Father – with this word I express my certainty that someone is there who hears me, who never leaves me alone, who is always present. I express my certainty that God, despite the infinite difference between us, is such that I can speak to him, may even address him familiarly as “Thou.” His greatness does not overwhelm me. . .I am so important to him, I belong so closely to him, that I can rightly address him as Father. My being born is not a mistake, then, but a grace. . .I am wanted; not a child of chance or necessity, but of choice and freedom. Therefore I shall always have a purpose in life; there will always be a meaning for me, a task designed just for me, there is a conception of me that I can seek and find and fulfill.
– Pope Benedict XVI
Today it is the same Christ, the same Jesus, the same today in our poor people, who are unwanted, unemployed, uncared for, hungry and naked and homeless. They are considered to be useless to the state or to society, and nobody has time for them. And it is you and I as Christians who, worthy of that love of Christ, if our love is true, must find them. We must help them; they are there for the finding. Every day is a preparation for death. By realizing this, it helps somehow, because what the dying go through today, I will go through tomorrow. Death is nothing except going back to God, where he is and where we belong. Mother Teresa was a champion of the unwanted, from the outcast of Calcutta to the unwanted unborn of America. She was the genius of the little way of doing great things.
– Archbishop Charles Chaput
Lord, lead me to a meditation on life eternal. The fulfillment I seek can never be found amid the fragments of earthly existence . . . I need meditation to keep my passing days in mortal perspective – to hear, in worldly sounds, your voice most pure. Lord, in quiet meditation I wait upon your word. I meet you to whom in silence I shall one day return. Without you, I accomplish nothing. Only when your spirit guides me can I be your faithful servant.
– Susan Muto
We have not deserved to pray; but God, in his goodness, has permitted us to speak to him. Our prayer is an incense which He receives with extreme pleasure. My children, your heart is poor and narrow; but prayer enlarges it, and renders it capable of loving God. Prayer is a foretaste of heaven, an overflow of paradise. It never leaves us without sweetness . . . Troubles melt away before a fervent prayer like snow before the sun.
– St. John Vianney
It will be of great importance if you can leave aside your cares and spend the remainder of your life only in worshiping God. He requires no great matters of us; a little remembrance of him from time to time; a little adoration; sometimes to pray for his grace, sometimes to offer him your sufferings, and sometimes to return him thanks for the favors he has given you, and still gives you, in the midst of your troubles . . . Lift up your heart to him, sometimes even at your meals, and when you are in company; the least little remembrance will always be acceptable to him. You need not cry very loud; he is nearer to us than we are aware of.
– Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection
So long as we live in this world we cannot escape suffering and temptation. Whence it is written in Job: The life of man upon earth is a warfare (Job 7:1). . .Yet temptations, though troublesome and severe, are often useful to a man, for in them he is humbled, purified, and instructed. The saints all passed through many temptations and trials to profit by them, while those who could not resist became reprobate and fell away. There is no state so holy, no place so secret, that temptations and trials will not come. Man is never safe from them as long as he lives, for they come from within us. . .Often we do not know what we can stand, but temptation shows us what we are. Let us humble our souls under the hand of God in every trial and temptation for he will save and exalt the humble in spirit.
– Thomas à Kempis
Padre Pio Devotions announces a new book:
They Walked with God: St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. John Vianney, St. Damien of Molokai, St. Andre Bessette, Bl. Solanus Casey
The study of inspired Scripture is the primary way to learn what our duty is in life. In it, we find not only instruction about conduct, but also accounts of the lives of blessed men and women. . .If we devote ourselves to imitating these saints, then no matter which virtue we may feel ourselves lacking, we can find in Scripture, as if in a medical clinic, the proper medicine for our particular ailment. . .We’re taught endurance by Job. He remained the same when the circumstances of life began to turn against him. In one moment, he was plunged from wealth into poverty, and from being the father of beautiful children into a childless man. He kept the right attitude in his soul all through these changes without being crushed. He wasn’t even stirred to anger against the friends who came to comfort him, but ended up trampling on him and making his troubles worse. When artists paint by imitating another artist’s work, they must constantly look at the model, doing their best to transfer its features to their own work. in the same way, those who seek to perfect themselves in every form of moral excellence must keep their eyes focused on the lives of the saints. . .In this way, they can make the saints’ virtue their own by imitation.
– St. Basil the Great
I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink: I was naked and you covered me: I was in prison and you came to me, sick and you visited me. Lord when did we see you hungry, thirsty, sick and we aided thee? As long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me. (Matthew 25:35-40)
Christ, therefore, is present in suffering. It is he who receives our attention, our generosity, our charity, who implores it. . .It will be he who will reward it, and will reward it with a kingdom, not a human, fleeting one, but one prepared by God. From this presence of Christ in a brother who suffers, is born for each of us, the duty to bring relief for suffering. We cannot offer Christ the crumbs which fall from the table of one who is satiated. The crumbs, in the words of the Gospel, are for the dogs. But when he who hungers is Christ, when the homeless one is Christ, what would we not do for him, and what can ever be worthy of him no matter what we do?
– Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro
Bless me, Jesus, and bless me altogether, my soul, my body, my senses, and my faculties. Bless especially my tongue, that it may only speak for your glory. Bless my eyes, that they may not look at anything that might tempt me to displease you. Bless my taste that it may not offend you by intemperance; and bless all the members of my body, that they may all serve you and not offend you. Bless my memory, that it may always remember your love and the favors you have accorded me. Bless my understanding, that it may know your goodness and the obligation I have of loving you; and that it may see all that I must avoid and all that I must do, to conform myself to your holy will. Above all, bless my will, that it may love no other but you, the infinite good, that it may seek for nothing but to please you and may take delight in nothing but what conduces to your glory.
– St. Alphonsus Liguori
The modern world is spiritually ill. This illness is deep, deep down in the human heart, and no one but the living Christ can heal it. In order to heal the illness of our society, Christ must be known as the Divine Physician, if he is to work the miracles of restoring ailing souls to health, and even of raising dead souls back to supernatural life. But to whom should we proclaim Christ? Absolutely speaking, we should proclaim Christ to everyone, since the Lord’s mandate is clear enough. We are to make known the Good News to all creatures. We should proclaim Christ to everyone who enters our lives from this day to our dying day. Everyone.
– Father John Hardon