the years I have been telling one audience after another, one of the main
reasons for the worldwide homicide of millions of innocent unborn children is
because Catholics are not living up to practicing their faith.
is not believing that something will happen, nor is it the acceptance of what
is contrary to reason, nor is it an intellectual recognition which a man might
give to something he does not understand or which his reason cannot prove,
e.g., relativity. Faith is the acceptance of a truth on the authority of God
is a supernatural virtue, whereby, inspired and assisted by the grace of God,
we believe as true those things which He revealed, not because the truth of
these things is clearly evident from reason alone, but because of the authority
of God who cannot deceive nor be deceived.
the painful life that Jesus Christ led in the womb of his Mother, and the
long-confined and dark imprisonment that he suffered there for nine months.
Other infants are indeed in the same state ; but they do not feel the miseries
of it, because they do not know them. But Jesus knew them well, because from
the first moment of his life he had the perfect use of reason. He had his
senses, but he could not use them; eyes, but he could not see ; a tongue, but
he could not speak; hands, but he could not stretch them out; feet, but he
could not walk; so that for nine months he had to remain in the womb of Mary
like a dead man shut up in the tomb: I am become as a man without help, free
Alphonsus Liguori, The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ
have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s
life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed
by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in that person’s life. You can and must
try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land
full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can
grow. You have to trust God.
Francis, My Door is Always Open: a
Conversation on Faith, Hope and the Church in a Time of Change
In the Christian view, chastity by no means signifies rejection of human sexuality or lack of esteem for it: Rather it signifies spiritual energy capable of defending love from the perils of selfishness and aggressiveness, and able to advance it toward its full realization.
Love is the condition of faith; and faith in turn is the cherisher and maturer of love; it brings love out into works, and therefore is called the root of works of love; the substance of the works is love, the outline and direction of them is faith.
--Blessed John Henry Newman, “Faith and Love”, Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. 4
If pride is the great human obstacle to faith, it follows that, from the human side, the essential condition of receiving faith is humility. Humility is not an underestimation of what we are, but the plain, unadulterated truth. A man who is 6 feet tall is not humble if he says: “No really, I am only 5 feet tall.”
When Abraham was leading his son to death, he would not afflict him by giving him notice of it beforehand, even during the short time that was necessary for them to arrive at the mount. But the Eternal Father chose that his Incarnate Son, whom he had destined to be the victim of his justice in atonement of our sins, should suffer then all the pains to which he was to be subject during his life and at his death. Wherefore, from the first moment that he was in his mother's womb, Jesus suffered continually that sorrow which he endured in the garden, and which was sufficient to have taken away his life (as he said, My soul is sorrowful unto death). So that from that time forth he felt most vividly, and endured the united weight of all the sorrows and contumely that awaited him.
--St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ
Let us urge our young people to go forth. Of course, they will make mistakes, but let us not be afraid! The Apostles made mistakes before us. Let us urge them to go forth. Let us think resolutely about pastoral needs, beginning on the outskirts, with those who are farthest away, with those who do not usually go to church. They are the VIPs who are invited. Go and search for them at the crossroads.
--Pope Francis, Homily, World Youth Day, Rio de Janeiro, July 27, 2013
Today’s persecutions are more subtle than those of the beginning. They don’t necessarily use violence to disperse the faithful or to confine them behind bars. They create a climate of reserve and silence where the believer and even the priest no longer dare to present themselves as such in the public square. They are given the impression that they have a heavy past that they must forget, and that they would be better off keeping quiet rather than to come off too strongly as bearers of an important message for society. The youth suffer from this religious void which leaves them impoverished in terms of values.
--Cardinal Marc Ouellet, “Grande joie”, General diocesan assembly of priests and deacons, May 7, 2003, reprinted in Dieu plus merveilleux que les rêves, 2004
We shall not waste our time in looking for extraordinary experiences in our life of contemplation but live by pure faith, ever watchful and ready for His coming by doing our day-to-day duties with extraordinary love and devotion.
are two kinds of martyrs, one in open suffering, the other in hidden virtue of
the spirit. For many, enduring the snares of the enemy and resisting all carnal
desires, because they have sacrificed themselves in their hearts to the
almighty God, have also become martyrs in time of peace, and if they had lived
in time of persecution, they could have become martyrs in reality.
consists in man's being unwilling to receive anything, in his desire to be
self-sufficient. It is the expression of enclosure in one's being alone. These
depths accordingly consist by nature of just this: that man will not accept,
will not take anything, but wants to stand entirely on his own feet, to be
sufficient unto himself. If this becomes utterly radical, then man has become
the untouchable, the solitary, the reject.
Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), Introduction to Christianity, 1968
But this width and depth of
passion is still more immense in man, because man's intellect grasps universal
good and man's will desires that boundless good which is found in God alone.
Hence when man's will does not follow the straight road to God, when man seeks
supreme happiness not in God but in creatures, then his concupiscence becomes
insatiable, because he has unlimited desires for a good that is limited.
God is totally good, he is not Scrooge. He does not forgive some things; he
forgives all things. The only possible sin that cannot be forgiven is not
accepting forgiveness, which is why in traditional Christian theology, pride is
the worst of sins: “I am too good to be forgiven; there is nothing to forgive.”
Kreeft, quoted in Socrates in the City,
ed. Eric Metaxas, 2003
Consider that whatever Jesus Christ suffered in his life and in his Passion, was all placed before him whilst he was yet in the womb of Mary, and he accepted everything that was proposed to him with delight; but in accepting all this, and in overcoming the natural repugnance of sense, O my God, what anguish and oppression did not the innocent heart of Jesus suffer! Well did he understand what he was first of all to endure, shut up for nine months in the dark prison of the womb of Mary; in suffering the shame and the sorrows of his birth, being born in a cold grotto that was a stable for beasts; in having afterwards to lead for thirty years an humble life in the shop of an artisan; in considering that he was to be treated by men as ignorant, as a slave, as a seducer, and as one guilty of death, and of the most infamous and painful death that ever was allotted to the most worth less of criminals.
--St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ