It destroys hatred and preserves love

Generosity is one of the attributes of God, Who causes the sun to shine and the rain to fall upon all, whether just or unjust, and ministers to all most lovingly the necessaries of life. Generosity is the sister of Charity; it destroys hatred and preserves love.

~St. Francis of Assisi

This double silence

Silence is an indispensable condition for keeping things and pondering them in one’s heart. Profundity of thought can only develop in a climate of silence. Too much chatter exhausts our inner strength; it dissipates everything of any value in our heart, which becomes like a bottle of perfume left open for a long time: only water remains, with a slight touch of its former fragrance. This double silence, interior and exterior, is expressed in a word often used in spiritual books, the word recollection. Without recollection, there can be no interior life.

~ Father Federico Suarez, quoted by Katie Morroni in “A Guide to the Interior Life”

They must become habits

The thing is, it’s easy to imagine yourself doing great works of mercy. It’s easy to have good intentions. What’s difficult is that follow-through, because God didn’t challenge us to commit to the Corporal Works of Mercy for forty days. God challenges us to commit to a lifestyle—and a lifetime—of mercy. And that’s not easy, because maybe in the end, the Works of Mercy aren’t things that can be completed the way one can finish playing a board game or painting a picture. Each act is not an isolated incident, but a part of a process, akin to sweeping the floor. You have to do it regularly or things begin to get messy. They must become habits without becoming mindless. Ultimately, the Works of Mercy point us toward ways in which we can build God’s reign on earth. There’s no guarantee we get to see how it ends, but I know I certainly won’t make progress if I don’t begin.

~ Kerry Weber, Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep Your Day Job

The goal of prayer

We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ; rather, it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. The goal of prayer, therefore, is to be transformed into the image of the crucified Spouse. This means we are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.

~ Ilia Delio, Franciscan Prayer

This is being the salt of the earth

So let us not run from our suffering. Let us not give in to the world’s constant offering of something to numb us to our suffering and to help us deny the reality of our death. Let us enter into our suffering together, supported in solidarity, so that we may find the strength of the Resurrection as a means to enter into the suffering of the poor, the sick, and the brother and sister sinners around us. This is our saltiness. This is being the salt of the earth, returning savor to human existence and preserving what nourishes.

~ Brother Charles, a minor friar blog

Many other things become possible

Humility is to the spirit what material poverty is to the senses: the great purifier. Humility is the beginning of sanity. We can’t really see – much less love – anyone or anything else when the self is in the way. When we finally, really believe in our own sinfulness and unimportance, many other things become possible: repentance; mercy, patience, forgiveness of others. These virtues are the foundation stones of that other great Christian virtue: justice. No justice is ever possible in a spider’s web of mutual anger, recrimination and hurt pride.

~ Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Ten ways to deepen our relationship with God – Catholic Philly.