To surrender oneself is more than to devote oneself, more
than to give oneself, it is even something more than to abandon oneself to God.
In a word, to surrender oneself is to die to everything and to self, to be no
longer concerned with self except to keep it continually turned toward God.
The worst enemies of religious freedom aren’t 'out there'
among the critics who hate Christ or the Gospel or the Church, or all three.
The worst enemies are in here, with us — all of us, clergy, religious and lay —
when we live our faith with tepidness, cheap compromises, fear, routine, and
When we try to raise the [abortion] issue and press for resolution, we
find obstacles at every turn:
When we speak about abortion in church, we’re
told it’s too political.
When we speak about it in the political arena,
we’re told it’s too religious.
When we try to raise the issue in the media,
we’re told it is too disturbing.
When we dare speak of it in the world of
business, we are told it is too distracting.
When we try to introduce it in a classroom, we
are told it’s too controversial.
When we take our message to the streets, we are
told it is too disruptive.
So if abortion is wrong, where do we go to say so? We go
where the opposition does not want us to: into the churches, into politics, into
the media, into the business world, into education, and into the streets!
Without Mary, we shall not find Jesus, for she possesses Him
in her heart. There He takes His delight, and they who wish to know His inmost
virtues, His sacred and privileged love, must seek them in the heart of Mary.
They who love that good Mother will find Jesus in her pure heart.
--St. Peter Julian Eymard, Month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
Man’s promethean attempts to break out of his limitations
himself, to build with his own capacities the tower by which he may mount up to
divinity, always necessarily end in collapse and disappointment – indeed, in
--Pope Benedict XVI, “Eucharist and Mission”, Pilgrim
Fellowship of Faith
The holy Guardian Angels are not satisfied with illuminating
the mind of those under their guidance with the light needed to know God’s will
for them and to be saved. They also inspire their charges and procure for them
the means to do the good that is proper to them. God uses the angels not only
to deliver those entrusted to them from the powers of darkness and make them
grow in the knowledge of God but also to help them lead a life worthy of God,
so that they will be pleasing to him in every way and produce good works of
every sort. The angels are zealous for the good of those in their care, because
of the commission they have received from God, the Father of light and of all
good. They contribute, as far as they are able, to make those in their care
worthy to share the lot of the saints. You share in the ministry of the
Guardian Angels by making known to children the truths of the Gospel, which you
have been chosen by God to announce. You must teach them how to put these
truths into practice, and you must have very great zeal to procure their
accomplishment of this practice.
--St. John Baptist de La Salle, Meditations for the Time of Retreat
Before conversion, conscience seemed to be a restraining,
coercive power; God was a hostile and exacting judge; the commandments were
prohibitions: and the Church was an inhibition. Responsibilities were
identified with obligation; duty was seen as opposed to desire; the morally
right was identified with the physically unpleasant; and love was opposed to
morality. But after conversion the conscience no longer accuses; it never seems
to command, or order, or inhibit, because there are no longer two wills in
opposition. The will of the convert is the will of God. There is no need for a
conscience to tell him what “ought to be done.” Conscience is swallowed up in
love, and there is no duty or “must” between lovers.
God is therefore truly the Father, inasmuch as He is Father
of truth; He does not create the Son from outside Himself, but generates Him
from His own substance. That is to say, being wise, He generates Wisdom, being
just, Justice, being eternal, the Eternal, being immortal, the Immortal, being
invisible, the Invisible. Because He is Light, He generates Brightness, and
because He is Mind, the Word.
Because we make profession of especially honoring the Holy
Eucharist, it does not follow that we should have less devotion to the Blessed
Virgin. Far from it! He would be guilty of blasphemy who would say: "As
for me, the Blessed Sacrament suffices. I have no need of Mary." Where
shall we find Jesus on earth if not in Mary's arms? Did she not give us the
Eucharist? Was it not her consent to the Incarnation of the Word in her pure
womb that inaugurated the great mystery of reparation to God and union with us,
which Jesus accomplished by His mortal life, and that He continues in the
--St. Peter Julian Eymard, Month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
The teaching office of the apostles’ successors does not
represent a second authority alongside Scripture but is inwardly a part of it.
This viva vox is not there to restrict the authority of Scripture or to limit
it or even replace it by the existence of another – on the contrary, it is its
task to ensure that Scripture is not disposable, cannot be manipulated, to
preserve its proper perspicuitas, its clear meaning, from the conflict of
--Pope Benedict XVI, “The Holy Spirit as Communion”, Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith
You sometimes say of a man, "he is friendly, or
courteous, or respectful, or considerate, or communicative; but, after all,
there is something, perhaps without his knowing it, in the background. He
professes to be agreed with me; he almost displays his agreement; he says he
pursues the same objects as I; but still I do not know him, I do not make
progress with him, I have no confidence in him, I do not know him better than
the first time I saw him." Such is the way in which the double-minded
approach the Most High,—they have a something private, a hidden self at bottom.
They look on themselves, as it were, as independent parties, treating with
Almighty God as one of their fellows. Hence, so far from seeking God, they
hardly like to be sought by Him. They would rather keep their position and
stand where they are,—on earth, and so make terms with God in heaven; whereas,
"he that doeth truth, cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made
manifest that they are wrought in God." [John iii. 21.]
--Blessed John Henry Newman, “Sincerity and Hypocrisy”, Parochial and Plain Sermons, Volume 5.
Most men are intuitively aware that no change except a
spiritual change will be enough: the extreme sensitiveness and ready anger of
those who urge revolutions against society and morality as their remedy are a
proof of the insecurity of their position. The violence of their opposition to
all criticism is a sure sign of the defenselessness of their own position; even
they suspect that mankind stands less in need of revolution than redemption.
If God exists, and deserves the name, He is to every human good what electricity is to an appliance, and religion is the plug. The decline in happiness, in morality, and in longevity is inevitable: religious death, or supernatural death, or spiritual death always leads to some kind of natural or cultural death. No nonreligious, anti-religious society has ever existed. One reason is that religion has always been the strongest ground for morality and no society can survive without morality, in fact without some kind of natural law morality, since the prevailing morality of our experts is not morality at all, only psychology.
--Peter Kreeft, quoted in "What I shall do with atheism is to refute it” California Catholic Daily, August 4, 2016
One of the principal reasons that made the infidels so incredulous
towards the mystery of the Incarnate Word is that they could not persuade
themselves that God had as much love for the human as Christians claimed.
Celsus, in his writing against the Gospels, to which the learned Origen
strongly answered, mocks Christians who dared to presume that God himself
descended from heaven to come to their aid. They found it undignified for God
to have such a special care for human things; and it is for this reason that
the Holy Scriptures, in order to establish in hearts the belief in such a great
mystery, never ceases to publish the goodness of God and his love for men. It
is also what compelled the apostle John to confess in these terms the faith of
redemption: “For us, we believe, he said, in the charity that God had for men.”
What a beautiful profession of faith, and conceived in such a singular way, but
absolutely necessary in order to uproot incredulity.
People know that abortion is happening, but they also realize that if they look at it too closely, they will not be able to live at peace with themselves unless they try to stop it. At the same time, they know that if they try to stop it there will be a price to pay. They may lose friends or face other kinds of opposition. They don’t want to make the sacrifice necessary to confront injustice. What, then, is their solution to this dilemma? Ignore the problem altogether. Denial protects them from the pain of the situation.
How does the devil operate on people who are serving God, sincerely trying to do the will of God? - Memorize this for life: Those who want to do God’s will, the devil causes them worries, anxieties, disturbs them, makes them anxious, disquiets their minds. Take this as a law of the spiritual life provided you sincerely want to do God’s will: Consider every anxiety, every worry, every disturbance, every desolation as a temptation. That statement is worth ten million dollars.
Biological conception and spiritual consecration, or what Catholics call transubstantiation—are the holiest moments in time because God continually creates miracles at those two moments; and those two places—a woman’s body and a Catholic altar—are the two holiest places in the world because that’s where he does it.
Christianity puts a high value on human nature, but it does not trust its unaided powers too far. It says that man in his human nature is neither a saint nor a devil; he is neither intrinsically corrupt nor immaculately conceived.
If you commit a venial fault, make an act of the love of God and of contrition, purpose of amendment, and forth with resume your wonted, tranquility. To remain troubled after a fault is the greatest fault that a person can commit, for a troubled soul is incapable of doing the least good. If, by mischance, the fault has been grievous, then immediately make an act of contrition (which is sufficient to recover the divine grace), resolve never to be guilty of the same again, and take the first opportunity of going to confession.
--St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Way of Salvation and Perfection
Believing is not an act of the understanding alone, not simply an act of the will, not just an act of feeling, but an act in which all the spiritual powers of man are at work together. Still more: man in his own self, and of himself, cannot bring about this believing at all; it has of its nature the character of a dialogue. It is because the depth of the soul – the heart—has been touched by God’s word that the whole structure of spiritual powers is set in motion and unites in the Yes of believing. --Pope Benedict XVI, “Faith and Theology”, Address on the occasion of the conferring of an honorary doctorate of theology by the Theological Faculty of Wroclaw/Breslau, Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith
Never tire of firmly speaking out in defense of life from its conception and do not be deterred from the commitment to defend the dignity of every human person with courageous determination. Christ is with you: be not afraid!
Simple secularists still talk as if the Church had introduced a sort of schism between reason and religion. The truth is that the Church was actually the first thing that ever tried to combine reason and religion. There had never before been any such union of the priests and the philosophers.