How does a lamp burn? Through the continuous input of small drops of oil. If the drops of oil run out, the light of the lamp will cease, and the bridegroom will say, “I do not know you” (Mt. 25:1-13). What are these drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, punctuality, small words of kindness, a thought for others, our way of being silent. . . These are the true drops of love that keep your religious life burning like a lively flame. Do not look for Jesus away from yourselves. He is not out there: he is within you. Keep your lamp burning, and you will recognize him.
– St. Teresa of Calcutta
Your sole concern should be the establishment of God’s reign in your heart, in this life and in the next. In this life your study should be to bring about this reign of God, in your heart by his grace and through the plentitude of his love. You should live for God alone, and the life of your soul should be the life of God himself. You ought likewise to nourish yourself with God by thinking of his holy presence as often as you possibly can. That which constitutes the life of the saints is precisely their continual attention to God and this also should form the life of those who . . . seek only to accomplish his holy will, to love him and so make others love him.
– St. John Baptiste de la Salle
Living within the truth means living according to Jesus Christ and God’s Word in Sacred Scripture. It means proclaiming the truth of the Christian Gospel . . . It means believing that the truths of the Creed are worth suffering and dying for. Living within the truth also means telling the truth and calling things by their right names. And that means exposing the lies by which some men try to force others to live . . . We are ambassadors of the living God to a world that is on the verge of forgetting him. Our work is to make God real; to be the face of his love. . .so that when we make our accounting to the Lord, we will be numbered among the faithful and courageous, and not the cowardly or the evasive, or those who compromised until there was nothing left of their convictions; or those who were silent when they should have spoken the right word at the right time.
– Archbishop Charles Chaput
Your voice, Lord, guides me. Ever since I was a little child, I have heard you call me by name, beckoning me closer to you. . .Your company has brought me joy, Lord. I have felt your presence at every step; I have trusted your shepherding. And yet you have not saved me from pain. Though I have followed faithfully, yet I have still stumbled and known distress. I have not escaped the thorns, brambles and cruel traps. You never promised me immunity from pain, Lord, but only the constancy of your love. Your hand holds mine securely. I know the tenderness of your embrace.
Prayer never touches us as long as it remains on the surface of our lives, as long as it is nothing but one more of the thousand things that must be done. It is only when prayer becomes “the one thing necessary” that real prayer begins . . . We are called upon to live Christ’s life. We are called into the desert . . . We are called to face God alone in the night of our own solitude. We are called to die with Jesus, in order to live with him. We are asked to lose all, to be emptied out, in order to be filled with the very fullness of God . . . Christianity is much more than an expression of brotherly love couched in religious terms. It is essential that each person make some kind of personal response to God in Christ.
– James Finley
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.
We must relearn our devotion to the Cross. It seems too passive to us, too pessimistic, too sentimental – but if we have not been devoted to the Cross of Jesus in our lifetime, how will we endure our own Cross when the time comes for it to be laid upon us? A friend of mine, who depended for years on kidney dialysis and who realized that his life was slipping away from him moment by moment, once told me that as a child, and later as an adult, he had a special devotion to the Way of the Cross and had often prayed it. When he heard the frightening diagnosis of his illness, he was at first stunned; then suddenly the thought came to him: What you have prayed so often has now become a reality in your life; now you can really accompany Jesus; you have been joined to him by his Way of the Cross. In this way, my friend recovered his serenity, which thereafter illuminated his countenance to the end of his days.
– Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
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
All of us will die on a day we do not know at present, but how happy we will be if we die with our dear Savior in our hearts. Indeed, we must always keep him there, making our spiritual exercises in his company and offering him our desires, resolutions and protests. It is a thousand times better to die with the Lord than to live without him . . . If the death of the Savior is propitious for us, our own death will be a happy one. For this reason we should often think of his holy death, and love his Cross and his Passion.
– St. Francis de Sales
We need silence. We need to be alone or together looking for God in silence. There it is that we accumulate the inward power by which we act, by which we do the smallest duty and by which we suffer the severest hardships that befall us . . . Once I was asked by someone what I consider the most important aspect of the training of the Sisters of our Order. I answered, “Silence,” – interior and exterior silence. Silence is essential in a religious house. The silence of humility, of charity, the silence of the eyes, of the ears, of the tongue. There is no life of prayer without silence. Silence, and then kindness, charity; silence leads to charity, and charity to humility.
– Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Pray, Hope, and Don;t Worry: True Stories of Padre Pio Book I has been made into an audiobook that can be listened to on Audible. Follow the link for more information:
Pray, Hope, and Don;t Worry: True Stories of Padre Pio Book 1