‘Most beloved sons, do not ever accept such a feeling. When you feel yourself to be at fault, even if it is a sin that is fully conscious, grave, and repeated many, many, many times, do not let yourselves be fooled by the devil into consenting to discouragement. But when you feel yourself to be at fault, offer your whole fault, without analyzing it and examining it, to the Immaculate as her property, pronouncing the sole name “Mary,” as I just did a moment ago, and worry yourselves about pleasing her with the action that immediately follows, as I am doing in this moment, adding for you, most dear sons, these few words.
‘Dearly beloved, every fall, even if it be very grave and repeated, serves us always and only as a little step towards a higher perfection. For this alone, in fact, the Immaculate permits a fall, in order to heal us of our self-love, our pride, in order to lead us to humility and render us in this way more docile to divine graces. The devil, on the contrary, tries to inject despair and interior despondency, which are nothing else but a new sign of pride. If we knew well our wretchedness, we would not wonder at all at our falls, but rather we would wonder and give thanks, after the fall, for not having fallen still lower and more often. There does not exist, in fact, a sin so grave into which we cannot fall if divine grace, that is, the merciful hand of the Immaculate, does not sustain us.’St Maximilian Kolbe, ‘Let Yourself Be Led by the Immaculate’
“The Cattle of the Levites”
“78. We give the name of Levites and priests to those who dedicate themselves totally to God, alike through the practice of the virtues and through contemplation. Those who do not have the strength to hunt down the passions may be called ‘the cattle of the Levites’ (Num. 3:41). They have a genuine and continuing thirst for holiness, and try to attain it so far as they can; but they frequently fail, hamstrung by sin. Yet we may expect that at the right moment God will grant the gift of dispassion to them as well, solely by virtue of His love; for ‘the Lord has heard the desire of the poor’ (Ps. 10:17. LXX).”St John of Karpathos, ‘For the Encouragement of the Monks in India who had Written to Him – One Hundred Texts’
The Logos destroys the tyranny of the evil one
The Logos destroys the tyranny of the evil one, who dominates us through deceit, by triumphantly using as a weapon against him the flesh defeated in Adam. In this way he shows that what was once captured and made subject to death now captures the captor: by a natural death it destroys the captor’s life and becomes a poison to him, making him vomit up all those he was able to swallow because he had the power of death. But to humankind it becomes life, like leaven in the dough impelling the whole of nature to rise like dough in the resurrection of life (cf 1 Cor. 5:6-7). It was to confer this life that the Logos who was God became man – a truly unheard of thing – and willingly accepted the death of the flesh.
-St Maximus the Confessor (On the Lord’s Prayer)
Happy Easter! CHRIST IS RISEN!
No corner of our heart
‘Hope is a gift of God. We must ask for it. It is placed deep within each human heart in order to shed light on this life, so often troubled and clouded by so many situations that bring sadness and pain. We need to nourish the roots of our hope so that they can bear fruit; primarily, the certainty of God’s closeness and compassion, despite whatever evil we have done. There is no corner of our heart that cannot be touched by God’s love. Whenever someone makes a mistake, the Father’s mercy is all the more present, awakening repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.’
[Taken from Happiness In This Life: A Passionate Meditation On Material Existence And The Meaning Of Life]
“… this is sufficient for me”
[I found this prayer on the Jesuit Prayer app which I strongly recommend. God bless!]
‘Ah! My brother, how the goodness of Jesus, His merciful love, are so little known!’
‘It must be that you don’y know me at all well, if you are afraid that a detailed account of your faults could lessen the tenderness I feel for your soul! O my brother, believe me that I shall not need to “put my hand over the mouth of Jesus.” He has forgotten your infidelities long ago. Only your desires for perfection remain to make His heart rejoice. I implore you, don’t drag yourself to His feet ever again. Follow that “first impulse which draws you into His arms.” That is where you belong and I have decided, now more so than from your other letters, that you are forbidden to go to heaven by any other road than the one your poor little sister travels.
‘I completely agree with you that “the heart of God is saddened more by the thousand little indelicacies of His friends than it is by the faults, even the grave ones, which people of the world commit.” But my dear little brother, it seems to me that it is only when his friends, ignoring their continual indelicacies, make a habit out of them and don’t ask forgiveness for them, that Jesus can utter those touching words which the Church puts on his lips in Holy Week: “These wounds you see in the palms of my hands are the ones I received in the house of those who loved me.” For those who love Him, and after each fault come to ask pardon by throwing themselves into His arms, Jesus trembles with joy. He says to His angels what the father of the prodigal son said to his servants: “Put his best robe on him and put a ring on his finger, and let us rejoice.” Ah! My brother, how the goodness of Jesus, His merciful love, are so little known! It is true that to enjoy these riches we must be humbled and recognise our nothingness, and that is what so many are not will to do. But my little brother, that is not the way you behave, so the way of simple love and confidence is just made to order for you.`
-From a letter from St. Therese of Lisieux to Maurice Belliere, a young seminarian [Taken from Maurice & Therese: The Story of a Love]
God bless you!
Quotes, quotes, quotes!
‘Justice renders to each one what is his, and claims not another’s property; it disregards its own profit in order to preserve the common equity.’
St. Ambrose of Milan, (339–397), Doctor of the Church
‘If love ruled on Earth, there would be no need for laws.’
‘Love is delight in what is good; the proper object of love is the good. To love is to wish good to someone.’
St. Thomas Aquinas
‘Remember that every government service, every offer of government-financed security, is paid for in the loss of personal freedom. Whenever a voice is raised telling you to let the government do it, analyze very carefully to see whether the suggested service is worth the personal freedom which you must forgo in return for such service.’
‘The weak are always anxious for justice and equality. The strong pay no heed to either.’
‘Forsake all and you shall find all. Renounce desire and you will find peace.’
Thomas À Kempis
‘Mine are the heavens and mine is the earth. Mine are the nations, the just are mine, and mine the sinners. The angels are mine, and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God himself is mine and for me, because Christ is mine and all for me. What do you ask, then, and seek, my soul? Yours is all of this, and all is for you. Do not engage yourself in anything less or pay heed to the crumbs that fall from your Father’s table. Go forth and exult in your Glory! Hide yourself in it and rejoice, and you will obtain the supplications of your heart.’
St. John of the Cross
‘It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist.’
Peace is not the absence of violence, but the process of justice.
Aram I, (b. 1947) Catolicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, 2001
‘I repeat: to know how to say the Our Father, and to know how to put it into practice, this is the perfection of the Christian life.’
Pope John XXIII
‘What does it take to become a saint? Will it.’
St Thomas Aquinas
[these have been added to the quotes pages]
God bless you!
Share all your possessions with your brother
‘Do not be like those who reach out to take, but draw back when the time comes for giving. If the labour of your hands has been productive, your giving will be a ransom for sins. Give without hesitating and without grumbling, and you will see Whose generosity will requite you. Never turn away the needy; share all your possessions with your brother, and do not claim that anything is your own. If you and he are joint participators in things immortal, how much more so in things that are mortal?’
-from the Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles)
Have a holy lent, and God bless you!