“In our present, fallen condition, the love we as mothers have for our children enables us to see more clearly into the window of our children’s souls, beholding their God-given glory more easily than other people are able to do.

The truth is, most of us fail to truly recognize the beauty in those around us. In a perfect world, untainted by sin and selfishness, we should look at everyone with the loving eyes a godly mother has for her child.”

—from The Church Is Our Mother: Seven Ways She Inspires Us to Love by Gina Loehr

**

“O my God, fill my soul with holy joy, courage and strength to serve You. Enkindle Your love in me and then walk with me along the next stretch of road before me.”

— St. Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

**

“The Spirit of God is a spirit of peace, and he speaks and acts in peace and gentleness, never in tumult and agitation. What’s more, the motions of the Spirit are delicate touches that don’t make a great noise and can penetrate our spiritual consciousness only if we have within ourselves a sort of calm zone of silence and peace. If our inner world is noisy and agitated, the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit will find it very difficult to be heard. If we want to recognize and follow the Spirit’s motions, it is of the greatest importance to maintain a peaceful heart in all circumstances.”

— Fr. Jacques Philippe

 

 

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“God does not love us because we are good; God loves us because God is good. Nothing humans can do will inhibit, direct, decrease, or increase God’s eagerness to love. That is the one absolute of biblical faith, as Pope Francis says, and all else is relative to it. All other claims to some theoretical “absolute truth,” even by the Church, are all in the head, and that is not where we need truth.

For us, the word has become flesh. So we need to first find truth in relationships and in ourselves, and not in theories. Only great love can handle great truth.”

—from Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi by Richard Rohr

**

“He who labors as he prays lifts his heart to God with his hands.”

— St. Benedict of Nursia

**

“The story of Christ’s life and ministry cannot be told without giving due space to Satan’s activity. The Gospel writers carefully distinguish between cases of mere physical ailments and cases of a demonic character (both of which Jesus cures). Jesus frequently refers to the devil in his parables and other teachings, and the devil himself tempts Jesus in the desert and returns again later to engineer Judas’ betrayal (cf. Jn 13:2). This Gospel motif teaches us an undeniable, if uncomfortable lesson: the devil is real, and he is interested in counteracting the work of grace. In one sense, accepting this fundamental truth, and keeping it always in the back of our minds, can comfort us tremendously: it helps us make sense of all the unpleasant influences at work in and around us. We are not crazy; we are not failures; we are simply engaged in a spiritual battle. If we believe in Jesus Christ, we must also believe in the devil—doomed as he is, he would love to take as many souls as he can along with him.”

— Fr. John Bartunek

 

“As members of a Church that promotes a culture of life, we are called to celebrate the lives of those who may not look like us or act like us. Learn to see each person, regardless of his or her challenges, as a human being specially created by God.

It may be easier for us to volunteer at a shelter to feed the homeless than to show love and compassion for an autistic boy, a little girl with Down syndrome, or a disabled person in a wheelchair in our own parishes. Look for ways to recognize Christ in each of them. As it reads in Matthew 10:42: “And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

—from Joyful Witness: How to be an Extraordinary Catholic by Randy Hain

**

“A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.”

— St. Therese of Lisieux

**

“The beatitude of the saints is immutable, like that of the Son of God. . . Add ages to ages; multiply them equal to the sand of the ocean or the stars of heaven; exhaust all numbers, if you can, beyond what the human intelligence can conceive, and for the elect there will be still the same eternity of happiness. They are immutable, and this immutability excludes weariness and disgust. The life of an elect soul is one succession, without end, of desires ever arising and ever satisfied, but desires without trouble, satiety or lassitude. The elect will always see God, love God, possess God and always will wish to see Him, love Him and possess Him still more. This beatitude is the end destined for all; God has given us time only in order to merit it, being and life only to possess it. Reflect seriously on this great truth, and ask yourself these three questions at the foot of the crucifix: What have I done hitherto for heaven? What ought I to do for heaven? What shall I do henceforward for heaven?”

— St. Ignatius of Loyola

 

“Mary is our Mother, and she loves us deeply. Because she is a child of God herself and loves us so very much, she wants us to experience that same joy of being a child of God. She understands how important and powerful his love is, and she knows how profoundly God loves each of us individually and uniquely. She will intercede for us, invoking the Holy Spirit to lead us to God the father.”

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

**

“When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.”
— St. Basil the Great

**

“Prayer is more the work of the heart than of the head; it should, therefore, be simple, affective, and sincere. Let not the mind, then, weary itself in seeking for beautiful thoughts and sonorous phrases; we meditate not to prepare a finished sermon, nor to address God with fine rhetoric, but to nourish our soul with reflections which may enlighten and move us, and excite holy and generous resolutions; we make these reflections for ourselves alone, let them, then, be simple as well as pious. In affections, likewise, we seek for the practice of virtue, and not for the pleasures of a refined egotism. Let us never confound our sensible feelings with our will, or mere emotion with devotion. None of these acts need be made with a feverish ardour, nor in a tone of enthusiastic fervor . . . Above all, our prayers should be the faithful echo of our interior dispositions; our affections should express the sentiments which reign in our heart, or which we wish to form there; our petitions should proceed from a real desire; our every resolution should be a firm purpose of the will, and thus our whole soul will be upright and sincere before God.”

— Rev. Dom Vitalis Lehodey

 

 

“What a wonderful habit it is to make the Sign of the Cross, to bring Christ to our minds and to our hearts as we carry the crosses of life on our shoulders.

With this sign, we participate in the mystery of the Trinity and are reminded that from the Father came the Son, and from them, the Holy Spirit, who gives us the strength and the knowledge to bear witness to the truth.”

—from the book Amazing Graces: The Blessings of Sacramentals by Julie Dortch Cragon

**

“You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.”

— St. Augustine

**

“Much that is true of human relationships is also true of our relationship with God. Human relationships of friendship or marriage need time, attention, and care for them to continue and to grow. The same is true of our relationship with God. We have been called to union but we need to respond. As we turn to God in conversion or in a deeper awakening, besides turning away from deliberate sin—which deforms the soul, blocks the relationship and offends the Person who has sacrificed His life for us—we need to positively build the relationship by paying attention to the One who loves us. Prayer is at root simply paying attention to God.”

— Ralph Martin

“We can write our own psalms of lament and express our prayers of suffering. In a journal or spoken aloud, our cries of abandonment and loneliness should come out.

Perhaps the words that reflect the sorrow of our hearts can come only from our own depths, and maybe they can come out only in forms of music or art or dance. These small steps of prayerful beginning are a movement toward trusting that God has not abandoned us.”

—from Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

**

“You will not see anyone who is truly striving after his spiritual advancement who is not given to spiritual reading.”

— St. Athanasius of Alexandria
**

“For us Christians, the first virtue of godliness is to honor our parents—to pay back the troubles of those who bore us, and to give them whatever comforts we can with all our strength. For if we repaid them as much as possible, we could still never pay them back for their gift of life. Then they will enjoy the comfort we provide, . . . And then won’t our Father in heaven accept our good intentions, and judge us worthy to ‘shine like the sun in the Kingdom of our Father’ (Matthew 13:43)?”

— St. Cyril of Jerusalem

 

 

“Sacrifice teaches us the joy of putting others first, while it strengthens us to respond decisively to the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Yielding to God takes guts, like leaping off a high precipice into pitch darkness. It feels risky, but when we can’t clearly see what’s ahead and we choose to entrust ourselves to God’s love, the rewards are fantastic. It’s as if we ventured out into the wilderness with no provisions, to discover mysterious treasures that speak to our hearts like nothing we have ever experienced before. ”

—from True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life  by Lisa Mladinich

**

“Since love completes all, makes all hard things soft, and the difficult easy, let us strive to make all our acts proceed from love.”

— St. Arnold Janssen

**

“The Devil didn’t deal out temptations to Our Lord only. He brings these evil schemes of his to bear on each of Jesus’ servants—and not just on the mountain or in the wilderness or when we’re by ourselves. No, he comes after us in the city as well, in the marketplaces, in courts of justice. He tempts us by means of others, even our own relatives. So what must we do? We must disbelieve him altogether, and close our ears against him, and hate his flattery. And when he tries to tempt us further by offering us even more, then we should shun him all the more. . . We aren’t as intent on gaining our own salvation as he is intent on achieving our ruin. So we must shun him, not with words only, but also with works; not in mind only, but also in deed. We must do none of the things that he approves, for in that way will we do all those things that God approves. Yes, for the Devil also makes many promises, not so that he may give them to us, but so that he may take away from us. He promises plunder, so that he may deprive us of the kingdom of God and of righteousness. He sets out treasures in the earth as snares and traps, so that he may deprive us both of these and of the treasures in heaven. He would have us be rich in this life, so that we may not be rich in the next.”

— St. John Chrysostom

 

 

“The Church has given us the gift of the saints to show that God does great things in people’s lives. The saints, after all, were ordinary people, too. They needed to call on the Lord for help.

By actively praising God and giving thanks, our hearts will find the resting place that we so desire. Saint Teresa of Avila said this:
“Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing away:
God never changes.”

—from Jeff Cavins’ book Praise God and Thank Him: Biblical Keys to a Joyful Life

**

“The Lord manifests Himself to those who stop for some time in peace and humility of heart. If you look in murky and turbulent waters, you cannot see the reflection of your face. If you want to see the face of Christ, stop and collect your thoughts in silence, and close the door of your soul to the noise of external things.”

— St. Anthony of Padua

**

“All, however, cannot attain to the same degree of sacrifice. There are chosen souls whom God has raised above the ordinary callings of life, who, true to their vocation, show their love for God in heroic self-denial, in total surrender to His will, exulting in the use of all their powers to spread His kingdom. But regardless of disparity of calling, all can be led by the same spirit. It is the spirit, not the measure, of sacrifice that will decide our eternity.”

— John A. Kane

 

 

“The true measure of loving God is to love Him without measure.”
— St. Bernard of Clairvaux

**

“Voluntary poverty restores to man the nobility of his condition, liberating him from vile servitude and reinstating him his noble freedom and mastery of all things. The soul is never more a mistress than when she despises them, and only then has she the more firm possession and makes the more excellent use of riches, when she gives them away or leaves them of her own free will; only then her appetite for them is best satiated, when she does not care to possess them. Then above all is the heart set free and made capable of the treasures of the Divinity, for which it is furnished by the Creator with almost infinite capacity.”

— Ven. Mary of Agreda

“Jesus brings us a message that is startling and new: Each of us is called to be the dwelling place of God. Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Corinthians, says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” These are strong words! Jesus says, ‘I dwell in you and you in me.’” This is radically new. We are, each one of us, the dwelling place of God.”

—from the book The Gospel of John, the Gospel of Relationship by Jean Vanier

**

“We find ourselves in this earth as in a tempestuous sea, in a desert, in a vale of tears. Now then, Mary is the Star of the Sea, the solace of our desert, the light that guides us towards heaven.”

— St. John Bosco

**

“The Spirit of God teaches us how we can live our faith with great generosity of spirit. There is a vertical dimension to our faith (praising and worshiping God), but there is also a horizontal dimension to our faith in which we show our love to our sisters and brothers, God’s beloved children.”

— Rev. Jude Winkler

 

 

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