Thursday, July 31, 2014
God says to each of us: "Give me your heart, that is, your will." We, in turn, cannot offer anything more precious than to say: "Lord, take possession of us; we give our whole will to you; make us understand what it is that you desire of us, and we will perform it."
-- Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Martha and Mary were sisters, related not only by blood but also by religious aspirations. They stayed close to our Lord and both served him harmoniously when he was among them. Martha welcomed him as travelers are welcomed. But in her case, the maidservant received her Lord, the creature her Creator, to serve him bodily food while she was to be fed by the Spirit. No one of you should say, “Blessed are they who have deserved to receive Christ into their homes!” Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh. He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As he says, “Whatever you have done to the least of my brothers, you did to me.”
-- Saint Augustine of Hippo from a sermon
Sunday, July 27, 2014
When God created man, He planted something divine into him — a certain conception — a spark that has both light and warmth. The conception that enlightens the mind and indicates what is right and what is wrong is called conscience. Conscience is a natural law. Living in times before any written law, patriarchs and saints pleased God by following the voice of their conscience.
-- Saint Dorotheus of Gaza
Saturday, July 26, 2014
I want to be holy, loving Jesus in the Eucharist, suffering with Christ Crucified and seeing Christ in my brothers and sisters.
-- Blessed Maria Grazia Tarallo
Ann was to be the mother of the Virgin Mother of God, and hence nature did not dare to anticipate the flowering of grace. Thus nature remained sterile, until grace produced its fruit. For she who was to be born had to be a first born daughter, since she would be the mother of the first-born of all creation, in whom all things are held together.
Joachim and Ann, how blessed a couple! All creation is indebted to you. For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts: a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of him.
And so rejoice, Ann, that you were sterile and have not borne children; break forth into shouts, you who have not given birth. Rejoice, Joachim, because from your daughter a child is born for us, a son is given us, whose name is Messenger of great counsel and universal salvation, mighty God. For this child is God.
-- Saint John Damascene from a sermon
Friday, July 25, 2014
The sons of Zebedee press Christ: Promise that one may sit at your right side and the other at your left. What does he do? He wants to show them that it is not a spiritual gift for which they are asking, and that if they knew what their request involved, they would never dare make it. So he says: You do not know what you are asking, that is, what a great and splendid thing it is and how much beyond the reach even of the heavenly powers. Then he continues: Can you drink the cup which I must drink and be baptised with the baptism which I must undergo? He is saying: “You talk of sharing honours and rewards with me, but I must talk of struggle and toil. Now is not the time for rewards or the time for my glory to be revealed. Earthly life is the time for bloodshed, war and danger”.
Consider how by his manner of questioning he exhorts and draws them. He does not say: “Can you face being slaughtered? Can you shed your blood?” How does he put his question? Can you drink the cup? Then he makes it attractive by adding: which I must drink, so that the prospect of sharing it with him may make them more eager. He also calls his suffering a baptism, to show that it will effect a great cleansing of the entire world. The disciples answer him: We can! Fervour makes them answer promptly, though they really do not know what they are saying but still think they will receive what they ask for.
How does Christ reply? You will indeed drink my cup and be baptized with my baptism. He is really prophesying a great blessing for them, since he is telling them: “You will be found worthy of martyrdom; you will suffer what I suffer and end your life with a violent death, thus sharing all with me. But seats at my right and left are not mine to give; they belong to those for whom the Father has prepared them.” Thus, after lifting their minds to higher goals and preparing them to meet and overcome all that will make them desolate, he sets them straight on their request.
Then the other ten became angry at the two brothers. See how imperfect they all are: the two who tried to get ahead of the other ten, and the ten who were jealous of the two! But, as I said before, show them to me at a later date in their lives, and you will see that all these impulses and feelings have disappeared. Read how John, the very man who here asks for the first place, will always yield to Peter when it comes to preaching and performing miracles in the Acts of the Apostles. James, for his part, was not to live very much longer; for from the beginning he was inspired by great fervour and, setting aside all purely human goals, rose to such splendid heights that he straightway suffered martyrdom.
-- Saint John Chrysostom from a homily on the Gospel of Matthew
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
When we must do something we dislike, let us say to God, " My God I offer You this in honor of the moment when You died for me."
-- Saint John Vianney
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Blessed may you be, my Lord Jesus Christ. For our salvation you allowed your side and heart to be pierced with a lance; and from that side water and your precious blood flowed out abundantly for our redemption.
-- Saint Bridget of Sweden from a prayer attributed to her
When Mary Magdalen came to the tomb and did not find the Lord’s body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them. The text then says: “The disciples went back home,” and it adds: “but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb.” We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tell us: “Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.”
-- Pope Saint Gregory the Great from a homily
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Christ is the first-born of every creature, and the whole of humanity as well as the created world finds its foundation and meaning in Him. Moreover, this would have been the case even if Adam had not sinned.
-- Saint Lawrence of Brindisi
Reason can but ascertain the profound difficulties of our condition, it cannot remove them.
-- Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman
Friday, July 18, 2014
But I know it will be said that a priest ordayned by authority derived from the See of Rome is, by the Law of the Nation, to die as a Traytor, but if that be so what must become of all the Clergymen of the Church of England, for the first Protestant Bishops had their Ordination from those of the Church of Rome, or not at all, as appears by their own writers so that Ordination comes derivatively from those now living.
-- Saint John Plessington from the gallows just before his martyrdom
Thursday, July 17, 2014
If you say the Rosary faithfully unto death, I assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins, you will receive a "never fading crown of glory". (1 Peter 5:4)
-- Saint Louis Marie de Montfort
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I am certain that at the end truth will triumph over lies, and love will overcome hatred. I do not hate my enemies. I would like to bring them closer to Christ, of course not by force or deceit but by love and truth.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
This will be for you and for all Carmelites the privilege, that he who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire.
-- Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Simon Stock upon giving the Carmelites the Brown Scapular
Monday, July 14, 2014
If there is anyone who is not enlightened by this sublime magnificence of created things, he is blind. If there is anyone who, seeing all these works of God, does not praise Him, he is dumb; if there is anyone who, from so many signs, cannot perceive God, that man is foolish.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love. The state of helpless poverty that may befall me if I do not marry does not frighten me. All I need is a little food and a few pieces of clothing. With the work of my hands I shall always earn what is necessary and what is left over I'll give to my relatives and to the poor. If I should become sick and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross. He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure.
-- Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
The Kingdom of Heaven, O man, requires no other price than yourself. The value of it is yourself. Give yourself for it and you shall have it.
-- Saint Augustine of Hippo
Saturday, July 12, 2014
The greater and more persistent your confidence in God, the more abundantly you will receive what you ask.
-- Saint Albert the Great
Thursday, July 10, 2014
We must know that God regards our purity of heart and tears of compunction, not our many words.
-- Saint Benedict of Nursia from Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 20
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Stand fast, therefore, in this conduct and follow the example of the Lord, 'firm and unchangeable in faith, lovers of the brotherhood, loving each other, united in truth,' helping each other with the mildness of the Lord, despising no man.
-- Saint Polycarp of Smyrna from his Letter to the Philippians
The presence of God is so intimate to me that it seems impossible for me to lose it; and such presence gives my soul a joy which I can not describe.
-- Saint Paulina do Coração Agonizante de Jesus
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
God has promised pardon to the one who repents, but He has not promised repentance to the one who sins!
-- Saint Anselem of Canterbury
Sunday, July 06, 2014
The greatest mercy of God is not to let those nations remain in peace with each other who are not at peace with God.
-- Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
Saturday, July 05, 2014
The Church of the Lord is built upon the rock of the apostles among so many dangers in the world; it therefore remains unmoved. The Church's foundation is unshakable and firm against assaults of the raging sea. Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it. Although the elements of this world constantly beat upon the Church with crashing sounds, the Church possesses the safest harbor of salvation for all in distress.
-- Saint Ambrose of Milan
That which God commands seems difficult and a burden. The way is rough; you draw back; you have no desire to follow it. Yet do so and you will attain glory.
-- Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria
Thursday, July 03, 2014
So blind are we in this mortal life, and so unaware of what will happen, so uncertain of even how we will think tomorrow, that God could not take vengeance on a man more easily in this world than by granting his own foolish wishes.
-- Saint Thomas More
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.” He was the only disciple absent; on his return he heard what had happened but refused to believe it. The Lord came a second time; he offered his side for the disbelieving disciple to touch, held out his hands, and showing the scars of his wounds, healed the wound of disbelief. Dearly beloved, what do you see in these events? Do you really believe that it was by chance that this chosen disciple was absent, then came and heard, heard and doubted, doubted and touched, touched and believed? It was not by chance but in God’s providence. In a marvelous way God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his master’s body, should heal our wounds of disbelief. The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened. So the disciple who doubted, then felt Christ’s wounds, becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection. Touching Christ, he cried out: “‘My Lord and my God.’ Jesus said to him: ‘Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed.’” Paul said: “Faith is the guarantee of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” It is clear, then, that faith is the proof of what cannot be seen. What is seen gives knowledge, not faith. When Thomas saw and touched, why was he told: “You have believed because you have seen me?” Because what he saw and what he believed were different things. God cannot be seen by mortal man. Thomas saw a human being, whom he acknowledged to be God, and said: “My Lord and my God.” Seeing, he believed ; looking at one who was true man, he cried out that this was God, the God he could not see. What follows is reason for great joy: “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” There is here a particular reference to ourselves. We are included in these words, but only if we follow up our faith with good works. The true believer practices what he believes. But of those who pay only lip service to faith, Paul has this to say: “They profess to know God, but they deny him in their works.” Therefore James says: “Faith without works is dead.”
-- Pope Saint Gregory the Great from a homily
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
If we knew at what time we were to depart from this world, we would be able to select a season for pleasure and another for repentance. But God, who has promised pardon to every repentant sinner, has not promised us tomorrow. Therefore we must always dread the final day, which we can never foresee. This very day is a day of truce, a day for conversion. And yet we refuse to cry over the evil we have done! Not only do we not weep for the sins we have committed, we even add to them.
-- Pope Saint Gregory the Great