You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2017.

“Faith requires perseverance. It often grows in stages. Sometimes we fall. Sometimes we walk away. So often, we must crawl. Whether we consciously admit to it or not, our faith—our life in Christ—has sustained us throughout the ups and downs of our lives. It has sustained us in moments of new life and in death, at times of sickness, and at those times when we struggle to give meaning to painful situations

—from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room: Three Moments to Change Your Life

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“It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman.”

— Pope St. John Paul II

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“We will be the happiest people in the world if we belong to God, if we place ourselves at his disposal, if we let him use us as he pleases. To be this happy, we must belong to Jesus fully without reservation. He alone is worthy of our love and our total surrender. Once we really belong to him then he is free to use us, to do with us whatever he pleases.”

— Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

 

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“Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.”

— St. Teresa of Avila

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“Do you have two and a half minutes in your day that you can give to God? This is the beauty of the rosary.

If I need a quick pause in my busy life—just a two-and-a-half-minute break—I can pull out my beads and pray a decade in order to regroup with the Lord and be nourished spiritually. That’s all a decade takes: one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one Glory Be. I can do that easily, pausing for a moment in between emails, in the car, in my office, in between meetings, in between errands. I don’t even have to stop some things I’m doing: I can pray a decade while cooking dinner, sweeping the floor, holding a baby, or walking to my next appointment.”

—from Praying the Rosary Like Bever Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth

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“I realize as never before that the Lord is gentle and merciful; He did not send me this heavy cross until I could bear it. If He had sent it before, I am certain that it would have discouraged me . . . I desire nothing at all now except to love until I die of love. I am free, I am not afraid of anything, not even of what I used to dread most of all . . . a long illness which would make me a burden to the community. I am perfectly content to go on suffering in body and soul for years, if that would please God. I am not in the least afraid of living for a long time; I am ready to go on fighting.”

— St. Therese of Lisieux

 

“What does it mean to be black and Catholic? It means that I come to my church fully functioning. I bring myself, my black self, all that I am, all that I have, all that I hope to become. I bring my whole history, my traditions, my experience, my culture, my African-American song and dance and gesture and movement and teaching and preaching and healing and responsibility as gift to the Church.”

—Sr. Thea Bowman, as quoted in the book The Franciscan Saints

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“He who wishes for anything but Christ, does not know what he wishes; he who asks for anything but Christ, does not know what he is asking; he who works, and not for Christ, does not know what he is doing.”

— St. Philip Neri

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“Think, dear friends, how the Lord continually proves to us that there will be a resurrection to come, of which he made the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising him from the dead. Contemplate the resurrection that is always going on. Day and night declare the resurrection to us. The night sinks to sleep, and the day rises; the day departs, and the night comes on. Look at the crops, how the grain is sown: the sower goes out and throws it on the ground, and the scattered seed, dry and bare when it fell on the ground, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its disintegration the mighty power of the Lord’s providence raises it up again, and from one seed come many bearing fruit.”

— St. Clement

 

 

“Let us love the cross very much, for it is there that we discover our life, our true love, and our strength in our greatest difficulties.”

— St. Maria de Mattias

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“The inexplicable genius of Christianity is that it is nonsensical and unreasonable and impossible: a gaunt Arab Jew, speaking Aramaic and Hebrew, copper-skinned, short, slight of build, skilled only in carpentry and scholarly analysis of the Torah, often testy and gnomic when he spoke—this unknown obscure unassuming fellow was the incarnation of that which dreamed and spoke everything that is into being? The star child, the chosen one, the distilled Love that set the worlds to whirl in the void, is a stumpy Jewish guy tucking into his broiled fish and honeycomb?

Yes. No wise king nor visionary noble, no epic warrior nor brilliant merchant, no hero at all, no startling muscles, no beautiful visage causing women and men alike to swoon. Just a brown guy beaten by goons, spat upon in the street, hauled in for questioning by the cops, and trundled finally to the killing ground, one among millions forced at knife point to their deaths, shuffling along in chains and despair. A guy. A nobody. One of us. Us.”

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

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“To the extent that we abandon our personality to Him, He will take possession of our will and work in us. We are no longer ruled by commands coming from the outside, as from a cruel master, but by almost imperceptible suggestions that rise up from within. We feel as if we had wanted all along to do those things He suggests to us; we are never conscious of being under command. Thus our service to Him becomes the highest form of liberty, for it is always easy to do something for the one we love.”

— Fulton J. Sheen

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“We humans belong to both realms, the realm of the senses and a realm that goes beyond them. This stretches us. To avoid the tension of this stretching process we are apt to settle for half of our rightful inheritance. Still, our human birth gives us a dual citizenship. Only by claiming both realms as home can we avoid the polarization of our human consciousness. Our noblest task is to make the most of this creative tension. If we neglect what goes beyond our senses, we sink below animals. But if we deny being animals and neglect or reject our senses, we clip the very wings on which we are meant to rise to higher spheres. Unless we claim our dual citizenship and are at home with both angels and beasts we become alienated from both, alienated from what is truly human; we become—in Christopher Fry’s apt image, “Like a half-wit angel strapped to the back of a mule.”

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

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“The harm that comes to souls from the lack of reading holy books makes me shudder . . . What power spiritual reading has to lead to a change of course, and to make even worldly people enter into the way of perfection.”

— St. Padre Pio

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“Whenever we receive Communion, we enter into communion with the Holy Trinity. Did anybody ever tell you that? With each reception of Holy Communion, we experience, already here on earth, the same divine activity that we will one day experience in all its fullness in heaven—the divine activity of love eternally taking place within the Trinity . . . God wants to live his triune life in us. We are called to be dwelling places for the Holy Trinity and to enter into a personal relationship with each of the persons in God.”

— Vinney Flynn

 

“Righteous anger” is tricky. My anger at someone else’s sin does not prove my virtue. 

Saint Francis of Assisi once said: “Nothing should displease a servant of God except sin. And no matter how another person may sin, if a servant of God becomes disturbed and angry because of this and not because of charity, he is storing up guilt for himself” (Admonition XI).

As Matthew 7:3 tells us, a speck in someone else’s eye is much easier to see than a plank in my own.”

–from the pages of St. Anthony Messenger

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To join two things together there must be nothing between them or there cannot be a perfect fusion. Now realize that this is how God wants our soul to be, without any selfish love of ourselves or of others in between, just as God loves us without anything in between.”

— St. Catherine of Siena

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“Often Jesus asks the sick to believe. He makes use of signs to heal: spittle and the laying on of hands, mud and washing. The sick try to touch him, ‘for power came forth from him and healed them all’. And so in the sacraments Christ continues to ‘touch’ us in order to heal us. Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: ‘He took our infirmities and bore our diseases’. But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the ‘sin of the world’, of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion.”

— (CCC, 1504-05)

 

“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.”
— St. Augustine

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“The strength of the soul consists in its faculties, passions and desires, all of which are governed by the will. Now when these faculties, passions and desires are directed by the will toward God, and turned away from all that is not God, then the strength of the soul is kept for God, and thus the soul is able to love God with all its strength.”

— St. John of the Cross

“When we feel anguish, when we have a sense that we do not know who we are, a sense of being profoundly lonely, we become afraid. We can be willing to give up a lot — friendships, communication, even intimacy — so as to protect ourselves from the feeling of being “nobody,” the suffering of loneliness, our anguish. It is only when we can see this in ourselves that we can discover freedom from our compulsions. It is only when we begin to recognize the cry of our own hearts that we can respond to the cry of God to be in relationship with us.”

–from the book Life’s Great Questions

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“A soul which does not practise the exercise of prayer is very like a paralyzed body which, though possessing feet and hands, makes no use of them.”

— St. Alphonsus Liguori

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“Oh, what awesome mysteries take place during Mass! One day we will know what God is doing for us in each Mass, and what sort of gift He is preparing in it for us. Only His divine love could permit that such a gift be provided for us. O Jesus, my Jesus, with what great pain is my soul pierced when I see this fountain of life gushing forth with such sweetness and power for each soul, while at the same time I see souls withering away and drying up through their own fault. O Jesus, grant that the power of mercy embrace these souls.”

— St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

 

 

“Culture connects us to a history, not merely as an assortment of past facts, but as an evaluative means of remembering. Culture enables us to remember and be remembered—to connect with the larger set of human wisdom through which we find a way to live in the truth. In theological terms, this is called anamnesis, the recollection, particularly in the Eucharistic Prayer, in which we draw our own lives back into the tradition of faith and recognize that our worship in each particular service is continuous with the worship that has gone before us….the work of local culture has this kind of sacramental nature for him. Culture enables the healing by which “the scattered members come together” and “the holy enters the world.”

–from the book: Wendell Berry and the Given Life

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“The works of God are not accomplished when we wish them, but whenever it pleases Him.”

— St. Vincent de Paul

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“If the soul will analyze the desire it has of happiness, and the idea of happiness that presents itself to it, it will find that the object of this idea and of this desire is only and can only be God. This is the impression that the soul bears in the depths of its nature; this is what reason will teach it if it will only reflect a little, and this is what neither prejudice nor passion can ever entirely efface.”

— Fr. Jean Nicholas Grou

 

“There is a way to know if God is near us or far away: Everyone who is concerned about the hungry, about the naked, about the poor, about the disappeared, about the tortured, about the prisoner, about all the flesh that is suffering, will find God near. “Call out to the Lord and he will hear you.”

Religion is not praying a great deal. Religion involves this promise of having my God near because I do good to my brothers and sisters. My devotion is not shown by saying a great many words; the devotion in my prayers is easy to see: How do I treat the poor? Because that’s where God is.”

–from the book Through The Year with Oscar Romero

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“Let all nations know that Thou art God alone, and that Jesus Christ is Thy Son, and that we are Thy people and the sheep of Thy pasture.”

— St. Clement

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“Let us say boldly with St. Bernard that we have need of a mediator with the Mediator Himself, and that it is the divine Mary who is the most capable of filling that charitable office. It was through her that Jesus Christ came to us, and it is through her that we must go to Him. If we fear to go directly to Jesus Christ, our God, whether because of His infinite greatness or because of our vileness or because of our sins, let us boldly implore the aid and intercession of Mary, our Mother. She is good, she is tender, she has nothing in her austere and forbidding, nothing too sublime and too brilliant. In seeing her, we see our pure nature.”

— St. Louis de Montfort

 

 

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