When Jesus wanted to speak about the life of the Spirit in us, he used the figure of a gushing spring. It is like living water that must become in us, a spring that wells up to eternal life (John 4:14). Prayer is that deep spring in us. Actually it was there all along as the breath of the Holy Spirit who was actively and unceasingly praying within us. We did not notice it. Without knowing it, we had piled up numerous stones around that spring . . . We must be very careful, for it could well be precisely our efforts that form the stones obstructing the natural gushing of the spring without our knowing it. In order to pray more and better we must often do less, let go of more things, give up numerous good intentions, and be content to yield to the inner pressure of the Spirit the moment he bubbles up in us and tries to win us over and take us in tow.
– Father Andre Louf, O.C.S.O.
A genuine love of prayer is one of hidden, ordinary holiness and regular duties. Extraordinary spiritual fruitfulness is found in ordinary life . . . We take Jesus to the streets, to the work place, to our families and parish by our love. St. Therese tells us, “In my little way, there will be something for all tastes, except those in extraordinary ways.” We become saints by hidden and ordinary virtues. Our stronghold in life is our faith, grounded in Jesus, nourished by prayer and challenged in the service of love.
– Carolyn Humphreys
O Lord, what is the trust that I can have in this life, or what is my greatest solace among all things under heaven? Is it not you, my Lord God, whose mercy is without measure? When have things been well with me without you, and when have things not been well with me if you were present? I would rather be poor with you than rich without you. I would rather be with you as a pilgrim in this world, than without you in heaven. Where you are is heaven, and where you are not is both death and hell. You are to me, all that I desire, and therefore it is fitting for me to cry to you and heartily to pray to you. I have nothing save you to trust in that can help me in my necessity, for you are my hope, you are my trust, you are my comfort, and you are my most faithful helper in every need.
– Thomas à Kempis
Lord, don’t give me riches, don’t give me a long or a short life, don’t give me powers on earth that make one drunk with power, don’t give me the madness of idolatry of the false idols of this world. Cleanse me, Lord. Cleanse my intentions and give me the true wisdom of discernment, so that I may be able to distinguish between good and evil . . .
– Blessed Oscar Romero
Let us always keep before our eyes the fact that here on earth we are on a battlefield, and that in Paradise we shall receive the crown of victory; that this is a testing-ground, and the prize will be awarded up above; that we are now in a land of exile, while our true homeland is Heaven to which we must continually aspire.
– St. Pio of Pietrelcina
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Loving Jesus means preferring him to everything else, longing to know him more and more, trying to be one with him all our lives in thought and action, loving our brothers in complete selflessness, and finally, and this is perhaps the surest sign, loving the cross and seeing the value of the suffering, self-sacrifice, and renunciation which should characterize our lives. That is what I wanted to tell you. It is the only thing I regard as important, because apart from loving God with our whole being, nothing matters.
– Father Rene Voillaume
God has called you into existence. He wanted to, he meant you to exist. He shaped a life for you, an environment, an education, circumstances, natural gifts, an eternal destiny. You were the subject of his loving forethought, no less deliberately than if you had been the only thing he had created. If God created you so deliberately, thought of you as an individual person, he thinks of you as an individual person still. The Almighty Power, whose word sways the whole of creation, makes you the subject of his loving regard . . . God cares about you as if he had nobody else to care for. God is to be thought of as a Person in a very practical sense – that he knows us, loves us, and does for us. And we are persons so that we may love him, serve him, and do things for him. That is what we are here for; that is our characteristic birthright as human beings.
– Monsignor Ronald Knox
Let us every day do our best to advance in God, and to be sparing with the transitory possessions we are going to leave behind us in this world. Let us pay attention to Abraham’s faith, because he was also our father. Let us imitate his devotion and faith. We are Christians, and strangers on earth. Let none of us be frightened; our native land is not in this world.
– St. Augustine
If we really loved the good God, we should make it our joy and happiness to come and spend a few moments to adore him, and ask him for the grace of forgiveness, and we should regard those moments as the happiest of our lives.
– St. John Vianney
The God of life is a personal God and only when man enters into the dialogue with him does he begin to realize his dreams. In this conversation he learns the fundamental principles of his being – adoration, veneration, love, trust. . .The realm of the personal God is heaven, that is to say it is the sum total of all that man considers to be his life’s greatest happiness, fulfillment and more. It is not primarily a place or a period of time or anything like that. It is fundamentally God himself – a conscious union with him. Anyone who has achieved that union is in heaven. . .We must aim at heaven with all our strength. Man will have to relearn, much more positively and intensively than before, that life leads from the personal dialogue with God to the actual personal encounter and the experience of unity with God. He will have to learn that this is his heaven and his real, his only home.
Father Alfred Delp, S.J.