The farther I run away from the place where God dwells, the less I am able to hear the voice that calls me the beloved, and the less I hear that voice, the more entangled I become in the manipulations and the power games of the world.
– Henri Nouwen
It is important to have a daily time of prayer to Jesus. That is your part. It is up to Jesus then to give the grace to make your time fruitful. And no doubt he sometimes does so by making us feel empty. We do not know the workings of God. We have put forth the effort and that is what Jesus loves. Success or failure is up to him, and we really don’t know in prayer what success or failure is. I do not use my time trying to figure out where I am on the spiritual journey. I don’t worry about myself at all. I just praise Jesus and thank him. The older I get, the more mysterious life is. I cannot begin to figure it out, or what God is doing with me. I don’t understand myself. I never will. It is vain to try to explain the unexplainable and the attempt is consuming time that could be used in giving glory to God. I look on myself simply as a little vigil light trying to burn faithfully. My little flicker of light is praising God. That is what life is for.
– Father Rawley Myers
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They Walked with God: St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. John Vianney, St. Damien of Molokai, St. Andre Bessette, Bl. Solanus Casey
In Paradise, there are many saints who never gave alms on earth. Their poverty justified them. There are many saints who never mortified their bodies by fasting. Their bodily infirmities excused them. There are many saints too, who were not virgins; their vocation was otherwise. But in Paradise, there is no saint who was not humble. Jesus Christ calls us all into his school to learn – not to work miracles, nor to astonish the world by marvelous enterprises, but to be humble of heart: Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart.
-Fr. Cajetan Mary da Bergamo
Patience is long-suffering in injuries, which it endures without trying to return them and without any display of temper. Just as God holds back his anger and delays his punishments in order to give sinners time to repent, so also his sons and daughters must overcome their resentment and silence their desire for revenge. Only great love and great humility can give such a victory, especially since Christian patience must be practiced toward everyone and in every possible way. It presupposes great strength of soul. . .Because his patience makes him merciful to those who offend him and courageous in adversity, he lives in interior peace. . .Patience is never bitter. . .If charity is patient in all the irritating happenings of everyday life, it must be by participation through the Holy Spirit, in God’s patience and in imitation of Christ’s patience.
– Father Ceslaus Spico, O.P.
Don’t ever allow yourself to become upset by your misfortunes. In the face of your misery, should you find yourself in this situation by the will of God, remain humble and lowly before God, and be at great peace. Respond to all misfortune, whatever it may be, with gentleness, peace, tenderness, and interior moderation before God, abandoning yourself simply into His hands so that He may make of you and in you what He pleases. Wish calmly and peacefully to live only for Him, through Him and in Him.
– Francis Libermann
In 1985, at the invitation of Mayor Koch, Mother Teresa opened a home in New York City for men who were dying of AIDS. Four Missionaries of Charity Sisters dedicated themselves to caring for the fifteen dying men. Mother Teresa named the home, “Gift of Love.” The first to pass away there was a man named Harvey. He was a veteran of the Vietnam war and he also had a history of drug abuse. One day, Harvey told the Sisters that he would like to be baptized. A priest was summoned and with great joy, the Sisters witnessed the baptism. He also received the Last Rites. “It will be beautiful when you are in heaven,” one of the Sisters said. “Yes it will” Harvey replied. “I want to go to heaven but I don’t want to leave this home. I have experienced so much love and care here that I never want to leave this place.” One day, when one of the Sisters was reading the Psalms to him, Harvey passed away. Like many others who were fortunate enough to receive the help of Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity, Harvey had truly received a gift of love.
You must do like the shepherds when they stay in the fields during winter. Life is a very long winter. The shepherds make a fire, but from time to time they hurry off to pick up some more wood to keep it going. If only we knew, like the shepherds, how to keep up the fire of the love of God in our hearts, by prayer and by good works.
– St. John Vianney
Jesus showed me a robe which he called, “the robe of innocence.” It was whiter than snow. He put it on me saying, “With this, I am taking from you forever all ill will.”. . .Then, opening to me his adorable Heart and putting me within it, he said, “This will be the place of your present and continual dwelling.” Since then I have always seen and found myself in this lovable Heart in a way I do not know how to explain, unless by saying that sometimes it was as though I were in a beautiful garden with flowers growing all around; at other times like a minnow in a vast ocean, or like gold being purified in a crucible. But usually it is like a furnace of pure love.
– St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
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