One must pass through the desert and spend some time there in order to receive the grace of God; it is there that one empties oneself, that one drives away from oneself everything which is not God and that one empties completely the house of one's soul in order to leave all of it to God alone.
God refuses only the person who does not admit his own weakness; He sends away only the unhappy proud person. You must "hold him" well and strongly, with a poor spirit, with a poor heart, with a life entirely poor...The life of a soul who seeks true happiness clearly and indisputably depends on this: that those who seek their joy in God are the ones who give joy to God.
But those who persist in inciting the anger of God, who revile our Faith, who hate His commandments, who associate with those who alienate our young men from their religion, who rob and drive out our monks and nuns, who condemn to death our innocent brothers and sisters, our fellow human beings, we shun absolutely so as to remain undefiled by their blasphemous way of life, which would lay us open to that just punishment which God must and will inflict upon all....O my God, grant to us all now on this very day, before it is too late, a true realization of the things that are for peace. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, oppressed even unto tears by the blindness and sins of men, help us by Thy grace to seek always what is pleasing to Thee and reject what is displeasing, so that we may dwell in Thy Love and find rest in our souls.
There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favor chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfill the task at hand.
- Saint Bernardine of Siena (from a sermon on Saint Joseph)
As for what concerns our relations with our fellow men, the anguish in our neighbor's soul must break all precept. All that we do is a means to an end, but love is an end in itself, because God is love.
Even the death on the Cross was sublime: for it was the culminating and necessary point in that scheme of Love in which death was to be followed by blessed resurrection for the whole "lump" of humanity: and the Cross itself has a mystic meaning.
The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. He has blessed it with His holy name, anointed it with His grace, perfumed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.
Taste the hidden sweetness that lies within your heart which God has kept for those whose lives are tender within. Place your mind in the softness of life's eternal flow. Place your soul in the brilliance of heaven's endless glow; and love him totally who gave himself for your love, and you will hold him who holds all things in truth.
Prayer, fasting, vigil and all other Christian activities, however good they may be in themselves, do not constitute the aim of our Christian life, although they serve as the indispensable means of reaching this end. The true aim of our Christian life consists in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God. As for fasts, and vigils, and prayer, and almsgiving, and every good deed done for Christ's sake, they are only means of acquiring the Holy Spirit of God.