Friday, January 31, 2014

QUOTATION: Stewardship

St. Robert Bellarmine

There is another passage in the same Gospel of St. Luke, which may be considered as a kind of commentary on the unjust steward: "There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores. Desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table, and no one did give him; moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell." This Dives was certainly one of those who supposed he was master of his own money, and not a steward under God; and therefore he imagined not that he offended against God, when he was clothed in purple and linen, and feasted sumptuously every day, and had his dogs, and his buffoons, etc. For he perhaps said within himself: " I spend my own money, I do no injury to any one, I violate not the laws of God, I do not blaspheme nor swear, I observe the sabbath, I honour my parents, I do not kill, nor commit adultery, nor steal, nor bear false witness, nor do I covet my neighbour’s wife, or anything else." But if such was the case, why was he buried in hell? why tormented in the fire? We must then acknowledge that all those are deceived who suppose they are the "absolute" masters of their money; for if Dives had any more grievous sins to answer for, the Holy Scripture would certainly have mentioned them. But since nothing more has been added, we are given to understand that the superfluous adornment of his body with costly garments, and his daily magnificent banquets, and the multitude of his servants and dogs, whilst he had no compassion for the poor, was a sufficient cause of his condemnation to eternal torments.

--St. Robert Bellarmine, The Art of Dying Well

Thursday, January 30, 2014


St. Alphonsus Liguori
Hence we must distinguish two kinds of envy, one evil and the other holy. The evil kind is that which envies and repines at the worldly goods possessed by others on this earth. But holy envy, so far from wishing to be like, rather compassionates the great ones of the world, who live in the midst of honors and earthly pleasures. She seeks and desires God alone, and has no other aim besides that of loving him as much as she can; and therefore she has a pious envy of those who love him more than she does, for she would, if possible, surpass the very seraphim in loving him. 

--St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Holy Eucharist

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Humility is not an underestimation of what we are, but the plain, unadulterated truth. . .

--Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

QUOTATION: The Wrong Attitude Towards God

Peter Kreeft
The popular misunderstanding of the message of the prophets is far too anthropomorphic and childish: that God wants to be the boss, and when He sees people disobeying Him, He gets upset and takes it out on them. This is how a spoiled child perceives a parent’s loving discipline. Some of us never grow up.

--Peter Kreeft

Monday, January 27, 2014

QUOTATION: Bearing One's Cross

St. Louis de Montfort
Let him carry his cross and not drag it, or shake it off, or lighten it, or hide it. Instead, let him lift it on high and carry it without impatience or annoyance, without intentional complaint or grumbling, without hesitation or concealment, without shame or human respect.

--St. Louis de Montfort, Letter to the Friends of the Cross

Sunday, January 26, 2014


St. John Eudes

Prayer is a respectful and loving elevation of your mind and heart to God. It is a joyous meeting, a holy communication, a Divine conversation between God and the Christian.

In it the soul considers and contemplates its Creator in His Divine perfections, in His mysteries and in His works; it adores and blesses Him, loves and glorifies Him, gives itself to Him, is abased before Him at the sight of its sins and ingratitude. It implores Him to be merciful, and learns to become like Him by imitating His Divine virtues and perfections, and finally asks for all the things necessary to serve and love Him.

Prayer is a participation in the life of the angels and saints, in the life of Jesus Christ and of His most holy Mother, even of the life of God and of the Three Divine Persons. For the life of the Angels and Saints, of Christ, and of His most holy Mother is nothing else but a continual practice of prayer and contemplation, in which their uninterrupted occupation is to look upon God, to praise and love Him, to ask Him, on your behalf, for the things you need. And the existence of the Three Divine Persons is a perpetual contemplation, praise and love of one another, which is accomplished first and foremost by prayer.

Prayer is perfect delight, supreme happiness, a true earthly paradise. It is by this Divine exercise of prayer that the Christian soul is united to God, Who is the center of its being, its goal and its supreme good. It is in prayer that God belongs to the soul and the soul to God. It is by praying that the soul pays Him rightful service, homage, adoration and love, and receives from Him His lights, His blessings and a thousand tokens of His exceeding great love.

It is during your prayers that God takes His delight in you, according to this word of His: "My delights are to be with the children of men" (Prov. 8, 31), and gives us an experimental knowledge of the fact that our true joy and perfect satisfaction are to be found in God, and that a hundred, or even a thousand years of the false pleasures of this world are not worth one moment of the true delights which God allows those souls to taste, who seek all their contentment only in conversing with Him in holy prayer.

Finally, prayer is the most worthy, the noblest, the loftiest, greatest and most important act in which you can engage your efforts, for it is the ceaseless occupation of the Angels and Saints, of the Blessed Virgin, of Jesus and of the Most Holy Trinity throughout all the vastness of eternity.

It is also destined to be our own unending activity in Heaven. Indeed, this is the one true and proper function of a man and of a Christian, since man is created for God and to be with God, and the Christian is on earth only for the purpose of continuing what Jesus Christ did during His life.

--St. John Eudes, The Four Foundations of Sanctity

Saturday, January 25, 2014

QUOTATION: A Self-Satisfied Heart

St. John of Avila
Nothing so offends its Creator as a self-satisfied heart, because it contains no empty vessel into which He can pour the riches of His mercy. It will remain in its natural poverty, for it can offer no place into which the waters of grace may flow, to make it live happily with God, and bring forth much fruit, like a well-watered garden.

--St. John of Avila, Letters, XXIII

Friday, January 24, 2014

QUOTATION: God's Mercy

Know, then, that it is a need for Our Lord to pardon. His Heart is weighed down by the thought of the necessity of condemning us. He weeps over us, and when He forgives us. He is relieved and His Heart is dilated by mercy. If Our Lord could still suffer, it would be at seeing us despairing of His mercy and failing to ask pardon.

--St. Peter Julian Eymard

Thursday, January 23, 2014

QUOTATION: Friendship with Our Lord

St. Jean Vianney, the Cure of Ars
As the disciples on Mount Thabor saw nothing but Jesus alone, so interior souls, on the Thabor of their hearts no longer see anything but Our Lord. They are two friends, who are never tired of each other. . .

--St. Jean Vianney, the Curé of Ars

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

QUOTATION: Punishment for Sin

Louis de Granada
Different causes multiply the miseries of the sinner. God, who is a just Judge, sends them suffering, that crime may not remain unavenged; for though the punishment of sin is generally reserved for the next world, it sometimes begins in this. The government of Divine Providence equally embraces nations and individuals. Thus we see that sin, when it has become general, brings upon the world universal scourges, such as famines, wars, floods, pestilences and heresies.

--Louis de Granada, The Sinner's Guide

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

QUOTATION: Personal Judgement

St. Francis de Sales
There is nothing harder to renounce than our own judgment. Yet nothing is more necessary if we are to become humble.

--St. Francis de Sales

Monday, January 20, 2014

QUOTATION: Hating Our Neighbour's Faults

St. Ignatius Loyola
Too much hatred of our neighbor's faults begets more aversion than amendment, and, far from helping him, puts him to flight.

--St. Ignatius Loyola

Sunday, January 19, 2014

QUOTATION: Faith Without Truth Does Not Save

Pope Francis
Faith without truth does not save, it does not provide a sure footing. It remains a beautiful story, the projection of our deep yearning for happiness, something capable of satisfying us to the extent that we are willing to deceive ourselves. Either that, or it is reduced to a lofty sentiment which brings consolation and cheer, yet remains prey to the vagaries of our spirit and the changing seasons, incapable of sustaining a steady journey through life.

--Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei

Saturday, January 18, 2014

QUOTATION: The Effects of Prayer

For, in the first place, prayer enlightens the mind; man cannot directly fix the eye of his soul upon God, who is the light, without being enlightened by Him. "Come ye to him and be enlightened" saith David.

Secondly, prayer nourishes our hope and confidence; for the oftener we speak with another, the more confidently do we approach to him.

Thirdly, it inflames our charity, and makes our soul more capable of receiving greater gifts, as St. Augustine affirms.

Fourthly, it increases humility and chaste fear, for he who goes to prayer, acknowledges that he is a beggar before God, and therefore humbles himself before Him, and is most careful not to offend Him, of whose assistance he stands in need in everything.

Fifthly, prayer produces in our mind a contempt of all earthly goods; for all temporal objects must appear mean and contemptible in the eyes of him who continually meditates on things spiritual and eternal.

Sixthly, prayer gives us incredible delight, since by it we begin to taste how sweet is the Lord. And how great this sweetness is, we may understand from this circumstance alone, that some I have known pass not only nights, but even whole days and nights in prayer, without any trouble or inconvenience.

In fine, besides the utility and the pleasure, prayer also adds dignity and honour to us. For even the angels themselves honour that soul which they see is so often and so familiarly admitted, to speak with the divine Majesty.

--St. Robert Bellarmine, The Art of Dying Well

(Formatted for easier reading)

Friday, January 17, 2014

QUOTATION: Anger at One's Sin

St. Alphonsus Liguori
To be angry at ourselves after the commission of a fault is a fault worse than the one committed, and will be the occasion of many other faults; it will make us leave off our devotions, prayers, and communions; or if we do practice them, they will be done very badly.

--St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Holy Eucharist

Thursday, January 16, 2014

QUOTATION: The Entertainment Apostolate

St. Josemaria Escriva
It is urgent that we strive to rechristianise popular celebrations and customs. It is urgent that public amusements should no longer be left to face the dilemma of being either over-pious or pagan.

Ask God to provide labourers for this much-needed work which could be called the 'entertainment apostolate.

--St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, 975

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

QUOTATION: What God Says About Crosses

St. Louis de Montfort
"Let that man (or woman) so rare 'far beyond the price of pearls',take up his cross joyfully, embrace it lovingly, and carry it courageously on his shoulders, his own cross, and not that of another - his own cross which I, in my wisdom, designed for him in every detail of number, measure and weight; his own cross which I have fashioned with my own hands and with great exactness as regards its four dimensions of length, breadth, thickness and depth; his own cross, which out of love for him I have carved from a piece of the one I bore to Calvary; his own cross, which is the greatest gift I can bestow upon my chosen ones on earth; his own cross, whose thickness is made up of the loss of one's possessions, humiliations, contempt, sufferings, illnesses and spiritual trials, which come to him daily till his death in accordance with my providence; his own cross, whose length consists of a certain period of days or months enduring slander, or lying on a sick-bed, or being forced to beg, or suffering from temptations, dryness, desolation, and other interior trials; his own cross, whose breadth is made up of the most harsh and bitter circumstances brought about by relatives, friends, servants; his own cross, whose depth is made up of the hidden trials I shall inflict on him without his being able to find any comfort from other people, for they also, under my guidance, will turn away from him and join with me in making him suffer."

--St. Louis de Montfort, Letter to the Friends of the Cross

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

QUOTATION: God's Mercy

St. Paul of the Cross
Beginners in the service of God sometimes lose confidence when they fall into any fault. When you feel so unworthy a sentiment rising within you, you must lift your heart to God and consider that all your faults, compared with divine goodness, are less than a bit of tattered thread thrown into a sea of fire.

--St. Paul of the Cross

Monday, January 13, 2014

QUOTATION: Christ's Obedience

St. Peter Julian Eymard
Adore now the obedience of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. What promptitude! What passive, blind, absolute submission, without condition or reserve! The priest is His master, whom He always obeys, whether he be holy, fervent, or not. He obeys all the Faithful who oblige Him to come to them by Communion, when and as often as they present themselves. His obedience is lasting, constant, ever ready! And He is the Son of God, who rules, the whole universe! And it is. He, His power, that gives life and preserves it to those same people whom He wills thus to obey with the absolute submission of a slave. He has no more right over His actions, over His Body, nor over His life itself, for He delivers up even His life!      

--St. Peter Julian Eymard

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Pride is the exaltation of self as an absolute standard of truth, goodness and morality. It judges everything by itself, and for that reason everyone else is a rival, particularly God. Pride makes it impossible to know God. If I know everything, then not even God can teach me anything. If I am filled with myself, then there is no place for God. Like the inns of Bethlehem, we say to the Divine Visitor: "There is no room."

--Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Saturday, January 11, 2014

QUOTATION: God's Mercifulness

St. Jean Marie Vianney, le Curé d'Ars
Some people attribute a hard heart to the Eternal Father. Oh, how mistaken they are! The Eternal Father, to disarm His own justice, gave to His Son an excessively tender heart; no one can give what he does not possess.

--St. Jean Vianney, the Cure of Ars

Friday, January 10, 2014

QUOTATION: Spiritual Reading in Prayer

St. John Eudes
The fourth method of prayer is to read good books, reading them, however, not in haste, but taking your time, and applying your mind to what you are reading, stopping to consider and turning over in your thoughts the truths that strike you most forcefully, in order to impress them on your mind so as to derive specific acts of virtue and profitable resolutions.

--St. John Eudes, The Four Foundations of Sanctity

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Louis de Granada
A third effect of grace is to render man so pleasing to God that every good action performed by him contributes to merit for him eternal life. By good we here mean not only acts of virtue, but all those which arise from the necessities of nature, such as eating, drinking, and sleeping, which, by an upright intention, become pleasing to God and meritorious in His sight.

--Louis de Granada, The Sinner's Guide

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

QUOTATION: How Satan Operates

St. Ignatius Loyola
Before attacking a man, Satan seeks the weakest or least guarded point; then erects his battery, that he may carry his assault.

--St. Ignatius Loyola

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

QUOTATION: The Sacrament of Confirmation

St. Robert Bellarmine
After baptism follows the sacrament of Confirmation, from which may we draw motives to live well, no less powerful than those deducible from baptism; for although baptism be a sacrament more necessary than Confirmation, yet the latter is more noble than the former. This is evident from the minister, the matter and the effect.

The ordinary minister of baptism is a priest, and in case of necessity anyone; the ordinary minister of Confirmation is a Bishop, and by the dispensation of the Pope, only a priest. The matter of baptism is common water, that of Confirmation holy oil mixed with balsam, consecrated by the Bishop. The effect of baptism is grace and a character, such are required to create a spiritual child; according to the words of St. Peter, "As new-born infants desire the rational milk without guile." (1st of St. Peter, xi.)

The effect of Confirmation is also grace and a character, and such are requisite to make a Christian soldier fight against his invisible enemies; according to what St. Paul saith: "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places" "Quia non est nobis conluctatio adversus carnem et sanguinem sed adversus principes et potestates adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum contra spiritalia nequitiae in caelestibus" (Ephesians vi. 12.) In fine, in baptism a little salt is put into the infant’s mouth; in Confirmation a slight blow is given to us, that so the Christian soldier may learn to fight, not by striking, but by enduring.

--St. Robert Bellarmine, The Art of Dying Well

Monday, January 6, 2014

QUOTATION: The Testimony of the Three Kings

St. John of Avila
If the three Kings had believed our Lord to be but an earthly sovereign however great, they would merely have paid Him the respect due from one man to another, but faith revealed to them the Incarnate God concealed beneath the appearance of a new-born Babe, and they adored Him, prostrate on the ground, confessing their own nothingness in His presence

--St. John of Avila, Letters, XXII

Sunday, January 5, 2014

QUOTATION: Impatience with Ourselves

St. Alphonsus Liguori
To be exasperated at ourselves after a fault is not humility, but a subtle pride, as if we were anything else than the weak and miserable things that we are.

--St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Holy Eucharist

Saturday, January 4, 2014

QUOTATION: Followers of Jesus vs. The Worldly

St. Louis de Montfort
My dear brothers and sisters, there are two companies that appear before you each day: the followers of Christ and the followers of the world. Our dear Saviour's company is on the right, climbing up a narrow road, made all the narrower by the world's immorality. Our Master leads the way, barefooted, crowned with thorns, covered with blood, and laden with a heavy cross. Those who follow him, though most valiant, are only a handful, either because his quiet voice is not heard amid the tumult of the world, or because people lack the courage to follow him in his poverty, sufferings, humiliations and other crosses which his servants must carry all the days of their life.

On the left hand is the company of the world or of the devil. This is far more numerous, more imposing and more illustrious, at least in appearance. Most of the fashionable people run to join it, all crowded together, although the road is wide and is continually being made wider than ever by the crowds that pour along it like a torrent. It is strewn with flowers, bordered with all kinds of amusements and attractions, and paved with gold and silver.

On the right, the little groups which follow Jesus speak about sorrow and penance, prayer and indifference to worldly things. They continually encourage one another saying, "Now is the time to suffer and to mourn, to pray and do penance, to live in retirement and poverty, to humble and mortify ourselves; for those who do not possess the spirit of Christ, which is the spirit of the cross, do not belong to him. Those who belong to Christ have crucified all self-indulgent passions and desires. We must be true images of Christ or be eternally lost."

"Have confidence," they say to each other. If God is on our side, within us and before us, who can be against us? He who is within us is stronger than the one who is in the world. The servant is not greater than his master. This slight and temporary distress we suffer will bring us a tremendous and everlasting glory. The number of those who will be saved is not as great as some people imagine. It is only the brave and the daring who take heaven by storm, where only those are crowned who strive to live according to the law of the Gospel and not according to the maxims of the world. Let us fight with all our strength, let us run with all speed, that we may attain our goal and win the crown.

Such are some of the heavenly counsels with which the Friends of the Cross inspire each other.

Those who follow the world, on the contrary, urge each other to continue in their evil ways without scruple, calling to one another day after day, "Let us eat and drink, sing and dance, and enjoy ourselves. God is good; he has not made us to damn us. He does not forbid us to amuse ourselves. We shall not be damned for so little. We are not to be scrupulous. 'No, you will not die'."

--St. Louis de Montfort, Letter to the Friends of the Cross

Friday, January 3, 2014

QUOTATION: The Blessed Sacrament

St. Peter Julian Eymard
Comprehend well this grand principle. Our Lord who has assumed the state of all the virtues in the Blessed Sacrament, having entered into His glory, can no longer make meritorious acts of them. Nevertheless. He ardently desires to practise them for the glory of His Father. He wishes to live again, to find a soul capable of meriting, with faculties that can truly love, labor, and sacrifice. It is for this that He unites Himself to His Faithful, who become His members. He is their Chief, their Head, their moral and supernatural Heart. He pours into them His grace, His divine sap, moving them, making them act and labor. Then He performs in them meritorious and satisfactory works. He takes on again His life of viator, His Incarnation is recommenced. The Father sees Him again poor, chaste, obedient, meek, and humble as in the days of His mortal life. He lives again in us. Our actions are His as much as our own.

--St. Peter Julian Eymard

Thursday, January 2, 2014

QUOTATION: The Three Enemies of Man

St. John Bosco
Three enemies of man: Death, which overtakes him by surprise; Time, which keeps slipping by; the Devil, who seeks to ensnare him.

--St. John Bosco

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

QUOTATION: Mary's Motherhood

St. Anselm of Canterbury
From the moment of her fiat Mary began to carry all of us in her womb.

--St. Anselm