There is beauty and strength in vulnerability. From the cross, Jesus, the most perfect example of love, shows us how beautiful vulnerability can be. At the moment when Jesus was most vulnerable, when he was alone, beaten, stripped of everything, and hanging on a cross, he revealed the incredible strength of his love. If Jesus had been seeking success, he could have easily risen to power as king and forced the will of God upon people. Instead, he consistently chose vulnerability. We see it in his crucifixion, and we see it when our mighty God comes to be with us in the form of simple bread and wine in the Eucharist. Jesus freely chose to share in our daily human suffering, and in doing so he became united with us through his vulnerability—not through his success.
~ Claire McGrath, Redefining Sucess: The Beauty in Vulnerability | Catholic How
Reflect over and over on the following thought—not simply as something you have heard, but as something you have actually experienced: not only on the basis of words, but also on the basis of facts: how unstable is worldly wealth, how insecure is worldly success, and how futile is worldly fame.
~ St. Bonaventure, Soliloquium
From a number of viewpoints, St. Francis is the example of one who has engaged in the spiritual journey successfully. Not only does humility define his relation to God; it comes to shape his relation to other people as well as to the entire created world. If it is true that I live and move and have my being only in the creative and salvific love of God, the same is true of all other people as well as of the entire created order.
~ Zachary Hayes OFM, Bonaventure: Mystical Writings
In all your affairs rely wholly on divine Providence, through which alone you must look for success; labor, nevertheless, quietly on your part to cooperate with its designs, and then you may be assured, if you trust as you ought in God; the success which shall come to you shall be always that which is the most profitable for you, whether it appear good or bad according to your private judgment. Imitate little children who, as they with one hand hold fast by their father, and with the other gather strawberries or blackberries along the hedges; so you, gathering and handling the goods of this world with one hand, must with the other always hold fast the hand of your heavenly Father, turning yourself towards him from time to time to see if your actions or occupations be pleasing to him; but above all things take heed that you never leave his protecting hand nor think to gather more, for should he forsake you, you will not be able to go a step further without falling to the ground.
~Saint Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life
We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone.
– Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (via Saint Quote of the Day)
Who we become in God is then his work and not our own success in conforming to some ideal. The self we become in true prayer is seldom the self we envisioned, but it is a new and marvelous self that God fashions out of the gradual redeeming of the false self we now acknowledge as the work of our own misguided idealism. We then know God in what he has done in us to enable us to discover our true face. And in that face only do we see the reflection of God as he really is.
~Murray Bodo, O.F.M. — The Way of St. Francis: The Challenge of Franciscan Spirituality for Everyone