Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Who can put Mary’s high honor into words? She is both mother and virgin. I am overwhelmed by the wonder of this miracle. Of course no one could be prevented from living in the house he had built for himself, yet who would invite mockery by asking his own servant to become his mother?
Behold then the joy of the whole universe. Let the union of God and man in the Son of the Virgin Mary fill us with awe and adoration. Let us fear and worship the undivided Trinity as we sing the praise of the ever-virgin Mary, the holy temple of God, and of God himself, her Son and spotless Bridegroom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
-- Saint Cyril of Alexandria
The highest perfection consists not in interior favors or in great raptures, but in the bringing of our wills so closely into conformity with the Will of God that, as soon as we realize that he wills anything, we desire it ourselves with all our might.
-- Saint Teresa of Avila
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Heresy is from the Greek word meaning ‘choice’…. But we are not permitted to believe whatever we choose, nor to choose whatever someone else has believed. We have the Apostles of God as authorities, who did not…choose what they would believe but faithfully transmitted the teachings of Christ. So, even if an angel from heaven should preach otherwise, he shall be called anathema.
-- Saint Isidore of Seville*
*Trivia Note: Saint Isidore of Seville is the patron of computer technicians, computer users, computers, and the Internet.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Oh what remorse we shall feel at the end of our lives, when we look back upon the great number of instructions and examples afforded by God and the Saints for our perfection, and so carelessly received by us! If this end were to come to you today, how would you be pleased with the life you have led this year?
-- Saint Francis de Sales
Saturday, December 27, 2014
For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.
-- Saint John the Apostle from The Gospel of Saint John 3: 16
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
-- Saint Stephen First Martyr for Christ from Acts 7: 55
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal
And the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible.
The angels and shepherds praise him
And the magi advance with the star,
For you are born for us, Little Child, God eternal!
-- Kontakion of Saint Romanos the Melodist
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.
You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have been lost if he had not hastened ‘to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come.
Let us then joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festive day on which he who is the great and eternal day came from the great and endless day of eternity into our own short day of time.
He has become our justice, our sanctification, our redemption, so that, as it is written: Let him who glories glory in the Lord.
-- Saint Augustine of Hippo from a sermon
In giving us His Son, His only Word, He spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word -- and He has no more to say...because what He spoke before to the prophets in parts, He has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son.
-- Saint John of the Cross
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what Eve bound through her disbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her faith.
-- Saint Irenaeus of Lyons
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.
Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise, and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.
-- Saint Bernard of Clairvaux from a homily
Thursday, December 18, 2014
For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.
-- Saint Irenaeus of Lyons
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
How I savor it when I see the Lord of all majesty showing himself as far as bodily exertion and human emotion are concerned not like the strong but the weak. What a comfort it is to me in my weakness! Truly this weakness of my Lord without doubt brings me strength and stability in my weakness. I am entrusted with the care of my brother's body and soul (for I do not love the whole man if I neglect anything belonging to either -- for it is very difficult for the mind not to be tempted when the flesh has too much to suffer). If I see him in distress, whether it be on account of the austerity of the food or because of work or the vigils -- if, I say, I see that he is tormented in body and tempted in spirit, if I see him in such affliction and...do not on occasion accommodate myself to the infirmities of the weak I am not running in the fragrance of Christ's ointments but with the harshness of the pharisees.
-- Saint Aelred of Rievaulx
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014
“For Balaam laid before us precisely
the meaning of the words he spoke in prophecy,
when he said that a Star would dawn,6
a Star that quenches all prophecies and auguries;
a Star that resolves the parables of the wise,
and their sayings and their riddles,
a Star far more brilliant than the star
which has appeared, for he is the maker of all the stars,
of whom it was written of old, ‘From Jacob, there dawns
a little Child, God before the ages.’”
-- Saint Romanos the Melodist
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Monday, December 15, 2014
Sunday, December 14, 2014
At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love.
-- Saint John of the Cross
Friday, December 12, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I felt that this is the Carmelite's way, imitating Mary, how we must grow less, to be truly poor, self-sacrificing, humble, nothing. I felt quite deeply how Jesus gives us in His own life continual examples of sacrifice, of humiliation, of making ourselves small, yet we do not understand. I felt His mercy and zeal for souls in this way, that here is the strength that can take hold of our life through His mercy. By His grace, may I, who am so absolutely poor in everything, be well able to imitate Him in this with more ease than other creatures.
-- Saint María Maravillas de Jesús
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
The morrow after Simon and Jude’s day I was hanged at the wall from the ground, my manacles fast locked into a staple as high as I could reach upon a stool: the stool taken away where I hanged from a little after 8 o’clock in the morning till after 4 in the afternoon, without any ease or comfort at all, saving that Topcliffe came in and told me that the Spaniards were come into Southwark by our means: ‘For lo, do you not hear the drums’ (for then the drums played in honour of the Lord Mayor). The next day after also I was hanged up an hour or two: such is the malicious minds of our adversaries.
-- Saint Eustace White in a letter written to Father Henry Garnet from prison, November 23, 1591.
What then shall the Catholic do if some portion of the Church detaches itself from communion of the universal Faith? What other choice can he make – and if some new contagion attempts to poison, no longer a small part of the Church, but the whole Church at once, then his great concern will be to attach himself to antiquity (Tradition) which can no longer be led astray by any lying novelty.
-- Saint Vincent of Lerins
Sunday, December 07, 2014
To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.
God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.
Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself.
-- Saint Anselm of Canterbury from a sermon
Therefore, let your words be rivers, clean and limpid, so that you may charm the ears of people. And by the grace of your words win them over to follow your leadership. Solomon says: “The weapons of the understanding are the lips of the wise”; and in another place he says: “Let your lips be bound with wisdom.” That is, let the meaning of your words shine forth, let understanding blaze out. Let no word escape your lips in vain or be uttered without depth of meaning.
-- Saint Ambrose of Milan
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering, and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share their crowns of glory.
-- Saint John of Damascus
It is impossible to find a saint who did not take the “two P’s” seriously: prayer and penance.
-- Saint Francis Xavier
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp only to put it under a bushel basket; they put it on a stand where it gives light to all in the house. The Lord called his disciples to salt of the earth because they seasoned with heavenly wisdom the hearts of men, rendered insipid by the devil. Now he calls them the fight of the world as well, because they have been enlightened by him, the true and everlasting light, and have themselves become a light in the darkness. Since he is the Sun of Justice, he fittingly calls his disciples the light of the world. The reason for this is that through them, as through shining rays, he has poured out the light of the knowledge of himself upon the entire world.
-- Saint Chromatius of Aquileia from a treatise on the Gospel of Saint Matthew