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“No one should undertake a substantive life of prayer and devotion thinking it will make them holy, eradicate all suffering, or assure a comfortable, successful life. In no way is this what following Christ entails. This is just an attempt at gaming God, and it treats prayer as a form of magic. Thinking that God must do certain things for me because of what I do for God is an absolute and egregious blasphemy! God does not bend to my will or yours; as followers of Christ, we are supposed to bend to his.”

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple


“Let the Word of God come; let it enter the church; let it become a consuming fire, that it may burn the hay and stubble, and consume whatever is worldly; there is heavy lead of iniquity in many; let it be molten by divine fire; let the gold and silver vessels be made better, in order that understanding and speech, refined by the heat of suffering, may begin to be more precious.”

— St. Ambrose


“Joseph’s virtue was sublime and exceptional; therefore it was subjected to a great and singular trial. But, as he heroically surmounted this trial, so God was pleased, not only to console him, but to exalt him to a dignity of extraordinary glory.”

— Edward Healy Thompson


“The two grand basilicas at each end of Assisi, during the lifetimes of Francis and Clare, lay outside the city walls: the Basilica of Saint Francis and the Basilica of Saint Clare. It is fitting that these two great saints of Assisi were buried outside the original city gates. They walked out of the city, a passage through a gate that symbolized their rejection of the commercial values that dominated their city. They “left the world,” meaning the values of the city of their birth, to begin the new life that God had shown them among the poor and the rejected who lived beyond the protection of the city walls, those who lived on the margins of the society that Assisi represented.”

—from Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality


“Act as if everyday were the last of your life, and each action the last you perform.”

— St. Alphonsus Liguori


“People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, ‘If you keep a lot of rules I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.’ I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at this moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”

— C. S. Lewis



“Once we realize that Jesus came to save the entire human person and not just the soul, so much of the worry, stress, and burdens we heap upon ourselves dissipate. Each one of us is an embodied soul. It still confounds me how many devout believers forget this truth of the faith. I will be human for all eternity, my body glorified like Jesus’s own body. So I say, why wait? Instead, why not do what Saint Paul suggests in First Corinthians 6:20, and glorify God with our bodies right now? The easiest way to do this is by inviting Christ to share in the whole of my bodily existence.”

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple


“Whatever you do, think not of yourself, but of God.”  — St. Vincent Ferrer


“And so, in the redemptive economy of grace, brought about through the action of the Holy Spirit, there is a unique correspondence between the moment of the Incarnation of the Word and the moment of the birth of the Church. The person who links these two moments is Mary: Mary at Nazareth and Mary in the Upper Room at Jerusalem. In both cases her discreet yet essential presence indicates the path of ‘birth from the Holy Spirit’. Thus she who is present in the mystery of Christ as Mother becomes—by the will of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit—present in the mystery of the Church. In the Church too she continues to be a maternal presence, as is shown by the words spoken from the Cross: ‘Woman, behold your son!’; ‘Behold your mother.'”

— Pope St. John Paul II


“The poor have much to teach you. You have much to learn from them.”

— St. Vincent de Paul


“Consider that the love of divine charity is so closely joined in the soul with perfect patience, that neither can leave the soul without the other. For this reason (if the soul elect to love Me) she should elect to endure pains for Me in whatever mode or circumstance I may send them to her. Patience cannot be proved in any other way than by suffering, and patience is united with love as has been said. Therefore bear yourselves with manly courage, for, unless you do so, you will not prove yourselves to be spouses of My Truth, and faithful children, nor of the company of those who relish the taste of My honor, and the salvation of souls.”

— St. Catherine Of Siena


“From all eternity, God has known the persons he created us to be, and knows us better than anyone else. Our greatest responsibility is to allow his Spirit to form us according to the divine plan. The full abundant life Jesus promises will only come about to the extent that we become the person God desires us to be. We must always yield to God. This is what it means to die to self. Only this will allow his work to reach its completion. Whenever we try to take control and tell the Lord who we think we should become, we end up discouraged and disappointed, and we may eventually even come to resent God.”

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple


“Dismiss all anger and look into yourself a little. Remember that he of whom you are speaking is your brother, and as he is in the way of salvation, God can make him a saint, in spite of his present weakness.”

— St. Thomas of Villanova


“One of our sure guides along the path of life is that we do not know when earthly life will come to an end. How important that our repentance for past and present transgressions be a daily practice.”

— Rev. Thomas J. Donaghy



“The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.”

— St. Thomas More


“When a person commits a fault, God certainly wishes him to humble himself, to be sorry for his sin, and to purpose never to fall into it again; but he does not wish him to be indignant with himself, and give way to trouble and agitation of mind; for, while the soul is agitated, a man is incapable of doing good.”

— St. Alphonsus De Liguori

Luke 1: 57-66, 80

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?”
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel.

“One of the most beautiful things that happens once spending time daily with the Lord becomes a habit is that your time together will often expand beyond what has been set aside. You will also come to recognize when your time together is concluded, which may even come before the clock runs out. Going away to a quiet place to pray is not about making time for God; it is about acknowledging and being grateful for the fact that God always has time for you. You do not undertake this time to prove God’s importance in your life, but rather because it is necessary for life itself.”

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple


“True love is completely open and free of self. It has only to give, even if the price is pain. How does one express the desire to give? I think that one gives completely when he can totally accept all that another person is, by basking in the incredible uniqueness of God’s love expressed in His creation of another human being. We just have to accept Him and be grateful for the love He plants deep within our hearts. Accept it, live on its fruits, and share it”

—Mother Dolores Hart

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”

— St. Thomas Aquinas


“We should not become slaves to time but live like God, unbound by time’s constraints. This is important when you begin to be alone with the Lord in prayer. Being absolutely fixated on the amount of time that has been set aside, down to the last second, is a common tendency. “I set aside twenty minutes, so I’m going to sit here until the twenty minutes are up.” Avoid this at all costs. It treats God as a cruel taskmaster, a clock-watcher, rather than the fount of love that has invited you into his presence. Eventually, you will come to resent having to sit there until time runs out.”

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple


“For true hearts there is no separating ocean; or, rather, God is their ocean, in Whom they meet and are united; they love, and lose themselves in Him and in each other.”

— St. Théodore Guérin


“Jesus Christ did not think the sovereign beatitude and glory of Heaven too dearly purchased at the price of unspeakable tortures, and by suffering His sacred flesh to be mangled by nails, thorns, and scourges. Great indeed must be the value of that which cost the Son of God so dear! And yet we esteem it so little, as to be even ready to renounce our claim to it, as, in fact, so many of us do, for the sake of some wretched pleasure or despicable interest! Ye blind and deluded children of men, contemplate the Wounds of your Crucified God, and see in what manner the gates of the kingdom of glory have been opened to you! See what it has cost Him to place you in possession of it, and understand, if possible, how infinite a benefit was bestowed upon you by the Son of God when He purchased for you Heaven, which you had lost by sin! … Enter in spirit into these sacred Wounds, and you will comprehend the value and sublimity of that eternal felicity which they have acquired for you, and you will learn to detach your heart from the earth and from creatures, so as to place all your affections and desires upon Heaven.”

— Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Christ



“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta


“[Mary] does not remain locked in her initial troubled state at the proximity of God in his angel, but she seeks to understand. So Mary appears as a fearless woman, one who remains composed even in the presence of something utterly unprecedented. At the same time she stands before us as a woman of great interiority, who holds heart and mind in harmony and seeks to understand the context, the overall significance of God’s message. In this way, she becomes an image of the Church as she considers the word of God, tries to understand it in its entirety and guards in her memory the things that have been given to her.”

— Pope Benedict XVI