“My God, Lord, how long? I thought. How much longer? Will this suffering that I had already endured for years never end? And I had a very short but very decisive moment of clarity. I thought, Christ never lied. He never said that following him was going to be easy. He said, “For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it,” (Matthew 7:14), and that’s because to go through the narrow gate hurts. It hurts like hell. It hurt for him. And he never lied.”

—from the book Stumble: Virtue, Vice, and the Space Between

**

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

— St. Teresa of Avila

**

“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

 

“I believe the joy that is at the heart of the Franciscan alleluia proceeds from this inner realization, which descends upon us at ever deeper levels as we walk our faith journey. This deepening is the only real goal of Christian contemplation, and is the heart of the Perennial Tradition of wisdom. This is how Francis and Clare, and all contemplatives, “know” things: “The soul itself is an image of God, to which God is so present that the soul can actually grasp God, and ‘is capable of possessing God and of being a partaker in God” (Saint Bonaventure). With that we can move forward. In fact, we can move far and wide and confidently forward.”

–from the book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi

**

“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

**

“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

 

 

“In the host of saints of the Catholic Church, there has never been one so connected to the earth, yet so joined to the Spirit. The rhythm of the seasons, the cycles of the moon, the bounty of the harvests, and the elements of wind and fire surrounded her each day. And from this organic simplicity, a huge capacity for spiritual communion with Christ was nurtured and matured like a mighty tree, the symbol of the Iroquois. Yet Saint Kateri Tekakwitha remained a gentle lily.”

–from the book Lily of the Mohawks

**

“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

**

“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

**

A Pilgrim Prays by Walking

“That is very simply what a pilgrim does: walk. And it is the way the pilgrim prays, with his or her feet. And the feet walk through dark clouds to illumination to the light that is holy action. Through dark, cloud-filled days to a hint of subtle lightening to the sun breaking through, the feet taking us where we least thought we’d go, where before we had thought darkness dwelt, and finding there instead, in bright sunlight, the broken, the poor, the marginal, those made ugly or disfigured by abuse and oppression and woundedness. We are changed simply by walking, rain or shine, toward and back from whatever shrine we had thought contained our hope and longing. We walk back toward what was there all along that we could not see.”

–from the book Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality

**

“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

**

“Many men keep the commandments in the way sick men take medicine: more from fear of dying in damnation than for joy of living according to our Savior’s will. Just as some persons dislike taking medicine, no matter how pleasant it is, simply because it is called medicine, so there are some souls who hold in horror things commanded simply because they are commanded . . . On the contrary, a loving heart loves the commandments. The more difficult they are, the sweeter and more agreeable it finds them, since this more perfectly pleases the Beloved and gives Him greater honor.”

— St. Francis de Sales

**

Image may contain: text

 

 

 

“The eleventh degree of humility in the Rule of Benedict treats a situation like this quite specifically. “Do only those things sanctioned by the community,” the sixth-century document reads. Take counsel. Listen. Seek direction. While moving ahead stay close to the kind of counsel that has strengthened the community in the past. Stay close to the spiritual well whose life-giving water has brought you to this point. The value of this saying is immeasurable. It is much more than an exciting new answer, the effects of which no one knows. It is a reaffirmation of spirituality based in experience, grounded in the wisdom of the elders, and rooted in self-control.”

–from the book In God’s Holy Light: Wisdom from the Desert Monastics

**

“What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist? It is God who, as our Savior, offers himself each day for us to his Father’s justice. If you are in difficulties and sorrows, he will comfort and relieve you. If you are sick, he will either cure you or give you strength to suffer so as to merit Heaven. If the devil, the world, and the flesh are making war upon you, he will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist, and to win victory. If you are poor, he will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and eternity. Let us open the door of his sacred and adorable Heart, and be wrapped about for an instant by the flames of his love, and we shall see what a God who loves us can do. O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?”

— St. John Vianney

**

“If we do not die to ourselves, and if our holiest devotions do not incline us to this necessary and useful death, we shall bring forth no fruit worth anything, and our devotions will become useless. All our good works will be stained by self-love and our own will . . . We must choose therefore, among all the devotions to the Blessed Virgin, the one which draws us most toward this death to ourselves, inasmuch as it will be the best and the most sanctifying. For we must not think that all that shines is gold, that all that tastes sweet is honey, or that all that is easy to do and is done by the greatest number is the most sanctifying.”

— St. Louis De Montfort

 

“When you agree to live simply, you can understand what Francis meant when he said, “A brother has not given up all things if he holds onto the purse of his own opinions.” Most of us find out that this purse is far more dangerous and disguised than a money purse, and we seldom let go of it.”

–from the book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi

**

“God does not fit in an occupied heart.”

— St. John of the Cross

**

“I do not wish the soul to consider her sins, either in general or in particular, without also remembering the Blood and the broadness of My mercy, for fear that otherwise she should be brought to confusion. And together with confusion would come the devil, who has caused it, under color of contrition and displeasure of sin, and so she would arrive at eternal damnation, not only on account of her confusion, but also through the despair which would come to her, because she did not seize the arm of My mercy. This is one of the subtle devices with which the Devil deludes My servants, and, in order to escape from his deceit, and to be pleasing to Me, you must enlarge your hearts and affections in My boundless mercy, with true humility. You know that the pride of the Devil cannot resist the humble mind, nor can any confusion of spirit be greater than the broadness of My good mercy, if the soul will only truly hope therein.”

— St. Catherine Of Siena

 

“Always, it seems, there is the “enemy” beyond the walls, which may be of our own making, who wants to sneak in and take over our city, appropriating as his or her own the property and goods and people within. And those of us within know and fear this threat to our lives and, in turn, wall ourselves in for protection, even though the “enemy” may already be inside our walls, may in fact reside within our own walled-in hearts.”

–from the book Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality

**

“Heaven is the birth-place and home of love. Its blessed inhabitants love much, love forever, and love only what is worthy of love. Joseph, however, was blessed by anticipation, for he passed all his days in the exercise of divine love, and lived a life of love upon earth. The Evangelists do not record a single word of this great saint; he observed, indeed, a marvelous silence. Not, however, an ungracious silence. The silence of ordinary men, as well as their irrepressible flow of words, is often merely selfish. But Joseph’s silence and his speech were alike prompted and regulated by the law of charity … His words, indeed, were never superfluous, for they had their source in love, but they were also ruled by his will, not forced from him as the expression of his feelings.”

— Edward Healy Thompson

“We who bear the name Christ and call ourselves Christian should do his works according to his Word, but so often we mistake our own social, cultural, and personal desires for the Word of God. This is how some self-identified Christians end up committing all sorts of hatred, discrimination, and violence. But this is also how more ordinary women and men like you and me, who also bear the name Christ, end up judging and excluding, seeking wealth, and ignoring the poor, advancing our own power while marginalizing those who already have no voice. This is not the truth about which Jesus speaks.

Jesus’s truth, the truth of the Word of God, is a truth of radical relationship and self-sacrificial love. It is a love of neighbor and stranger and enemy that is peace that the world cannot give. It is a truth that is not so much easily understood as challengingly lived out.”

 –from the book God Is Not Fair, And Other Reasons for Gratitude

**

“All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully.”

— St. Ignatius of Loyola

**

“Without doubt, Jesus Christ could have abolished pain at a single stroke, and, by virtue of the infinite grace of the Redemption, restored man to the state of complete, unmixed bliss that he enjoyed in the paradise of innocence. He did not so wish. He judged that, for some, suffering would be a source of merit, a gain, a source of glory, and a means of renewal and triumph; that, for the greater number, it would be a necessary expiation. He therefore maintained suffering, but purified, ennobled, and transfigured it by taking it upon Himself. He became the man of sorrows, virum dolorum, in the strict and absolute sense of these words.”

— Fr. Charles Arminjon

 

 

“Love your children. In them you can see Baby Jesus. Pray for them a lot and every day put them under Holy Mary’s protection.”

— St. Gianna Molla

**

“With regard to evil thoughts, there may be a twofold delusion. God-fearing souls who have little or no gift of discernment, and are inclined to scruples, think that every wicked thought that enters their mind is a sin. This is a mistake, for it is not the wicked thoughts in themselves that are sins, but the yielding or consenting to them. The wickedness of mortal sin consists in the perverse will that deliberately yields to sin with a complete knowledge of its wickedness with full consent. And therefore St. Augustine teaches that when the consent of the will is absent, there is no sin. However much we may be tormented by temptations, the rebellion of the senses, or the inordinate motions of the inferior part of the soul, as long as there is no consent, there is no sin. For the comfort of such anxious souls, let me suggest a good rule of conduct that is taught by all masters in the spiritual life. If a person who fears God and hates sin doubts whether or not he has consented to an evil thought or not, he is not bound to confess it, because it is morally certain that he has not given consent. For had he actually committed a mortal sin, he would have no doubt about it, as mortal sin is such a monster in the eyes of one who fears God that its entrance into the heart could not take place without its being known. Others, on the contrary, whose conscience is lax and not well-informed, think that evil thoughts and desires, though consented to, are not sins provided they are not followed by sinful actions. This error is worse than the one mentioned above. What we may not do, we may not desire. Therefore an evil thought or desire to which we consent comprises in itself all the wickedness of an evil deed.”

— St. Alphonsus Liguori

 

July 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Archives