“It seems to me that I am no more than a very tiny thing in the arms of God, and that I will remain so until I die. I do not know what He wants to do with me, but I desire it all.”

—Venerable Marthe Robin, as quoted in Robert Ellsberg’s The Franciscan Saints

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“The most deadly poison of our times is indifference. And this happens, although the praise of God should know no limits. Let us strive, therefore, to praise Him to the greatest extent of our powers.”

— St. Maximilian Kolbe

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“There is another reason also why the soul has traveled safely in this obscurity; it has suffered: for the way of suffering is safer, and also more profitable, than that of rejoicing and of action. In suffering God gives strength, but in action and in joy the soul does but show its own weakness and imperfections. And in suffering, the soul practices and acquires virtue, and becomes pure, wiser, and more cautious.”

— St. John of the Cross

 

 

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“When you read and study Scripture, you are not alone. You are part of an ancient and global community (Acts 2:42–47). It’s more than an individual expression, because it also happens in and with the universal Church. Reading and studying Scripture is both an individual expression of love and trust for God, as well as a communal expression of our faith.”

—from the book Ignite: Read the Bible Like Never Before

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“The closer one approaches to God, the simpler one becomes.”

— St. Teresa of Avila

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“Prayer is the duty of every moment. We ought always to pray, said our Lord. And what He said, He did; therein lay His great power. Action accompanied His words and corresponded with them. We must pray always in order to be on our guard. Our life, both of body and soul, our natural and supernatural life, is like a fragile flower. We live surrounded by enemies. Ever since man rejected the Light that was meant to show him the way, everything has become for us an obstacle and a danger; we live in the shadow of death.”

— Dom Augustin Guillerand

 

 

“We as human persons are made with infinite desires that only God can fulfill. But because we’re fallen, we tend to live at the level of our superficial desires—desires for comfort, fun, fame, wealth, pleasure, success. These desires are not bad, but the rosary helps us be more aware of the soul’s deepest desires, which are for God. As Saint Catherine of Siena taught, the greatest gift we can give to God in prayer is not the finite work of saying the words but our “infinitely desirous love” for God that is expressed in those words and that is being drawn out of our souls in prayer.”

—from Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth

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“The name of Jesus, pronounced with reverence and affection, has a kind of power to soften the heart.”

— St. Philip Neri

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“As we have seen, there is sometimes a big difference between what God is actually asking of us, and what we imagine he is asking. We won’t have the grace to do what God is not asking of us. But for what he is asking, he has promised us his grace: God grants what he commands. When God inspires us to do something (if it really is God who is the source of the inspiration), at the same time he supplies the ability to do it, even if it is beyond our capacity or scares us at the start. Every motion that comes from God brings both the light to understand what God intends, and the strength to accomplish it: light that illuminates the mind, and strength that gives power to the will.”

— Fr. Jacques Philippe

 

 

 

“Tom Harkin, senator from Iowa, entered into the Congressional Record these words from an article in the Des Moines Register: “Sister [Dorothy] Hennessey taught many things, including courage, compassion, and the importance of independent thought and creative action. She taught that aging gracefully can be consistent with living meaningfully and even dangerously. But most important, she taught that we don’t have to stand by in frustration when wrongs are perpetrated, even by our government; that the world is best served when we stand up for what is right. And that you do whatever you can, from wherever you are. In her case it was the Lord’s work.”

—from Robert Ellsberg’s book The Franciscan Saints

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“The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace.”

— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

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“You have never begrudged the martyrs their triumph but rather trained them for it. And so I am asking you to be consistent with the lessons you teach them. Just beg for me the courage and endurance not only to speak but also to will what is right, so that I may not only be called a Christian, but prove to be one. For if I prove myself to be a Christian by martyrdom, then people will call me one, and my loyalty to Christ will be apparent when the world sees me no more. Nothing you can see is truly good. For our Lord Jesus Christ, now that he has returned to his Father, has revealed himself more clearly. Our task is not one of producing persuasive propaganda; Christianity shows its greatness when it is hated by the world.”

— St. Ignatius of Antioch

 

 

“Truth sees God, and wisdom contemplates God, and from these two comes a third, a holy and wonderful delight in God, who is love.””

— St. Juliana of Norwich

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“We must all grow in a clear conviction of our duty to be holy as Jesus is holy. Holiness is one of the most beautiful gifts a human heart can offer to God. We should serve Jesus in his poor by doing for them the things we would like to do for him. This is where sanctity is hidden for us: In knowing Jesus, in loving Jesus, and in serving Jesus in the people around us. If we do this, we will become professionals in holiness.”

— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

“Sometimes darkness has its hour and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Sometimes the blind, wounded forces of jealousy, bitterness, violence, and sin cannot, for that moment, be stopped.

But, like Mary under the cross, we are asked to “stand” under them, not in passivity and weakness, but in strength, knowing that we can’t stop the crucifixion but we can help stop some of the hatred, anger, and bitterness that surround it.

And, in this way, we help take away the sins of the world and continue to bring Jesus’s saving death to the world.”

–from Ronald Rolheiser, author of the book The Passion and the Cross

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“Patience smooths away lots of difficulties.”

— St. John Bosco

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“In this valley of tears, every man is born to weep, and all must suffer, by enduring the evils that take place every day. But how much greater would be the misery of life, if we also knew the future evils that await us! ‘Unfortunate, indeed, would be the situation of someone who knows the future’, says the pagan Roman philosopher Seneca; ‘he would have to suffer everything by anticipation’. Our Lord shows us this mercy. He conceals the trials that await us so that, whatever they may be, we may endure them only once. But he didn’t show Mary this compassion. God willed her to be the Queen of Sorrows, and in all things like his Son. So she always had to see before her eyes, and continually to suffer, all the torments that awaited her. And these were the sufferings of the passion and death of her beloved Jesus. For in the temple, St. Simeon, having received the divine Child in his arms, foretold to her that her Son would be a sign for all the persecutions and oppositions of men. … Jesus our King and his most holy mother didn’t refuse, for love of us, to suffer such cruel pains throughout their lives. So it’s reasonable that we, at least, should not complain if we have to suffer something.”

— St. Alphonsus Liguori

 

 

Among all the religious symbols in the world, none is more universal than the cross. You see crosses everywhere: on walls, on hillsides, in churches, in houses, in bedrooms, on chains around peoples’ necks, on rings, on earrings, on old people, on young people, on believers, and on people who aren’t sure what they believe.

Not everyone can explain what the cross means or why they choose to wear one, but most everyone has an inchoate sense that it is a symbol—perhaps the ultimate symbol—of depth, love, fidelity, and faith.”

–from the book The Passion and the Cross

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“You can do more with the grace of God than you think.”

— St. John Baptist de la Salle

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“The Church has been uniting her praises to those which the angels and her own elect children have been giving to God in heaven. In this way, she already begins to do, here below, what is destined to occupy her for all eternity. United to the praises of the man-God, this praise, the prayer of the Church, becomes divine and the Liturgy of the earth becomes one with that of the celestial hierarchies in the Court of Christ, echoing that everlasting praise which springs forth from the furnace of infinite love which is the Most Holy Trinity.”

— Dom Jean-Baptist Chautard

 

“To be humble, to accept our limits, is to find the grounding for our becoming fulfilled. It is a striving against those limits that has led to much misery and a great deal of destruction, including the wide-scale erosion of the very soil we are supposed to move toward in our lowliness.

What if we could stop, breathe in our God-given breath, live our given lives in the forms through which we can find our fullness?”

–from the book Wendell Berry and the Given Life

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“A friend is more to be longed for than the light; I speak of a genuine one. And wonder not: for it were better for us that the sun should be extinguished, than that we should be deprived of friends; better to live in darkness, than to be without friends.”

— St. John Chrysostom

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“Perhaps we do not know what love is, nor does this greatly surprise me. Love does not consist in great sweetness of devotion, but in a fervent determination to strive to please God in all things, in avoiding, as far as possible, all that would offend Him, and in praying for the increase of the glory and honor of His Son and for the growth of the Catholic Church.”

— St. Teresa of Avila

 

“When I am in my last hour, when I am very near death, when I am so soon to change form and travel in unaccountable ways and places, I hope I will be of sound enough mind to murmur this, to our three children, and perhaps, if the Mercy has been especially ridiculously generous, our grandchildren: It was for you that I was here, and for you I prayed every day of your life, and for you I will pray in whatever form I am next to take. Lift the rock, and I am there; cleave the wood, and I am there; call for me, and I will listen; for I hope to be a prayer for you and yours long after I am dust and ash. Amen.”

—from the book Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace

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“Make friends with the angels, who though invisible are always with you. Often invoke them, constantly praise them, and make good use of their help and assistance in all your temporal and spiritual affairs.”

— St. Francis de Sales

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“Great things are done through grace, and one attribute of the great things which grace enables the soul to do is their lastingness, their continuance, their permanent life and strength, as years roll past. I say, the works of grace are permanent.”

— Bl. John Henry Newman

 

 

“When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.”

— Pope Saint Gregory the Great

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“Some people who think themselves naturally gifted don’t want to touch either philosophy or logic. They don’t even want to learn natural science. They demand bare faith alone—as if they wanted to harvest grapes right away without putting any work into the vine. We must prune, dig, trellis, and do all the other work. I think you’ll agree the pruning knife, the pickaxe, and the farmer’s tools are necessary for growing grapevines, so that they will produce edible fruit. And as in farming, so in medicine: the one who has learned something is the one who has practiced the various lessons, so that he can cultivate or heal. And here, too, I say you’re truly educated if you bring everything to bear on the truth. Taking what’s useful from geometry, music, grammar, and philosophy itself, you guard the Faith from assault.”

— St. Clement of Alexandria

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