Joy does not depend on acclaim, advancement, promotion, recognition, fame, prestige, or power. Joy can never come from without. It can only come from the Lord who plants it deep within us. If our joy is contingent upon affirmation, success or career, it is planted in sand and will never endure. Actually, our joy should have nothing to do with where we work, what we are doing, or any external reward or recognition we get. It only depends on who we are, not what we do or have. We are beloved of the Father, configured to his Son, alive with his grace, sealed with his promise. Everything else is extra. If we’re counting on anyone or anything outside of the Lord to cause our joy, we’re setting ourselves up for a fall.
-Cardinal Timothy Dolan
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
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They Walked with God: St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. John Vianney, St. Damien of Molokai, St. Andre Bessette, Bl. Solanus Casey
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
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.
Remember that your soul is a temple of the living God. The kingdom of God is within you. Night and day let your aim be to remain in simplicity and gentleness, calmness and serenity, and in freedom from created things, so that you will find your joy in the Lord Jesus. Love silence and solitude, even when in the midst of a crowd or when caught up in your work. Physical solitude is a good thing, provided that it is backed up by prayer and a holy life, but far better than this is solitude of the heart, which is the interior desert in which your spirit can become totally immersed in God, and can hear and savor the words of eternal life. With great purity of intention, aim in everything to do what pleases God. Always remain faithful to God and genuinely accept whatever he wishes.
– St. Paul of the Cross
The more we pray, the more we please God, the more we obtain. I do not ask for those sweetnesses in prayer which God grants to certain souls. I am not worthy of them. I do not have enough strength to bear them. Extraordinary graces are not good for me. To give them to me would be to build upon the sand. It would be to pour a costly liqueur into a leaking cask which could hold nothing. I ask of God a prayer that is solid, simple, that will glorify him and not puff me up. Dryness and desolation, accompanied with God’s grace, are very good for me I think.
– St. Claude de La Colombiere
Jesus lives in us and suffers in us and through us. He accompanies us through our companionship with one another and reaches out to others through our witness. Jesus knows who I am and who he wills me to be. He knows the secret of why I was created. He knows my sins. He knows how to heal me of them, how to draw me to himself, how to make me the adopted son that I am meant to be in him for all eternity. And so my joys and sufferings are his infinitely wise, uniquely crafted, and tender love through which he shapes my life and leads me to my destiny. . .At the heart of life, of every moment of life, is companionship with the merciful God.
– John Janaro