If you accept your emptiness

If we loved our poverty more, we would take it a lot better. I want to strive with intellectual and spiritual possessions, but that is not the way to union with God, nor the way to sanctity and perfection of love. Blessed are the poor in spirit is to be without talents, or to lose them, or have them frustrated; to be without distinctions, without colors or decorations, without special abilities, or to have them ignored and denied. That can be one way to sanctity, if you accept your emptiness with burning love and gratitude and wait for God to fill you. And when He does, you will get all the rest thrown in with His wisdom.

~ Thomas Merton, Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and a Writer (The Journals of Thomas Merton Book 2)

It is expected that you

The world needs this Franciscan spirit, this Franciscan vision of life. It is expected that you, beloved children, know it deeply, love it with passion, above all that you live it with the perfection that your state allows.

~ Pope Pius XII, To the Secular Franciscans of Italy, 1 July 1956

Wholeheartedly devote themselves

It is therefore quite clear that all Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of love, and by this holiness a more human manner of life is fostered also in earthly society. In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ’s gift, so that, following in his footsteps and conformed to his image, doing the will of God in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory God and to the service of their neighbor.

~ Lumen Gentium, 40

Nothing but childish concerns

Soon we shall be in eternity, and then we shall see how very petty are the things of this earth and how inconsequential it is whether we are involved in them or not. Now we get all worked up as if they were terribly important! When we were small children, how carefully we collected pieces of wood, stone and such to build huts, and if someone knocked them down we cried; then we were all put out, but now we understand how unimportant these things were. We will feel the same way one day in Heaven, when we see that all our preoccupations in this world were nothing but childish concerns. Be faithful to your duties, but be convinced that there is nothing more worthy or more important than eternal salvation and the perfection of your soul.

~ St. Francis de Sales (Letters 455; O. XIX, p. 22), via St. Francis of Assisi – Poverello.

Our capacity to give and to receive love

How capacious a Church that holds to her bosom female saints and male saints; saints of every race, age, demographic, IQ, livelihood, and walk of life! How welcoming the arms of a Church that embraces as some of her most precious children the broken, the fragile, the weak, the still sinning, the still in bondage, the still stuck. How emblematic of a Church of mercy and humor to take us as we are. How wise the Church is to understand that perfection consists not in ridding ourselves of every fault but in our capacity to give and to receive love.

Heather King, All Saints.

Let us remember that the devil labors hard to disturb us…

Let us remember that the devil labors hard to disturb us at the time of meditation, in order to make us abandon it. Let him, then, who omits mental prayer on account of distractions be persuaded that he gives delight to the devil… let us, then, never give up meditation however great our distractions may be. St. Francis de Sales says that if, in mental prayer, we should do nothing else than continually banish distractions and temptations, the meditation would be very well made. Before him, St. Thomas taught that involuntary distractions do not take away the fruit of mental prayer.

~St. Alphonsus, The Great Means of Salvation and Perfection via Catholic Spiritual Direction

The way of perfection…

He would tell his sons that she was the way of perfection, the pledge and earnest of eternal riches. No one was so greedy of gold as he of poverty; no one more careful in guarding a treasure than he in guarding this pearl of the Gospel.

~Thomas of Celano, The Second Life of St. Francis of Assisi

But in how great an error…

But in how great an error these persons have entangled themselves, and how far they are distant from that true perfection which we seek, may easily be gathered from their lives and habits. For in every thing, whether It be great or small, they seek their own advantage, and like to be preferred before others; they are self-willed and opinionated, blind to their own faults, sharp-sighted for the faults of others, and severely condemn the sayings and doings of other men.

~Lorenzo Scupoli, The Spiritual Combat