Being holy means living exactly the way 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
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The little way is only for the very small. It is not for those who draw their support from their own strength, but for those who draw support from the strength of the Lord. The road is short because it is a straight road. Do not let a single chance go by for a small sacrifice, not a glance, nor a word – to take advantage of all the little things and to do them out of love.
– St. Therese of Lisieux
We must learn to trust God, because this is what Christ taught. He told us to live in the present. His whole teaching stresses that idea. He tells us not to save up, or make any provision for the future, to live in the moment. But we seldom do so. . . No, we grieve because of what tomorrow may bring . . . But trust does not mean believing that God will spare us from suffering . . . To trust God means that we must know that whatever comes to us comes from his hand . . . Christ says, Take no thought of tomorrow. He also says, Take up your cross daily. There is no need, in accepting sorrow, to look ahead, to imagine tomorrow, to ask for more or less, but just as we receive our joy day by day, so can we receive our sorrow day by day, and it will be measured day by day, by the love of God and our own littleness . . . To look for God’s gift in the moment is the way to learn to trust.
One could say that prayer begins here in this responsiveness to the gaze of God. Although we must make many about faces day after day to meet his gaze and to flee the oblivion to which we are so prone, every step toward purity of thought, intention, heart, toward purity of the inner eye, leads us more surely to that sanctuary called memory, a sanctuary created in us by God precisely so that we could meet him there . . . What is it to remember God? To remember him is not simply a recollection of him in his past deeds, because those mercies shape us to this day. To remember him is to enter into his presence in the varied ways that he makes himself present within and among us. It is to know that forgetfulness of God is death: In death there is no remembrance of you (Psalm 6:5). It is to say to God what he says to us: I will never forget you (Isaiah 49:15).
– Sister Maureen McCabe, O.C.S.O.
Unite yourself with him, then, in all that you do. Refer everything to his glory. Set up your abode in this loving Heart of Jesus and you will there find lasting peace and the strength both to bring to fruition all the good desires he inspires in you, and to avoid every deliberate fault. Place in this Heart all your sufferings and difficulties. Everything that comes from the Sacred Heart is sweet. He changes everything into love . . . Let us belong to him without reserve, because he wants all or nothing. And after we have once given him everything, let us take nothing back.
– St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
We have a God who is infinitely gracious and knows all our wants. I always thought that he would reduce you to extremity. He will come in his own time, and when you least expect it. Hope in him more than ever; thank him with me for the favors he does you . . . I do not advise you to use a multiplicity of words in prayer; many words and long discourses being often the occasions of wandering. Hold yourself in prayer before God like a poor, paralytic beggar at a rich man’s gate. Let it be your business to keep your mind in the presence of the Lord . . .One way to recall the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquility, is not to let it wander too far at other times. You should keep it strictly in the presence of God.
– Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection
God is ready to shed his graces upon us as abundantly and as usefully as those he shed upon the first Christians. He does not love us less than he loved them. All the means of sanctification that they had, we too possess; and we have besides, the examples of the saints who have followed Christ to encourage us. But we are too often like Naaman the leper who came to consult the prophet and beg his cure; he was on the point of not obtaining it because he found the remedy too simple. That is the case with some of those who undertake the spiritual life; who are so attached to their own way of seeing things that they are scandalized at the simplicity of the Divine plan. And this scandal is not without harm . . . Why is this? Because all that our human ingenuity is able to create for our inner life serves for nothing if we do not base our edifice upon Christ.
– Blessed Columba Marmion
Let us adore Jesus in our hearts – who spent thirty years out of thirty-three in silence; who began his public life by spending forty days in silence; who often returned alone to spend the night on a mountain in silence. He who spoke with authority, now spends his earthly life in silence. Let us adore Jesus in the Eucharistic silence.
– Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Whatever you possess must not possess you; whatever you own must be under the power of your soul; for if your soul is overpowered by the love of this world’s goods, it will be totally at the mercy of its possessions. In other words, we make use of temporal things, but our hearts are set on what is eternal. Temporal goods help us on our way, but our desire must be for those eternal realities which are our goal. We should give no more than a side glance at all that happens in the world, but the eyes of our soul are to be focused straight ahead . . . If the object of love is what is good, then the soul should take its delight in the higher good, the things of heaven. In this way, if the soul sees that we should have a greater love and a greater fear about what concerns the next life, it will never cling to this life.
– St. Gregory the Great
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Wisdom tells us what we cannot know. Wisdom defines the limits of knowledge. Wisdom, however, always points us to a place and a purpose beyond knowledge. Wisdom takes us where knowledge can’t go – to the thoughts of God and the mind of God. The summit of knowledge is to know God’s will. That is the only knowledge we really need. The only knowing that is ultimately worthwhile is to know what God wants in our lives. What God always wants for us is love and the fruits of love . . . Wisdom allows us to know God, as God truly is, the “self” of God, the heart of God, the mind of God. In our world, knowledge is power. We are obsessed with power. Followers of Jesus must be different. We must be obsessed with wisdom.
– Father Harry Cronin, S.C.S.