In the course of this our earthly pilgrimage, the Lord leads us in his ways; either he gives us his hand to have us walk with him or he carries us in the arms of his Divine Providence. He holds us by the hand when he enables us to walk by the exercise of virtue; if he did not, we would not be able to walk at all on this blessed way. There is plenty of evidence that those who let go of his fatherly hand cannot take one step without falling and hitting the ground. Without a doubt, the good God wants to lead us, wants to help us on our way, but he also wants us to do our part by taking small steps in cooperation with his grace.
– St. Francis de Sales
Lord, shed upon our darkened souls the brilliant light of your wisdom so that we may be enlightened and serve you with renewed purity. . .May your resurrection, Jesus, bring true greatness to our spiritual self and may your Sacraments be the mirror wherein we may know that self. Savior, your Divine plan for the world is a mirror for the spiritual world; teach us to walk in that world as spiritual men.
– St. Ephrem
Let us not lament if we suffer from some natural defect of body or mind; from poor memory, slowness of understanding, little ability . . . or general bad health. What claim have we, or what obligation is God under, to give us a more brilliant mind or a more robust body? Who is ever offered a gift and then lays down the conditions upon which he will accept it? Who knows? Perhaps if God had given us greater talent, better health, a more personable appearance, we might have lost our souls. Great talent and knowledge have caused many to be puffed up with the idea of their own importance . . . How many, on the contrary, who, by reason of poverty, infirmity or physical deformity, have become saints and have saved their souls . . . But one thing is necessary and it is not beauty, not health, not talent. It is the salvation of our immortal souls.
– St. Alphonsus Liguori
Filling our minds with the memory of God and what he has done is one of the most important ways that we can experience his power to heal the hurts that reside in us, the ones we can’t shake. Keeping God in our memory can help us to forgive what seems unforgivable. It helps us bring an end to the sins that nag at us, the ones we can’t seem to control. It helps us when our burdens seem insurmountable. In all of these situations, God can use our memories to take us deeper into his heart, especially when we feel frustrated in our spiritual walk and distant from him. It’s one of the major ways he renews our minds, and that is why it is so important that we remember him. Put the memory of God and his mighty deeds in the forefront of your minds – along with the place your loved ones hold. Better yet, put the memory of God above everyone and everything else.
Let us imagine that we are a brush in the hand of an infinitely perfect artist. What must a brush do to make the painting turn out most beautiful? It must allow itself to be guided as perfectly as possible . . . When Eternal Wisdom, God, uses us as an instrument, then we shall act most fruitfully . . . when we permit ourselves to be directed most perfectly and entirely.
– St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe
Blessed is the soul who hears the Lord speaking within, who receives the word of consolation from his lips. Blessed are the ears that receive the echoes of the soft whisper of God, and pay no heed to the murmurings of this world. . . Blessed are they who search inward things, who try daily to prepare themselves more and more to understand heavenly mysteries. Blessed are they who long to give their time to God, and who cut themselves off from the hindrances of the world. Consider these things, my soul, and close the door of your senses, so that you can hear what the Lord your God speaks within you. “I am your salvation,” says your Beloved. “I am your peace and your life. Remain with me and you will find peace.”
– Thomas à Kempis
Only those who keep always in view, man’s destiny, confident of God’s care, only those who pray daily for an increase of faith and hope and charity, can endure. St. Stephen prayed for his murderers, Lay not this sin to their charge. And it was to be expected that Jesus Christ would say, he who came to give his life, to lay it down for his brothers – Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. All through the lives of the saints, there is this “laying down of life,” not the taking of it, this forgiveness, with no thought of revenge, this overwhelming love that overcomes fear, this loving to folly. . .This is the mystery of the Christian life, the mystery of love. Even if we don’t understand it, we can try to understand it, we can pray to grow in love.
– Dorothy Day
Oh God, infinite holiness, goodness and perfection, lead me to sanctity. Increase and refine my love. Turn it into a burning flame, a fiery furnace of love. Raise me above my mundane self. Do for me what I am unable to do for myself. Drown my pride, my selfishness and attachments in the abyss of the love and humility of thy Sacred Heart.
– Louis Kaczmarek
Listen to what it says in the Imitation of Christ: “This must be your endeavor, this your prayer, this your preference, that you should manage to be stripped of all possessiveness, and follow in the footsteps of Jesus, naked as He.” And when the Imitation of Christ talks about being stripped of possessiveness, it doesn’t just mean living simply on a small income; it means giving up all ambition, all desire for human praise, all greediness for any kind of comfort, spiritual consolations included. We ought to aim at that, it says; and if we cannot bring ourselves to aim at it, we ought to pray that it may happen to us; and if we can’t bring ourselves to utter that prayer, we ought at least to make it our preference – we should like to be people like that.
– Monsignor Ronald Knox
In all his dealings with us, the Lord teaches us how to live on this earth. There is not a person in this world who is not a voyager, even if not all are anxious to return to the Homeland. In the course of this voyage, the waves and the storms make us seasick. At least we are in the ship. Outside the ship, death would be inevitable. When one is swimming among the breakers, however energetic one’s arms are, sooner or later one is defeated by the size of the ocean and allows oneself to drown. To complete the crossing, therefore, it is essential to remain in the ship, to be supported by its planks. The plank that supports our weakness is the cross of Our Lord. He keeps us safe from the world that threatens to drown us. We suffer because we are tossed about by the waves, but the Lord himself supports us.
– St. Augustine