God is the Living One; Jesus brings us the life of God; the Holy Spirit gives and keeps us in our new life as true sons and daughters of God. But all too often, people do not choose life, they do not accept the “Gospel of Life” but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others. It is the eternal dream of wanting to build the city of man without God, without God’s life and love – a new Tower of Babel. It is the idea that rejecting God, the message of Christ, the Gospel of Life, will somehow lead to freedom, to complete human fulfillment As a result, the Living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death. The wisdom of the Psalmist says: “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Ps 19:8).
The proclamation of the Word of God has Christian conversion as its aim: a complete and sincere adherence to Christ and his Gospel through faith. Conversion is a gift of God, a work of the Blessed Trinity. It is the Spirit who opens people’s hearts so that they can believe in Christ and “confess him” cf. 1 Cor 12:3; of those who draw near to him through faith Jesus says: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” Jn 6:44.
From the outset, conversion is expressed in faith which is total and radical, and which neither limits nor hinders God’s gift. At the same time, it gives rise to a dynamic and lifelong process which demands a continual turning away from “life according to the flesh” to “life according to the Spirit” cf. Rom 8:3-13. Conversion means accepting, by a personal decision, the saving sovereignty of Christ and becoming his disciple.
If Christ is growing in us, if we are at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life seems to be, from it He is forming Himself; if we go in eager haste, to whatever our circumstances compel us, because we believe that He desires to be in that place, we will find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of His love.
~ Caryll Houselander via Little Portion Hermitage.
When a person truly knows Jesus Christ and believes in him, he experiences his presence in life and the power of his Resurrection and he cannot do anything but communicate this experience. And if this person meets with misunderstanding or adversity, he conducts himself as Jesus did in his Passion: he responds with love and with the power of truth.
~ Pope Francis, April 15, 2013, via Little Portion Hermitage
Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that He will provide the help we need. Prayer humbles us as needy and exalts God as wealthy.
~ John Piper via Little Portion Hermitage.
The word of God does not belong to him who hears or speaks it, but to him who puts it into practice.
~St. Giles of Assisi via Little Portion Hermitage
One, just one, but definitely one of the great benefits of private prayer is that you can’t hide from your motives. In corporate prayer, we can sound like “all that”. We can blow Jesus smoke like nobody’s bizness in a crowd but, get alone with Him, and He won’t let you get away with the fake stuff. Try blowing Jesus smoke in your prayer closet and you’ll cough on it every time. Truth? That penetrating gaze of His hurts, but afterwards, it never fails to heal.
~Shellie Rushing Tomlinson via Little Portion Hermitage.
We will know God to the extent that we are set free from ourselves.
~Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI via Little Portion Hermitage.
My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?
~C.S. Lewis via Little Portion Hermitage
If you don’t pray often, you won’t gain a love for praying. Prayer is work, and therefore it is not very appealing to our natural sensibilities. But the simple rule for prayer is this: Begin praying and your taste for prayer will increase. The more you pray, the more you will acquire the desire for prayer, the energy for prayer, and the sense of purpose in prayer.
~Leslie Ludy, via Little Portion Hermitage