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“If God is not schizophrenic but utterly consistent, why does Jesus come to us so differently from Moses? What does the springtime, pastoral Galilean setting communicate? What emotions play across Jesus’s face as he eases his overflowing heart in the company of those wholly devoted to him? Are you amazed at every word, the cadence of each syllable? Why or why not?

Reread the Sermon on the Mount. As you read, think, “Do I believe him?”

What should you do now?”

—from the book Ignite: Read the Bible Like Never Before

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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

 

“The apostles James and John, the sons of Zebedee, wanted to be like Jesus and sought to drink from his chalice of suffering. But when Jesus knelt to wash the feet of Simon Peter, it was too much for the fisherman to accept: “Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me’” (John 13:8).

Jesus is not meant to be a model in theory, he came to live out the active model of God’s love for us. Pope Francis writes: “Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, but he came to realize that Jesus does not wish to be just an example of how we should wash one another’s feet. Only those who have first allowed Jesus to wash their own feet can then offer this service to others.”

—from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room

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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

 

 

“The very people the Lord came to save are those who live in constant fear and who have nothing to live on but hope. The fact that they live in dire poverty is not by their own choice, but the choice they make to live in voluntary poverty is the absolute realization of their gift from God. This dynamic and vibrant faith comes from a place where those of us who live with a decent roof over our heads and who take the basic necessities of life for granted can never experience or even imagine.

—from the book Ignite: Read the Bible Like Never Before

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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

 

 

“Saint Bridget of Sweden longed from an early age to become a nun. But she was obedient to her prominent family’s desire that she marry a prince. Their marriage was happy and produced eight children (including one, Catherine, who would go on to be a saint herself). After her husband’s death, Bridget followed the call of her youth.

There are different seasons to our lives, as Bridget found. Her example shows us that God knows what’s best for each season; all we have to do is listen.”

—from the book Sisterhood of Saints

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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

 

 

Saint of the Day – St. Mary Magdealene

Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50.

Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptural basis for confusing the two women. Mary Magdalene, that is, “of Magdala,” was the one from whom Christ cast out “seven demons” (Luke 8:2)—an indication at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or possibly, severe illness.

Writing in the New Catholic Commentary, Father Wilfrid J. Harrington, O.P., says that “seven demons” “does not mean that Mary had lived an immoral life—a conclusion reached only by means of a mistaken identification with the anonymous woman of Luke 7:36.” In the Jerome Biblical Commentary, Father Edward Mally, S.J., agrees that she “is not…the same as the sinner of Luke 7:37, despite the later Western romantic tradition about her.”

Mary Magdalene was one of the many “who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their means.” She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother. And, of all the “official” witnesses who might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given. She is known as the “Apostle to the Apostles.”

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“Why are you weeping?” the angels ask her as she leans into the tomb. Mary Magdalene is not ashamed of her emotion; she is not hesitant in her answer. She is missing her Lord. No, she does not fully grasp the great theological mysteries of the passion and the resurrection that she is about to encounter. She cannot explain that she leans in to look because everything about Jesus indicated there was something greater coming on the other side of his hideous death. All she knows is that she is there because she is looking for her Lord. And that is enough to lead her straight to the Resurrected One.”

—from the book Who Does He Say You Are? Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels

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“Let us thank God for having called us to His holy faith. It is a great gift, and the number of those who thank God for it is small.”

— St. Alphonsus Liguori

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“God loves everyone with unique love; he wants to lead them all to perfection, but at the same time has very different paths for different people. This means that the frequency and characteristics of the inspirations of grace will differ from one person to another. We cannot force the Spirit, God is the master of his gifts. That said, it cannot be doubted that God will grant each person at least the inspirations he needs for his own sanctification.”

— Fr. Jacques Philippe

“The secret of Saint Francis’ joyful spirit was his vibrant belief in a God of overflowing goodness and love. Francis was so in love with God that at times he would pick up two sticks from the ground, tuck one under his chin like a violin and move the other over it like a bow. Then, in an ecstasy of joy, he would sing in French songs of love and praise to God.

Francis used to say that he wanted his followers to go about the world like strolling minstrels, “to inspire the hearts of people and stir them to spiritual joy.” They give us an example to follow in our own day!”

–from the blog “The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis”

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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.”

— St. Ignatius of Antioch

 

 

“There has always been a diverse group of personalities at table with the Lord. At this time in history, you and I now are present. We, like the apostles, are unreliable and weak and afraid. We are inconstant in our devotion to our Lord. We deny him, we betray him.

But Jesus is I Am. He is constant.

The One who sits with arms outstretched in the Da Vinci depiction, who sat in the center of the table in that Upper Room, sits now in the center of our hearts with arms outstretched. He died on the cross out of love for us. He is continually with us, welcoming us, and looking at us with his loving, tender gaze, just as he looked at Peter. What he did at table, he continues to do with all our varied and challenged humanity, a variety of personalities that is forever and continually represented in every church, in every upper room, throughout our entire world, where “two or three are gathered together in his name” (Matthew 18:20).”

—from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room: Three Moments to Change Your Life

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“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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“We must be present with and to the Lord, in silence as Mary practiced silence. We begin with silence of the will, that is, willing nothing but the will of God. Begin here and the rest will come. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will experience silence. Guard and protect it with love and you will become a garden enclosed. Silence is the soil for the seed of the word.”

— Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

 

“There is a life force flowing through the universe, and everything exists in a single moment, forever unfolding. I open myself to the stream. I want to be emptied and purified so that the past is no longer my lens—so that it no longer colors what I see. What will it be like to look without fear or expectation, to see things with nothing in the way? Who will I be if I am not afraid, but alive? There is everything to experience, and the portal beyond the darkness to know.”

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Light

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“The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God. If the revelation of God through creation already brings life to all living beings on the earth, how much more will the manifestation of the Father by the Word bring life to those who see 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

 

 

“We long to be in touch with life, to touch and to be touched. Yet, we are also afraid of letting anything “get at us.” Afraid of letting life come too close, we keep it at arm’s length and don’t even realize what fools we are making of ourselves. We are going through life like someone stepping into the shower, carefully keeping the umbrella up. We are holding on to our hats, our tokens of social identity and respectability.

Far be it from us to make fools of ourselves! It takes a bit of life experience to realize that our choice is merely between making fools of ourselves either intentionally or unintentionally.”

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life

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“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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“God never caused the virtues and singular merit of Joseph to shine with greater splendor than when He said to him by the mouth of the angel, ‘Take the Child and His mother’ (Matt. 2:13, 20); for in them He committed to him His most precious treasures, giving him thus the preference over all the blessed spirits of Heaven; and Joseph received these two sacred persons into his care, to be their protector, their guardian, and defender.”

— Edward Healy Thompson

 

“Unless I am connected to God, who invented the happiness I’m seeking, I come up frustrated, angry, and disappointed by life—empty instead of full. When I feel disconnected from God, I feel restless—not at peace with myself, with my God, or with others.”

—from the book Born to Soar: Unleashing God’s Word in Your Life

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“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 forseen, planned, and dreamed. The melody of her life is played just as it was written.”

— Archbishop Fulton Sheen

 

 

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