One of the most important things you can do to improve your spiritual life and your mental health is to fill your mind with uplifting thoughts. If you hold on to hurtful memories, they will only make you sick. You have a choice. You can reject them. Decide firmly that you will not let the past drag you down. Turn to the Lord and ask for help. Pray for the grace to come into the present moment. You don’t have to work endlessly through the toxic effects of the past. Once you decide to change, the process can begin. St. Teresa of Avila used to repeat to herself over and over, “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing cause you fear. God is unchanging. God will suffice.” With the Lord at your side, you can do all things. Remember the words of Jesus, I have told you all these things that your joy may be full (John 15:11).
– Father John Catoir
If only we could be what we hope to be, by the great kindness of our generous God. He asks so little and gives so much, in this life and in the next, to those who love him sincerely. In a spirit of hope and out of love for him, let us then bear and endure all things and give thanks for everything that befalls us.
– St. Gregory Nazianzen
I see that we have to take many steps before arriving at sanctity. We think every step we take can be the last, and then we find that we have done nothing, we have hardly begun. A man who enters religion thinks there is nothing left to be done, but he soon finds that he has taken himself with him and is still worldly even though he has left the world . . . That done, he must go a step further and detach himself from himself, seek only God in God, and not look for any passing gain in holiness . . . to seek nothing but God’s interests. For this, my Lord, you must give us a great grace, for how can we reach such purity of intention by ourselves?
– St Claude de la Colombiere
Always walk in the presence of God because his shade is healthier than the rays of the sun. There is nothing wrong in trembling before the face of him whose very presence makes the angels tremble as they contemplate the Supreme Majesty.
– St. Francis de Sales
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Let us never put aside the thought of our ultimate aim. And what is this ultimate aim? To know God, principally, is why he conceived our days, our years. Therefore, let us try never to forget this ultimate aim, for everything depends on it. And for what reason? To serve Him with faith, with love, and with constancy. Let us try to excel in all of this, then. Since God created us for love, he takes care of us for love, and for love he has promised us the prize.
– St. Pio of Pietrelcina
The dream of creating a “new heaven and a new earth” lives on. It is not determined by my age, my health, or my degrees, but by my heart and the burning desire to act for God, to make God’s love and healing presence visible in a hurting world. I can do something, now, in this time and place. If my eyes and heart are open, I can make a difference, not for the whole world, but for one person or two or twenty. To be in love with God, to follow Christ, means that I must act on behalf of those who need my help. I cannot turn away. I cannot retire. I cannot say, “I have done all that I can do.” As long as I can see, I must look for those who are in need. As long as I can talk, I must speak for those who have no voice. As long as I can move, I must act on behalf of justice for the poor. God has given me this time. It is still my time, my time until I die.
– Sister Regina Rogers
Jesus’ response to our worry-filled lives . . . He asks us to shift the point of gravity, to relocate the center of our attention, to change our priorities. Jesus wants us to move from the “many things” to the “one necessary thing.”. . .Jesus does not speak about a change of activities, a change in contacts, or even a change of pace. He speaks about a change of heart . . . What counts is where our hearts are. When we worry, we have our hearts in the wrong place. Jesus asks us to move our hearts to the center, where all other things fall into place. What is the center? Jesus calls it the kingdom, the kingdom of his Father.
– Henri Nouwen
Being holy means living exactly as our Father in heaven wants us to live. You will say that it is difficult. It is. The ideal is a very high one. And yet it is also easy. It is within our reach. When a person becomes ill, there may be no appropriate medicine. But in supernatural affairs, it is not like that. The medicine is always at hand. It is Jesus Christ, present in the Holy Eucharist, and he also gives us his grace in the other sacraments which he has established. Let us say again, in word and in action: “Lord, I trust in you; your ordinary providence, your help each day, is all I need.” We do not have to ask God to perform great miracles. Rather, we have to beg him to increase our faith, to enlighten our intellect, and strengthen our will.
– St. Josemariá Escrivá
When we profess our belief in eternal life, it is a profession of faith in the living God. Because there is a God, we, whom he calls and sees, know that we shall not fall into a vacuum. For that reason, belief in eternal life becomes a very practical testimony. . . Such a testimonial is practical because the whole measure of our lives is determined from this standpoint. This means that we must live for what is lasting. Faith has as its goal. . .that there be an interchange of life, that Christ’s life and ours be intertwined, that our lives be inscribed in his and his in ours, that the promise be fulfilled that St. Teresa of Avila heard addressed to her by the Lord: “Do not be troubled; my concerns are yours and your concerns are mine.” We should live in such a way that this interchange of lives becomes a reality, that his concerns truly do become ours and ours become his, and that Christ’s life and ours become inseparable.
– Pope Benedict XVI
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Keep the transcendent dimension of your life burning bright through prayer and sacrament, through love and peace, mercy and justice. It changes every fiber of your being when the transcendent is your priority. Live for God. Nothing else is worth it.
Father Matthew Kelty O.C.S.O.