Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Jesus set the book of nature before me and I saw that all the flowers he has created are lovely. The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. I realized that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wildflowers to make the meadows gay.
It is just the same in the world of souls - which is the garden of Jesus. He has created the great saints who are like the lilies and the roses, but he has also created much lesser saints and they must be content to be the daisies or the violets which rejoice his eyes whenever he glances down. Perfection consists in doing his will, in being that which he wants us to be.
Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be - and becoming that person.
-- Saint Thérèse of Lisieux from "Story of a Soul"
You say in your book that while we live we are able to pray for each other, but afterwards when we have died, the prayer of no person for another can be heard.... But if the apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others, at a time when they ought still be solicitous about themselves, how much more will they do so after their crowns, victories, and triumphs?
-- Saint Jerome from “Against Vigilantius”
Saturday, September 27, 2014
He causes his prayers to be of more avail to himself, who offers them also for others.
-- Pope Saint Gregory the Great
Friday, September 26, 2014
As it is most certain that the teaching of Christ cannot deceive, if we would walk securely, we ought to attach ourselves to it with greatest confidence and to profess openly that we live according to it, and not to the maxims of the world, which are all deceitful. This is the fundamental maxim of all Christian perfection.
All places are alike to me, because everywhere I expect to find God, who is the only object of all my desires.
-- Saint Marie Victoire Therese Couderc
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.
-- Saint Teresa of Avila
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
In the same way a powerful medicine cures an illness, so illness itself is a medicine to cure passion. And there is much profit of soul in bearing illness quietly and giving thanks to God.
-- Saint Amma Syncletice
Monday, September 22, 2014
Remember, that the devil has only one door by which to enter the soul: the will. There are secret or hidden doors. Temptations, discouragement, and unrest are the wares offered by the enemy. Remember this: if the devil makes noise, it is a sign that he is still outside and not yet within. That which must terrify us is his peace and concord within the human soul.
Accordingly, we should pray for pardon if we have sinned, as we do when we say, "Forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors." But we should also pray that God should guide us away from sin, and this we do when we say, "Lead us not into temptation"--and we should make our petitions to Him of whom it is said in the psalm, "The Lord is my light and my salvation"(Psalms 27:1.); that, as Light, he may take away our ignorance, as Salvation, our weakness.
-- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “Enchiridion On Faith, Hope, and Love”
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Learning unsupported by grace may get into our ears; it never reaches the heart. But when God's Grace touches our innermost minds to bring understanding, His word which has been received by the ear sinks deep into the heart.
-- Saint Isidore of Seville from his writing "The Book of Maxims"
Saturday, September 20, 2014
I have told you that I am a Christian, and will be one until my death.
-- Saint Paul Chong Hasang to the judge at his trial after being told the king forbade his religion
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Really, I am far from being a saint, and what I have just said is proof of this; instead of rejoicing, for example, at my aridity, I should attribute it to my little fervor and lack of fidelity; I should be desolate for having slept (for seven years) during my hours of prayer and my thanksgivings after Holy Communion; well, I am not desolate. I remember that little children are as pleasing to their parents when they are asleep as well as when they are wide awake; I remember, too, that when they perform operations, doctors put their patients to sleep. Finally, I remember that: “The Lord knows our weakness, that he is mindful that we are but dust and ashes.”
-- Saint Therese of Lisieux from Story of a Soul
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Clearly, what God wants above all is our will which we received as a free gift from God in creation and possess as though our own. When a man trains himself to acts of virtue, it is with the help of grace from God from whom all good things come that he does this. The will is what man has as his unique possession.
--Saint Joseph of Cupertino, from the reading for his feast in the Franciscan breviary
Is it not true that you promise those who keep your commandments a reward more desirable than great wealth and sweeter than honey? You promise a most abundant reward, for as your apostle James says: “The Lord has prepared a crown of life for those who love him.” What is this crown of life? It is surely a greater good than we can conceive of or desire, as Saint Paul says, quoting Isaiah: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him.
-- Saint Robert Bellarmine
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Let us remember one another in concord and unanimity. Let us on both sides of death always pray for one another. Let us relieve burdens and afflictions by mutual love, that if one of us, by the swiftness of divine condescension, shall go hence the first, our love may continue in the presence of the Lord, and our prayers for our brethren and sisters not cease in the presence of the Father’s mercy.
-- Saint Cyprian of Carthage
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Truly, O blessed Mother, a sword has pierced your heart. For only by passing through your heart could the sword enter the flesh of your Son. Indeed, after your Jesus - who belongs to everyone, but is especially yours - gave up his life, the cruel spear, which was not withheld from his lifeless body, tore open his side. Clearly it did not touch his soul and could not harm him, but it did pierce your heart. For surely his soul was no longer there, but yours could not be torn away. Thus the violence of sorrow has cut through your heart, and we rightly call you more than martyr, since the effect of compassion in you has gone beyond the endurance of physical suffering.
Or were those words, Woman, behold your Son, not more than a word to you, truly piercing your heart, cutting through to the division between soul and spirit? What an exchange! John is given to you in place of Jesus, the servant in place of the Lord, the disciple in place of the master; the son of Zebedee replaces the Son of God, a mere man replaces God himself. How could these words not pierce your most loving heart, when the mere remembrance of them breaks ours, hearts of iron and stone though they are!
Do not be surprised, brothers, that Mary is said to be a martyr in spirit. Let him be surprised who does not remember the words of Paul, that one of the greatest crimes of the Gentiles was that they were without love. That was far from the heart of Mary; let it be far from her servants.
-- Saint Bernard of Clairvaux from a sermon
Saturday, September 13, 2014
The cross is called Christ’s glory; it is saluted as his his triumph. We recognize it as the cup he longed to drink and the climax of the sufferings he endured for our sake. As to the cross being Christ’s glory, listen to his words: Now is the Son of Man glorified, and in him God is glorified, and God will glorify him at once. And again: Father, glorify me with the glory I had with you before the world came to be. And once more: “Father, glorify your name”. Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it and will glorify it again”. Here he speaks of the glory that would accrue to him through the cross. And if you would understand that the cross is Christ’s triumph, hear what he himself also said: When I am lifted up, then I will draw all men to myself. Now you can see that the cross is Christ’s glory and triumph.
-- Saint Andrew of Crete
It is possible to offer fervent prayer even while walking in public or strolling alone, or seated in your shop...while buying or selling...or even while cooking.
Friday, September 12, 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
Thursday, September 11, 2014
It is written that "God is love"-- and if He is love, He must needs be infinite love and infinite goodness, and it is no wonder that such love and goodness should at times bestow on certain souls an affection which confounds those who do not understand it. Although many know this by faith, yet, unless they have experienced it themselves, they cannot understand the affectionate, and more than affectionate way, in which God elects to treat some of His creatures. Those who themselves are far from having received favors of this kind, cannot believe God would deal with others in so different a manner. Yet it would be only reasonable to think that such love, a love which fills us with wonder, must come from God, Who is marvelous in all His works, but still more marvelous in His mercies.
-- Saint John of Avila from a letter to Saint Teresa of Avila
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Say nothing of this, give thanks to God, not to me. I am only a vessel of clay, a poor sinner.
-- Saint Nicholas of Tolentino said to those whom he helped
*Trivia note: Saint Nicholas of Tolentino was the first Augustinian to be canonized
Monday, September 08, 2014
This is the revelation of the mystery, this is the emptying out of the divine nature, the union of God and man, and the deification of the manhood that was assumed. This radiant and manifest coming of God to men most certainly needed a joyful prelude to introduce the great gift of salvation to us. The present festival, the birth of the Mother of God, is the prelude, while the final act is the fore-ordained union of the Word with flesh. Today the Virgin is born, tended and formed and prepared for her role as Mother of God, who is the universal King of the ages.
-- Saint Andrew of Crete
Sunday, September 07, 2014
Even on the Cross He did not hide Himself from sight; rather, He made all creation witness to the presence of its Maker.
-- Saint Athanasius the Great
Saturday, September 06, 2014
Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause.
-- Saint John Cantius
Thursday, September 04, 2014
May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, and a holy rest and peace at the last.
-- Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman a daily prayer by him
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Perhaps it is not after all so difficult for a man to part with his possessions, but it is certainly most difficult for him to part with himself. To renounce what one has is a minor thing; but to renounce what one is, that is asking a lot.
-- Pope Saint Gregory the Great
Monday, September 01, 2014
As for us, we hold to what we believed ten and twenty years ago; to what our forefathers believed one hundred years ago, and one thousand years ago, and to that which the whole Catholic world has always believed.
-- Blessed Brother Solomon le Clerq