Great Christian Quotes

If you’re like me then you love great quotes.  Great quotes capture the meaning and essence of human experience.  They express profound truths in a succinct and effective way.  Great quotes are particularly meaningful when they are backed up by the integrity and authentic character of those who produced them.  Here’s a list of great Christian quotes I’ve assembled over recent years on various topics.  Read through them by category and find the ones that mean the most to you.  Then read more about the great people who produced those quotes and the lives of faith that generated them.

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  • The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  – Saint Augustine
  • Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger. – Saint Basil
  • “The saints did not all begin well, but they ended well.” St. John Vianney
  • “Every Saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”  Oscar Wilde
  • “The future starts today, not tomorrow.” Saint John Paul the Great
  • “It is worse still to be ignorant of your ignorance.” – St. Jerome
  • “When the stomach is full, it is easy to talk of fasting.” – St. Jerome
  • “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” –  John Paul II
  • “The world of today reveals itself as at once powerful and weak, capable of achieving the best or the worst.  There lies open before it the way to freedom or slavery, progress or regression, brotherhood or hatred.  In addition, man is becoming aware that it is for himself to give the right direction to the forces that he has himself awakened, forces that can be his master or his servant.”  Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Vatican II
  • “God doesn’t want something from us, he simply wants us.”  C.S. Lewis
  • “The greatest tragedy is to have the experience but to miss the meaning.”  C.S. Lewis
  • “In the face of death the enigma of human existence reaches its climax.”  Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Vatican II
  • “Let me see your face even if I die, for if I see it not, I shall die of longing.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “It is better to limp along the way than to stride along off the way.”  Thomas Aquinas
  • “My earthly desires have been crucified, and there no longer burns in me the love of perishable things, but a living water speaks within me, saying:  “Come to the Father.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “You may think past ages were good, but it is only because you are not living in them.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “Let us learn, therefore, to be men of wisdom and to honor Christ as he desires.  For a person being honored finds greatest pleasure in the honor he desires, not in the honor we think best.”  John Chrysostom, Bishop
  • “The whole world cannot swell with pride the man who is subject to truth; nor will he be swayed by the flattery of all his admirers, if he has established all his trust in God.”  The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis
  • “What then should the Christian do?  He ought to use the world, not become its slave.  And what does this mean?  It means having, as though not having.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “The world hates Christians, so why give your love to it instead of following Christ, who loves you and has redeemed you?”  Cyprian, Bishop
  • “Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said:  I desire mercy and not sacrifice.  Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful, but also with the weak.  Be strong lest prosperity lift you up too much or adversity cast you down.  Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next.  Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately.  Be genuine so that you may never oppose justice.  Be honorable so that you may never voluntarily bring disgrace upon anyone.  Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust like the pangs of death.”  King Stephen of Hungary to his Son
  • “If you shut the door of your mind, you shut out Christ.  Though he can enter, he does not want to force his way in rudely, or compel us to admit him against our will.”  Ambrose, Bishop
  • “What makes the Saints different from us is that they are more open to receive God’s love than we are.”  Paul Murray, Priest
  • “When I give the poor food they call me a saint.  When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist.”  Dom Helder Camara
  • “Man does not weave this web of life.  He is merely a strand of it.  Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”  Chief Sealth
  • “If you do not live what you believe you will end up believing what you live.” Fulton Sheen, Bishop
  • “Children, as active members of the family, contribute in their own way to the holiness of their parents.  With the love of grateful hearts, with loving respect and trust, they will return the generosity of their parents and will stand by them as true sons and daughters when they meet with hardship and the loneliness of old age.”  Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Vatican II
  • “Nothing should be left untried that can train children from early childhood in good morals and in the earnest practice of Christianity.  To this end nothing is more effective than pious instructions in Christian doctrine.  Children should be entrusted only to good and God-fearing teachers.”  John Leonardi, Priest
  • “We take less care of our children than we our cattle; we worry more about our horses and donkeys than about our sons.  If a man owns a mule he takes good care to find the best driver for it, not some scoundrel who is dishonest, drunken and inexperienced.  Whereas if our son needs a teacher, we take on the first man who comes along, quite haphazardly and without any selection.  Yet no profession is more important than that of teaching.”  John Chrysostom, Bishop
  • “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
  • “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” -John Paul II
  • “Make no mistake, my brothers:  those who corrupt families will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “A faith that does not become culture is a faith not fully accepted, not entirely thought out, not faithfully lived.”  Saint John Paul Ii
  • Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.  – Saint Augustine
  • “Faith is like a bright ray of sunlight. It enables us to see God in all things as well as all things in God.” St. Francis de Sales 
  • “Freedom of conscience is the core of all freedom” Pope Benedict XVI
  • “Christ said, “I am the Truth”; he did not say “I am the custom.” -St. Toribio
  • “If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.” -St. John of the Cross
  • “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” -St. Francis of Assisi
  • “In ancient times our ancestors sowed the good seed in the harvest field of the Church.  It would be very wrong and unfitting if we, their descendants, were to reap, not the genuine wheat of truth but the intrusive growth of error.”  Vincent of Lerins, Priest
  • “Unless it absorbs the gift of the Spirit through faith, the mind has the ability to know God but lacks the light necessary for that knowledge.  This unique gift which is in Christ is offered in its fullness to everyone.  It is everywhere available, but it is given to each man in proportion to his readiness to receive it.  Its presence is the fuller, the greater a man’s desire to be worthy of it.  This gift will remain with us until the end of the world, and will be our comfort in the time of waiting.  By the favors it bestows, it is the pledge of our hope for the future, the light of our minds, and the splendor that irradiates our understanding.”  Hilary, Bishop
  • “To believe in him means to do his will.”  Irenaeus of Lyon, Bishop
  • “My merit comes from his mercy; for I do not lack merit so long as he does not lack pity. And if the Lord’s mercies are many, then I am rich in merits.”  Bernard, Abbot
  • “By itself faith accomplishes nothing.  For even the devils believe and shudder.  No, faith must be joined to an active love of God which is expressed in good works.”  Maximus the Confessor, Abbot
  • “There is nothing we can desire or want that we do not find in God.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “Faith alone is truly the substance and foundation of all that exceeds knowledge and understanding.”  Maximus the Confessor, Abbot
  • “Because human ignorance is slow to believe what it does not see, and equally slow to hope for what it does not know, those who were to be instructed in the divine teaching had first to be aroused by bodily benefits and visible miracles so that, once they had experienced his [Jesus] gracious power, they would no longer doubt the wholesome effect of his doctrine.”  Leo the Great, Pope
  • “Do not believe only what the eyes of your body tell you.  What is not seen is here more truly seen, for what is seen belongs to time but what is not seen belongs to eternity.  What is not comprehended by the eyes but seen by the mind and the soul is seen in a truer and deeper sense.”  Ambrose, Bishop
  • Remember the sufferings of Christ, the storms that were weathered… the crown that came from those sufferings which gave new radiance to the faith… All saints give testimony to the truth that without real effort, no one ever wins the crown. – Thomas Becket
  • “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”  Saint Mother Teresa
  • “If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. And if you wish to become a great saint, entreat Him yourself to give you much opportunity for suffering; for there is no wood better to kindle the fire of holy love than the wood of the cross, which Christ used for His own great sacrifice of boundless charity.”  ― St. Ignatius of Loyola
  • “The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.”  ― St. Francis de Sales
  • “Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.”  ― St. Rose of Lima
  • “We always find that those who walked closest to Christ were those who had to bear the greatest trials.” -St. Teresa of Avila
  • “Tribulation is a gift from God – one that he especially gives His special friends.” -St. Thomas More
  • “My strength lies in prayer and sacrifice; they are invincible weapons, and touch hearts more surely than words can do, as I have learned by experience.”  — St. Therese of Lisieux
  • “Prayer joined to Sacrifice constitutes the most powerful force in human history” – John Paul II
  • I pray God may open your eyes and let you see what hidden treasures he bestows on us in the trials from which the world thinks only to flee.  Shame turns to honor when we seek God’s glory.  Present affliction becomes the source of heavenly glory.  To those who suffer wounds in fighting his battles God opens his arms in loving, tender friendship, which is more delightful by far than anything our earthly efforts might produce.  If we have any sense, we shall yearn for these open arms of God.  Can anyone but a man in whom all desire is dead fail to desire him who is wholly loveable, wholly desirable?  — St. John of Avila
  • “No one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice; no one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised.  The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death.  Christ has taken on himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature.  If then we are steadfast in our faith in him and in our love for him, we win the victory that he has won, we receive what he has promised.”  Leo the Great
  • “We must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honoring his blood by shedding our own.”  Gregory of Nanzianzen
  • “If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for his name.  I want to spend myself in that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favor.  I am deeply in his debt, for he gave me the great grace that through me many peoples should be reborn in God, and then made perfect by confirmation.”  St. Patrick of Ireland
  • “It is good for me to be sad, O Lord, as long as you are with me, rather than to be a king apart from you, to feast without you, to boast without you.  It is better for me to embrace you in tribulation, to have you with me in the furnace, than to be without you in heaven.”  Bernard, Abbot
  • “The holy martyrs followed Christ even to shedding their life’s blood, even to reproducing the very likeness of his passion.  They followed him, but not they alone.  It is not true that the bridge was broken after the martyrs crossed; nor is it true that after they had drunk from it, the fountain of eternal life dried up.  I tell you again and again, my brethren, that in the Lord’s garden are to be found not only the roses of the martyrs.  In it there are also the lilies of the virgins, the ivy of wedded couples, and the violets of widows.  On no account may any class of people despair, thinking that God has not called them.  Christ suffered for all.”  Augustine
  • “A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, and must empty ourselves.  Give yourself fully to God.  He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your weakness.”  Mother Teresa of Calcutta
  • “In Christ and with Christ the martyrs disarm the principalities and powers and share in his triumph over them, for their share in Christ’s sufferings makes them sharers also in the mighty deeds those sufferings accomplished.”  Origen
  • “In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses.  Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on course.”  Boniface, Bishop and Martyr
  • “Let them love him who alone can neither deceive nor be deceived, who alone will not fail them.  Let them love him because his promises are true.  Faith sometimes falters because he does not reward us immediately.  But hold out, be steadfast, endure, bear the delay, and you have carried the cross.”  Augustine
  • “The blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church.”  — Tertullian
  • “Even if  I am a prisoner for the name of Christ, I am not yet made perfect in Jesus Christ.  I am now beginning to be a disciple.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “Certainly in times of tranquility the cross should give you joy.  But maintain the same faith in times of persecution.  Otherwise you will be a friend of Jesus in times of peace and his enemy during war.”  Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop
  • “Will you refuse to be crucified for him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?  You are not the one who gives the favor; you have received one first.  For your sake he was crucified on Golgotha.  Now you are returning his favor; you are fulfilling your debt to him.”  Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop
  • “It is a great comfort in tribulation if, in times of adversity, we recall the gifts our Creator has given us.  Nor will overwhelming sorrow break us, if we quickly call to mind the gifts which have sustained us.  For it is written:  On the day of prosperity do not forget affliction, and on the day of affliction do not forget prosperity.  For if a man receives God’s gifts, but forgets his affliction, he can fall through his own excessive joy.  On the other hand, when a man is bruised by the scourges, but is not at all consoled by  the thought of the blessings he has been fortunate to receive, he is completely cast down.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “Grant me no more than to be made a sacrifice to God while there is still an altar at hand.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation.  Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace.  Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase.  Let men take care not to stray and be deceived.  This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven.”  Rose of Lima
  • “My love for this life has been crucified, and there is no yearning in me for any earthly thing.  Rather within me is the living water which says deep inside me:  “Come to the Father.”   I no longer take pleasure in perishable food or in the delights of this world.  I want only God’s bread, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, formed of the seed of David, and for drink I crave his blood, which is love that cannot perish.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
  • “Therefore, be constant in practicing every virtue, and especially in imitating the patience of our dear Jesus, for this is the summit of pure love.  Live in such a way that all may know that bear outwardly as well as inwardly the image of Christ crucified, the model of all gentleness and mercy.  For if a man is united inwardly with the Son of the living God, he also bears his likeness outwardly by his continual practice of heroic goodness, and especially through a patience reinforced by courage, which does not complain either secretly or in public.  Conceal yourselves in Jesus crucified, and hope for nothing except that all men be thoroughly converted to his will.”  Paul of the Cross, Priest
  • “No type of cruelty can tear down the religion established by the mystery of Christ’s cross.  The Church is not diminished by persecutions, but rather increased.  The field of the Lord is always being enriched with a more abundant harvest, while the seeds which are sown one by one yield a manifold return.”  Leo the Great, Pope
  • “The Shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger.  Pray for us that we may be a sign of the love of Christ for our people, that our presence among them will fortify them to endure these sufferings in preparation for the coming of the Kingdom.” Stanley Rother, Priest and Martyr
  • “Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again: for forgiveness has risen from the grave!”  St. John Chrysostom
  • “Nothing great is ever achieved without enduring much.” St. Catherine of Siena 
  • “The Lord is loving unto man, and swift to pardon, but slow to punish. Let no man therefore despair of his own salvation.” St. Cyril of Jerusalem 
  • “We will either accuse ourselves or excuse ourselves.” -St. John Vianney
  • “I assert that an imperfect human being needs more courage to pursue the way of perfection than to suddenly become a martyr.” – St. Teresa of Avila
  • “God hates sin because sin destroys man whom God loves.”  Attr. St. Thomas Aquinas
  • “Half the harm that is done in the world is done by people who want to feel important.  They don’t mean to do harm but the harm does not interest them, or they do not see it, or they justify it – because they are so absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” – T.S. Elliott, The Cocktail Party
  • “God is seen by those who have the capacity to see him, provided that they keep the eyes of their mind open.  All have eyes, but some have eyes that are shrouded in darkness, unable to see the light of the sun.  Because the blind cannot see it, it does not follow that the sun does not shine.  The blind must trace the cause back to themselves and their eyes.  In the same way, you have eyes in your mind that are shrouded in darkness because of your sins and evil deeds.  A person’s soul should be clean, like a mirror reflecting light.  If there is rust on the mirror his face cannot be seen in it.  In the same way, no one who has sin within him can see God.”  St. Theophilus of Antioch
  • “God’s will is to save us, and nothing pleases him more than our coming back to him with true repentance.”  Maximus the Confessor
  • “No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross.  No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ.  His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against him.  How much more does it bring to those who turn to him in repentance.”  Leo the Great
  • “This is the definition of sin:  misuse of powers given us by God for doing good, a use contrary to God’s commandments.”  Basil the Great
  • “Where can the weak find a place of firm security and peace, except in the wounds of the Savior?  Indeed, the more secure is my place there the more he can do to help me.  The world rages, the flesh is heavy, and the devil lays his snares, but I do not fall, for my feet are planted on firm rock.  I may have sinned gravely.  May conscience would be distressed, but it would not be in turmoil, for I would recall the wounds of the Lord:  he was wounded for our iniquities.  What sin is there so deadly that it cannot be pardoned by the death of Christ?  And so if I bear in mind this strong, effective remedy, I can never again be terrified by the malignancy of sin.”  Bernard, Abbot
  • “God bore man patiently when he fell because he foresaw the victory that would be his through the Word.  Weakness allowed strength its full play, and so revealed God’s kindness and great power.”  Irenaeus of Lyons, Bishop
  • “It is the Church’s task to turn completely away from evil; once she has begun by love of God, she rejects sin.  If she still does good only out of fear, then inwardly she has not withdrawn from evil; for she commits sin by desiring sin, if only she could sin without punishment.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “O Lord, the depths of a man’s conscience lie exposed before your eyes.  Could anything remain hidden in me, even though I did not want to confess it to you?  In that case I would only be hiding you from myself, not myself from you.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “It is better to limp along the way than to stride along off the way.”  Thomas Aquinas
  • “It is only through shadows that one comes to know the light.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “We are of such value to God that he came to live among us … and to guide us home.  He will go to any length to seek us, even to being lifted high upon the cross to draw us back to himself.  We can only respond by loving God for his love.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “It is characteristic of holy men that their own painful trials do not make them lose their concern for the well-being of others.  They are grieved by the adversity they must endure, yet they look out for others and teach them needed lessons; they are like gifted physicians who are themselves stricken and lie ill.  They suffer wounds themselves but bring others the medicine that restores health.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “Religious grief mourns for sin, one’s own or another’s; it does not lament because of what happens as a result of God’s justice, but because of what is done by human malice.  Indeed, he who does wrong is more to be lamented than he who suffers it, for his wickedness plunges the sinner into punishment, whereas endurance can raise the just man to glory.”  Leo the Great, Pope
  • “The Church is incapable of forgiving any sin without Christ, and Christ is unwilling to forgive any sin without the Church.  The Church cannot forgive the sin of one who has not repented, who has not been touched by Christ; Christ will not forgive the sin of one who despises the Church.  What God has joined together, man must not separate.  This is a great mystery, but I understand it as referring to Christ and the Church. Do not destroy the whole Christ by separating head from body, for Christ is not complete without the Church, nor is the Church complete without Christ.” Isaac of Stella, Abbot
  • “He who is without anxiety waits without fear until his Lord comes.  For what sort of love of Christ is it to fear his coming?  Brothers, do we not have to blush for shame?  We love him, yet we fear his coming.  Are we really certain that we love him?  Or do we love our sins more?  Therefore, let us hate our sins and love him who will exact punishment for them.  He will come whether we wish it or not.  Do not think that because he is not coming just now, he will not come at all. He will come, you know not when, and provided he finds you prepared, your ignorance of the time of his coming will not be held against you.” Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger, and becoming stronger they take hold of their object.  Holy desires likewise grow with anticipation, and if they do not grow they are not really desires.  Anyone who succeeds in attaining the truth has burned with such a love.  As David says:  My soul has thirsted for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God?”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon.  But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others.  They seek to criticize, not to correct.  Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “We should be displeased with ourselves when we commit sin, for sin is displeasing to God.  Sinful though we are, let us at least be like God in this, that we are displeased at what displeases him.  In some measure then you will be in harmony with God’s will, because you find displeasing in yourself what is abhorrent to your Creator.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “He will provide the way and the means, such as you could never have imagined.  Leave it all to him, let go of yourself, lose yourself on the Cross, and you will find yourself entirely.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “You must believe in truth that whatever God gives or permits is for your salvation.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “The Father is merciful in all he does and full of generosity; he is loving to those who fear him.  In goodness and gentleness he gives his graces to those who approach him with undivided hearts.  We must then put away all duplicity and not be distrustful in the face of his excelling and ennobling gifts.”  Clement of Rome, Pope
  • “I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable.  I have not fear of poverty, no desire for wealth.  I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good.  I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.”  John Chrysostom, Bishop
  • “Do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world.  Nothing can come but what God wills.  And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.”  Thomas More, Martyr
  • “What then must we do, we who have been found worthy of the name of Christ?  Each of us must examine his thoughts, words and deeds, to see whether they are directed toward Christ or are turned away from him.”  Gregory of Nyssa, Bishop
  • “Discernment is the mother of all the virtues; everyone needs it either to guide the lives of others or to direct and reform his own life.”  Baldwin of Canterbury, Bishop
  • “Right thinking does not permit mistakes; a good intention rules out pretense.  This then is true discernment, a combination of right thinking and good intention.”  Baldwin of Canterbury
  • “The whole of the spiritual life consist 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.” Bernard, Abbot
  • “May you consider truly good whatever leads to your goal [salvation] and truly evil whatever makes you fall away from it.  Prosperity and adversity, wealth and poverty, health and sickness, honors and humiliations, life and death, in the mind of the wise man, are not to be sought for their own sake, nor avoided for their own sake.  But if they contribute to the glory of God and your eternal happiness, then they are good and should be sought.  If they detract from this, they are evil and must be avoided.”  Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor
  • “Ponder the fact that God has made you a gardener, to root out vice and plant virtue.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “As I see it, Christian perfection consists in this:  sharing the titles which express the meaning of Christ’s name, we bring out this meaning in our minds, our prayers, and our way of life.”  Gregory of Nyssa, Bishop
  • “We should live like the temples of God we are, so that it can be seen that God lives in us.  No act of ours should be unworthy of the Spirit.”  Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr
  • “If we are not to lie when we call ourselves “Christians,” we must bear witness to it by our way of living.”  Gregory of Nyssa, Bishop
  • “Those who look at the sun in a mirror, even if they do not look directly at the sky, see its radiance in the reflection just as truly as do those who look directly at the sun’s orb.  It is the same, says the Lord, with you.  Even though you are unable to contemplate and see the inaccessible light, you will find what you seek within yourself, provided you return to the beauty and grace of that image which was originally placed in you.  For God is purity; he is free from sin and a stranger to all evil.  If this can be said of you, then God will surely be within you.”  Gregory of Nyssa, Bishop
  • “Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.”  Therese of Lisieux
  • “Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition.  Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member.  Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.  Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Jesus Christ.”  Leo the Great, Pope
  • “The saying ‘Know yourself’ means therefore that we should recognize and acknowledge in ourselves the God who made us in his own image, for if we do this, we in turn will be recognized and acknowledged by our Maker.”  Hippolytus, Priest
  • “Remember, Christian, the surpassing worth of the wisdom that is yours.  Bear in mind the kind of school in which you are to learn your skills, the rewards to which you are called.  Mercy itself wishes you to be merciful, righteousness itself wishes you to be righteous, so that the Creator may shine forth in his creature, and the image of God be reflected in the mirror of the human heart as it imitates his qualities.  The faith of those who live their faith is a serene faith.  What you long for will be given you; what you love will be yours forever.”  Leo the Great, Pope
  • “Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak.  We are full of words but empty of action, and therefore are cursed by the Lord since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves.”  Anthony of Padua
  • “If only we could be what we hope to be, by the great kindness of our generous God!  He asks so little and gives so much, in this life and in the next, to those who love him sincerely.”  Gregory Nazianzen, Bishop
  • “So then, brothers, let us show our faith in him by our deeds, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, by not finding fault with one another, or being envious.  Instead, let us be chaste, merciful and kind.  We should also have compassion for one another, and not be covetous.  We have to prove that we believe in him by performing such actions as these and by avoiding whatever is contrary to them, since we fear God rather than men.”  Homily from the Second Century
  • “Why is the Lord’s name blasphemed?  Because we say one thing and do another.  When they hear the words of God on our lips, unbelievers are amazed at their beauty and power, but when they see that those words have no effect in our lives, their admiration turns to scorn, and they dismiss such words as myths and fairy tales.”  Homily from the Second Century
  • “You see the kings before whom you are made to stand, those who sit in judgment over sinners, where sin is in control.  There are as many kings as there are sins and vices; it is before these kings that we are led and before these we stand.  These kings have their thrones in many hearts.  But if anyone acknowledges Christ, he immediately makes a prisoner of this kind of king and casts him down from the throne of his own heart.  How shall the devil maintain his throne in one who builds a throne for Christ in his heart?”  Ambrose, Bishop
  • “Those who want to work for moral reform in the world must seek the glory of God before all else. Because he is the source of all good, they must wait for his help, and pray for it in this difficult and necessary undertaking.  They must then present themselves to those they seek to reform, as mirrors of every virtue and as lamps on a lampstand.  Their upright lives and noble conduct must shine before all who are in the house of God.  In this way they will gently entice the members of the Church to reform instead of forcing them, lest, in the words of the Council of Trent, they demand of the body what is not found in the head, and thus upset the whole order of the Lord’s household.”  John Leonardi, Priest
  • “Therefore, be constant in practicing every virtue, and especially in imitating the patience of our dear Jesus, for this is the summit of pure love.  Live in such a way that all may know that bear outwardly as well as inwardly the image of Christ crucified, the model of all gentleness and mercy.  For if a man is united inwardly with the Son of the living God, he also bears his likeness outwardly by his continual practice of heroic goodness, and especially through a patience reinforced by courage, which does not complain either secretly or in public.  Conceal yourselves in Jesus crucified, and hope for nothing except that all men be thoroughly converted to his will.”  Paul of the Cross, Priest
  • “If man applies the virtues planted in his soul to right purpose, he will be like God.  God’s commands have taught us to give him back the virtues he sowed in us in our first innocence.”  Columban, Abbot
  • “There are men who rashly judge, who slander, whisper and murmur, who are eager to suspect what they do not see, and eager to spread abroad things they have not even a suspicion of.  Against men of this sort, what defense is there save the witness of our own conscience?”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “It is not enough to say we are Christians.  We must live the faith, not only with our words, but with our actions.” Pope Francis
  • One cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of one’s life. Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they hear from our lips, and so give glory to God!” Pope Francis
  • “Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the church’s credibility.” Pope Francis
  • “If you don’t behave as you believe, you will end up believing as you behave.”  Bishop Fulton Sheen
  • “The Eucharist is the secret of my day.  It gives strength and meaning to all my activities of service to the Church and to the world.” Pope Saint John Paul II
  • “Jesus speaks in the silence of the mystery of the Eucharist and reminds us each time that following Him means going out of ourselves and making our lives not something we possess, but a gift to Him and to others. … The Eucharist is the sacrament of the communion that takes us out of our individualism so that together we live our discipleship, our faith, in Him.” –Pope Francis
  • “Without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the Word, of sincere conversation with the Lord, our work easily becomes meaningless; we lose energy as a result of weariness and difficulties, and our fervor dies out.” The work of fruitful or meaningful evangelization cannot be carried out effectively without continual, consistent, and deep prayer. Francis continues, “The Church urgently needs the deep breath of prayer, and to my great joy groups devoted to prayer and intercession, the prayerful reading of God’s word and the perpetual adoration of the Eucharist are growing at every level of ecclesial life” (Evangelii Gaudium, 262) – Pope Francis
  • “When we are before the Tabernacle … Jesus’ gaze renews us. Effectively, it is not easy to stay there, before the Lord, as we are always busy with so many things, with so many people … but at times it is not easy also because Jesus’ gaze unsettles us … and challenges us. But this is good for us! In the silence of prayer, Jesus enables us to see whether we are like good workers, or if we have become rather like ‘functionaries’; if we are open and generous channels through which His love and His grace flow, or if instead we place ourselves at the center, and in the place of channels we become ‘screens’ which do not help in the encounter with the Lord, with the light and strength of the Gospel”. (Pope Francis, 21 June 2014)
  • “I am the food of strong men; grow and you shall feed on me; nor shall you change me, like the food of your flesh, into yourself, but you shall be changed into my likeness “  St. Augustine (Confessions VII,10,18)
  • “If you are therefore the Body of Christ and its member, your own mystery lies in the Eucharistic meal.  You must be that which you see, and you must receive that which you are.”  Augustine  — (Epist. 272)
  • How pleasing to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is the short quarter of an hour that we steal from our occupations, from something of no use, to come and pray to him, to visit him, to console him. – (St. John Vianney, Catechism on Real Presence)
  • “Since Christ Himself has said, “This is My Body” who shall dare to doubt that It is His Body?”  -St. Cyril of Jerusalem
  • “’Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children” -St. Clement of Alexandria
  • “When you approach the tabernacle remember that he has been waiting for you for twenty centuries.” – St. Josemaria Escriva
  • “What does the poor man do at the rich man’s door, the sick man in the presence of his physician, the thirsty man at a limpid stream? What they do, I do before the Eucharistic God. I pray. I adore. I love.” -St. Francis
  • “Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to heaven.” -Pope St. Pius X
  • “He loves, He hopes, He waits. If He came down on our altars on certain days only, some sinner, on being moved to repentance, might have to look for Him, and not finding Him, might have to wait. Our Lord prefers to wait Himself for the sinner for years rather than keep him waiting one instant.” -St. Julian Peter Eymard
  • “If the sacrament of the Lord’s passion is to work its effect in us, we must imitate what we receive and proclaim to mankind what we revere.  The cry of the Lord finds a hiding place in us if our lips fail to speak of this, though our hearts believe in it.  So that his cry may not lie concealed in us it remains for us all, each in his own measure, to make known to those around us the mystery of our new life in Christ.”  Gregory the Great
  • “The effect of our sharing in the body and blood of Christ is to change us into what we receive.  As we have died with him, and have been buried and raised to life with him, so we bear him within us, both in body and in spirit, in everything we do.”  Leo the Great
  • “Let us all, priests and people alike, be faithful to this everlasting memorial of our redemption.  Daily it is before our eyes as a representation of the passion of Christ.  We hold it in our hands, we receive it in our mouths, and we accept it in our hearts.”  Gaudentius of Brescia
  • “In your sacrament we daily embrace you and receive you into our bodies; make us worthy to experience the resurrection for which we hope.  We have had your treasure hidden within us ever since we received baptismal grace; it grows ever richer at your sacramental table.  Teach us to find our joy in your favor!  Lord, we have within us your memorial, received at your spiritual table; let us possess it in its full reality when all things shall be made new.”  Ephrem, Deacon and Doctor
  • “Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God.I am God’s wheat, and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread.  Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “Be careful to take part only in the one Eucharist; for there is only one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ and one cup to unite us with his blood, one altar and one bishop with the presbyters and deacons, who are his fellow servants.  Then, whatever you do, you will do according to God.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
  • “I often think that when we come to adore the Lord, we would receive everything we ask for, if we would ask with living faith and a pure heart.”  John Marie Vianney, Priest
  • “He has offered himself to be our food.  How wretched is the man who knows nothing of such a gift!  To us has been given the opportunity to receive Christ, son of the Virgin Mary, and we refuse him.  Woe to the man who does not care enough to receive him.”  Cajetan, Priest
  • “O precious and wonderful banquet, that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness!”  Thomas Aquinas, Priest
  • “Your only Son, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, redeemed me with his blood.  Let not arrogant man speak evil of me.  For I meditate on my ransom, and I eat it and drink it and try to share it with others; though poor I want to be filled with it in the company of those who eat and are filled; and they shall praise the Lord who seek him.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” Saint Mother Teresa
  • “The devil fears hearts on fire with love of God.” St. Catherine of Siena
  • “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” St. Maximilian Kolbe  
  • “True charity consists in doing good to those who do us evil, and in thus winning them over.” St. Alphonsus Liguori 
  • “A single act of pure love pleases me more than a thousand imperfect prayers.” Jesus (According to St. Faustina) 
  • “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Saint Mother Teresa
  • Hate no one. God never comes where there is no love for our neighbors. – St. Philip Neri
  • For the church is not a gold foundry nor a workshop for silver, but an assembly of angels.  Wherefore it is souls which we require, since in fact God accepts these for the souls sake.  The table at that time was not of silver, nor the cup of gold, out of which Christ gave his disciples his own blood; but precious was everything there, and awful, for that they were full of the Spirit… for what’s the profit, when his table indeed is full of golden cups, but he perishes with hunger?  First fill him, being hungered, and then abundantly deck out his table also… For tell me, should you see one at a loss for necessary food and omit appeasing his hunger, while you first overlaid his table with silver; would he indeed thank you, and not rather be indignant?”  — John Chrysostom — Mt. Hom. 50.4
  • There are two altars: one for the Eucharist and the other altar which represents all the community in its encounter with the poor.  For this altar is admirable because of the sacrifice that is laid upon it: but that, the merciful man’s, not only on this account, but also because it is even composed of the very sacrifice which makes the other to be admired.  Again, this is but a stone by nature; but becomes holy because it receives Christ’s body: but that is holy because it is itself Christ’s body . . . but you honor indeed this altar, because it receives Christ’s body; but him that is himself the body of Christ you treat with contempt, and when perishing, neglect.  This altar may you see everywhere lying, both in lanes and in marketplaces, and may you sacrifice upon it every hour; for on this, too, is sacrifice performed. – John Chrysostom — 2 Cor Hom 2.3
  • “The proper request of love is that our entire life should be oriented to the imitation of the Beloved. Let us therefore spare no effort to leave a transparent trace of God’s love in our life.” Pope Benedict XVI
  • “On the question of relating to our fellowman – our neighbor’s spiritual need transcends every commandment. Everything else we do is a means to an end. But love is an end already, since God is love.” -St. Teresia Benedicta (Edith Stein)
  • “The nation doesn’t simply need what we have. It needs what we are.” -St. Teresia Benedicta (Edith Stein)
  • “Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity.” -St. Vincent de Paul
  • “We are to love God for Himself, because of a twofold reason; nothing is more reasonable, nothing more profitable.” -St. Bernard of Clairvaux
  • “Love God, serve God; everything is in that.” -St. Clare of Assisi
  • “Love is the most necessary of all virtues. Love in the person who preaches the word of God is like fire in a musket. If a person were to throw a bullet with his hands, he would hardly make a dent in anything; but if the person takes the same bullet and ignites some gunpowder behind it, it can kill. It is much the same with the word of God. If it is spoken by someone who is filled with the fire of charity- the fire of love of God and neighbor- it will work wonders.” -St. Anthony Mary Claret
  • “You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.” -St. Francis de Sales
  • “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.” -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
  • “The human person is a good towards which the only proper attitude is love.” – John Paul II
  • In so far as divine love beautifies our souls, and makes us pleasing to His Divine Majesty, it is called grace; in so far as it gives us strength to do good, it is called charity; but when it reaches such a degree of perfection, that it makes us not only do the good, but do so carefully, frequently and readily, it is called devotion.”  — St. Francis de Sales
  • The fruit of Silence is prayer. The fruit of Prayer is faith. The fruit of Faith is love. The fruit of Love is service. The fruit of Service is peace. -Mother Teresa
  • “Complete your work O Lord and as you have loved me from the beginning so make me love you to the end”.  –Cardinal Newman
  • “The love a soul sees God has for her, she in turn extends to all creatures.  She immediately feels compelled to love her neighbor for she sees how fully she herself is loved by God”  — Catherine of Siena
  • What does God really want of us?  “that we become loving persons, for then we are His images. For He is, as St. John tells us, love itself, and He wants there to be creatures who are similar to Him and who thus, out of the freedom of their own loving, become like Him and belong in His company and thus, as it were, spread the radiance that is His.” (Ratzinger: Salt of the Earth)
  • “For us the fear of God consists wholly in love, and perfect love of God brings our fear of him to its perfection.  Our love for God is entrusted with its own responsibility:  to observe his counsels, to obey his laws, to trust his promises.”  St. Hilary
  • “If God is love, charity should know no limit, for God cannot be confined.  Any time is the right time for works of charity.”  Leo the Great
  • “God makes the Church itself a sacrifice pleasing in his sight by preserving within it the love which his Holy Spirit has poured out.  Thus, the grace of that spiritual love is always available to us, enabling us continually to offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to him forever.”  Fulgentius of Ruspe
  • “The source of man’s love for God can only be found in the fact that God loved him first.  He has given us himself as the object of our love, and he has also given us its source.”  Augustine
  • “When love has entirely cast out fear, and fear has been transformed into love, then the unity brought us by our Savior will be fully realized, for all men will be united with one another through their union with the one supreme Good.”  Gregory of Nyssa, Bishop
  • “Anyone who loves God in the depths of his heart has already been loved by God.  In fact, the measure of a man’s love for God depends upon how deeply aware he is of God’s love for him.”  Diadochus of Photice, Bishop
  • “You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “A soul cannot live without loving.  It must have something to love, for it was created to love.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “Love transforms one into what one loves.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “Since you do not yet see God, you merit the vision of God by loving your neighbor.  By loving your neighbor you prepare your eye to see God.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “Love, indeed, is the source of all good things; it is an impregnable defense, and the way that leads to heaven.  He who walks in love can neither go astray nor be afraid:  love guides him, protects him, and brings him to his journey’s end.  My brothers, Christ made love the stairway that would enable all Christians to climb to heaven.  Hold fast to it, therefore, in all sincerity, give one another practical proof of it, and by your progress in it, make your ascent together.”  Fulgentius of Ruspe, Bishop
  • “For the man who loves God it is sufficient to please the one he loves; and there is no greater recompense to be sought than the loving itself; for love is from God by the very fact that God himself is love.  The good and chaste soul is so happy to be filled with him that it desires to take delight in nothing else.”  Leo the Great, Pope
  • “Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself.  It is its own merit, its own reward.  Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself.  Its profit lies in its practice.  I love because I love, I love that I may love.  Lord is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it.”  Bernard, Abbot
  • “When all that I do is the gift of God’s grace, how can I possibly repay him?  As a matter of fact, I hope to be repaid myself, and this is for the very reason that I love him freely and feed his sheep.  But, you may ask, if I feed his sheep because I love him freely, how can I demand payment for feeding them?  It is indeed unthinkable to ask for a recompense for love freely given unless that recompense is the loved one himself.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “So when you leave prayer to serve some poor person, remember that this very service is performed for God.  Charity is certainly greater than any rule.  Moreover, all rules must lead to charity.  Since she is a noble mistress, we must do whatever she commands.  With renewed devotion, then, we must serve the poor, especially outcasts and beggars.  They have been given to us as our masters and patrons.”  Vincent de Paul, Priest
  • “Love appeared to me to be the hinge for my vocation.  Indeed I knew that the Church had a body composed of various members, but in this body the necessary and more noble member was not lacking; I knew that the Church had a heart and that such a heart appeared to be aflame with love.  I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more.  I saw and realized that love sets off the bounds of all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love embraces every time and every place.  In one word, that love is everlasting.  Then, nearly ecstatic with the supreme joy in my soul, I proclaimed:  O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling:  my call is love.  Certainly I have found my proper place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God.  In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its direction.”  Therese of the Child Jesus (Lisieux)
  • “Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favors, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return.  Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him.  For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.”  Teresa of Avila
  • “All holiness and perfection of soul lies in our love for Jesus Christ our God, who is our Redeemer and our supreme good.  It is part of the love of God to acquire and to nurture all the virtues which make a man perfect.”  Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop
  • “The only ones who are afraid are those who think they are alone” – Catherine of Siena
  • “Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? . . . No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Amen.” ― Pope Benedict XVI
  • “One who has hope lives differently.” Pope Benedict XVI
  • “If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.” -St. John of the Cross
  • “Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors to Christ.” – John Paul II
  • “When love has entirely cast out fear, and fear has been transformed into love, then the unity brought us by our Savior will be fully realized, for all men will be united with one another through their union with the one supreme Good.”  Gregory of Nyssa, Bishop
  • “My earthly desires have been crucified, and there no longer burns in me the love of perishable things, but a living water speaks within me, saying:  “Come to the Father.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “Start being brave about everything.  Drive out darkness and spread light.  Don’t look at your weaknesses.  Realize instead that in Christ crucified you can do everything.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “Preach the truth as if you had a million voices.  It is silence that kills the world.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “We’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent!  Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues.  I see that the world is rotten because of silence.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “The word “death” must not trouble us; the blessings that come from a safe journey should bring us joy.”  Ambrose, Bishop
  • “I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable.  I have not fear of poverty, no desire for wealth.  I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good.  I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.”  John Chrysostom, Bishop
  • “Having faith does not mean having no difficulties, but having the strength to face them, knowing we are not alone.”  Pope Francis
  • “A Christian is not his own master; his time is God’s.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
  • “To convert somebody go and take them by the hand and guide them.” St. Thomas Aquinas
  • “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” Pope Paul VI
  • “Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.” Francis of Assisi
  • “Follow the saints, because those who follow them will become saints.”  ― Pope St. Clement I
  • “You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint or no saint at all.” -St. Therese of Lisieux
  • “To the servant of God … every place is the right place, and every time is the right time.”  — Catherine of Siena
  • “I would like to urge you today:  Be witnesses.  Witnesses of the hope that is rooted in faith.  Witnesses of the invisible in a secularized society, which too often ignores every transcendent dimension.  Yes, consecrated souls: among the people of this generation who are so immersed in the relative, you must be voices that speak to the absolute.  Perhaps you have, so to speak, thrown all your resources into the scales of the world, gladly tipping them toward God and the goods promised by him? You have made a decisive choice about your life:  you have opted for generosity and giving in the face of greed and self-interest; you have chosen to count on love and grace, challenging those who consider you ingenuous and ineffectual; you have placed every hope on the Kingdom of Heaven, when many around you are striving only to assure for themselves a comfortable stay on earth.  It is up to you, now to be integrated, in spite of every difficulty.  The spiritual destiny of many souls is linked to your faith and your integration.  You must be the constant reminder of that destiny which unfolds in time but has eternity as its goal, bearing witness with our words, and even more with your lives, that we must of necessity direct ourselves toward the one who is the inescapable end point of the parabola of our existence.  Your vocation makes you the advance guard of mankind on the march; in your prayers and in your work, in your joy and in your suffering, in your successes and in your trails, mankind must be able to find the model and the future of what it, too, is called to be, in spite of its own burdens and its own compromises”  (April 18, 1982 – private prayers of JPII written in Bologna)
  • “It is fitting … to become witnesses again, not so much to convince people as to serve as a sign to them.  It has been truly said, that to be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery.  It means to live such a way that one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist”  Emmanuel Cardinal Suhard
  • “Man cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.”  Gaudium et Spes 24
  • “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world [Italy] on Fire.” – St. Catherine of Siena
  • “Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to Him.  That is all the doing you have to worry about.” St. Jeanne de Chantal
  • “God has created me, to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another.  I have my mission– I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.  I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.  He has not created me for nothing.  Therefore, I will trust him.  Whatever, wherever I am.  I cannot be thrown away.” (John Henry Newman, Meditations on Christian Doctrine: I. Hope in God—Creator [299] 6 March1848)
  • “It is a sad situation that doing is valued greater than being.  Every day when you and I get up, if we have the idea that today I have to do things for Christ, well even though it’s Christ, in our human weakness, we can still get tired of it. The whole thing of the laying on of hands and the gift of the Holy Spirit is that we are not doing things for Christ, we are doing things with Christ.  We are in his person. We are acting so completely with him there are not words to capture it.  We respond to this vocation with the same words of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “How is this possible?” Becoming good shepherds in the image of Jesus something very great and we are so small.  Yes, it is true, it is too great, but it is not our work, it is the work of the Holy Spirit with our collaboration.   It is about humbly giving oneself like clay that is to be molded, Letting God the potter work with the clay, the fire, the water, with the word and the Holy Spirit.  It is true that at the beginning intentions are not completely righteous and it is hard for them to be so … all of us have had moments when our intentions are not completely righteous but in time this changes with every day of conversion.” (Benedict XVI, Reflections on Contemporary Society)
  • Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest.  Do not forfeit what divine authority confers on you.  Put on the garment of holiness, gird yourself with the belt of chastity.  Let Christ be your helmet, let the cross on your forehead be your unfailing protection.  Your breastplate should be the knowledge of God that he himself has given you.  Keep burning continually the sweet-smelling incense of prayer.  Take up the sword of the Spirit.  Let your heart be an altar.  Then, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice.  God desires not death but faith; God thirsts not for blood but for self-surrender.  God is appeased not by slaughter, but by the offering of your free will – St. Peter Chrysologus
  • “Paint your house with the colors of modesty and humility.  Make it radiant with the light of justice.  Decorate it with the finest gold leaf of good deeds.  Adorn it with the walls and stones of faith and generosity.  Crown it with the pinnacle of prayer.  In this way you will make it a perfect dwelling place for the Lord.  You will be able to receive him as in a splendid palace, and through his grace you will already possess him, his image enthroned in the temple of your spirit.”  St. John Chrysostom
  • “The reason why God requires service from man is this:  because he is good and merciful he desires to confer benefits on those who persevere in his service.  In proportion to God’s need of nothing is man’s need for communion with God.  This is the glory of man:  to persevere and remain in the service of God.”  St. Irenaeus 
  • “We have died with Christ.  We carry about in our bodies the sign of his death, so that the living Christ may also be revealed in us.  The life we live is not now our ordinary life but the life of Christ:  a life of sinlessness, of chastity, of simplicity and every other virtue.  We have risen with Christ.  Let us live in Christ, let us ascent in Christ, so that the serpent may not have the power here below to wound us in the heel.”  St. Ambrose
  • “Christians love all men, but all men persecute them.  Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again.  They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything.  They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory.  They are defamed, but vindicated.  A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult.  For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life.”  Letter to Diognetus
  • “The business of this life should not preoccupy us with its anxiety and pride, so that we no longer strive with all the love of our heart to be like our Redeemer, and to follow his example.  Everything that he did or suffered was for our salvation:  He wanted his body to share the goodness of its head.”  Leo the Great
  • “The body that lay lifeless in the tomb is ours.  The body that rose again on the third day is ours.  The body that ascended above all the heights of heaven to the right hand of the Father’s glory is ours.  If then we walk in the way of his commandments, and are not ashamed  to acknowledge the price he paid for our salvation in a lowly body, we too are to rise and share his glory.”  Leo the Great
  • “Those who by faith are spiritual members of Christ can truly say that they are what he is:  the Son of God and God himself.  But what Christ is by his nature we are as his partners; what he is of himself in all fullness, we are as participants.  Finally, what the Son of God is by generation, his members are by adoption.”  Isaac of Stella
  • “We are praising God now, assembled as we are here in church; but when we go our various ways again, it seems as if we cease to praise God.  But provided we do not cease to live a good life, we shall always be praising God.  You cease to praise God only when you swerve from justice and from what is pleasing to God.  If you never turn aside from the good life, your tongue may be silent but your actions will cry aloud, and God will perceive your intentions; for as our ears hear each other’s voices, so do God’s ears hear our thoughts.”  Augustine
  • “My dear brothers and sons, fruit of the true faith and holy seed of heaven, all you who have been born again in Christ and whose life is from above, listen to me; or rather, listen to the Holy Spirit saying through me:  Sing to the Lord a new song.  Look, you tell me, I am singing.  Yes indeed, you are singing; you are singing clearly, I can hear you.  But make sure that your life does not contradict your words.  Sing with your voices, your hearts, your lips and your lives.”  Augustine
  • “O God, let me know you and love you so that I may find my joy in you; and if I cannot do so fully in this life, let me at least make some progress every day, until at last that knowledge, love and joy come to me in all their plenitude.  While I am here on earth let me learn to know you better, so that in heaven I may know you fully; let my love for you grow deeper here, so that there I may love you fully.  On earth then I shall have the great joy in hope, and in heaven complete joy in the fulfillment of my hope.”  Anselm
  • “Anyone who wishes to offer himself to God in the tent of Christ, which is the Church, must first bathe in the spring of holy baptism; then he must put on the various garments of the virtues.  As it says in the Scriptures:  Let your priests be clothed in justice.  He who is reborn in baptism is a new man.  He may no longer wear the things that signify mortality.  He has discarded the old self and put on the new.  He must live continually renewed in his commitment to a holy sojourn in this world.”  Peter Damian
  • “What is it that today makes true followers of Christ cast luxuries aside, leave pleasures behind, and endure difficulties and pain?  It is living faith that expresses itself through love.  It is this that makes us put aside the goods of the present in the hope of future goods.  It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future.”  From a Eulogy for Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen
  • “The more the power of men increases, the wider is the scope of their responsibilities, as individuals and as communities.”  Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Vatican II
  • “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort.  You were made for greatness.”  Pope Benedict XVI
  • “Man was created for greatness—for God himself; he was created to be filled by God. But his heart is too small for the greatness to which it is destined. It must be stretched…”  Pope Benedict XVI
  • “In my deepest wound I saw your glory and it dazzled me.”  St. Augustine 
  • “Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in You.” St. Augustine of Hippo
  • “Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be – and becoming that person.” St. Thérèse of Lisieux
  • “Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.” Saint John Paul II
  • “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire!” St. Catherine of Siena
  •  “Begin now to be what you will be hereafter.” – St. Jerome
  • The true servant of God acknowledges no other country but heaven. – St. Philip Neri
  • There is nothing more dangerous to the spiritual life than to wish to rule ourselves after our own way of thinking. – St. Philip Neri
  • There is a liberality to creation, and it shows the goodness of the Creator: the sun scatters its light; the fire spreads its heat; the tree throws out its arms, which are its branches, and reaches to us the fruit it bears; water, and air, and all nature express the liberality of the creator. Meanwhile, we who are his lively image do not represent him, but through our uncharitable and degenerate manners deny him in deeds, even as we confess him with our lips. – St. Philip Neri
  • “He who possesses God lacks nothing: God alone suffices.” St. Teresa of Avila
  • “So, brethren, rejoice in the Lord, not in the world.  That is, rejoice in the truth, not in wickedness; rejoice in the hope of eternity, not in the fading flower of vanity.  That is the way to rejoice.  Wherever you are on earth, however long you remain on earth, the Lord is near, do not be anxious about anything.”  Philip Neri
  • “Man cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.”  Gaudium et Spes, 24
  • “The conviction which we must share and spread is that the call to holiness is directed to all Christians.  This is not a question of privilege or of spiritual elitism.  It is a question of a grace offered to all the baptized.”  John Paul II
  • “God doesn’t want something from us, he simply wants us.”  C.S. Lewis
  • “If we fail to live in the light, we shall, to our condemnation and that of others, be veiling over and obscuring by our infidelity the light men so desperately need … Consequently, that brilliant lamp that was lit for the sake of our salvation should always shine in us.”  Chromatius, Bishop
  • “There is nothing colder than a Christian who does not seek to save others.”  John Chrysostom
  • “Do not say:  it is impossible for me to influence others.  If you are a Christian, it is impossible for this not to happen.  Things found in nature cannot be denied; so here, for it is a question of the nature of the Christian.  Do not insult God.  If you say that the sun cannot shine, you have insulted him.  If you say that a Christian cannot help others, you have insulted God and called him a liar.  It is easier for the sun not to shed his light.  It is easier for light to be darkness than for this to happen.”  John Chrysostom
  • “I would like to urge you to forsake everything, but that I do not presume to do.  Yet, if you cannot give up everything of this world, at least keep what belongs to the world in such a way that you yourself are not kept prisoner by the world.  Whatever you possess must not possess you; whatever you own must be under the power of your soul; for if your soul is overpowered by the love of this world’s goods, it will be totally at the mercy of its possessions.”  Augustine
  • “We do not really belong to ourselves; we belong to the One who redeemed us.  Our will should always depend on his.  For this reason we say in the Lord’s Prayer:  Your will be done.  Confronted with death, the sentiments of Job should be our own:  The Lord gave and the Lord took away.  May his name be blessed!  Let us repeat here and now what Job said, lest we turn out to be unlike him when our time comes.”  Braulio, Bishop
  • In order to persevere in the life of faith, learn discretion; we cannot do everything at once nor become saints in four days. – St. Philip Neri
  • “Teaching is good if the speaker also acts.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “Go in through their door, come out your own.”  Ignatius of Loyola (on how to present the faith to others)
  • “Did the Virgin Mary, who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Savior was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her – did she not do the will of the Father?  Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father’s will, and so it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ’s disciple than to have been his mother, and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood.  Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb him whom she would obey as her master.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” Saint Mother Teresa 
  • One of the most efficient ways of keeping ourselves sinless is to have compassion for those who fall due to frailty, and never to boast of our rightness, but with real humility acknowledge that if we are in a state of grace, it is by the mercy of God. – St. Philip Neri
  • “I found all the virtues in the philosophers but it was only when I came to the Gospels that I found humility.”  Saint Augustine
  • “You must ask God to give you power to fight against the sin of pride which is your greatest enemy – the root of all that is evil, and the failure of all that is good. For God resists the proud.” -St. Vincent de Paul
  • “The creator of the heavens obeys a carpenter; the God of eternal glory listens to a poor virgin. Has anyone ever witnessed anything comparable to this? Let the philosopher no longer disdain from listening to the common laborer; the wise, to the simple; the educated, to the illiterate; a child of a prince, to a peasant.” -St. Anthony of Padua
  • “Our Lord loves you and loves you tenderly; and if He does not let you feel the sweetness of His love, it is to make you more humble and abject in your own eyes.” -St. Pio of Pietrelcino
  • “Paint your house with the colors of modesty and humility.  Make it radiant with the light of justice.  Decorate it with the finest gold leaf of good deeds.  Adorn it with the walls and stones of faith and generosity.  Crown it with the pinnacle of prayer.  In this way you will make it a perfect dwelling place for the Lord.  You will be able to receive him as in a splendid palace, and through his grace you will already possess him, his image enthroned in the temple of your spirit.”  St. John Chrysostom
  • “Boasting of God is perfect and complete when we take no pride in our own righteousness but acknowledge that we are utterly lacking in true righteousness and have been made righteous only by faith in Christ.” Basil the Great
  • “God chose illiterate preachers and sent them into the world in order to show the world that conversion is brought about not by men’s wisdom but rather by his own power.  So in like manner God worked through weak instruments and wrought great things among the Angels.  Dear brother, in this heavenly gift there is something which should inspire us with great fear and great joy.”  Gregory the Great
  • “When in your life of faith you are confronted with the deeper mysteries it is natural to become a little frightened.  When this happens, take heart, faithful Christian.  Do not raise objections, but ask with loving submission, “How can these things be?”  Let your question be a prayer, an expression of love and self-surrender to God.  Let it be an expression of your humble desire not to penetrate his sublime majesty, but to find salvation through the saving deeds of God our Savior.”  William of Thierry, Abbot
  • “A weak-minded person is frequently diverted toward pursuing exterior happiness when the breath of popular favor accompanies his good actions.  So he gives up his own personal choices, preferring to remain at the mercy of whatever he hears from others.  Thus, he rejoices not so much to become but to be called blessed.  Eager for praise, he gives up what he had begun to be; and so he is severed from God by the very means by which he appeared to be commendable in God.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “It does not matter how many virtues a man may have, even if they are beyond number and limit.  If he has turned from the path of self-accusation, he will never find peace.  He will always be troubled himself, or else he will be a source of trouble for others and all his labors will be wasted.”  Dorotheus, Abbot
  • “Of course you are unworthy.  But when do you hope to be worthy?  You will be no more worthy at the end than at the beginning.  God alone is worthy of himself, he alone can make us worthy of him.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “If then you are good, praise is due to him who made you so; it is no credit to you, for if you were left to yourself, you could only be wicked.  Why then do you try to pervert the truth, in wishing to be praised when you do good, and blaming God when you do evil?”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “Those who refuse to be humble cannot be saved.” Venerable Bede, Priest
  • “Let us then follow Christ’s paths which he has revealed to us, above all the path of humility, which he himself became for us.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “If you seek an example of humility, look upon the crucified one, for God wished to be judged by Pontius Pilate and to die.”  Thomas Aquinas, Priest
  • “Why then, man, are you so worthless in your own eyes and yet so precious to God?  Why render yourself such dishonor when you are honored by him?  Why do you ask how you were created and do not seek to know why you were made?   Was not this entire visible universe made for your dwelling?  It was for you that the light dispelled the overshadowing gloom; for your sake was the night regulated and the day measured, and for you were the heavens embellished with the varying brilliance of the sun, the moon and the stars.  The earth was adorned with flowers, groves and fruit; and the constant marvelous variety of lovely living things was created in the air, the fields and the seas for you, lest sad solitude destroy the joy of God’s new creation.  And the Creator still works to devise things that can add to your glory.  He has made you in his image that you might in your person make the invisible Creator present on earth; he has made you his legate, so that the vast empire of the world might have the Lord’s representative.  Then in his mercy God assumed what he made in you; he wanted now to be truly manifest in man, just as he had wished to be revealed in man as in an image.  Now he would be in reality what he had submitted to be in symbol.  And so Christ is born that by his birth he might restore our nature.”  Peter Chrysologus, Bishop
  • “A person may be faithful; he may be discriminating in the evaluation of what is said and pure in his actions.  But the greater he seems to be, the more humbly he ought to act, and the more zealous he should be for the common good rather than his own interest.”  Clement of Rome, Pope
  • “For if, as Paul says, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God, and if the man who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God, then ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”  Jerome, Priest and Doctor
  • Scripture is better learned through prayer than through study. – St. Philip Neri
  • “If a man wants to be always in God’s company, must pray regularly and read [scripture] regularly.  When we pray, we talk to God.  When we read, God talks to us.”  Isidore
  • “Be glad then when you are overwhelmed, and do not be saddened because he has overcome you.  A thirsty man is happy when he is drinking, and he is not depressed because he cannot exhaust the spring.  So let this spring [scripture] quench your thirst, and not your thirst the spring.”  Ephrem, Deacon
  • “Sacred Scripture is God’s gift to us and it should be understood in the way that he intends:  we should not do violence to it by interpreting it according to our own preconceived ideas.”  Hippolytus, Priest
  • “The word of God is a light to the mind and a fire to the will.  It enables man to know God and to love him.  And for the interior man who lives by the Spirit of God through grace, it is bread and water, but a bread sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, a water better than wine and milk.  For the soul is a spiritual treasure of merits yielding an abundance of gold and precious stones.  Against the hardness of heart that persists in a wrongdoing, it acts as a hammer.  Against the world, the flesh and the devil it serves as a sword that destroys all sin.”  Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest
  • “A friend is long sought, hardly found, and with difficulty kept.” – St. Jerome
  • “If I speak to thee in friendship’s name, thou think’st I speak too coldly, if I mention love’s devoted flame, thou say’st I speak too boldly” – St. Thomas More
  • “God is closer to us than water is to a fish.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “This is what truly perfect, stable and lasting friendship is, a tie that envy cannot spoil, nor suspicion weaken, nor ambition destroy.  A friendship so tempted yielded not an inch, was buffeted but did not collapse. In the face of so many insults, it remained unshaken.  Go, therefore, and do likewise.”  Blessed Aelred, Abbot
  • “If this is the way You treat Your friends, no wonder You have so few!” -St. Teresa of Avila
  • “Make room for Christ.  When you possess Christ you are a rich man, for he is sufficient for you.  He himself shall provide for you and faithfully administer all your cares.  You will not have to place your hope in men.  Put all your trust in God; let him be both your fear and your love.  He will respond on your behalf and will do whatever is in your best interest.”  Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
  • He who continues in anger, strife and a bitter spirit has a taste of the air of hell. – St. Philip Neri
  • “Violence does not build up the kingdom of God, the kingdom of humanity. On the contrary, it is a favorite instrument of the Antichrist, however idealistic its religious motivation may be. It serves not humanity, but inhumanity.” Pope Benedict XVI
  • “Don’t waste your time and your energy – which belong to God – throwing stones at the dogs that bark at you on your way.”  St. Jose Maria Escriva
  • “The recollection of an injury is itself wrong.  It adds to our anger, nurtures our sin and hates what is good.  It is a rusty arrow and poison for the soul.  It puts all virtue to flight.  It is like a worm in the mind:  it confuses our speech and tears to shreds our petitions to God.  It is foreign to charity:  it remains planted in the soul like a nail. It is wickedness that never sleeps, sin that never fails.  It is a daily death.”  Francis of Paola
  • “Whoever attacks a brother in need, or plots against him in his weakness of whatever sort, surely fulfills the devil’s law and subjects himself to it.”  Isaac of Stella, Abbot
  • “We should love and feel compassion for those who oppose us, rather than abhor and despise them, since they harm themselves and do us good, and adorn us with crowns of everlasting glory while they incite God’s anger against themselves.  And even more than this, we should pray for them and not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by goodness.”  Anthony Zaccaria, Priest
  • “Force yourself to be obedient, even in the smallest things that appear so inconsequential; this will make it easier to be obedient in the larger things.” – St. Philip Neri
  • “It is right for you to give glory in every way to Jesus Christ who has given glory to you; you must be made holy in all things by being united in perfect obedience, in submission to the bishop and the presbyters.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “You respond clearly, but not everyone hears clearly.  All ask what they wish, but do not always hear the answer they wish.  Your best servant is he who is intent not so much on hearing his petition answered, as rather on willing whatever he hears from you.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “All Christ did, all he taught, was the will of God.  Humility in our daily lives, an unwavering faith, a moral sense of modesty in conversation, justice in acts, mercy in deed, discipline, refusal to harm others, a readiness to suffer harm, peaceableness with our brothers, a whole hearted love of the Lord, loving in him what is of the Father, fearing him because he is God, preferring nothing to him who preferred nothing to us, clinging tenaciously to his love, standing by his cross with loyalty and courage whenever there is any conflict involving his honor and his name, manifesting in our speech the constancy of our profession and under torture confidence for the fight, and in dying the endurance for which we will be crowned – this is what it means to wish to be a coheir with Christ, to keep God’s command; this is what it means to do the will of the Father.”  Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr
  • “Truly then the recompense is great for those who keep your commandments.  That first and greatest commandment helps the man who obeys, not the God who commands.  In addition, the other commandments of God perfect the man who obeys them.  They provide him with what he needs.  They instruct and enlighten him and make him good and blessed.  If you are wise, then, know that you have been created for the glory of God and your own eternal salvation.  This is your goal; this is the center of your life; this is the treasure of your heart.  If you reach this goal, you will find happiness.  If you fail to reach it, you will find misery.”  Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor
  • “On hearing Christ’s voice, we open the door to receive him, as it were, when we freely assent to his promptings and when we give ourselves over to doing what must be done.  Christ, since he dwells in the hearts of his chosen ones through the grace of his love, enters so that he might eat with us and we with him.  He ever refreshes us by the light of his presence insofar as we progress in our devotion to and longing for the things of heaven.  He himself is delighted by such a pleasing banquet.”  Bede the Venerable, Priest
  • “When God the Creator made all things, he commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind; he has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of his Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.”  Francis de Sales, Bishop
  • “I am well aware, almighty God and Father, that in my life I owe you a most particular duty.  It is to make my every thought and word speak of you.  In fact, you have conferred on me this gift of speech, and it can yield no greater return than to be at your service.  It is for making you known as Father, the Father of the only-begotten God, and preaching this to the world that knows you not and to the heretics who refuse to believe in you.”  Hilary, Bishop
  • “Being Christian is not just obeying orders but means being in Christ, thinking like him, acting like him, loving like him; it means letting him take possession of our life and change it, transform it, and free it from the darkness of evil and sin. … Let us show the joy of being children of God, the freedom that living in Christ gives us which is true freedom, the freedom that saves us from the slavery of evil, of sin and of death!” Pope Francis
Joy
  • Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and helps us to persevere. A servant of God ought always to be in good spirits. Charity and cheerfulness, or charity and humility, should be our motto. – St. Philip Neri
  • “God save us from those sour faced saints” – Theresa of Avila
  • “From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us!” -St. Teresa of Avila
  • “Those pious people with their long faces, they look as if they are going to scare the good God away.” Elisabeth of Hungry
  • “A sad saint would be a sorry saint indeed.”  Francis de Sales
  • “The Church that is sad and afraid is not the true Church” – Pope Francis
  • “Act in such a way that all those who come in contact with you will go away joyful. Sow happiness about you because you have received much from God; give, then, generously to others. They should take leave of you with their hearts filled with joy, even if they have no more than touched the hem of your garment.”  ― Maria Faustina Kowalska
  • “Joy is a net of love by which we catch souls.” -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
  • “An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral.”  Pope Francis
  • A most excellent means of learning how to pray? Acknowledge that we are unworthy to pray, and so place our efforts entirely in the hands of the Lord. – St. Philip Neri
  • “Pray without ceasing on behalf of other men…For cannot he that falls rise again?”  ― Ignatius of Antioch
  • “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” -St. Augustine
  • “For me prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look towards Heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” -St. Therese of Lisieux
  • “There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.” -St. Teresa of Avila
  • “Pray with great confidence, with confidence based upon the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water which flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray.” -St. Louis de Montfort
  • “Whether, therefore, we receive what we ask for, or do not receive it, let us still continue steadfast in prayer. For to fail in obtaining the desires of our heart, when God so wills it, is not worse than to receive it; for we know not as He does, what is profitable to us.” -St. John Chrysostom
  • “My strength lies in prayer and sacrifice; they are invincible weapons, and touch hearts more surely than words can do, as I have learned by experience.”  — St. Therese of Lisieux
  • The fruit of Silence is prayer. The fruit of Prayer is faith. The fruit of Faith is love. The fruit of Love is service. The fruit of Service is peace. -Mother Teresa
  • “Prayer offered in holiness from a faithful heart rises like incense from a holy altar.  Nothing is more fragrant than the fragrance of the Lord.  May all who believe share in this fragrance.”  Augustine
  • “Let us take refuge from this world.  You can do this in spirit, even if you are kept here in the body.  You can at the same time be here and present to the Lord.  Your soul must hold fast to him, you must follow after him in your thoughts, you must tread his ways by faith, not in outward show.  You must take refuge in him.  He is your refuge and your strength.  David addresses him in these words:  I fled to you for refuge, and I was not disappointed.  Ambrose
  • “Prayer is the one thing that can conquer God.  But Christ willed that it should work no evil, and has given it all power over good.  Its only art is to call back the souls of the dead from the very journey into death, to give strength to the weak, to heal the sick, to exorcise the possessed, to open prison cells, to free the innocent from their chains.  Prayer cleanses from sin, drives away temptations, stamps out persecutions, comforts the fainthearted, gives new strength to the courageous, brings travelers safely home, calms the waves, confounds robbers, feeds the poor, overrules the rich, lifts up the fallen, supports those who are falling, sustains those who stand firm.”  Tertullian
  • “God could give no greater gift to men than to make his Word, through whom he created all things, their head and to join them to him as his members, so that the word might be both Son of God and son of man, one God with the Father, and one man with all men.  The result is that when we speak with God in prayer we do not separate the Son from him, and when the body of the Son prays it does not separate its head from itself:  it is the one Savior of his body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us and in us and is himself the object of our prayers.  He prays for us as our priest, he prays in us as our head, he is the object of our prayers as God.”  Augustine
  • “Our thoughts in this present life should turn on the praise of God, because it is in praising God that we shall rejoice forever in the life to come; and no one can be ready for the next life unless he trains himself for it now.”  Augustine
  • “We are praising God now, assembled as we are here in church; but when we go our various ways again, it seems as if we cease to praise God.  But provided we do not cease to live a good life, we shall always be praising God.  You cease to praise God only when you swerve from justice and from what is pleasing to God.  If you never turn aside from the good life, your tongue may be silent but your actions will cry aloud, and God will perceive your intentions; for as our ears hear each other’s voices, so do God’s ears hear our thoughts.”  Augustine
  • “if a man wants to be always in God’s company, must pray regularly and read [scripture] regularly.  When we pray, we talk to God.  When we read, God talks to us.”  Isidore
  • “When in your life of faith you are confronted with the deeper mysteries it is natural to become a little frightened.  When this happens, take heart, faithful Christian.  Do not raise objections, but ask with loving submission, “How can these things be?”  Let your question be a prayer, an expression of love and self-surrender to God.  Let it be an expression of your humble desire not to penetrate his sublime majesty, but to find salvation through the saving deeds of God our Savior.”  William of Thierry, Abbot
  • “Let them love him who alone can neither deceive nor be deceived, who alone will not fail them.  Let them love him because his promises are true.  Faith sometimes falters because he does not reward us immediately.  But hold out, be steadfast, endure, bear the delay, and you have carried the cross.”  Augustine
  • “Try to gather together more frequently to give thanks to God and to praise him.  For when you come together frequently, Satan’s powers are undermined, and the destruction that he threatens is done away with in the unanimity of your faith.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “You respond clearly, but not everyone hears clearly.  All ask what they wish, but do not always hear the answer they wish.  Your best servant is he who is intent not so much on hearing his petition answered, as rather on willing whatever he hears from you.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “While the Pharisee was pleased with himself, the tax-collector deserved to be cleansed much more because of the manner in which he prayed.  For he did not place his hope of salvation in the certainty of his own innocence; indeed, no one is innocent.  Rather he prayed humbly, confessing his sins.  And the Lord who forgives the lowly heard his prayer.”  Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr
  • “If you pray only for yourself, you will be praying … for yourself alone.  But if you pray for all, all will pray for you, for you are included in all.  In this way there is a great recompense; through the prayers of each individual, the intercession of the whole people is gained for each individual.  There is here no pride, but an increase of humility and a richer harvest from prayer.”  Ambrose, Bishop
  • “Why he should ask us to pray, when he knows what we need before we ask him, may perplex us if we do not realize that our Lord and God does not want to know what we want (for he cannot fail to know it) but wants us rather to exercise our desire through our prayers, so that we may be able to receive what he is preparing to give us.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “Prayer is nothing else but union with God.  When one has a heart that is pure and united with God, he is given a kind of serenity and sweetness that makes him ecstatic, a light that surrounds him with marvelous brightness.  In this intimate union, God and the soul are fused together like two bits of wax that no one can ever pull apart.  This union of God with a tiny creature is a lovely thing.  It is a happiness beyond understanding.”  John Marie Vianney, Priest
  • “My little children, your hearts are small, but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God.”  John Marie Vianney, Priest
  • “Are you making no progress in prayer?  Then you need only offer God the prayers which the Savior has poured out for us in the sacrament of the altar.  Offer God his fervent love in reparation for your sluggishness.  In the course of every activity pray as follows:  “My God, I do this or I endure that in the heart of your Son and according to his holy counsels.  I offer it to you in reparation for anything blameworthy or imperfect in my actions.”  Continue to do this in every circumstance of life.  And every time that some punishment, affliction or injustice comes your way, way to yourself:  “Accept this as sent to you by the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in order to unite yourself to him.”  Margaret Mary Alacoque
  • “Above all, he who preaches peace and unity did not want us to pray by ourselves in private or for ourselves alone.  We do not say “My Father, who art in heaven,” nor “Give me this day my daily bread.”  It is not for himself alone that each person asks to be forgiven, not to be led into temptation or to be delivered from evil.  Rather, we pray in public as a community, and not for one individual but for all.  For the people of God are all one.”  Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr
  • “Whenever you begin any good work you should first of all make a most pressing appeal to Christ our Lord to bring it to perfection; that he, who has honored us by counting us among his children, may never be grieved by our evil deeds.”  Rule of Benedict
  • “Prayer is nothing else but union with God.  When one has a heart that is pure and united with God, he is given a kind of serenity and sweetness that makes him ecstatic, a light that surrounds him with marvelous brightness.  In this intimate union, God and the soul are fused together like two bits of wax that no one can ever pull apart.  This union of God with a tiny creature is a lovely thing.  It is a happiness beyond understanding.”  John Marie Vianney, Priest
  • “My little children, your hearts are small, but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God.  Through prayer we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us.  Prayer never leaves us without sweetness.  It is honey that flows into the soul and makes all things sweet.  When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun.”  John Marie Vianney, Priest
  • “We had become unworthy to pray, but God in his goodness allowed us to speak with him.  Our prayer is incense that gives him the greatest pleasure.”  John Marie Vianney, Priest
  • That we are generally the carpenters of our own crosses is a truth sadly easier to recognize in others than in ourselves. – St. Philip Neri
  • “Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave.” Pope Benedict XVI
  • “Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could.” -St. Gregory Nazianzen
  • “Charity is that with which no man is lost, and without which no man is saved.” -St. Robert Bellarmine
  • “The works of mercy are innumerable.  Their very variety brings this advantage to those who are true Christians, that in the matter of almsgiving not only the rich and affluent but also those of average means and the poor are able to play their part.  Those who are unequal in their capacity to give can be equal in the love within their hearts.”  St. Leo the Great
  • “When you fast, see the fasting of others.  If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry.  If you hope for mercy, show mercy.  If you look for kindness, show kindness.  If you want to receive, give.  If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.”  Peter Chrysologus
  • “You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give to others.”  Peter Chrysologus
  • “If God is love, charity should know no limit, for God cannot be confined.  Any time is the right time for works of charity.”  Leo the Great
  • “In acts of giving, do not fear a lack of means.  A generous spirit is itself a great wealth.  There can be no shortage of material for generosity where it is Christ who feeds and Christ who is fed.  In all this activity there is present the hand of him who multiplies the bread by breaking it, and increases it by giving it away.”  Leo the Great
  • “The giver of alms should be free from anxiety and full of joy. His gain will be greatest when he keeps back least for himself.”  Leo the Great
  • “If we look forward to receiving God’s mercy, we can never fail to do good so long as we have the strength.  For if we share with the poor, out of love for God, whatever he has given to us, we shall receive according to his promise a hundredfold in eternal happiness.  What a fine profit, what a blessed reward!  Who would not entrust his possessions to this best of merchants?”  John of God
  • “Man cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.”  Gaudium et Spes, 24
  • “I would like to urge you to forsake everything, but that I do not presume to do.  Yet, if you cannot give up everything of this world, at least keep what belongs to the world in such a way that you yourself are not kept prisoner by the world.  Whatever you possess must not possess you; whatever you own must be under the power of your soul; for if your soul is overpowered by the love of this world’s goods, it will be totally at the mercy of its possessions.”  Augustine
  • “God gave us his own Son; but you will not even share your bread with him who was given us and put to death for your sake.”  John Chrysostom
  • “What a tyranny money exercises! It invades the whole of life forcing men to go where it chooses, like slaves in chains.  But what good is our invective?  We make a verbal attack on this tyranny; it defeats us by the sheer force of events.  Nonetheless, I shall not stop lashing it with my tongue; if my words achieve anything, you and I will both be the gainers; if , however, you remain of the same mind, at least I shall have done my duty.”  John Chrysostom
  • “This is the definition of sin:  misuse of powers given us by God for doing good, a use contrary to God’s commandments.”  Basil the Great
  • “A charitable mind is not displayed simply in giving money; it is manifested still more by personal service as well as by the communication of God’s word to others.”  Maximus the Confessor, Abbot
  • “Strange that so much suffering is caused because of the misunderstandings of God’s true nature.  God’s heart is more gentle than the Virgin’s first kiss upon the Christ.  And God’s forgiveness to all, to any thought or act, is more certain than our own being.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “If you wish to receive mercy, be merciful before he comes; forgive whatever has been done against you; give of your abundance. Of whose possessions do you give if not from his?  If you were to give of your own, it would be largess; but since you give of his, it is restitution.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “Since Christ willed to be born poor, he chose for himself disciples who were poor.  He made himself the servant of the poor and shared their poverty.  He went so far as to say that he would consider every deed which either helps or harms the poor as done for or against himself.  Since God surely loves the poor, he also loves those who love the poor.  For when one person holds another dear, he also includes in his affection anyone who loves or serves the one he loves.  That is why we hope that God will love us for the sake of the poor.”  Vincent de Paul, Priest
  • “Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give.  For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve.”  Francis of Assisi
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.  My brothers and sisters, sweet is the thought of mercy, but even more so is mercy itself.  It was what all men hope for, but unfortunately, not what all men deserve.  For while all men wish to receive it, only a few are willing to give it.  How can a man ask for himself what he refuses to give another? If he expects to receive mercy in heaven, he should give mercy on earth.  Do we all desire to receive mercy?  Let us make mercy our patroness now, and she will free us in the world to come.  Yes, there is mercy in heaven, but the road to it is paved by our merciful acts on earth.”  Caesarius of Arles, Bishop
  • “What do you wish for, what do you pray for, my dear brothers and sisters, when you come to church?  Is it mercy?  How can it be anything else?  Show mercy, then, while you are on earth, and mercy will be shown to you in heaven.  A poor person asks you for something; you ask God for something.  He begs for a morsel of food; you beg for eternal life.  Give to the beggar so that you may merit to receive from Christ.  For he it is who says:  Give and it shall be given to you.  It baffles me that you have the impudence to ask for what you do not want to give.  Give when you come to church.  Give to the poor.  Give them whatever your resources will allow.”  Caesarius of Arles, Bishop
  • Man should be like the earth and bear fruit; he should not let inanimate matter appear to surpass him.  The earth bears crops for your benefit, not for its own, but when you give to the poor, you are bearing fruit which you will gather in for yourself, since the reward for good deeds goes to those who perform them.  Give to a hungry man and what you give becomes yours, and indeed it returns to you with interest.”  Basil the Great, Bishop
  • “You are going to leave your money behind you here whether you wish to or not.  On the other hand, you will take with you to the Lord the honor that you have won through good works.  In the presence of the universal judge, all people will surround you, acclaim you as a public benefactor, and tell of your generosity and kindness.  Do you not see how people throw away their wealth on theatrical performances, boxing contexts, mimes and fights between men and beasts, which are sickening to see, and all for the sake of fleeting honor and popular applause?  If you are miserly with your money, how can you expect any similar honor?  Your reward for the right use of the things of this world will be everlasting glory, a crown of righteousness, and the kingdom of heaven; God will welcome you, the angels will praise you, all men who have existed since the world began will call you blessed.”  Basil the Great, Bishop
  • “How grateful you should be to your own benefactor; how you should beam with joy at the honor of having other people come to your door, instead of being obliged to go to theirs!  But you are now ill-humored and unapproachable; you avoid meeting people in case you might be forced to loosen your purse-strings even a little.  You can say only one thing:  “I have nothing to give you.  I am only a poor man.”  A poor man you certainly are, and destitute of all real riches; you are poor in love, generosity, faith in God and hope of eternal happiness.”  Basil the Great, Bishop
  • “Tepidity is a desperate and almost incurable evil” – St. Alphonsus
  • “It is easier to convert a wicked layman than a tepid ecclesiastic” – St. Bernard
  • “We must use more care to avoid little sins than to avoid great sins; for the latter are already opposed by our nature, and because the former, being small, make us more indolent in our struggles”  — St. John Chrysostom
  • “The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience.  Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor.  God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.” (Evangelii Guadium, 2) – Pope Francis
  • “The opportunities [for grace] do not wait. They come and they go. The Word of life does not tarry; if we do not catch hold of it, the devil will bear it away. The devil is not lazy; rather does he always have his eyes open, and be ever ready to spring and to snatch away the gift that you do not use.” (John Henry Newman, Sermon for Sexagesima Sunday)
  • “Evil draws its power from indecision and concern for what other people think.” Pope Benedict XVI
  • “Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.” -Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen
  • “To the servant of God … every place is the right place, and every time is the right time.”  — Catherine of Siena
  • “There should be no delay between your intention and your good deed.  Generosity is the one thing that cannot admit of delay.”  Gregory of Nanzianzen
  • “When the scale of values is disturbed and evil becomes mixed with good, individuals and groups consider only their own interests, not those of others.  The result is that the world is not yet a home of true brotherhood, while the increased power of mankind already threatens to destroy the human race itself.”  Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Vatican II
  • “The man who is slow to grasp things but who really tries hard is rewarded; equally he who does not cultivate his God-given intellectual ability is condemned for despising his gifts and sinning by sloth.”  Isidore
  • “There is nothing colder than a Christian who does not seek to save others.”  John Chrysostom
  • “When one practices first and preaches afterwards, one is really teaching with power.  Doctrine loses credibility, if conscience tethers the tongue.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “Do not be satisfied with little things, because God wants great things!”  Catherine of Siena
  • “Ponder the fact that God has made you a gardener, to root out vice and plant virtue.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “It is human to sin, but diabolic to persist in sin.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “How unreasonable it is to pray that God’s will be done, and then not promptly obey it when he calls us from this world!  Instead we struggle and resist like self-willed slaves and are brought into the Lord’s presence with sorrow and lamentation, not freely consenting to our departure, but constrained by necessity.  And yet we expect to be rewarded with heavenly honors by him to whom we come against our will! Why then do we pray for the kingdom of heaven to come if this earthly bondage pleases us?”  Cyprian, Bishop
  • “It is good not to do evil, but it is evil not to do good.”  Alberto Hurtado
  • “The peace of the celestial city is the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God, and of one another in God.” St. Augustine  (City of God, Book 19)” 
  • “Every disordered soul is its own punishment.” St. Augustine
  • “Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labors.” -St. Therese of Lisieux
  • “Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry” -St. Pio of Pietrelcino
  • “We must maintain great stillness of mind, even in the midst of our struggles.  We shall then be able to distinguish between the different types of thoughts that come to us:  those that are good, those sent by God, we will treasure in our memory; those that are evil and inspired by the devil we will reject.  A comparison with the sea may help us.  A tranquil sea allows the fisherman to gaze right to its depths.  No fish can hide there and escape his sight.  The stormy sea, however, becomes murky when it is agitated by the winds.  The very depths that it revealed in its placidness, the sea now hides.  The skills of the fisherman are useless.”  Diadochus of Photice, Bishop
  • “What is it you want to change?  Your hair, your face, your body?  Why?  For God is in love with all those things and he might weep when they are gone.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “Anxiety is the greatest evil that can befall a soul except sin.  God commands you to pray, but He forbids you to worry.”  St. Francis de Sales
  • “Since we think of Christ as our peace, we may call ourselves true Christians only if our lives express Christ by our own peace.”  Gregory of Nyssa, Bishop
  • “It is characteristic of holy men that their own painful trials do not make them lose their concern for the well-being of others.  They are grieved by the adversity they must endure, yet they look out for others and teach them needed lessons; they are like gifted physicians who are themselves stricken and lie ill.  They suffer wounds themselves but bring others the medicine that restores health.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “If you want peace, work for Justice.”  Paul VI, Pope
  • “Peace on earth, born of love for one’s neighbor, is the sign and the effect of the peace of Christ that flows from God the Father.”  Pastoral Constitution on the Church in Modern World
  • “I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable.  I have not fear of poverty, no desire for wealth.  I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good.  I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.”  John Chrysostom, Bishop
  • “Until you are united intimately with Christ, you will never find your true rest.”  Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
  • “As sons of God, we are to abide in peace; as we have one Spirit, we should be one in mind and heart.  Thus God does not receive the sacrifice of one who lives in conflict; and he orders us to turn back from the altar and be first reconciled with our brother, that God too may be appeased by the prayers of one who is at peace.  The greatest offering we can make to God is our peace, harmony among fellow Christians, a people united with the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”  Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr
  • Each one of us is called to be an artisan of peace, by uniting and not dividing, by extinguishing hatred and not holding on to it, by opening paths to dialogue and not by constructing new walls!  Pope Francis
  • “No one can have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother.”  ― Saint Cyprian of Carthage, The Complete Works of Saint Cyprian of Carthage
  • “There are not over a 100 people in the U.S. that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church. Which is, of course, quite a different thing.” -Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen
  • “Anyone who wishes to offer himself to God in the tent of Christ, which is the Church, must first bathe in the spring of holy baptism; then he must put on the various garments of the virtues.  As it says in the Scriptures:  Let your priests be clothed in justice.  He who is reborn in baptism is a new man.  He may no longer wear the things that signify mortality.  He has discarded the old self and put on the new.  He must live continually renewed in his commitment to a holy sojourn in this world.”  Peter Damian
  • “Out of compassion for us he descended from heaven, and although he ascended alone, we also ascend, because we are in him by grace.  Thus, no one but Christ descended and no one but Christ ascended; not because there is no distinction between the head and the body, but because they body as a unity cannot be separated from the head.”  Augustine
  • “This Church is the house of God, built up of living stones, whose master is almighty God.  It is his delight to dwell here.  Take care, then, that he never has the sorrow of seeing it undermined by schism and collapsing in ruins.”  Sixth Century African Homily
  • “A clergyman who engages in business, and who rises from poverty to wealth, and from obscurity to a high position, avoid as you would the plague.” – St. Jerome
  • “Let no one make any mistake:  unless a person is within the sanctuary, he is deprived of God’s bread.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “Every one of you should form a choir, so that, in harmony of sound through harmony of hearts, and in unity taking the note from God, you may sing with one voice through Jesus Christ to the Father.  If you do this, he will listen to you and see from your good works that you are members of his Son.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “Go in through their door, come out your own.”  Ignatius of Loyola (on how to present the faith to others)
  • “It will be fully day for the Church of the elect when she is no longer darkened by the shadow of sin.  It will fully day for her when she shines with the perfect brilliance of interior light.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “Do not turn inward and live only for yourselves as though already assured of salvation; join together rather and seek the common good.”  Letter Attr. Barnabas
  • “It would be no consolation for me to enjoy your life if your holy people stood in death.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “Take heed:  no one else is the gate but Christ.  Others reflect his light, but no one else is the true light.”  Thomas Aquinas
  • “The Church is incapable of forgiving any sin without Christ, and Christ is unwilling to forgive any sin without the Church.  The Church cannot forgive the sin of one who has not repented, who has not been touched by Christ; Christ will not forgive the sin of one who despises the Church.  What God has joined together, man must not separate.  This is a great mystery, but I understand it as referring to Christ and the Church. Do not destroy the whole Christ by separating head from body, for Christ is not complete without the Church, nor is the Church complete without Christ.” Isaac of Stella, Abbot
  • “How blessed is this Church of ours, so honored and illuminated by God and ennobled in these our days by the glorious blood of martyrs!  In earlier times it shone white with the good deeds of our brethren, and now it is adorned with the red blood of martyrs.  It counts both lilies and roses among its garlands.  Let each of us, then, strive for the highest degree of glory, whichever be the honor for which he is destined; may all Christians be found worthy of either the pure white crown of a holy life or the royal red crown of martyrdom.”  Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr
  • “Yet where I am, there you are too, and where you are, I am.  For we are a single body, and the body cannot be separated from the head nor the head from the body.  Distance separates us, but love unites us, and death itself cannot divide us.  For though my body die, my soul will live and be mindful of my people.”  John Chrysostom, Bishop
  • “It will not be out of place to consider the ancient tradition, teaching and faith of the Catholic Church, which was revealed by the Lord, proclaimed by the apostles and guarded by the fathers.  For upon this faith the Church is built, and if anyone were to lapse from it, he would no longer be a Christian either in fact or in name.”  Athanasius, Bishop
  • “As for our being the brothers and sisters of Christ, we can understand this because although there is only one inheritance and Christ is the only Son, his mercy would not allow him to remain alone.  It was his wish that we too should be heirs of the Father, and co-heirs with himself.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “The great cannot exist without the small, nor the small without the great; they blend together to their mutual advantage.  Take the body, for example.  The head is nothing without the feet, just as the feet are nothing without the head.  The smallest parts of our body are necessary and valuable to the whole.  All work together are mutually  subject for the preservation of the whole body.  Our entire body, then, will be preserved in Christ Jesus, and each of us should be subject to his neighbor in accordance with the grace given to each.  The stronger should care for the weak, and the weak should respect the stronger.  The wealthy should give to the poor, and the poor man should thank God that he has sent him someone to supply his needs.  The wise should manifest their wisdom not in words but in good deeds, and the humble should not talk about their own humility but allow others to bear witness to it.  Since, therefore, we have all this from him, we ought to thank him for it all.  Glory to him forever.  Amen.”  Clement of Rome, Pope
  • “We should then really live as Christians and not merely have the name; for many invoke the bishop’s name but do everything apart from him.  Such men, I think, do not have a good conscience, for they do not assemble lawfully as commanded.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “Follow the ways of God, and have respect for one another; let no one judge his neighbor as the world does, but love one another always in Jesus Christ.  Let there be nothing among you that could divide you, but live in accord with the bishop and those who are over you as a sign and a pattern of eternal life.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop
  • “The Church is called Catholic or universal because it has spread throughout the entire world, from one end of the earth to the other.  Again, it is called Catholic because it teaches fully and unfailingly all the doctrines which ought to be brought to men’s knowledge, whether concerned with visible or invisible things, with the realities of heaven or the things of earth.  Another reason for the name Catholic is that the Church brings under religious obedience all classes of men, rulers and subjects, learned and unlettered.  Finally, it deserves the title Catholic because it heals and cures unrestrictedly every type of sin that can be committed in soul or in body, and because it possesses within itself every kind of virtue that can be named, whether exercised in actions or in words or in some kind of spiritual charism.”  Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop
  • “As sons of God, we are to abide in peace; as we have one Spirit, we should be one in mind and heart.  Thus God does not receive the sacrifice of one who lives in conflict; and he orders us to turn back from the altar and be first reconciled with our brother, that God too may be appeased by the prayers of one who is at peace.  The greatest offering we can make to God is our peace, harmony among fellow Christians, a people united with the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”  Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr
  • “My brothers, we do not seek, nor should we seek, our own glory even among those whose approval we desire.  What we should seek is their salvation, so that if we walk as we should they will not go astray in following us.  They should imitate us if we are imitators of Christ; and if we are not, they should still imitate him.  He cares for his flock, and he alone is to be found with those who care for their flocks, because they are all in him.  And so we seek no advantage for ourselves when we aim to please men.  We want to take our joy in men – and we rejoice when they take pleasure in what is good, not because this exalts us, but because it benefits them.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “And so, my brothers, our concern should be not only to live as we ought, but also to do so in the sight of men; not only to have a good conscience but also, so far as we can in our weakness, so far as we can govern in our frailty, to do nothing which might lead our weak brother into thinking evil of us.  Otherwise, as we feed on the good pasture and drink the pure water, we may trample on God’s meadow, and weaker sheep will have to feed on trampled grass and drink from troubled waters.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “The shepherds of Christ’s flock must never indulge in self-love; if they do they will be tending the sheep not as Christ’s but as their own.  And of all the vices this is the one that the shepherds must guard against most earnestly:  seeking their own purposes instead of Christ’s, furthering their own desires by means of those persons for whom Christ shed his blood.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: ‘Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed.’ Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding; but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven?…What greater power is there than this? The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven” -St. John Chrysostom
  • “The holiness of priests is itself an important contribution to the fruitfulness of their ministry it is true that God’s grace can effect the work of salvation even through unworthy ministers, but God ordinarily prefers to show his wonders by means of those who are more submissive to the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and, who through close union with Christ and holiness of life, are able to say with Saint Paul:  I live, but no longer is it I who live, it is Christ who lives within me.”  Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, Vatican II
  • “I am a Christian for my own sake, whereas I am a leader for your sake; the fact that I am a Christian is to my own advantage, but I am a leader for your advantage.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “Even the strong sheep, if he turns his eyes from the Lord’s laws and looks at the man set over him, notices when his shepherd is living wickedly and begins to say in his heart:  “If my pastor lives like that, why should I not live like him?”  The wicked shepherd kills the strong sheep.  But if he kills the strong one what does he do to the rest?  After all, by his wicked life he kills even the sheep he had not strengthened but had found strong and hardy.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “What sort of shepherds are they who for fear of giving offense not only fail to prepare the sheep for the temptations that threaten, but even promise them worldly happiness?  God himself made no such promise to this world.  On the contrary, God foretold hardship upon hardship in this world until the end of time.  And you want the Christian to be exempt from these troubles?  Precisely because he is a Christian, he is destined to suffer more in this world.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “Certainly, if there are good sheep there are also good shepherds; good sheep give rise to good shepherds.  But all good shepherds are one in the one good shepherd; they form a unity.  If only they feed the sheep, Christ is feeding the sheep.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “Pastors who lack foresight hesitate to say openly what is right because they fear losing the favor of men.  As the voice of truth tells us, such leaders are not zealous pastors who protect their flocks, rather they are like mercenaries who flee by taking refuge in silence when the wolf appears.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “Look about you and see how full the world is of priests, yet in God’s harvest a laborer is rarely to be found; for although we have accepted the priestly office, we do not fulfill its demands.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “Who am I to be a watchman, for I do not stand on the mountain of action but lie down in the valley of weakness?  Truly the all-powerful Creator and Redeemer of mankind can give me in spite of my weaknesses a higher life and effective speech; because I love him, I do not spare myself in speaking of him.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “On learning of the honor you had won by your witness, we were filled with such joy that we felt ourselves sharers and companions in your praiseworthy achievements.  After all, we have the same Church, the same mind, the same unbroken harmony.  Why then should a priest not take pride in the praise given to a fellow priest as though it were given to him?  What brotherhood fails to rejoice in the happiness of its brothers wherever they are?”  Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr
  • “The day I became a bishop, a burden was laid on my shoulders for which it will be no easy task to render an account.  The honors I receive are for me an ever present cause of uneasiness.  Indeed, it terrifies me to think that I could take more pleasure in the honor attached to my office, which is where its danger lies, than in your salvation, which ought to be its fruit.  This is why being set above you fills me with alarm, whereas being with you gives me comfort.  Danger lies in the first; salvation in the second.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “To be honest with you, my obligations involve me in so much turmoil that I feel as though I were tossed by storms on a great ocean.  When I remember by whose blood I have been redeemed, this thought brings me peace, as though I were entering the safety of a harbor, and I am consoled, as I carry out the arduous duties of my own particular office, by the blessings which we all have in common.  By finding my chief joy therefore in the redemption, which I share with you, and not in my office, which has placed me over you, I shall the more truly be your servant; and so not only fulfill the Lord’s command, but also show myself not ungrateful to him for making me your fellow servant.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “Make my ministry a fruitful one.  You are God’s garden, and you should therefore welcome the laborer who does the visible work of planting and watering the seed, even though the growth comes from one who works invisibly within you.  Help me both by your prayers and by your obedience, for then it will be a pleasure for me, not to preside over you, but to serve you.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “To be a good shepherd I depend entirely on his grace, for without his help I should be a very bad one, there is so much evil in me.  Pray, then, that I may not be a bad shepherd, but a good one.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “Those who want to work for moral reform in the world must seek the glory of God before all else. Because he is the source of all good, they must wait for his help, and pray for it in this difficult and necessary undertaking.  They must then present themselves to those they seek to reform, as mirrors of every virtue and as lamps on a lampstand.  Their upright lives and noble conduct must shine before all who are in the house of God.  In this way they will gently entice the members of the Church to reform instead of forcing them, lest, in the words of the Council of Trent, they demand of the body was is not found in the head, and thus upset the whole order of the Lord’s household.”  John Leonardi, Priest
  • “That the harvest is good but laborers are few cannot be said without a heavy heart, for although there are many to hear the good news there are only a few to preach it.  Indeed, see how full the world is of priests, but yet in God’s harvest a true laborer is rarely to be found; although we have accepted the priestly office we do not fulfill its demands.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • “Pray for us so that we may be able to labor worthily on your behalf, that our tongue may not grow weary of exhortation, that after we have taken up the office of preaching our silence may not bring us condemnation from the just judge.”  Gregory the Great, Pope
  • You are the light of the world.  Now a light does not illumine itself, but instead it diffuses its rays and shines all around upon everything that comes into its view.  So it must be with the glowing lives of upright and holy clerics.  By the brightness of their holiness they must bring light and sincerity to all who gaze upon them.  They have been placed here to care for others.  Their own lives should be an example to others, showing how they must live in the house of the Lord.”  John of Capistrano, Priest
  • “Be sure that you first preach by the way you live.  If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head.  Are you in charge of a parish?  If so, do not neglect the parish of your own soul, do not give yourself to others so completely that you have nothing left for yourself.  You have to be mindful of your people without becoming forgetful of yourself.”  Charles Borromeo, Bishop
  • “For all, regenerated in Christ, are made kings by the sign of the cross; they are consecrated priests by the oil of the Holy Spirit, so that beyond the special service of our ministry as priests, all spiritual and mature Christians know that they are a royal race and are sharers in the office of the priesthood.  For what is more king-like than to find yourself ruler over your body after having surrendered your soul to God?  And what is more priestly than to promise the Lord a pure conscience and to offer him in love unblemished victims on the altar of one’s heart?”  Leo the Great, Pope
  • “Justify your episcopal dignity by your unceasing concern for the spiritual and temporal welfare of your flock; let unity, the greatest of all goods, be your preoccupation.  Carry the burdens of all men as the Lord carries yours; have patience with all in charity, as indeed you do.  Give yourself to prayer continually, ask for wisdom greater than you now have, keep alert with an unflagging spirit.  Speak to each man individually, following God’s example; bear the infirmities of all, like a perfect athlete of God.  The greater the toil, the richer the reward.  If you love only your good disciples, you gain no merit; rather you must win over the more troublesome of them by kindness.  The same salve does not heal all wounds.”  Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
  • “The world tells us to seek success, power and money; God tells us to seek humility, service and love.”  Pope Francis
  • “This is precisely the reason for the dissatisfaction of some, who end up sad – sad priests – in some sense becoming collectors of antiques or novelties, instead of being shepherds living with ‘the odor of the sheep.’ This I ask you: Be shepherds, with the ‘odor of the sheep,’ make it real, as shepherds among your flock, fishers of men.”  Pope Francis
  • “In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” – Deitrich Bonhoffer
  • “Would that I could exhaust myself in acts of thanksgiving and gratitude towards this Divine Heart, for the great favor He shows us, in deigning to accept our help to make Him known, loved and honored; He reserves infinite blessings for all those who devote themselves to this work.” – St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
  • We give glory to you, Lord, who raised up your cross to span the jaws of death like a bridge by which souls might pass from the region of the dead to the land of the living.  We give glory to you who put on the body of a single mortal man and made it the source of life for every other mortal man.  You are incontestably alive.  Your murderers sowed your living body in the earth as farmers sow grain, but it sprang up and yielded an abundant harvest of men raised from the dead.  – St. Ephrem
  • “You see, the gift our Lord intends for us may be by far the best, but if it is not what we wanted we are quite capable of flinging it back in his face.  That is the kind of people we are; ready cash is the only wealth we understand.”  Teresa of Avila
  • “If the Lord permits you to have some trial, bear it willingly and with gratitude, considering that it has happened for your good and that perhaps you will deserved it.  If the Lord bestows upon you any kind of prosperity, thank him humbly and see that you become no worse for it, either through vain pride or anything else, because you ought not to oppose God or offend him in the matter of his gifts.”  King Louis IX to his Son
  • “When all that I do is the gift of God’s grace, how can I possibly repay him?  As a matter of fact, I hope to be repaid myself, and this is for the very reason that I love him freely and feed his sheep.  But, you may ask, if I feed his sheep because I love him freely, how can I demand payment for feeding them?  It is indeed unthinkable to ask for a recompense for love freely given unless that recompense is the loved one himself.”  Augustine of Hippo, Bishop
  • “[Christ] is at once priest and sacrifice, God and temple.  He is the priest through whom we have been reconciled, the sacrifice by which we have been reconciled, the temple in which we have been reconciled, the God with whom we have been reconciled.”  Fulgentius of Ruspe
  • “The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory.  In taking upon himself the death that he found in us, he has most faithfully promised to give us life in him, such as we cannot have of ourselves.”  Augustine
  • “You are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for you.  But I can never be satisfied; what I receive will ever leave me desiring more.  When you fill my soul I have an even greater hunger, and I grow more famished for your light.  I desire above all to see you, the true light, as you really are.”  Catherine of Siena
  • “Who is this stranger and neighbor if not the one who became our neighbor out of compassion. The man lying on the road, left half-dead by robbers, the man treated with contempt by the priest and the Levite who passed by, the man approached by the passing Samaritan to take care of him and help him, that man is the whole human race.  When the immortal one, the holy one, was far removed from us because we were mortal and sinners, he came down to us, so that he, the stranger, might become our neighbor.”  Philip Neri
  • “Out of compassion for us he descended from heaven, and although he ascended alone, we also ascend, because we are in him by grace.  Thus, no one but Christ descended and no one but Christ ascended; not because there is no distinction between the head and the body, but because they body as a unity cannot be separated from the head.”  Augustine
  • “Though shared in by many, he remains unchanged; his self-giving is no loss to himself.  Like sunshine, which permeates all the atmosphere, spreading over land and sea, and yet is enjoyed by each person as though it were for him alone, so the Spirit pours forth his grace in full measure, sufficient for all, and yet is present as though exclusively to everyone who can receive him.  To all creatures that share in him he gives a delight limited only be their own nature, not by his ability to give.”  Basil the Great, Bishop
  • “If you search by means of discussions for the God who cannot be defined by words, he will depart further from you than he was before.”  Columban, Abbot
  • “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!  You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.  In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created.  You were with me, but I was not with you.  Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all.  You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.  You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.  You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.  You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you.  I have tasted you; now I hunger and thirst for more.  You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “In my Word I have already said everything.”  John of the Cross, Priest (speaking of the Father)
  • “By his own powers man cannot see God, yet God will be seen by men because he wills it.  He will be seen by those he chooses, at the time he chooses, and in the way he chooses, for God can do all things.”  Irenaeus, Bishop
  • “We must then dig deeply in Christ.  He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures:  however deep we dig we will never find their end or their limit.  Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides.”  John of the Cross, Priest
  • “There are a great many bishops in the Church, but would to God we were the zealous teachers and pastors that we promised to be at our consecration, and still make profession of being.  The harvest is good and one reaper or even several would not suffice to gather all of it into the granary of the Lord.”  Thomas Becket, Bishop
  • “When a shepherd sees that his sheep have scattered, he keeps one of them under his control and leads it to the pastures he chooses, and thus he draws the other sheep back to him by means of this one.  And so it was when God the Word saw that the human race had gone astray:  he took the form of a slave and united it to himself, and by means of it won over the whole race of men to him, enticing the sheep that were grazing in bad pastures and exposed to wolves, and leading them to the pastures of God.”  Theodoret of Cyr, Bishop
  • If you thirst, drink of the fountain of life; if you are hungry, eat the bread of life.  Blessed are they who hunger for this bread and thirst for this fountain, for in so doing they will desire ever more to eat and drink.  For what they eat and drink is exceedingly sweet and their thirst and appetite for more is never satisfied.  Though it is ever tasted it is ever more desired.  Hence the prophet-king says:  Taste and see how sweet, how agreeable is the Lord.”  Columban, Abbot
  • “Therefore, we ask that we may know what we love, since we ask nothing other than that you give us yourself.  For you are our all:  our life, our light, our salvation, our food and our drink, our God.  Inspire our hearts, I ask you, Jesus, with that breath of your Spirit; wound our souls with your love, so that the soul of each and every one of us may say in truth:  Show me my soul’s desire, for I am wounded by your love.”  Columban, Abbot
  • “You are one with Jesus as the body is one with the head.  You must, then, have one breath with him, one soul, one life, one will, one mind, one heart.  And he ust be your breath, heart, love, life, your all.  These great gifts in the follow of Christ originate from baptism.  They are increased and strengthened through confirmation and by making good use of other graces that are given by God.  Through the holy Eucharist they are brought to perfection.”  John Eudes, Priest
  • “It is by faith that he dwells in our hearts, in our memory, our intellect and penetrates even into our imagination.  What concept could man have of God if he did not first fashion an image of him in his heart?  By nature incomprehensible and inaccessible, he was invisible and unthinkable, but now he wished to be understood, to be seen and thought of.”  Bernard, Abbot
  • “For our sake he became in your sight both victor and victim – victor, indeed, because he was victim.  For our sake, too, he became before you both priest and sacrifice – priest, indeed, because he was a sacrifice, changing us from slaves to sons by being your Son and serving us.  Rightly then have I firm hope that you will heal all my infirmities through him who sits at your right hand and intercedes for us. Otherwise I should despair.  For great and numerous are these infirmities of mine, great indeed and numerous, but your medicine is mightier.”  Augustine, Bishop
  • “Come, Holy Spirit.  Let the precious pearl of the Father and the Word’s delight come.  Spirit of truth, you are the reward of the saints, the comforter of souls, light in the darkness, riches to the poor, treasure to lovers, food for the hungry, comfort to those who are wandering; to sum up, you are the one in who all treasures are contained.  Come!  As you descend upon Mary, that the Word might become flesh, work in us through grace as you worked in her through nature and grace.  Come!  Food of every chaste thought, fountain of all mercy, sum of all purity.  Come!  Consume in us whatever prevents us from being consumed in you.”  Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
  • “In the darkness and ignorance of this life the Holy Spirit enlightens the poor in spirit.  He is the love that draws them on, the sweetness that attracts them, the way in which a man approaches God.  He is the love of the lover.  He is devotion.  He is piety.  From one degree of faith to the next he is ever revealing to believers the justice of God, so that grace follows grace, and the faith that comes from hearing yields to a faith enlightened by understanding.”  William of Thierry, Abbot
  • “The Spirit comes gently and makes himself known by his fragrance.  He is not felt as a burden, for he is light, very light.  Rays of light and knowledge stream before him as he approaches.  The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend and protector to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console.  The Spirit comes to enlighten the mind first of the one who receives him, and then, through him, the minds of others as well.”  Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop
  • “The Spirit raises our hearts to heaven, guides the steps of the weak, and brings to perfection those who are making progress.  He enlightens those who have been cleansed from every stain of sin and makes them spiritual by communion with himself.”  Basil the Great, Bishop
  • “As clear, transparent substances become very bright when sunlight falls on them and shine with a new radiance, so also souls in whom the Spirit dwells, and who are enlightened by the Spirit, become spiritual themselves and a source of grace for others.”  Basil the Great, Bishop
  • “Finding us in a state of deformity, the Spirit restores our original beauty and fills us with his grace, leaving no room for anything unworthy of our love.  The Spirit frees us from sin and death, and changes us from the earthly men we were, men of dust and ashes, into spiritual men, sharers in the diving glory, sons and heirs of God the Father who bear a likeness to the Son and are his co-heirs and brothers, destined to reign with him and to share in glory.”  Didymus of Alexandria
  • “Like a dry tree which puts forth shoots when watered, the soul bears the fruit of holiness when repentance has made it worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit.”  Cyril of Jerusalem
  • “Through the baptism that liberates us from change and decay we have become one in body; through the Spirit we have become one in soul.”  Irenaeus, Bishop
  • “The man who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks in different languages.  These different languages are different ways of witnessing to Christ, such as humility, poverty, patience and obedience:  we speak in those languages when we reveal in ourselves those virtues to others.”  Anthony of Padua