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Monday Must Read! Helen Losse: Every Tender Reed

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“As in loving, praying does not confine itself to one particular practice, way, or method, but is open to all and is defined by all to the extent that all serve as means to creating a space of deeper freedom leading the person to an evermore intimate and loving encounter between the lover and the beloved.

The ultimate goal of praying lies not in formulating one magical method, nor in searching for the correct acts and practices of devotion, nor in developing some perfect religious rituals and ceremonies, though all remain helpful and necessary. Ultimately, prayer orients, leads, and unites the individual person with the Divine. ”

–from the book  Prayer in the Catholic Tradition

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“Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be, and becoming that person.”

— St. Therese of Lisieux

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“However great our efforts, we cannot change ourselves. Only God can get to the bottom of our defects, and our limitations in the field of love; only he has sufficient mastery over our hearts for that. If we realize that we will save ourselves a great deal of discouragement and fruitless struggle. We do not have to become saints by our own power; we have to learn how to let God make us into saints. That does not mean, of course, that we don’t have to make any effort . . . We should fight, not to attain holiness as a result of our own efforts, but to let God act in us without our putting up any resistance against him; we should fight to open ourselves as fully as possible to his grace, which sanctifies us.”

— Fr. Jacques Philippe

 

 

“The incredible mystery of the Incarnation is that God willed that a human heart should contain his divine love as a way to be near us and draw us into himself. As we contemplate the beautiful devotion of his heart, we plunge into the depths of the unfathomable love that God has for each one of us. The revelation of God’s heart may be seen in the entire life, ministry, and death of Jesus and in the role that the Blessed Mother plays. From the very beginning, their two hearts have been entwined.”

–from the book Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart

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“What is a vocation? It is a gift from God, so it comes from God. If it is a gift from God, our concern must be to know God’s will. We must enter that path: if God wants, when God wants, how God wants. Never force the door.”
— St. Gianna Molla

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“Although we feel the humiliation keenly when we are insulted, persecuted, or calumniated, this does not mean that we cannot suffer such trials with sentiments of true humility, subjecting nature to reason and faith, and sacrificing the resentment of our self-love to the love of God. We are not made of stone, so that we need be insensible or senseless in order to be humble. Of some martyrs we read that they writhed under their torments; of others, that they more or less rejoiced in them, according to the greater or lesser degree of unction they received from the Holy Ghost; and all were rewarded by the crown of glory, as it is not the pain or the feeling that makes the martyr, but the supernatural motive of virtue. In the same way some humble persons feel pleasure in being humiliated, and some feel sadness, especially when weighted down with calumny; and yet they all belong to the sphere of the humble, because it is not the humiliation nor the suffering alone which makes the soul humble, but the interior act by which this same humiliation is accepted and received through motives of Christian humility, and especially of a desire to resemble Jesus Christ, who though entitled to all the honors the world could offer Him, bore humiliation and scorn for the glory of His eternal Father.”

— Fr. Cajetan da Bergamo

 

“God knows that places mold and shape us. Just like the poor who are specially sheltered in his love and know him intimately as their consoler, he offers himself to us as both the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, and the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. From a land covered in green pastures and rolling in still waters, we are invited to look to our heavenly homeland, to which we are ever being called.”

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

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“The deeds you do may be the only sermon some people will hear today.”

— St. Francis of Assisi

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“Avoid worrying, then, about anything else for your children except whatever may contribute to bringing them up virtuously. For the rest, having entrusted them to God, try to see what His will for them is, to help them along the path in life He has chosen for them. Never be afraid of relying too much on Him, but rather seek always to increase your trust more and more, for this is the most pleasing homage you can pay Him and it will be the measure of the graces you will receive. Little or much will be given you according as you have expected little or much.”

— St. Claude De La Columbiere

 

 

“Lord, I long to see you. With my own eyes, I want to see you myself, see you for who you really are. Not through another’s eyes.

I’ve heard so much about you. How much is opinion? How much is hearsay? How much is truth? I want to know for myself. I want to hear with my own ears. Please come near, Lord, as you pass by today.

I am out on a limb, waiting for you, out of my comfort zone. And as you come, overwhelm me with the wonder that it is not I who seek you, nearly so much as it is you who seeks me.”

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

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“Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent.”

— St. John of the Cross

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“When we fail to practice penance, very soon a love of luxury creeps into our hearts. We start to make excuses for ourselves and become less generous as the spirit of penance relaxes. Through penance, we expiate our faults, make the body more submissive to the will, and obtain abundant graces. The saints did many great penances. We are not called to the extraordinary ones but to the small daily ones that draw the soul to God and God to the soul.”

— Bl. Mother Theresa of Calcutta

 

 

“What an incredible, glorious thought: that you are with me, Lord, leading me and guiding me every moment, and that you are building a sanctuary in me with my very own offerings. I want to offer everything! But I confess a tremor of fear, because my offerings have not been generous. I need to know that you love me unconditionally, even though the tabernacle of my body and heart is not always pure enough to welcome you.

What can I offer you, today, as a welcome present?”

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

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“The accidents of life separate us from our dearest friends, but let us not despair. God is like a looking glass in which souls see each other. The more we are united to Him by love, the nearer we are to those who belong to Him.”

— St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

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“Yet such are the pity and compassion of this Lord of ours, so desirous is He that we should seek Him and enjoy His company, that in one way or another He never ceases calling us to Him . . . God here speaks to souls through words uttered by pious people, by sermons or good books, and in many other such ways. Sometimes He calls souls by means of sickness or troubles, or by some truth He teaches them during prayer, for tepid as they may be in seeking Him, yet God holds them very dear.”

— St. Teresa of Avila

 

 

“If God is not schizophrenic but utterly consistent, why does Jesus come to us so differently from Moses? What does the springtime, pastoral Galilean setting communicate? What emotions play across Jesus’s face as he eases his overflowing heart in the company of those wholly devoted to him? Are you amazed at every word, the cadence of each syllable? Why or why not?

Reread the Sermon on the Mount. As you read, think, “Do I believe him?”

What should you do now?”

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

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“You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love.”

— St. Catherine of Siena

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“We are the holy Church. But I do not say ‘we’ as though to indicate only we who are here, you who have just been listening to me. I mean all of us who are here and by the grace of God faithful Christians in this church, that is, in this city; all those in this region, in this province, across the sea, all those in the whole world. Such is the Catholic Church, our true mother, the true spouse of so great a husband.”

— St. Augustine

 

“The apostles James and John, the sons of Zebedee, wanted to be like Jesus and sought to drink from his chalice of suffering. But when Jesus knelt to wash the feet of Simon Peter, it was too much for the fisherman to accept: “Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me’” (John 13:8).

Jesus is not meant to be a model in theory, he came to live out the active model of God’s love for us. Pope Francis writes: “Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, but he came to realize that Jesus does not wish to be just an example of how we should wash one another’s feet. Only those who have first allowed Jesus to wash their own feet can then offer this service to others.”

—from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room

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“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”

— St. Augustine

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“Some beginners, too, make light of their faults, and at other times indulge in immoderate grief when they commit them. They thought themselves already saints, and so they become angry and impatient with themselves, which is another great imperfection. They also importune God to deliver them from their faults and imperfections, but it is only for the comfort of living in peace, unmolested by them, and not for God; they do not consider that, were He to deliver them, they would become, perhaps, prouder than ever.”

— St. John of the Cross

 

 

“The very people the Lord came to save are those who live in constant fear and who have nothing to live on but hope. The fact that they live in dire poverty is not by their own choice, but the choice they make to live in voluntary poverty is the absolute realization of their gift from God. This dynamic and vibrant faith comes from a place where those of us who live with a decent roof over our heads and who take the basic necessities of life for granted can never experience or even imagine.

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

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“Announcing the Gospel is the first and greatest act of charity.”

— St. Arnold Janssen

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“We have to accustom ourselves to pray in all places and at all times. The real place to pray in is the soul, for God dwells there. If we wish to obey our Lord’s counsel, when we pray we should enter the chamber of our soul, close the door, and speak to the Father, whose loving eyes seek ever our own. This inner chamber of our soul is the true temple, the sacred sanctuary, and we carry it with us and can at any time either remain there or quickly return to it, should we have been obliged to leave it.”

— Dom Augustin Guillerand

 

 

“Saint Bridget of Sweden longed from an early age to become a nun. But she was obedient to her prominent family’s desire that she marry a prince. Their marriage was happy and produced eight children (including one, Catherine, who would go on to be a saint herself). After her husband’s death, Bridget followed the call of her youth.

There are different seasons to our lives, as Bridget found. Her example shows us that God knows what’s best for each season; all we have to do is listen.”

—from the book Sisterhood of Saints

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“I will glory not because I am righteous, but because I am redeemed; I will glory not because I am free from sins, but because my sins are forgiven me. I will not glory because I have done good nor because someone has done good to me, but because Christ is my advocate with the Father and because the blood of Christ has been shed for me.”

— St. Ambrose

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“After the events of the Resurrection and Ascension, Mary entered the Upper Room together with the Apostles to await Pentecost, and was present there as the Mother of the glorified Lord. … Thus there began to develop a special bond between this Mother and the Church. For the infant Church was the fruit of the Cross and Resurrection of her Son. Mary, who from the beginning had given herself without reserve to the person and work of her Son, could not but pour out upon the Church, from the very beginning, her maternal self-giving. After her Son’s departure, her motherhood remains in the Church as maternal mediation: interceding for all her children, the Mother cooperates in the saving work of her Son, the Redeemer of the world. In fact the Council teaches that the ‘motherhood of Mary in the order of grace . . . will last without interruption until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect’. With the redeeming death of her Son, the maternal mediation of the handmaid of the Lord took on a universal dimension, for the work of redemption embraces the whole of humanity.”

— Pope St. John Paul II

 

 

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