“Paradise is not found on the beaches of a Caribbean island or in some mythic garden from the book of Genesis. Paradise is where God’s will is done. It is the very reality of our existence with God without the gloss of our own selfish desires, without our own obsessive need for control. It is the location—not so much in time and space, but in experience—where, like God, we live more and more as women and men for others. As the Our Father says so clearly, as the second criminal says implicitly, God’s kingdom—this paradise about which Jesus speaks—is found when his will is done.”

—from The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

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“The fast of Lent has no advantage to us unless it brings about our spiritual renewal. It is necessary while fasting to change our whole life and practice virtue. Turning away from all wickedness means keeping our tongue in check, restraining our anger, avoiding all gossip, lying and swearing. To abstain from these things— herein lies the true value of the fast.”

— St. John Chrysostom

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“Wait a little while, my soul, await the promise of God, and you will have the fullness of all that is good in heaven. If you yearn inordinately for the good things of this life, you will lose those which are heavenly and eternal. Use temporal things properly, but always desire what is eternal. Temporal things can never fully satisfy you, for you were not created to enjoy them alone . . . for your blessedness and happiness lie only in God, who has made all things from nothing.”

— Thomas a’ Kempis