The material things we surround ourselves with can be powerful signs of an unclean, disorder soul, and of misdirected desire. In a world awash in the cheap consumerism of the Cult of the Self, our possessions and the value we attach to them speak volumes. So, amidst the decadence and waste of modernity, we must live modestly. The cars we drive, the houses we live in, the clothes we wear — all should reflect the humility of spirit that distinguishes those living lives of radical discipleship to Christ. By so doing, we demonstrate our rejection of the mores and lifestyles of the Selfies, and become signs of contradiction that can be emulated by others.
For unless the Christian message of love and justice shows its effectiveness through action in the cause of justice in the world, it will only with difficulty gain credibility with the people of our times.
~ Justice in the World, World Synod of Catholic Bishops, 1971
Now a Catholic is a person who has plucked up courage to face the incredible and inconceivable idea that somebody else may be wiser than he is.
~G.K. Chesterton, The Well and the Shadows
We need silence to be alone with God, to speak to him, to listen to him, to ponder his words deep in our hearts. We need to be alone with God in silence to be renewed and transformed. Silence gives us a new outlook on life. In it we are filled with the energy of God himself that makes us do all things with joy.
~Mother Teresa via The Catholic Apostolate Center
The Serpent is clever and his work subtle. He does not try to make what is evil look overtly attractive. Rather, he works to pervert the human understanding of God and of the Good. He twists the divine image and deconstructs God’s will. Instead of a loving Creator, God is made to seem as a petty and jealous tyrant king, an unjust authority only seeking His own glory by oppressing His creation and putting ridiculous demands on them. Satan becomes the liberator from this perceived divine oppression; Satan presents himself as the Great Humanist, if you will.
~Fr. Charles Irvin, “Our Fall From Grace” via CatholicJournal.US.
For conversion is not simply a surrendering of what you can afford to give up. It means giving up things that are so much a part of you that you couldn’t imagine yourself without them.
~Rev. James Martin, S.J., “The Church’s Easter: What Needs to Die in the Catholic Church so That it May Live”
And then I thought: I’ve been getting this all wrong. Christ is not just in the comfortable, familiar places, like my hometown and among my neighbors. He is here, too, amid the roads clogged with traffic, the miles of strip shopping malls and clearance racks. God knows we have to live in a material world. He knows we need to clothe and care for our children. Christ has found a way to show Himself to me, in this present moment, in the shoe department of the East Brunswick Kohl’s.
~Allison Salerno, “Because Christ is Everywhere—Even in the Shoe Department” (on the blog Why I Am Catholic)