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“Praying and reflecting upon the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis shine a light into the deep recesses of the soul. The prayer reveals how our pride sometimes hides behind the best of intentions and has wrapped its tentacles around our decisions, feelings, and relationships. It challenges us to break free from the mirror of “me” and focus our attention through the window of “thee,” thus looking outward and responding to the voices of those who are angry, injured, confused and sad. The prayer also exposes how we defensively seek to be justified and understood, how self-pity insists upon consolation and love.”

—from Instruments of Christ: Reflections on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

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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

 

 

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“There are outer landscapes in which we all move and breathe and experience our being and inner landscapes to nurture and visit too! We pray in the inner landscape of our soul, but the outer world can bring us to prayer with utter gratitude, sorrow and thanksgiving. At times the world around us seems to rush in, and we are moved to prayer as effortless as breath. We are in communion with our inner and outer worlds. Focus becomes clear and the nonessentials of daily life fade away. We are awake in the present moment, more alive, more present than ever before.”

—from Your Spiritual Garden: Tending to the Presence of God

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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

 

 

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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

“Prayer that allows the mystery of Christ to change our lives, is a high-risk enterprise—an uncontrollable experience. Yet, the power of God’s grace is such that one who, like Francis of Assisi, is able to trust God sufficiently can enter into the “cave” of the heart, the place where Incarnation takes place, and be transformed into the triumph of love. Franciscan prayer, therefore, is Christ-centered, affective, contemplative, cosmic and evangelizing. The goal of prayer is to make Jesus Christ alive in the believer. To bring Christ to life is the way to peace.”

—from the book Franciscan Prayer

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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.”

— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

 

“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

“Prayer should come naturally to us. Punctuating my driving or walking by lifting my mind and heart to God makes it so much more engaging. I think there would be no road rage if we all drove on the lookout for something that would move us to prayer. I know it has made me a much more patient and more charitable driver. My friend Jodi takes a saint with her whenever she goes to Walmart. You will be surprised how these simple acts of piety will change you.”

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple

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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

 

 

“As we tend to our spiritual garden, we first show up fully awake, take notice of the choices we make and of how resources of time, energy and finances are expended. Tending the garden requires paying attention to a quality of prayer life, availability to family and friends, how our bodies move in the world and engagement with the personal conversation God holds with each person. In particular, tending to our spiritual garden requires asking the daily question: What is it only I can do with the time and space of my distinct life? And then doing it with gusto, presence and passion!”

—from Your Spiritual Garden: Tending to the Presence of God

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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

 

 

“Neither the experiences we have in prayer nor the results we see are the true measure of prayer’s effectiveness. The efficacy comes from what God is undertaking in the depths of our soul. Here, we find the very source of our freedom and our faith, hope, and love. The times that we dedicate, perhaps incompetently, to prayer enable the Lord to be at work within us, facilitating an imperceptible growth.”

—from Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple

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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

 

 

 

“It is possible that the part of our self that pioneers into new territory is in intimate conversation and communion with God, desiring a not yet realized future. We receive inklings of the conversation through our dreams, hopes, and desires. Seeds are planted within us, and if we are courageous and daring enough, surprising growth occurs. The requirements for growth are trusting life and realizing there is really no security other than love. So much possibility exists for each person, but possibility only happens in present time wedded with our willingness to engage in the world with wonder and reverence.”

—from Your Spiritual Garden: Tending to the Presence of God

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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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