What remains behind

I cannot help but wonder what remains behind when Christianity’s power over culture recedes? How long can our gentler ethical prejudices [toward the vulnerable—the diseased, disabled, or derelict among us], many of which seem to be melting away with fair rapidity, persist once the faith that gave them their rationale and meaning has withered away? Love endures all things perhaps, as the apostle says, and is eternal; but as a cultural reality, even love requires a reason for its preeminence among virtues. And the mere habit of solicitude for others will not necessarily long survive when that reason is no longer found. If . . . the human as we understand it is the positive intervention of Christianity, might it not be the case that a culture that has become truly post-Christian will also, ultimately, become posthuman?

~David Bentley Hart via Maureen Mullarkey | A First Things Blog

We do not recognize Christ

If the poor die of hunger, it is not because God does not care for them. Rather, it is because neither you nor I are generous enough. It is because we are not instruments of love in the hands of God. We do not recognize Christ when once again He appears to us in the hungry man, the lonely woman, in the child who is looking for a place to get warm.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta via Chris Dickson

Peace of soul comes to those who…

Anxiety and frustration invariably follow when the desires of the heart are centered on anything less than God, for all pleasures of Earth, pursued as final ends, turn out to be the exact opposite of what was expected. The expectation is joyous, the realization is disgust. Out of this disappointment are born those lesser anxieties which modern psychology knows so well; but the root of them all is the meaninglessness of life due to the abandonment of Perfect Life, Truth, and Love, which is God.

Peace of soul comes to those who have the right kind of anxiety about attaining perfect happiness, which is (found only in) God. A soul has anxiety because its final and eternal state is not yet decided; it is always at the crossroads of life. . . As St. Augustine has said, “Our hearts were made for Thee. They are restless until they rest in Thee, O God.

Ven. Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul

Humble existence

Because he lived in such a perfect state of humble existence among his sisters and brothers, Jesus was able to meet those he encountered as they were and treat them with the inherent dignity rightly deserved by virtue of their humanity. For Francis, this became a major component of his way of life and remains a characteristic of Franciscan ministry today.

~Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith by Daniel Horan OFM

Not equipped to see it

To dare to believe that we are truly loved, not for anything we have accomplished, earned, produced, learned, achieved, or sacrificed for, but simply for existing is a reality that can hardly be borne. We want that love more than anything; we search for that love all our lives. Yet we’re somehow not able, not equipped to see it, perhaps, except by prolonged, sustained suffering—and uniting our suffering to Christ’s. Thérèse did seem to be able to experience herself as fully loved—because she loved so much herself—and in the end that was perhaps her greatest gift: to God, to us.

~Heather King, Shirt of Flame: A Year with Saint Therese of Lisieux

Make some desert in your life

If you cannot go into the desert, you must nonetheless ‘make some desert’ in your life, every now and then leaving men and looking for solitude to restore, in prolonged silence and prayer, the stuff of your soul. This is the meaning of ‘desert’ in your spiritual life. One has to be courageous not to let oneself be carried along by the world’s march; one needs faith and willpower to go cross-current towards the Eucharist, to stop, to be silent, to worship.

~Carlo Carretto, Letters from the Desert via Gerry Straub’s Blog.

Why March for Life?

America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships.

It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts—a child—as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered domination over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters.

And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners.

Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.

~Mother Teresa’s Letter to the US Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade (1994) via Shameless Popery: Why March for Life?.

We must never be silent…

It is up to us to expose the lies.  To speak the truth to power.  Again as Isaiah says, “For Zion’s sake, I will not be silent.  For Jerusalem’s sake, I will not be quiet until her victory shines forth like a burning torch.”  Just as St. Peter and Paul and the early Apostles refused to be silenced by the opposition of powerful government or an oppressive culture, we must never be silent either.  It is up to us to stand against the culture of death and to rebuild a culture of life.  No matter what the price.

~Wayne Topp quoting his pastor’s Sunday homily – The Inauguration and the March for Life: A Message for America | Catholic Lane.