of the joy of discovering, the joy of a possible epiphany, a sudden realization of why and how things happened beyond the wardrobe of time present.”

—from Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality

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“What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist? It is God who, as our Savior, offers himself each day for us to his Father’s justice. If you are in difficulties and sorrows, he will comfort and relieve you. If you are sick, he will either cure you or give you strength to suffer so as to merit Heaven. If the devil, the world, and the flesh are making war upon you, he will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist, and to win victory. If you are poor, he will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and eternity. Let us open the door of his sacred and adorable Heart, and be wrapped about for an instant by the flames of his love, and we shall see what a God who loves us can do. O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?”

— St. John Vianney

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“If we do not die to ourselves, and if our holiest devotions do not incline us to this necessary and useful death, we shall bring forth no fruit worth anything, and our devotions will become useless. All our good works will be stained by self-love and our own will . . . We must choose therefore, among all the devotions to the Blessed Virgin, the one which draws us most toward this death to ourselves, inasmuch as it will be the best and the most sanctifying. For we must not think that all that shines is gold, that all that tastes sweet is honey, or that all that is easy to do and is done by the greatest number is the most sanctifying.”

— St. Louis De Montfort

 

 

 

“The Church today teaches us that all of the baptized have two fundamental calls: the universal call to holiness and the universal call to mission. In the extraordinary lives of Saint Francis and Saint Junípero Serra, holiness and mission were one, unified in the joy of the Gospel. When we follow in their way, they show us the way forward as witnesses of Jesus in the world. As disciples of Jesus, we experience the joy of faith, the joy of prayer, the joy of life’s pilgrimage, the joy of detachment, the joy of relationship, the joy of service, and indeed the joy of salvation. Like Francis and Junípero, we find deep joy in following the command: Go forth and proclaim the Good News! Because of our call to holiness, we proclaim the Good News not only with words, but above all by a life transfigured by Jesus Christ.”

–from Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California  Missions

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“God does not fit in an occupied heart.”

— St. John of the Cross

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“I do not wish the soul to consider her sins, either in general or in particular, without also remembering the Blood and the broadness of My mercy, for fear that otherwise she should be brought to confusion. And together with confusion would come the devil, who has caused it, under color of contrition and displeasure of sin, and so she would arrive at eternal damnation, not only on account of her confusion, but also through the despair which would come to her, because she did not seize the arm of My mercy. This is one of the subtle devices with which the Devil deludes My servants, and, in order to escape from his deceit, and to be pleasing to Me, you must enlarge your hearts and affections in My boundless mercy, with true humility. You know that the pride of the Devil cannot resist the humble mind, nor can any confusion of spirit be greater than the broadness of My good mercy, if the soul will only truly hope therein.”

— St. Catherine Of Siena

 

 

“If any of the things that make up my spiritual practices are done out of a hope for gaining something, then I should immediately stop doing them! Our Lady does not care how many rosaries one says or even if one says it at all. However, she does care about the extent to which we are evermore opening our hearts to her Son. Jesus remains the focus and foundation of her eternal life; thus, she continues to serve him by encouraging us to do the same.”

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple

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“People today are seeking the divine presence through tangible places, images, and rituals. Together they experience that reality in Jesus Christ, alive in sacred Scriptures and holy sacraments, reflected in stories of faith, the lives of heroic saints, the quiet of prayerful devotion, and personal encounters between people. Look for the ways that the Lord is risen and living today.”

–from Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California  Missions

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“All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully.”

— St. Ignatius of Loyola

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“Without doubt, Jesus Christ could have abolished pain at a single stroke, and, by virtue of the infinite grace of the Redemption, restored man to the state of complete, unmixed bliss that he enjoyed in the paradise of innocence. He did not so wish. He judged that, for some, suffering would be a source of merit, a gain, a source of glory, and a means of renewal and triumph; that, for the greater number, it would be a necessary expiation. He therefore maintained suffering, but purified, ennobled, and transfigured it by taking it upon Himself. He became the man of sorrows, virum dolorum, in the strict and absolute sense of these words.”

— Fr. Charles Arminjon

 

 

“With regard to evil thoughts, there may be a twofold delusion. God-fearing souls who have little or no gift of discernment, and are inclined to scruples, think that every wicked thought that enters their mind is a sin. This is a mistake, for it is not the wicked thoughts in themselves that are sins, but the yielding or consenting to them. The wickedness of mortal sin consists in the perverse will that deliberately yields to sin with a complete knowledge of its wickedness with full consent. And therefore St. Augustine teaches that when the consent of the will is absent, there is no sin. However much we may be tormented by temptations, the rebellion of the senses, or the inordinate motions of the inferior part of the soul, as long as there is no consent, there is no sin. For the comfort of such anxious souls, let me suggest a good rule of conduct that is taught by all masters in the spiritual life. If a person who fears God and hates sin doubts whether or not he has consented to an evil thought or not, he is not bound to confess it, because it is morally certain that he has not given consent. For had he actually committed a mortal sin, he would have no doubt about it, as mortal sin is such a monster in the eyes of one who fears God that its entrance into the heart could not take place without its being known. Others, on the contrary, whose conscience is lax and not well-informed, think that evil thoughts and desires, though consented to, are not sins provided they are not followed by sinful actions. This error is worse than the one mentioned above. What we may not do, we may not desire. Therefore an evil thought or desire to which we consent comprises in itself all the wickedness of an evil deed.”

— St. Alphonsus Liguori

July 2018
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