Christ roams through our streets in the person of so many of the suffering poor, sick and dispossessed, and people thrown out of their miserable slums; Christ huddled under bridges, in the person of so many children who lack someone to call father, who have been deprived for many years without a mother’s kiss on their foreheads … Christ is without a home! Shouldn’t we want to give him one, those of us who have the joy of a comfortable home, plenty of good food, the means to educate and assure the future of our children? “What you do to the least of me, you do to me,” Jesus said.
Happiness is the sense of peace and joy that stems from knowledge of and union with the One Who created us and Who loves us infinitely. We will attain it fully in heaven, but we can achieve it to a significant extent beforehand by battling our desire to remain independent of God, ignoring the voices that label religion boring and unnecessary, and better acquainting ourselves with Truth through study and prayer.
~Mary Anne Marks quoted in “God and Woman at Harvard“
To have defects is not in itself bad. The only evil lies in making a truce with them, not struggling against them, thinking that they are part and parcel of our character or our nature. Making such a truce would lead to spiritual mediocrity. Our Lord does not want this to happen to those who follow Him.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin via The Anchoress | A First Things Blog.
As a Franciscan my home is everywhere, but also nowhere in this world. It’s a gospel challenge, but it’s also a gospel freedom.
~Brother Charles, “First Spanish Mass“.
Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.
~St. Francis of Assisi
The vision which has been so faintly suggested in these pages has never been confined to monks or even to friars. It has been an inspiration to innumerable crowds of ordinary married men and women; living lives like our own, only entirely different.
~G.K. Chesterton, Saint Francis of Assisi
To put God first means that all other responsibilities he gives are first, too. Sorting out responsibilities that seem to conflict, however, is tricky business.
~Robertson McQuilkin, “Living by Vows” via Christianity Today
Imagine for a moment what you could learn about God’s revelation if you would set aside for just one day, even just one hour, your need to be right, your need to be safe, your need to be in charge. Imagine if you set these aside and fully, truly accepted that the Lord would never leave you to destruction, never forsake you to an eternal death. What could you learn? How would you grow? Think for a moment about the locks you put on your trust, on your love, on your hope. How many are there? Can you count them? Do you believe that hoarding the gifts God has given you will earn you compound interest in heaven? Or that a cautious, meager charity will benefit you in the long run? Gifts left unused for the good of your neighbors will eventually atrophy and die, leaving behind a bitter waste, an angry, soured soul. There is nothing child-like about living your life in resentment and disappointment. Our Father will never abandon us. What is there for us to fear? Nothing. Nothing at all.
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP, Ph.D., Domine, da mihi hanc aquam!, “Only the child-like”.
You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a swamp that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgment. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.
~ St Seraphim of Sarov via Mind in the Heart