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

— St. Athanasius of Alexandria

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“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

 

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“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

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“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

“Francis was a man born of wealth, a leader who dreamed of knighthood and who went to war on a high steed only to be brought low to the earth in defeat and imprisonment that marked him with what has been the fate of countless soldiers and prisoners of war throughout the centuries. Some say that mark was what today we call post-traumatic stress, an experience that affected Francis his whole life long until, singing “Bring me out of prison,” the words of Psalm 142, David’s prayer in a cave, he entered eternity on the high steed of evangelical poverty and intimate union with Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior.”

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis

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“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

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“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

 

 

“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

“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

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“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

 

“Our heart is a highly sensitive receiver; it can listen through all our senses. Whatever we hear, but also whatever we see, taste, touch, or smell, vibrates deep down with God’s song. To resonate with this song in gratefulness is what I call singing back. This attitude of prayer has given great joy to all my senses and to my heart.”

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life

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“When we contemplate the sufferings of Jesus He grants us, according to the measure of our faith, the grace to practice the virtues He revealed during those sacred hours.”

— St. Angela Merici

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“Now, as he was riding one day over the plain of Assisi he met a leper, whose sudden appearance filled him with fear and horror; but forthwith calling to mind the resolution which he had made to follow after perfection, and remembering that if he would be a soldier of Christ he must first overcome himself, he dismounted from his horse and went to meet the leper, that he might embrace him: and when the poor man stretched out his hand to receive an alms, he kissed it and filled it with money. Having again mounted his horse, he looked around him over the wide and open plain, but nowhere could he see the leper; upon which, being filled with wonder and joy, he began devoutly to give thanks to God, purposing within himself to proceed to still greater things than this.”

— St. Bonaventure

 

 

“Hold a space in your heart for the world. We’re all ancestors of future generations who hope we’ll build the fire that can be seen in the distance. All of us, each one of us, traveling together on the one road. And if we took responsibility for the world into our own hearts, what might happen?”

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Night

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“In this life our lot is not to enjoy God, but to do his holy will.”

— St. Teresa of Avila

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“I desire that you know more profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls, and you will understand this when you meditate upon My Passion. Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation. When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion. This is the prayer: ‘O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.‘ ”

— St. Faustina Kowalska

 

 

“The teachings of St. Francis enable us to imagine another future that gives us hope; for hope is the grace to imagine a future more positive, more loving, and more joyful than the world we now find ourselves in. As St. Francis used to say to his brothers, “Let us begin to do good, for up to now we have done nothing.”

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis

**

“Guard against anger. But if it cannot be averted, let it be kept within bounds. For indignation is a terrible incentive to sin. It disorders the mind to such an extent as to leave no room for reason.”

— St. Ambrose

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“No creature ever loved Jesus Christ more ardently, nor showed more perfect submission to His will, than Mary, His mother. If then, this Savior, immolated for us sinners, gave His mother to us, an advocate and intercessor for all time, she cannot but comply with His request, and will not refuse us her assistance. Let us, then, not hesitate to implore her pity; let us have recourse to her with great confidence in all our necessities, as she is an inexhaustible source of blessing, bestowing her favors in proportion to the confidence placed in her.”

— Dom Lorenzo Scupoli

 

“Like most people, I would prefer to escape deep loss and to avoid hard and challenging times. Yet the dark has given me gifts that are immeasurably deep. It was because I wrestled with the dark that I learned to see beyond what was happening on the surface of my life, and grew to understand that everything is more than it appears to be. In time I knew that the dark is not absent of light. Light moves within the dark at a great depth. With this realization came a glimpse of the inordinate beauty and power just beyond our sight.”

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Night

**

“We should strive to keep our hearts open to the sufferings and wretchedness of other people, and pray continually that God may grant us that spirit of compassion which is truly the spirit of God.”

— St. Vincent de Paul

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“When uncertain about God’s will, it is very important that we tell ourselves: ‘Even if there are aspects of God’s will that escape me, there are always others that I know for sure and can invest in without any risk, knowing that this investment always pays dividends.’ These certainties include fulfilling the duties of our state in life and practicing the essential points of every Christian vocation. There is a defect here that needs to be recognized and avoided: finding ourselves in darkness about God’s will on an important question . . . we spend so much time searching and doubting or getting discouraged, that we neglect things that are God’s will for us every day, like being faithful to prayer, maintaining trust in God, loving the people around us here and now. Lacking answers about the future, we should prepare to receive them by living today to the full.”

— Fr. Jacques Philippe

 

 

“Joy goes beyond happiness. Joy is the happiness that does not depend on what happens. It springs from gratefulness. When we begin to take things for granted, we get sucked into boredom. Boredom is deadly. Yet, everything within us longs for “life, life in fullness” (John 10:10). The key to life in fullness is gratefulness.”

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life

 

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“Often, actually very often, God allows his greatest servants, those who are far advanced in grace, to make the most humiliating mistakes. This humbles them in their own eyes and in the eyes of their fellow men.”

— St. Louis de Montfort

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“We do not come to church to attend the service as a spectator, but in order, along with the priest, to serve God. Everything we do—our entering, being present, our kneeling and sitting and standing, our reception of the sacred nourishment—should be divine service. This is so only when all we do overflows from the awareness of a collected heart and the mind’s attentiveness.”

— Fr. Romano Guardini

 

 

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