1.) Who is my maker?
2.) From what material did he make me?
3.) What nature did he give me ?
4.) For what end did he create me?
For if I seek my maker, I find God alone. If I seek the material from which He made me, I find absolutely nothing. From this you can conclude that whatever is in me was made by God and wholly belongs to God. If I ask about my nature, I find that I am the image of God. If I ask about my end, I find God himself, who is my supreme and total good. Therefore, I will recognize that I have a great bond with and need for God, as He alone is my creator, my maker, my Father, my exemplar, my happiness, my all. And If I understand this, what can happen except that I seek Him ardently, that I think of Him, that I yearn for Him, desire to see and embrace Him? Should I not be horrified at the dense darkness of my heart which for so long has considered, desired, and sought anything other than God, who alone is my all? ~St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
“No one can have God as his Father who does not have the Church as his Mother.” ~St.Cyprian, 3rd century AD
But when it comes to the scandal of the Sacrifice of the Cross, Mary is there, hearing with sadness how “the passers-by blasphemed against him, tossing their heads, Come now, they said, you would destroy the temple and build it up in three days, rescue yourself; come down from that cross, if you are the Son of God.” Our Lady is there listening to the words of her Son, united to him in his suffering, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” What could she do? She united herself fully with the redemptive love of her Son, and offered to the Father her immense sorrow, which pierced her pure Heart like a sharp edged sword. ~St. Josemaria Escriva, Friends of God, 288
We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, through whom we are saved and delivered. ~(cf. Galatians 6:14), Antiphon from Mass for The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
“If you can’t forgive, you are not a Christian.” ~Pope Francis, Sept. 10, 2015
The whole of the spiritual life consists of these two elements. When we think of ourselves, we are perturbed and filled with a salutary sadness. And when we think of the Lord, we are revived to find consolation in the joy of the Holy Spirit. From the first we derive fear and humility, from the second hope and love. ~St Bernard of Clairvaux
Jesus loves me exactly as I am this moment. In fact, Jesus loves me so much that He doesn’t want me to remain exactly as I am at this moment. Such is the mercy of God.
On and off again over the years I have been a practitioner of something Jesus roundly condemned (and condemns): bad religion. Not religion in general, mind you, but bad religion. This being admitted, I truly do appreciate the insightful fraternal correction offered to this bad Catholic by the cordial catholic in his blog post titled Why Is Catholicism So Unattractive to Evangelicals?
Thank you, dear God, that You have shown to me to myself for what I so often am: a bad Catholic. Without such knowledge I would be doomed to the practice of bad religion in this life and an eternity without You in the world to come. With such knowledge there is (once again) an opportunity for me to throw myself before your Mercy. That Mercy Who hung on the cross in the Person of Jesus the Christ for love of me and the whole world. A Mercy you have encouraged, equipped and commissioned me through baptism to share with others. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.
“…God is not closed in on himself, but instead he opens himself and places himself in communication with humanity. In his immense mercy, he overcomes the abyss of the infinite difference between Him and us, and comes to meet us. To bring about this communication with man, God becomes man. It is not enough for him to speak to us through the law and the prophets, but instead he makes himself present in the person of his Son, the Word made flesh. Jesus is the great “bridge-builder” who builds in himself the great bridge of full communion with the Father.” ~Pope Francis, from his Sunday Angelus address, Sept. 6, 2015
We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. ~A.W. Tozer