I should like to bare my chest for a moment to show you the wound which our tender Jesus has lovingly opened in this heart of mine. My heart has found at last a Lover so attached to me that I am incapable of hurting him anymore . . . My heart keeps within itself an infinite number of his mercies. It knows that it doesn’t have anything of value with which to glorify itself before him. He has loved me and preferred me to many others . . . He is so much in love with my heart that he makes me burn with his divine fire, with the fire of his love. What is this fire that pervades my whole being? Dear Father, if Jesus makes us so happy on earth, what will heaven be like?
– St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Your business now is to live alone with God and to be as though you and God were alone in the universe. You must cross the desert and dwell in it to receive the grace of God. It is here one drives out everything that is not God. The soul needs to enter into this silence, this recollection, this forgetfulness of all created things by which God establishes his rule in it and forms within it the life of the spirit, the life of intimacy with God, the conversation of the soul with God in faith, hope and charity.
– Blessed Charles de Foucauld
Let us make an unconditional surrender of self to God, and seek to do a little more for him than is strictly required. Let us say, “Lord, you are enough for me; you and your cross.” The cross in some form or other will always be with us. It may come from our superiors. It may come from our brethren. It may come from our body or our soul. Certainly it will come from ourselves for our self-love is our greatest cross. But let us bear all crosses cheerfully, and thank God for each.
– Father Frederic Dunne, O.C.S.O.
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We must try to be children who realize that the Lord is such a good Father, by loving us as his children, he has taken us into his house, in the middle of the world. . .Our Father in heaven pardons any offense when his child returns to him, when he repents and asks for pardon. The Lord is such a good Father that he anticipates our desire to be pardoned and comes forward to us, opening his arms laden with grace . . . He wants us to call him Father; he wants us to savor that word, our souls filled with joy. Human life is in some way a constant returning to our Father’s house.
– St. Josemaría Escrivá
Jesus, the Lenten season. . . .is a time to be with you in a special way, a time to pray, to fast, and thus to follow you on your way to Jerusalem, to Golgotha, and to the final victory over death. I am still so divided. I truly want to follow you, but I also want to follow my own desires and lend an ear to the voices that speak about prestige, success, human respect, pleasure, power, and influence. Help me to become deaf to these voices and more attentive to your voice, which calls me to choose the narrow road to life. I know that Lent is going to be a very hard time for me. The choice for your way has to be made every moment of my life. I have to choose thoughts that are your thoughts, words that are your words, and actions that are your actions . . . Please Lord, be with me at every moment and in every place.
– Henri Nouwen
Jesus says, I thirst. The Missionary of Charity should answer, “I’ll quench.” The quenching will cost a good deal, for to satisfy completely an infinite thirst – it will mean a continual giving, a life of sacrifice. Therefore. . .our life should be one of giving love, of giving sacrifice to God, that is, of real sacrifices made of our own free will and choice. We quench his thirst – not because we must but because we love. We must observe our vows with great love and generosity, if we wish to quench this burning thirst of God. The observance of our four vows will make us fervent religious and fervent religious have a great power over the heart of God. If he rewards the quenching of physical thirst, think what will he not do for us, if we try to quench his own thirst – the thirst of his Heart.
– Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Jesus on the cross said these beautiful and sad words, I am thirsty (John 19:28). Since then, throughout the ages, all of humanity has echoed these words . . .Now, O God, with all my heart, I say the sorrowful words, “I am thirsty.” I am thirsty for the peace you alone give, which transforms life; for the stability and living refreshment that only exists in you. I am thirsty for light, thirsty to know, to see, to possess, as we shall see and possess in eternity. I am thirsty for the profound sensitivity and the tenderness that can read hearts, and for a close and strong union with you . . . I am thirsty for immortality, that complete flourishing of the soul beyond this transitory world. I am thirsty for life, the only Life, abundant and eternal, with all our loves restored in the heart of infinite Love. My God, I am thirsty for you.
– Elisabeth Leseur
Most of Christ’s earthly life was hidden. He was hidden in his mother’s womb, he was hidden in Egypt and in Nazareth. During his public life he was hidden often, when he fled into “a mountain to pray.” During the forty days of his risen life, again and again he disappeared and hid himself from men. Today he is hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, in Heaven, and in his mystical body on earth. But in his Passion he was exposed, made public property to the whole of mankind. The last time he went up into a mountain to pray, it was to pray out loud, in a voice that would echo down the ages, ringing in the ears of mankind forever. It was to be stripped naked before the whole world, forever, not only in body, but in mind and soul . . .Every detail of his Passion revealed something more of his character as man. Not only his heroism and his majesty, but his human necessities, and the human limitations which he deliberately adopted as part of his plan of love, in order to be able to indwell in us as we are, with our limitations and psychological as well as physical necessities and interdependence on one another.
– Caryll Houselander
On the night before his death, Jesus said to his apostles: In a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again. . . We are living in this short time, a time indeed full of sadness and sorrow. To live this short time in the spirit of Jesus Christ, means to reach out from the midst of our pains and to let them be turned into joy by the love of him who came within our reach….Once God has touched us in the midst of our struggles and has created in us the burning desire to be forever united with him, we will find the courage and the confidence to prepare his way and to invite all who share our life to wait with us during this short time for the day of complete joy. With this new courage and new confidence, we can strengthen each other with the hopeful words of Paul to Titus: God’s grace has been revealed and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions. We must be self restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:11-13)
– Henri Nouwen
Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity established one of their religious houses in the city of Rome. There they ministered to the shut-ins and the poor in the area. On one occasion, the Sisters visited an elderly man who was in great need. They cleaned his house and cooked for him. He watched the Sisters while they worked but did not say a word. They returned the second day and performed the same service for the man. Again, the man watched the Sisters but remained silent. On the third day, when the Sisters came to his door, he spoke to them for the first time and said, “Sisters, you have brought God into my life. Do you think you could arrange for a priest to come to my house? I want to make my confession.” The man had not been to confession in more than 60 years. The Sisters were very happy and arranged for a priest to come to his home. The man made a good confession and died the following day.
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