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“Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances.”

— St. Vincent de Paul

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“The Church, which has spread everywhere, even to the ends of the earth, received the faith from the apostles and their disciples … Having one soul and one heart, the Church holds this faith, preaches and teaches it consistently as though by a single voice. For though there are different languages, there is but one tradition. … Just as God’s creature, the sun, is one and the same the world over, so also does the Church’s preaching shine everywhere to enlighten all men who want to come to a knowledge of the truth. Now of those who speak with authority in the churches, no preacher however forceful will utter anything different—for no one is above the Master—nor will a less forceful preacher diminish what has been handed down. Since our faith is everywhere the same, no one who can say more augments it, nor can anyone who says less diminish it.”

— St. Ignatius of Antioch

 

“You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds . . . What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can.”

— St. Thomas More

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“Finally—and this is perhaps the most difficult aspect of what concerns the practice of conformity to the will of God—we should desire virtue itself and the degrees of grace only insofar as God wishes to give them, and not desire more. Our whole ambition should be to attain the degree of perfection that has been appointed for us, since it has not been given to everybody to reach the same height. It is obvious that however well we may correspond with the graces given us, we can never equal the humility, charity and other virtues of the Blessed Virgin. And who can even presume to imagine that he can reach the same heights as the Apostles? Who can equal St. John the Baptist whom Christ called the greatest of the children of men? Or St. Joseph to whom God entrusted His Son? In this we must as in all else submit to the will of God. He must be able to say of us, My will is in them; it rules and governs everything. So when we hear or read that God in a short time has brought some souls to a very high degree of perfection and shown them signal favors, enlightened their understanding and imbued their hearts with His love, we should repress any desire to be treated likewise so as not to fall short in pure love of conformity to His Will. We should even unite ourselves still more closely to His Will by saying, ‘I praise Thee, O Lord, and bless Thee for deigning to show Thyself with so great love and familiarity to the souls Thou has chosen …'”

—Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure

 

“The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God.”

— St. Irenaeus

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“I will first, dearest daughter, speak to thee of the dignity of priests, having placed them where they are through My goodness, over and above the general love which I have had to My creatures, creating you in My image and likeness and re-creating you all to the life of grace in the Blood of My Only-begotten Son, whence you have arrived at such excellence, through the union which I made of My Deity with human nature; so that in this you have greater dignity and excellence than the angels, for I took your human nature and not that of the angels. Wherefore, as I have said to you, I, God, have become man, and man has become God by the union of My Divine Nature with your human nature. This greatness is given in general to all rational creatures, but, among these I have especially chosen My ministers for the sake of your salvation, so that, through them, the Blood of the humble and immaculate Lamb, My Only-begotten Son, may be administered to you.”

— St. Catherine Of Siena

 

“The Creator of the universe awaits the prayer of one poor little person to save a multitude of others, redeemed like her at the price of His Blood.”

— St. Therese of Lisieux

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“Although our Divine Redeemer was the Lord and Master of all the riches of Heaven and earth, He willed nevertheless to become poor in this world that through His example we might become rich. He wished to induce us to love poverty as He did, for poverty, by detaching us from earthly riches, enables us to share in the treasures of Heaven. … [It is] the teaching of our Blessed Lord that the poor in spirit shall have a great and certain reward. Their reward is certain, for when our Savior enumerated the Beatitudes in the Gospel, He referred in most instances to the future … but to the poor in spirit, He promises happiness even in this life: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 5:3). While here on earth, they receive special graces. The reward of the poor in spirit is, secondly, very great. ‘The less we have here,’ says St. Teresa, ‘the greater will be our joy in Heaven, where our dwelling shall correspond to the love with which we imitated the life of poverty of our Divine Master here on earth’. The truly poor in spirit enjoy a heavenly peace even here in this world. … [He] who is poor from choice despises the possessions of this earth and is at the same time the master of all.”

— St. Alphonsus Liguori

 

“Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace in the world.”

— St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

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“There is, actually, only one person in all humanity of whom God has one picture and in whom there is a perfect conformity between what he wanted her to be and what she is, and that is his own mother. Most of us are a minus sign, in the sense that we do not fulfill the high hopes the heavenly Father has for us. But Mary is the equal sign. The ideal that God had of her, that she is, and in the flesh. The model and the copy are perfect; she is all that was foreseen, planned, and dreamed. The melody of her life is played just as it was written.”

— Archbishop Fulton Sheen

 

“Be gentle to all, and stern with yourself.”

— St. Teresa of Avila

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“The works of man, whether they are good or bad, are not always isolated, transitory acts; more often, especially in the case of the leaders of nations and those who are invested with public authority, they continue to subsist after they are concluded, either in the memory of other men or in public acclaim, as a result of the consequences they have had and the scandal they have caused. Thus, at first sight, a particular, secret crime seems to be only a private, personal deed; but it becomes social on account of its effects. Certainly it is of faith that there is a particular judgment, and that every man, at the instant of his soul’s departure from the body, appears before the tribunal of God to hear his eternal sentence pronounced. Yet this judgment cannot suffice, and it is essential that it should be followed by another public judgment, in which God will not examine the actions in isolation and taken in themselves, but will examine them in their effects upon other men, in the good or evil deriving from them for families and peoples—in a word, in the consequences they produced and which those who perpetrated them ought to have foreseen.”

— Fr. Charles Arminjon

 

“Every grace granted to man has three degrees in order; for by God it is communicated to Christ, from Christ it passes to the Virgin, and from the Virgin it descends to us.”

— St. Bernardine of Siena

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“Thus, brethren, God has loved you from eternity, and through pure love, he has selected you from among so many men whom he could have created in place of you; but he has left them in their nothingness, and has brought you into existence, and placed you in the world. For the love of you, he has made so many other beautiful creatures, that they might serve you, and that they might remind you of the love which he has borne to you, and of the gratitude which you owe to him.”

— St. Alphonsus Liguori

 

“You must speak to Jesus, not only with your lips, but also with your heart; actually, on certain occasions, you should speak with only your heart.”

— St. Padre Pio

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“Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no getting away from it; the Christian rule is, ‘Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.’ Now this is so difficult and so contrary to our instincts, that obviously either Christianity is wrong or our sexual instinct, as it now is, has gone wrong. One or the other. Of course, being a Christian, I think it is the instinct which has gone wrong … God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them. Before we can be cured we must want to be cured. Those who really wish for help will get it; but for many modern people even the wish is difficult … We may, indeed, be sure that perfect chastity—like perfect charity—will not be attained by any merely human efforts. You must ask for God’s help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.”

— C. S. Lewis

 

“When you pray, you only have to ask for two things: You should ask for the light to see the will of God, and you have to ask for the courage to be able to do the will of God.”

— Venerable Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz

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“My great God, you know all that is in the universe, because you yourself have made it. It is the very work of your hands. You are omniscient, because you are omnicreative. You know each part, however minute, as perfectly as you know the whole. You know mind as perfectly as you know matter. You know the thoughts and purposes of every soul as perfectly as if there were no other soul in the whole of your creation. You know me through and through; all my present, past, and future are before you as one whole. You see all those delicate and evanescent motions of my thought which altogether escape myself. You can trace every act, whether deed or thought, to its origin and can follow it into its whole growth and consequences. You know how it will be with me at the end; you have before you that hour when I shall come to you to be judged. How awful is the prospect of finding myself in the presence of my judge! Yet, O Lord, I would not that you should not know me. It is my greatest stay to know that you read my heart. Oh, give me more of that openhearted sincerity which I have desired. Keep me ever from being afraid of your eye, from the inward consciousness that I am not honestly trying to please you. Teach me to love you more, and then I shall be at peace, without any fear of you at all.”

— Bl. John Henry Newman

“Christian optimism is not a sugary optimism, nor is it a mere human confidence that everything will turn out all right. It is an optimism that sinks its roots into an awareness of our freedom, and the sure knowledge of the power of grace. It is an optimism that leads us to make demands on ourselves, to struggle to respond at every moment to God’s call.”

— St. Josemaria Escriva

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“St. Bridget once received and bore patiently a succession of trials from various persons. One of them made an insulting remark to her; another praised her in her presence, but complained of her in her absence; another calumniated her; another spoke ill of a servant of God, in her presence, to her great displeasure; one did her a grievous wrong, and she blessed her; one caused her a loss, and she prayed for her; and a seventh gave her false information of the death of her son, which she received with tranquility and resignation. After all this, St. Agnes the Martyr appeared to her, bringing in her hand a most beautiful crown adorned with seven precious stones, telling her that they had been placed there by these seven persons. Then she put it upon her head and disappeared. How could so much have been gained by any other exercise? The Blessed Angela di Foligno, when asked how she was able to receive and endure sufferings with so much cheerfulness, replied: ‘Believe me, the grandeur and value of sufferings are not known to us. For, if we knew the worth of our trials, they would become for us objects of plunder, and we should go about trying to snatch from one another opportunities to suffer.'”

 

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