There is no such thing as the right place, the right job, the right calling or ministry. I can be happy or unhappy in all situations. I am sure of it, because I have been. I have felt distraught and joyful in situations of abundance as well as poverty, in situations of popularity and anonymity, in situations of success and failure. The difference was never based on the situation itself, but always on my state of mind and heart. When I knew I was walking with God, I always felt happy and at peace. When I was entangled in my own complaints and emotional needs, I always felt restless and divided. ~Fr. Henri J. M. Nouwen, Seeking Peace
“…I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms. Laying down your arms, surrendering, saying you are sorry, realizing that you have been on the wrong track and getting ready to start life over again from the ground floor – that is the only way out of a hole. This process of surrender, this movement full speed astern, is what Christians call repentance. ~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
One of the great challenges facing the Church in this generation is to foster in all the faithful a sense of personal responsibility for the Church’s mission, and to enable them to fulfill that responsibility as missionary disciples, as a leaven of the Gospel in our world. This will require creativity in adapting to changed situations, carrying forward the legacy of the past not primarily by maintaining our structures and institutions, which have served us well, but above all by being open to the possibilities which the Spirit opens up to us and communicating the joy of the Gospel, daily and in every season of our life. ~Pope Francis, Homily during Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, Philadelphia, Sept 26, 2015
Let us try to foster deep down in our hearts a burning desire, an intense eagerness to achieve sanctity, even though we see ourselves full of failings. Do not be afraid: the more one advances in the interior life, the more clearly one sees one’s own faults. Grace works in us like a magnifying glass, and even the tiniest speck of dust or an almost invisible grain of sand can appear immensely large, for the soul acquires a divine sensitivity, and even the slightest shadow irritates one’s conscience, which finds delight only in the limpid clarity of God. Speak now from the bottom of your heart: ‘Lord, I really do want to be a saint. I really do want to be a worthy disciple of yours and to follow you unconditionally.’ And now you should make a resolution to renew each day the great ideals which inspire you at this moment. ~St Josemaria Escriva, Friends of God
[E]ven more pronounced than Christ’s teaching on God’s mercy towards man is his instruction on man’s mercy towards man. The Lord is most clear and most insistent upon his injunction that his followers are to forgive their fellow men.
There is no limit to the forgiveness we must offer each other. We are to forgive the transgressor “not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Mt. 18:21-22). Do not condemn, do not judge, but “be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful” (Lk. 6:36-37). In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord teaches that even mere anger or ill will towards another is a sin that demands repair. We cannot approach God with enmity of any sort against a neighbor (Mt. 5:21-26). The one human action (as opposed to praise and petition) referenced in the Lord’s Prayer is the act of forgiveness.
The Christian God is merciful to the repentant, and the Christian is forgiving. This is perhaps his most fundamental outward attribute. ~Christian Browne, Recalling the Central Gospel Message
We know that by ourselves we cannot change the world. But Christ will, and we want to give ourselves voluntarily to him. He demands our whole personality and our whole life. He came to save the world, and we believe that he, not any human leader, will one day govern the earth. For him we live, and for him we are willing to die. That is all that is asked of anyone. Jesus does not expect perfection, but he expects us to serve him wholeheartedly. ~Heinrich Arnold, Discipleship
“The New Evangelization is not about increasing the parish database. When this is our goal, oftentimes the Gospel gets set aside. The New Evangelization is about bringing people to Christ and bringing them to where they are willing to lay down their life for the Gospel. This is the only thing that works. Everything else is a waste of time. The type of Christianity that sees everything as “grey” and that allows the person to remain completely unchanged is a recipe for disaster because it moves nobody closer to Christ.” ~Fr David Barnes
“In the turmoil of life without, and black despair within, it is always possible to turn aside and wait on God. Just as at the center of a hurricane there is stillness, and above the clouds a clear sky, so it is possible to make a little clearing in the jungle of our human will for a rendezvous with God. He will always turn up, though in what guise and in what circumstances cannot be foreseen – perhaps trailing clouds of glory, perhaps as a beggar; in the purity of the desert or in the squalor of London’s Soho or New York’s Times Square.” ~Malcom Muggeridge, Confessions of a Twentieth-Century Pilgrim
“Had there been no cross, Christ could not have been crucified. Had there been no cross, life itself could not have been nailed to the tree. And if life had not been nailed to it, there would be no streams of immortality pouring from Christ’s side, blood and water for the world’s cleansing. The legal bond of our sin would not be cancelled, we should not have attained our freedom, we should not have enjoyed the fruit of the tree of life, and the gates of paradise would not stand open. Had there been no cross, death would not have been trodden underfoot, nor hell despoiled.” ~St Andrew of Crete
One thing that is not being tried in any particularly enthusiastic way by people who call themselves Catholic is Catholicism. ~Fr. Benedict Groeschel, The Reform of Renewal