“The desire to serve Christ and the Church is powerful. [Women and men in Consecrated Life] describe the vowed life as the total giving of self, holding nothing back. They understand the vows to be bold and courageous counter-cultural statements. The vow of obedience is a strong counterpoint to the prevailing cultural mantra: “it’s about me.” The vow of chastity is reminder that all relationships are sacred. God should be a part of every human interaction. The vow of poverty demands generosity with possessions and time. The blessings of God are meant to be shared lavishly with others, especially those who are most in need.” ~Sister Marian Batho, CSJ, So Why Are We Celebrating The Year Of Consecrated Life?
“The life of prayer and contemplation founded on the Eucharistic mystery is also at the heart of the vocation of consecrated people who have chosen the path of the sequela Christi, to give themselves to the Lord with an undivided heart in an ever more intimate relationship with him. By their unconditional attachment to Christ and to his Church, they have the special mission to reminding everyone of the universal vocation to holiness…. [C]onsecrated men and women proclaim that God alone can give fullness to human existence.” ~Pope Benedict XVI, Address to Canadian bishops (May 11, 2006)
“By your prayer and intercession, you are the advocates of all who seek God, who are journeying towards God. You bear witness to a hope which, against every form of hopelessness, silent or spoken, points to the fidelity and the loving concern of God. Hence you are on the side of those who are crushed by misfortune and cannot break free of their burdens. You bear witness to that Love which gives itself for humanity and thus conquered death. You are on the side of all who have never known love, and who are no longer able to believe in life. And so you stand against all forms of injustice, hidden or apparent, and against a growing contempt for man.“ ~ Pope Benedict XVI, Vespers with priests, religious and seminarians (Shrine of Mariazell, Austria, Sept. 8, 2007)
The most potent and acceptable prayer is the prayer that leaves the best effects. I don’t mean it must immediately fill the soul with desire . . . The best effects (are) those that are followed up by actions; when the soul not only desires the honor of God, but really strives for it. ~St. Teresa of Avila
“Lent reminds us, therefore, that Christian life is a never-ending combat in which the ‘weapons’ of prayer, fasting and penance are used. Fighting against evil, against every form of selfishness and hate, and dying to oneself to live in God is the ascetic journey that every disciple of Jesus is called to make with humility and patience, with generosity and perseverance.” ~Pope Benedict XVI
“How can we possibly believe the promises concerning Heaven, immortality, and glory, when we do not believe the promises concerning our present life? And how can we be trusted when we say we believe these promises but make no effort to experience them ourselves? It is just here that men deceive themselves. It is not that they do not want the Gospel privileges of joy, peace and assurance, but they are not prepared to repent of their evil attitudes and careless life-styles. Some have even attempted to reconcile these things and ruined their souls. But without the diligent exercise of the grace of obedience, we shall never enjoy the graces of joy, peace and assurance.” ~Rev. John Owen
“As we begin this Lent, we must again hear and heed the call of our Lord and Savior, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Strive to enter the narrow gate. Take up your cross and follow me.’ We must reject easy and comfortable Catholicism, a Catholicism that demands nothing of us. We must not hide the crucifix, but rather gaze lovingly upon it, recalling the words of St. Paul, ‘We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.’ We must turn from the sin of our complacency and begin again to embrace the cross, for it alone is the sure way to true joy and life eternal.” ~Sam Guzman, from Catholicism and the Cross
“When the priest says, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” you will begin to understand a little better that you are God’s special creation but also a creation that has rejected his will for you. You think you’re so special, but you’re dust. And that should help you love the one who died for you a little more than you do.” ~David Mills, Hey, Buddy, Jesus Said No Ashes