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For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.”

— St. Teresa of Avila

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“While other martyrs suffered by sacrificing their own lives, the Blessed Virgin suffered by sacrificing her Son’s life—a life that she loved far more than her own. So she not only suffered in her soul all that her Son endured in his body. In addition, the sight of her Son’s torments brought more grief to her heart than if she had endured them all in her own person. No one can doubt that Mary suffered in her heart all the outrages that she saw inflicted on her beloved Jesus. Anyone can understand that the sufferings of children are also those of their mothers who witness them.”

— St. Alphonsus Liguor

 

“When we serve the poor and the sick we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus.”

— St. Rose of Lima

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“If you would suffer with patience the adversities and miseries of this life, be a man of prayer. If you would obtain courage and strength to conquer the temptations of the enemy, be a man of prayer. If you would mortify your own will with all its inclinations and appetites, be a man of prayer. If you would know the wiles of Satan and unmask his deceits, be a man of prayer. If you would live in joy and walk pleasantly in the ways of penance, be a man of prayer. If you would banish from you soul the troublesome flies of vain thoughts and cares, be a man of prayer. If you would nourish your soul with the very sap of devotion, and keep it always full of good thoughts and good desires, be a man of prayer. If you would strengthen and keep up your courage in the ways of God, be a man of prayer. In fine, if you would uproot all vices from your soul and plant all virtues in their place, be a man of prayer. It is in prayer that we receive the unction and grace of the Holy Ghost, who teaches all things.”

— St. Bonaventure

 

The human soul has so much likeness to God its creator that I surely know of no other way by which one can more easily mount to a knowledge of God than from reflection on one’s own soul.”

— St. Robert Bellarmine

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“Let us pass on now to the other question—namely, what you can do to strengthen your resolutions and make them succeed? There is no better mean than to put them into practice. But you say that you are still so weak that, although you often make strong resolutions not to fall into the particular imperfection of which you want to cure yourself, no sooner does the occasion present itself than down you go. Shall I tell you why we are still so weak? It is because we will not abstain from food that does not agree with us. It is as if a person who wished to be free from pains in the stomach were to ask a physician what he should do. The doctor replies, ‘Do not eat such and such food, because it brings you pain’; and yet the person will not abstain from it. We do the same. For example, we should like to love reproof, and yet we obstinately cling to our own opinions. That is foolishness. You will never be strong enough to bear reproof courageously while you are nourishing yourself with the food of self-esteem. I wish to keep my soul recollected, and yet I will not restrain all sorts of idle thoughts: the two things are incompatible. Ah! How much I wish that I could be steadfast and regular in my religious exercises; at the same time I wish not to find them so trying—in fact, I want to find the work done for me. That cannot be in this life, for we shall always have to labor.”

— St. Francis de Sales

 

We must always remember that God does everything well, although we may not see the reason of what He does.”

— St. Philip Neri

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“Prayers are God-filled words in which our love and God’s love are joined. That love embraces the people for whom we are praying, and love always changes people and situations. This doesn’t mean that we will always get what we want, but Jesus does promise that we will get what we need.”

— Rev. Jude Winkler, OFM

 

“O Holy Family—the Family so closely united to the mystery which we contemplate on the day of the Lord’s Birth—guide with your example the families of the whole earth!”

— Pope St. John Paul II

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“Love is an excellent thing, a great good indeed, which alone maketh light all that is burdensome and equally bears all that is unequal. For it carries a burden without being burdened and makes all that which is bitter sweet and savory. The love of Jesus is noble and generous; it spurs us on to do great things and excites us to desire always that which is most perfect.”

— Thomas à Kempis

 

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“In a world gone astray from God there is no peace, but it also lacks charity, which is true and perfect love… Nothing is more beautiful than love. Indeed, faith and hope will end when we die, whereas love, that is, charity, will last for eternity.”

— Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

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“We might say the whole mystery of our redemption in Christ, by his incarnation, his death and his resurrection, consists of this marvelous exchange: in the heart of Christ, God has loved us humanly, so as to render our human hearts capable of loving divinely. God became man so that man might become God—might love as only God is capable of loving, with the purity, intensity, power, tenderness, and inexhaustible patience that belong to the divine love. It is an extraordinary source of hope and a great consolation to know that, by virtue of God’s grace working in us (if we remain open to it by persevering in faith, prayer, and the sacraments), the Holy Spirit will transform and expand our hearts to the point of one day making them capable of loving as God loves.”

— Fr. Jacques Philippe

“If we approach with faith, we too will see Jesus … for the Eucharistic table takes the place of the crib. Here the Body of the Lord is present, wrapped not in swaddling clothes but in the rays of the Holy Spirit.”

— St. John Chrysostom

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“‘And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased’ (Lk 2:12-14). According to the evangelist, the angels ‘said’ this. But Christianity has always understood that the speech of angels is actually song, in which all the glory of the great joy that they proclaim becomes tangibly present. And so, from that moment, the angels’ song of praise has never gone silent. It continues down the centuries in constantly new forms and it resounds ever anew at the celebration of Jesus’ birth. It is only natural that simple believers would then hear the shepherds singing too, and to this day they join in their caroling on the Holy Night, proclaiming in song the great joy that, from then until the end of time, is bestowed on all people.”

— Pope Benedict XVI

 

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“God has done everything; he has done the impossible: he was made flesh. His all-powerful love has accomplished something which surpasses all human understanding: the Infinite has become a child, has entered the human family. And yet, this same God cannot enter my heart unless I open the door to him.”

— Pope Benedict XVI

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“What worthy return can we make for so great a condescension? The One Only-begotten God, ineffably born of God, entered the Virgin’s womb and grew and took the frame of poor humanity. He who upholds the universe, within whom and through whom are all things, was brought forth by common childbirth. He at whose voice archangels and angels tremble, and heaven and earth and all the elements of this world are melted, was heard in childish wailing. The Invisible and Incomprehensible, whom sight and feeling and touch cannot measure, was wrapped in a cradle.”

— St. Hilary of Poitiers

  • O Emmanuel: “O Emmanuel, you are our king and judge, the One whom the peoples await and their Savior. O come and save us, Lord, our God.”

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“Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you – for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart.”

— St. Therese of Lisieux

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“In that blessed [Christmas] night also Joseph became the patron, the vicar, and the patriarch of the whole Catholic Church. It is certain, St. Athanasius tells us, that the stable where Jesus was born is ‘a figure of the Church, whose altar is the manger, whose vicar is Joseph, whose ministers are the shepherds, whose priests are the angels, whose great High-Priest is Jesus Christ, and whose throne is the Blessed Virgin.'”

— Edward Healy Thompson

 

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