The doors of Hell

“God does not condemn us to hell; God wishes all humans to be saved. He will love us to all eternity, but there will exist the possibility that we do not accept the love and do not respond to it. And the refusal to accept love, the refusal to respond to it, that precisely is the meaning of hell. Hell is not a place where God puts us; it is a place where we put ourselves. The doors of hell, insofar as they have locks, have locks on the inside.” ~Kallistos Ware, “Image and Likeness,” Parabola, Volume 10, Number 1: Wholeness

Do Not Be Deceived

“Be one of the small number who find the way to life, and enter by the narrow gate into Heaven. Take care not to follow the majority and the common herd, so many of whom are lost. Do not be deceived; there are only two roads: one that leads to life and is narrow; the other that leads to death and is wide. There is no middle way.” ~St. Louis de Montfort

A Desire to Know the Truth

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth–in a word, to know himself–so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.” ~St. John Paul II, Fides et Ratio: On the Relationship Between Faith and Reason


“In this life no one can fulfill his longing, nor can any creature satisfy man’s desire. Only God satisfies, he infinitely exceeds all other pleasures. That is why man can rest in nothing but God.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas

Encounter, Not Victory

Prayer sometimes seems like engaging in a stare-down with God. We sense His will but we stubbornly refuse to embrace it. We just stare, waiting for an answer we like. Of course we will be the first to blink in this battle of wills between Creator and creature, between the Lover and the beloved. We never win the stare-down. (Winning is not the goal of prayer.) Whether we know it or not, whether we acknowledge it or not, whether we like it or not we are made for divine embrace; at the deepest level of our being we long for encounter, not victory. Thankfully, God knows us better than we know ourselves and waits paitently for us to blink.

The Face of Jesus

“If I cannot find the face of Jesus in the face of those whom I regard as enemies, if I cannot find him in the unbeautiful and damaged, if I cannot find him in those who have the “wrong ideas,” if I cannot find him in the poor and the defeated, then how will I find him in bread and wine or in the life after death? If I do not reach out in this world to those with whom he has identified, why do I imagine that I will want to be with him, and them, in heaven? Why would I want to be for all eternity in the company of those I avoided every day of my life?” ~Jim Forest, Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on he Hardest Commandment

Eucharist: the fruit of perpetual happiness

Receive, O Lord, we pray, these offerings of your exultant Church, and, as you have given her cause for such great gladness, grant also that the gifts we bring may bear fruit in perpetual happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

God loves each of us quite personally

“In Jesus, God has opened his heart to us. He has turned his face to us. He comes to us, reveals his thoughts, and shows us who he is and what he wills. He gives us everything we need and wants to perfect the work he has begun in us. Amazingly, we feeble and insignificant beings are the object of his concern. Out of the incomprehensible love of his heart, God loves each of us quite personally. In his concern for humankind, God seeks out all people and invites them to take part in his new creation.” ~Eberhard Arnold

The King’s Chariot

This was the tree on which Christ, like a king on a chariot, destroyed the devil, the Lord of death, and freed the human race from his tyranny. This was the tree upon which the Lord, like a brave warrior wounded in his hands, feet and side, healed the wounds of sin that the evil serpent had inflicted on our nature. A tree once caused our death, but now a tree brings life. Once deceived by a tree, we have now repelled the cunning serpent by a tree. What an astonishing transformation! That death should become life, that decay should become immortality, that shame should become glory! ~St. Theodore the Studite

The Depth of Charity

“Thanks be to God, throughout the history of the church it has always been clear that a person’s perfection is measured not by the information or knowledge they possess, but by the depth of their charity.” ~Pope Francis