It seems to me that an unjust law is no law at all.
Where was my heart to flee for refuge from my heart? Whither was I to fly, where I would not follow? In what place should I not be prey to myself?
He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.
Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one's flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chastity.
Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one's flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chastity. Enter again into yourself.
Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead, He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?
Six is a number perfect in itself, and not because God created the world in six days; rather the contrary is true. God created the world in six days because this number is perfect, and it would remain perfect, even if the work of the six days did not exist.
I became evil for no reason. I had no motive for my wickedness except wickedness itself. It was foul, and I loved it. I loved the self-destruction, I loved my fall, not the object for which I had fallen but my fall itself. My depraved soul leaped down from your firmament to ruin. I was seeking not to gain anything by shameful means, but shame for its own sake.
Just think of the illimitable abundance and the marvelous loveliness of light, or of the beauty of the sun and moon and stars.
A Christian man is on his guard with respect to those who philosophize according to the elements of this world, not according to God, by Whom the world itself was made; for he is warned by the precept of the apostle and faithfully hears what has been said, 'Beware that no one deceive you through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the elements of the world'
Suppress prostitution, and capricious lusts will overthrow society.
Peace in society depends upon peace in the family.
Poetry is devil's wine.
Our life is a gymnasium of desire.... When Christians say "God," what do we wish to express? This word is all that we yearn for.
One generation and another generation; the generation by which we are made the faithful, and are born again by baptism; the generation by which we shall rise again from the dead, and shall live with the Angels for ever.
If you are suffering from a bad man's injustice, forgive him lest there be two bad men.
You don't love in your enemies what they are, but what you would have them become by your prayers.
What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.
For what is the self complacent man but a slave to his own self-praise.
The peace of the celestial city is the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God, and of one another in God.
Chastity, or cleanness of heart, holds a glorious and distinguished place among the virtues, because she, alone, enables man to see God; hence Truth itself said, 'Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.'
Lust indulged became habit, and habit unresisted became necessity.
Now the Apostle, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says, "Knowledge inflates: but love edifies." The only correct inerpretation of this saying is that knowledge is valuable when charity informs it. Without charity, knowledge inflates; that is, it exalts man to an arrogance which is nothing but a kind of windy emptiness.
I beseech Thee, my God, I would fain know, if so Thou willest, for what purpose my baptism was then deferred? was it for my good that the rein was laid loose, as it were, upon me, for me to sin? or was it not laid loose? If not, why does it still echo in our ears on all sides, "Let him alone, let him do as he will, for he is not yet baptised?" but as to bodily health, no one says, "Let him be worse wounded, for he is not yet healed." How much better then, had I been at once healed; and then, by my friends' diligence and my own, my soul's recovered health had been kept safe in Thy keeping who gavest it.
Humility must accompany all our actions, must be with us everywhere; for as soon as we glory in our good works they are of no further value to our advancement in virtue.
Two works of mercy set a person free: Forgive and you will be forgiven, and give and you will receive.
Often a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances... and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all that we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, which people see as ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn.
For, as it is written in the book of the Prophets: "And the angel that spoke in me, said to me...' He does not say, 'Spoke to me' but 'Spoke in me'."
Of this I am certain, that no one has ever died who was not destined to die some time. Now the end of life puts the longest life on a par with the shortest... And of what consequence is it what kind of death puts an end to life, since he who has died once is not forced to go through the same ordeal a second time? They, then, who are destined to die, need not be careful to inquire what death they are to die, but into what place death will usher them.
Thus I remained to myself an unhappy lodging where I could neither stay nor leave.
For where could my heart fly from my heart? Where could I fly from my own self?
You have enemies. For who can live on this earth without them? Take heed to yourselves: love them. In no way can your enemy so hurt you by his violence, as you hurt yourself if you love him not.
God provides the wind, Man must raise the sail.
They the hazers or eversores were rightly called Overturners, since they had themselves been first overturned and perverted, tricked by those same devils who were secretly mocking them in the very acts by which they amused themselves in mocking and making fools of others.
When I seek you, my God, I seek a blessed life. I shall seek you, so that my soul may live.
My mother spoke of Christ to my father, by her feminine and childlike virtues, and, after having borne his violence without a murmur or complaint, gained him at the close of his life to Christ.
The desire is thy prayers; and if thy desire is without ceasing, thy prayer will also be without ceasing. The continuance of your longing is the continuance of your prayer.
Love all men, even your enemies; love them, not because they are your brothers, but that they may become your brothers. Thus you will ever burn with fraternal love, both for him who is already your brother and for your enemy, that he may by loving become your brother.
Let him who desires to be harsh in making demands upon his debtors consider that he is God's debtor.
A brotherly person rejoices on my account when he approves me, but when he disapproves, he is loving me. To such people I will reveal myself. They will take heart from my good traits, and sigh with sadness at my bad ones. My good points are instilled by you and are your gifts. My bad points are my faults and your judgements on them. Let them take heart from the one and regret the other. Let both praise and tears ascend in your sight from brotherly hearts, your censers. ...But you Lord...Make perfect my imperfections.
Don't you believe that there is in man a deep so profound as to be hidden even to him in whom it is?
I was unhappy and so is every soul unhappy which is tied to its love for mortal things; when it loses them, it is torn in pieces, and it is then that it comes to realize the unhappiness which was there even before it lost them.
Woman does not possess the image of God in herself but only when taken together with the male who is her head, so that the whole substance is one image. But when she is assigned the role as helpmate, a function that pertains to her alone, then she is not the image of God. But as far as the man is concerned, he is by himself alone the image of God just as fully and completely as when he and the woman are joined together into one.
Why is it that man desires to be made sad, beholding doleful and tragical things, which yet himself would by no means suffer?
Every infinity... is made finite to God.
The Sacraments are the salvation of those who use them rightly, and the damnation of those who misuse them.
A temptation arises: it is the wind. It disturbs you: it is the surging of the seas. This is the time to awaken Christ and let Him remind you of these words.
Therefore once for all this short command is given to you. 'Love and do what you will.' If you keep silent, keep silent by love; if you speak, speak by love; if you correct, correct by love; if you pardon, pardon by love: let love be rooted in you, and from the root nothing but good can grow.
It is not with respect to our convenience or discomfort, but with respect to their own nature that the creatures are glorifying to their Artificer.
Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.
Alternate translation: Come brethren, if you have a mind to be ingrafted in the vine, It is a pity to see you lopped off in this manner From the stock. Reckon up the prelates in the very see of Peter; And in that order of fathers see which has succeeded which. This is the rock over which the proud gates of hell prevail not.
I inquired what wickedness is, and I didn't find a substance, but a perversity of will twisted away from the highest substance -- You, O God -- towards inferior things, rejecting its own inner life and swelling with external matters.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell.
Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending.
Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.
I asked the whole frame of the world about my God; and he answered, I am not He, but He made me.
I have learnt to love you late, Beauty at once so ancient and so new!
Men go forth to marvel at the height of mountains, and the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the vastness of the ocean, the orbits of the stars, and yet they neglect to marvel at themselves. Variant: Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, and pass themselves by.
In our own times, you see, an emperor came to the city of Rome, where there's the temple of an emperor, where there's a fisherman's tomb. And so that pious and Christian emperor, wishing to beg for health, for salvation from the Lord, did not proceed to the temple of a proud emperor, but to the tomb of a fisherman, where he could imitate that fisherman in humility, so that he, being thus approached, might then obtain something from the Lord, which a haughty emperor would be quite unable to earn.
Hell was made for the inquisitive.
He indeed possesses the Character imposed on him, but he wanders as a renegade.
And yet I do love a kind of light, melody, fragrance, food, embracement when I love my God; for He is the light, the melody, the fragrance, the food, the embracement of my inner self -- there where is a brillance that space cannot contain, a sound that time cannot carry away, a perfume that no breeze disperses, a taste undimisnished by eating, a clinging together that no saiety will sunder. This is what I love when I love my God.
We make ourselves a ladder out of our vices if we trample the vices themselves underfoot.
The desire for fame tempts even noble minds.
I entered (into my inward self) and beheld with the eye of my soul...the Light Unchangeable.
He who does little, but in a state to which God calls him, does more than he who labors much, but in a state which he has thoughtlessly chosen: a cripple limping in the right way is better than a racer out of it.
Late have I loved you, O beauty ever ancient, ever new. Late have I loved you. You have called to me, and have called out, and have shattered my deafness. You have blazed forth with light and have put my blindness to flight! You have sent forth fragrance, and I have drawn in my breath, and I pant after you. I have tasted you, and I hunger and thirst after you. You have touched me, and I have burned for your peace.
What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know.
Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.
The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away. -Ronald Reagan In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?
The Church even now is the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of heaven. Accordingly, even now His saints reign with Him, though otherwise than as they shall reign hereafter; and yet, though the tares grow in the Church along with the wheat, they do not reign with Him. For they reign with Him who do what the apostle says, 'If you are risen with Christ, mind the things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Seek those things which are above, not the things which are on the earth'.
Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again.
No one reaches the kingdom of Heaven except by humility.
By the fall a poison was handed to mankind through a woman Eve, by the Redemption man was given salvation also through a woman Mary.
Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.
The most venerable, clearly understood, enlightened, and reliable constant in the world is not only that we want to be happy, but that we want only to be so. Our very nature requires it of us.
God gives where he finds empty hands.
When the king asked him what he meant by infesting the sea, the pirate defiantly replied:
The same as you do when you infest the whole world;
but because I do it with a little ship I am called a robber,
and because you do it with a great fleet, you are an emperor.
O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet.
His knowledge is not like ours, which has three tenses; present, past, and future. God's knowledge has no change or variation.
Our rewards in heaven are a result of God's crowning His own gifts.
At the beginning of the human race the woman was made of a rib taken from the side of the man while he slept; for it seemed fit that even then Christ and His Church should be foreshadowed in this event. For that sleep of the man was the death of Christ, whose side, as He hung lifeless upon the Cross, was pierced with a spear, and there flowed from it blood and water, and these we know to be the sacraments by which the Church is built up.
Learn to dance, so when you get to heaven the angels know what to do with you.
Angels are spirits, but it is not because they are spirits that they are angels. They become angels when they are sent. For the name angel refers to their office, not their nature. You ask the name of this nature, it is spirit; you ask its office, it is that of an Angel, which is a messenger.
Do you desire security? Here you have it. The Lord says to you, "I will never abandon you, I will always be with you." If a good man made you such a promise, you would trust him. God makes it, and do you doubt? Do you seek a support more sure than the word of God, which is infallible? Surely, He has made the promise, He has written it, He has pledged His word for it, it is most certain.
Trust the past to the mercy of God, the present to His love, and the future to His providence.
Salvation is God's way of making us real people.
A very weighty argument is this namely, that neither does the light which descends from thence, chiefly upon the world , mix itself with anything, nor admit of dirtiness or pollution, but remains entirely, and in all things that are, free from defilement, admixture, and suffering.
If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.
God's love is unconditional. Be sure that yours is too!
Nothing whatever pertaining to godliness and real holiness can be accomplished without grace .
Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbor, does not yet understand them as he ought.
Unhappy is the soul enslaved by the love of anything that is mortal.
Believe that you may understand.
God bids you not to commit lechery, that is, not to have sex with any woman except your wife. You ask of her that she should not have sex with anyone except you -- yet you are not willing to observe the same restraint in return.
Let us therefore yield ourselves and bow to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, which can neither err nor deceive.
Do you who are a Christian desire to be revenged and vindicated, and the death of Jesus Christ has not yet been revenged, nor His innocence vindicated?
God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.
It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.
Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure: where your treasure, there your heart; where your heart, there your happiness.
Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
The same thing which is now called Christian religion existed among the ancients. They have begun to call 'Christian' the true religion which existed before.
I fell away from you, my God, and I went astray, too far astray from you, the support of my youth, and I became to myself a land of want.
In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?
For why, my brothers and sisters, would you rejoice in silver? Either your silver will perish, or you will, and no one knows which will perish first. For neither can you remain here always, nor can silver remain here always; so also with gold, wardrobes, houses, money, real estate-and in the end, even the light by which we enjoy all these things. So do not be willing then to rejoice in such things as these. Rejoice instead in the light that has no setting; rejoice in the dawn which no yesterday precedes, and no tomorrow follows.
What can be more excellent than prayer; what is more profitable to our life; what sweeter to our souls; what more sublime, in the course of our whole life, than the practice of prayer!
Late have I loved Thee, O Lord; and behold, Thou wast within and I without, and there I sought Thee. Thou was with me when I was not with Thee. Thou didst call, and cry, and burst my deafness. Thou didst gleam, and glow, and dispell my blindness. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace. For Thyself Thou hast made us, and restless our hearts until in Thee they find their ease. Late have I loved Thee, Thou Beauty ever old and ever new. Thou hast burst my bonds asunder; unto Thee will I offer up an offering of praise.
Because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true; nor because it is uttered with stammering lips should it be supposed false.
The words printed here are concepts. You must go through the experiences.
Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.
For if God is man's chief good, which you cannot deny, it clearly follows, since to seek the chief good is to live well, that to live well is nothing else but to love God with all the heart, with all the soul, with all the mind.
The wicked have told me of things that delight them, but not such things as your law has to tell.
To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.
Let us understand that God is a physician, and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation.
An apt and true reply was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride. "What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.
So if you can manage it, you shouldn't touch your partner, except for the sake of having children.
Man's maker was made man that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother's breast; that the Bread might hunger, the Fountain thirst, the Light sleep, the Way be tired on its journey; that Truth might be accused of false witnesses, the Teacher be beaten with whips, the Foundation be suspended on wood; that Strength might grow weak; that the Healer might be wounded; that Life might die.
Purity of soul cannot be lost without consent.
Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.
God's faithful servant has no desire for people to say or to give to him, or what he likes to hear or see, for his first and greatest aim is to hear what is most pleasing to God.
Imagine the vanity of thinking that your enemy can do you more damage than your enmity.
Truth is not private property.
Let your old age be childlike, and your childhood like old age; that is, so that neither may your wisdom be with pride, nor your humility without wisdom.
Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.
Samson crushed himself and his enemies to death beneath the ruins of a building. He can only be excused on the grounds that the Spirit of the Lord, who wrought miracles through him, had bidden him to do so. But, apart from such men excepted by the command of a just law in general or of God, the very Source of justice, in a special case, any one who kills a human being, himself or another, is guilty of murder.
I found thee not, O Lord, without, because I erred in seeking thee without that wert within.
He who thinks he lives without sin puts aside not sin, but pardon.
Fortitude is the disposition of soul which enables us to despise all inconveniences and the loss of things not in our power.
Take care of your body as if you were going to live forever; and take care of your soul as if you were going to die tomorrow.
The good man, though a slave, is free; the wicked, though he reigns, is a slave, and not the slave of a single man, but- what is worse -- the slave of as many masters as he has vices.
Temperance is love surrendering itself wholly to Him who is its object; courage is love bearing all things gladly for the sake of Him who is its object; justice is love serving only Him who is its object, and therefore rightly ruling; prudence is love making wise distinction between what hinders and what helps itself.
Punishment is justice for the unjust.
Our Lord reserved to Himself certain things which He would do in due time in a manner outside the course and order of nature, so that they would wonder and be astonished at seeing not great but unusual things, who are unmoved by things daily seen. For the government of the world is a greater miracle than feeding five thousand men from five loaves; yet at the former no one wonders, the latter astonishes all men: not as a greater wonder, but as a rarer.
Love, and do what you like.
Who can map out the various forces at play in one soul? Man is a great depth, O Lord. The hairs of his head are easier by far to count than his feeling, the movements of his heart.
Eternity is the now that does not pass away.
For I wondered that others, subject to death, did live, since he whom I loved, as if he should never die, was dead; and I wondered yet more that myself, who was to him a second self, could live, he being dead. Well said one of his friend, "Thou half of my soul"; for I felt that my soul and his soul were "one soul in two bodies": and therefore was my life a horror to me, because I would not live halved. And therefore perchance I feared to die, lest he whom I had much loved should die wholly.
When I then turned toward the scriptures, they appeared to me to be quite unworthy to be compared with the dignity of Tully. For my inflated pride was repelled by their style, nor could the sharpness of my wit penetrate their inner meaning. Truly they were of a sort to aid the growth of little ones, but I scorned to be a little one and, swollen with pride, I looked upon myself as fully grown.
All diseases of Christians are to be ascribed to demons; chiefly do they torment freshly-baptized Christians, yea, even the guiltless new-born infants.
God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist.
That there should be some fire even after this life is not incredible, and it can be inquired into and either be discovered or left hidden whether some of the faithful may be saved, some more slowly and some more quickly in the greater or lesser degree in which they loved the good things that perish, through a certain purgatorial fire.
Divine Scripture is wont to frame, as it were, allurements for children from the things which are found in the creature; whereby, according to their measure, and as it were by steps, the affections of the weak may be moved to seek those things that are above, and to leave those things that are below. But the same Scripture rarely employs those things which are spoken properly of God, and are not found in any creature; as, for instance, that which was said to Moses, I am that I am; and, I Am has sent me to you.
Even the straws under my knees shout to distract me from prayer.
Nothing, therefore, happens unless the Omnipotent wills it to happen. He either permits it to happen, or He brings it about Himself.
For, were it not good that evil things should also exist, the omnipotent God would almost certainly not allow evil to be, since beyond doubt it is just as easy for Him not to allow what He does not will, as for Him to do what He will.
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
To my God a heart of flame; To my fellow man a heart of love; To myself a heart of steel.
There is no love without hope, no hope without love, and neither hope nor love without faith.
Every visible thing in this world is put in the charge of an angel.
Your persistent longing is your persistent voice. But when love grows cold, the heart grows silent. Burning love is the outcry of the heart! If you are filled with longing all the time, you will keep crying out, and if your love perseveres, your cry will be heard without fail.
Why persist in walking difficult and toilsome paths? There is no repose where you are seeking it. Search as you like, it is not where you are looking. You are seeking a happy life in the realm of death, and it will not be found there. How could life be happy where there is no life at all?
And I entered and beheld with the eye of my soul... the Light Unchangeable... He that knows the Truth, knows what that Light is; and he that knows It, knows Eternity.
The one who sings, prays twice.
If But for the Mercy of my Lord, that my paradise becomes a woman's hell.
God without us will not as we without God cannot.
Unjust laws aren't laws at all.
Remove justice, and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale?... A gang is a group of men... in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention. If this villainy... acquires territory, establishes a base, captures cities and subdues people, it then openly arrogates to itself the title of kingdom.
What matters it to me if someone does not understand this? Let him too rejoice and say, "What is this?" Let him rejoice even at this, and let him love to find you while not finding it out, rather than, while finding it out, not to find you.
The greatest evil is physical pain.
It is not earthly riches which make us or our sons happy; for they must either be lost by us in our lifetime, or be possessed when we are dead, by whom we know not, or perhaps by whom we would not.
The rich are like beasts of burden, carrying treasure all day, and at the night of death unladen; they carry to their grave only the bruises and marks of their toil.
Try as they may to savor the taste of eternity, their thoughts still twist and turn upon the ebb and flow of things in past and future time. But if only their minds could be seized and held steady, they would be still for a while and, for that short moment, they would glimse the splendor of eternity, which is forever still.
Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.
When I come to be united to thee with all my being, then there will be no more pain and toil for me, and my life shall be a real life, being wholly filled by thee.
Who can control this when its appetite is aroused? No one! In the very movement of this appetite, then, it has no "mode" that responds to the decisions of the will ... Yet what he wishes he cannot accomplish ... In the very movement of the appetite, it has no mode corresponding to the decision of the will.
Thou must be emptied of that wherewith thou art full, that thou mayest be filled with that whereof thou art empty.
Our heart is restless until it rests in You.
If a shameless woman expects to be defiled and then dies of her fierce love because you do not consent, will chastity also be homicide?
Where Scripture speaks of the world's creation, it is not plainly said whether or when the angels were created; but if mention is made, it is implicit under the name of "heaven," when it is said, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Do not say that you have chaste minds if you have unchaste eyes, because an unchaste eye is the messenger of an unchaste heart.
To sing is to pray twice.
Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.
He who denies the existence of God, has some reason for wishing that God did not exist.
God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand. If you understand you have failed.
O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.
In order to discover the character of people we have only to observe what they love.
Let our lives be good, and the times are good. We make our times; such as we are, such are the times.
Now, may our God be our hope. He Who made all things is better than all things. He Who made all beautiful things is more beautiful than all of them. He Who made all mighty things is more mighty than all of them. He Who made all great things is greater than all of them. Learn to love the Creator in His creature, and the maker in what He has made.
No eulogy is due to him who simply does his duty and nothing more.
Baptism does not profit a man outside unity with the Church ... For many heretics also possess this Sacrament but not the fruits of salvation ... The benefits which flow from Baptism are necessarily fruits which belong to the true Church alone. Children Baptized in other communions cease to be members of the Church when, after reaching the age of reason, they make formal profession of heresy, as, for example, by receiving communion in a non-Catholic Church.
The argument is at an end.
God will not suffer man to have a knowledge of things to come for if he had prescience of his prosperity, he would be careless and if understanding of his adversity, he would be despairing and senseless.
Oh Lord, give me chastity, but do not give it yet.
Christ is not valued at all, unless he is valued above all.
Custom is second nature.
Man has been naturally so created that it is advantageous for him to be submissive, but disastrous for him to follow his own will, and not the will of his creator.
It is better that the truth be known than that scandal be covered up.
Without God, we cannot. Without us, God will not.
Order your soul; reduce your wants; live in charity; associate in Christian community; obey the laws; trust in Providence.
It was not the visible sun, but its invisible Creator who consecrated this day for us, when the Virgin Mother, fertile of womb and integral in her virginity, brought him forth, made visible for us, by whom, when he was invisible, she too was created. A Virgin conceiving, a Virgin bearing, a Virgin pregnant, a Virgin bringing forth, a Virgin perpetual. Why do you wonder at this, O man?
The Gods occupy the loftiest regions, men the lowest, the demons the middle region...They have immortality of body, but passions of the mind in common with men.
We made bad use of immortality, and so ended up dying; Christ made good use of mortality, so that we might end up living.
Venerate the martyrs, praise, love, proclaim, honor them. But worship the God of the martyrs.
I too have sworn heedlessly and all the time, I have had this most repulsive and death-dealing habit. I'm telling your graces; from the moment I began to serve God , and saw what evil there is in forswearing oneself, I grew very afraid indeed, and out of fear I applied the brakes to this old, old, habit.
Your first task is to be dissatisfied with yourself, fight sin, and transform yourself into something better. Your second task is to put up with the trials and temptations of this world that will be brought on by the change in your life and to persevere to the very end in the midst of these things.
Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop.
For a sentence is not complete unless each word, once its syllables have been pronounced, gives way to make room for the next.
For when God said, "Let there be light, and there was light," if we are justified in understanding in this light the creation of the angels, then certainly they were created partakers of the eternal light which is the unchangeable Wisdom of God, by which all things were made, and whom we call the only-begotten Son of God.
For great are you, Lord, and you look kindly on what is humble, but the lofty-minded you regard from afar. Only to those whose hearts are crushed do you draw close. You will not let yourself be found by the proud, nor even by those who in their inquisitive skill count stars or grains of sand, or measure the expanses of heaven, or trace the paths of the planets.
It is the function of perfection to make one know one's imperfection.
It is impossible that there should be inhabitants on the opposite side of the Earth, since no such race is recorded by Scripture among the descendants of Adam.
God bestows more consideration on the purity of the intention with which our actions are performed than on the actions themselves.
Even in waging war, cherish the spirit of peace-maker; that, by conquering those whom you attack, you may lead them back to the advantages of peace.
The entire most beautiful order of things that are very good, when their measures have been accomplished, is to pass away.
The arrogance is not greatness but swelling; and the swelling seems big but it's not healthy.
Since God is the highest good, he would not allow any evil to exist in his works unless his omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.
Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.
To wisdom belongs the intellectual apprehension of eternal things; to knowledge, the rational knowledge of temporal things.
The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion: Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.
Let us sing a new song, not with our lips, but with our lives.
Let the Lord your God be your hope -- seek for nothing else from him, but let him himself be your hope. There are people who hope from him riches or perishable and transitory honours, in short they hope to get from God things which are not God himself.
God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to your honor and glory.
We do not sin when we adore Christ in the Eucharist; we do sin when we do not adore Christ in the Eucharist.
In the Mass the blood of Christ flows anew for sinners.
I acknowledge Thee, Lord of heaven and earth, and praise Thee for my first rudiments of being, and my infancy, whereof I remember nothing; for Thou hast appointed that man should from others guess much as to himself; and believe much on the strength of weak females.
Disturbers are to be rebuked, the low spirited to be encouraged, the infirm to be supported, objectors confuted, the treacherous guarded against, the unskilled taught, the lazy aroused, the contentious restrained, the haughty repressed, the poor relieved, the oppressed liberated, the good approved, the evil borne with, and all are to be loved!
The Old (Testament) is in the New (Testament) revealed, the New is in the Old concealed.
This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfection.
This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.
Moreover, from the time when He said, 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven;' and again, 'He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it; ' no one becomes a member of Christ except it be either by baptism in Christ, or death for Christ.
To be under pressure is inescapable. Pressure takes place through all the world; war, siege, the worries of state. We all know men who grumble under these pressures and complain. They are cowards. They lack splendour. But there is another sort of man who is under the same pressure but does not complain, for it is the friction which polishes him. It is the pressure which refines and makes him noble.
Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.
I once laboured hard for the free will of man, until the grace of God at length overcame me.
It is indeed better (as no one ever could deny) that men should be led to worship God by teaching, than that they should be driven to it by fear of punishment or pain; but it does not follow that because the former course produces the better men, therefore those who do not yield to it should be neglected. For many have found advantage (as we have proved, and are daily proving by actual experiment), in being first compelled by fear or pain, so that they might afterwards be influenced by teaching, or might follow out in act what they had already learned in word.
What is held by the whole Church, and that not as instituted by Councils, but as a matter of invariable custom, is rightly held to have been handed down by authority.
It is easy to want things from the Lord and yet not want the Lord Himself, as though the gift could ever be preferable to the Giver.
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
Grant what Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt.
Ninety percent of the time things turn out worse than you thought they would. The other ten percent of the time you had no right to expect that much.
I had a clear idea about what time is till I was asked to explain it and ceased to understand it altogether as soon as I began explaining it.
Charity is the root of all good works.
Give me yourself, O my God, give yourself back to me. Lo, I love you, but if my love is too mean, let me love more passionately. I cannot gauge my love, nor know how far it fails, how much more love I need for my life to set its course straight into your arms, never swerving until hidden in the covert of your face.
What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ. This has been said very briefly, which may perhaps be sufficient for faith; yet faith does not desire instruction.
I learned most, not from those who taught me but from those who talked with me.
In what is necessary, unity; in what is not necessary, liberty and in all things charity.
The angels surround and help the priest when he is celebrating Mass.
Although among heretics and schismatics there is the same Baptism, nevertheless, the remission of sins is not operative among them because of the very rottenness of discord and wickedness of dissension ... Baptism was in them, but it did not profit them outside the Church ... Outside the Church, Baptism works death because of discord.
Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.
Carnal lust rules where there is no love of God.
If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven.
It is not the punishment but the cause that makes the martyr.
Wicked sons do not have the Holy Ghost in the same way as do beloved sons, and yet they do have Baptism. So, too, heretics do not have the Church as Catholics have, even though they have Baptism.
Indifferent acts are judged by their ends sins are judged by themselves.
Though defensive violence will always be 'a sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men.
The soul, which is spirit, can not dwell in dust; it is carried along to dwell in the blood.
What is reprehensible is that while leading good lives themselves and abhorring those of wicked men, some, fearing to offend, shut their eyes to evil deeds instead of condemning them and pointing out their malice.
For whenever unbaptized persons die confessing Christ, this confession is of the same efficacy for the remission of sins as if they were washed in the sacred font of baptism.
Human law cannot punish or forbid all evil, since while doing away with evils it would do away with many good things, which would hinder the advance of the common good.
Do not be afraid to throw yourself on the Lord! He will not draw back and let you fall! Put your worries aside and throw yourself on him; He will welcome you and heal you.
By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity.
I do not doubt that all those who have received Baptism anywhere and from whomever do have Baptism, as long as it was consecrated with the words of the Gospel and they received it without pretence on their part and with some degree of faith. However, it would not avail them for their spiritual salvation if they were lacking in that charity by which they might be implanted in the Catholic Church.
Christ held Himself in His hands when He gave His Body to His disciples saying: 'This is My Body.' No one partakes of this Flesh before he has adored it.
It is human to err, but it is devilish to remain willfully in error.
What is time? If I am not asked, I know; if I am asked, I don't.
Blessed is he who devotes his life to great and noble ends, and who forms his well-considered plans with deliberate wisdom.
Nothing so clearly distinguishes a spiritual man as his treatment of an erring brother.
You wish to be great, begin from the least. You are thinking to construct some mighty fabric in height; first think of the foundation of humility. And how great soever a mass of building one may wish and design to place above it, the greater the building is to be, the deeper does he dig his foundation.
The dove loves when it quarrels; the wolf hates when it flatters.
Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.
There is something in humility which, strangely enough, exalts the heart, and something in pride which debases it.
God suffers not the pain of repentance, nor is He deceived in any matter, so that He would wish to correct that wherein He has erred. But as when a man repents of anything, he wishes to change what he has done; thus where you hear that God repents, look for an actual change. God does it differently from you, although He calls it by the name of repentance; for thou dost it, because you had erred; while He does it, because He avenges, or frees.
Slavery is not penal in character and planned by that law which commands the preservation of the natural order and forbids disturbance.
Love can be angry... with a kind of anger in which there is no gall, like the dove's and not the ravens.
Hell was made for the inquisitive.
There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this it is, and there is no other.
Every morning you put on your clothes to cover your nakedness and protect your body from inclement weather. Why don't you also clothe your soul with the garment of faith? Remember each morning the truths of your creed, and look at yourself in the mirror of your faith. Otherwise, your soul will soon be naked with the nakedness of oblivion.
Do not believe yourself healthy. Immortality is health; this life is a long sickness.
The people who remained victorious were less like conquerors than conquered.
God will cleanse your sins if you yourself are dissatisfied with yourself and will keep on changing until you are perfect.
What is perfection in love? Love your enemies in such a way that you would desire to make them your brothers ... For so did He love, Who hanging on the Cross, said "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34).
People travel to wonder
at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.
Between urine and filth we are born.
Love, and do what you will. If you keep silence, do it out of love. If you cry out, do it out of love. If you refrain from punishing, do it out of love.
It is no advantage to be near the light if the eyes are closed.
God Almighty would in no way permit evil in His works were He not so omnipotent and good that even out of evil He could work good.
When God is our strength, it is strength indeed; when our strength is our own, it is only weakness.
Don't go outside; get back to yourself, in the inner man lies the Truth.
Who would not shudder if he were given the choice of eternal death or life again as a child? Who would not choose to die?
Sin is to a nature what blindness is to an eye. The blindness of an evil or defect which is a witness to the fact that the eye was created to see the light and, hence, the very lack of sight is the proof that the eye was meant... to be the one particularly capable of seeing the light. Were it not for this capacity, there would be no reason to think of blindness as a misforture.
He fashioned hell for the inquisitive.
To seek the highest good is to live well.
To seek the greatest good is to live well, and to live well is nothing other than to love God with the whole heart, the whole soul, and the whole mind: It is therefore obvious that this love must be kept whole and uncorrupt, that is temperance; it should not be overcome with difficulties, that is fortitude, it must not be subservient to anything else, that is justice; it must discriminate among things so as not to be deceived by falsity or fraud, that is prudence.
The customs of God's people and the institutions of our ancestors are to be considered as laws. And those who throw contempt on the customs of the Church ought to be punished as those who disobey the law of God.
He who loves the coming of the Lord is not he who affirms that it is far off, nor is it he who says it is near, but rather he who, whether it be far off or near, awaits it with sincere faith, steadfast hope, and fervent love.
Don't let your life give evidence against your tongue. Sing with your voices... sing also with your conduct.
And he departed from our sight that we might return to our hearts and find him there. For he left us, and behold, he is here.
God does not give heed to the ambitiousness of our prayers, because he is always ready to give to us his light, not a visible light but an intellectual and spiritual one; but we are not always ready to receive it when we turn aside and down to other things out of a desire for temporal things.
If God seems slow in responding, it is because He is preparing a better gift. He will not deny us. God withholds what you are not yet ready for. He wants you to have a lively desire for His greatest gifts. All of which is to say, pray always and do not lose heart.
Our bodies are shaped to bear children, and our lives are a working out of the processes of creation. All our ambitions and intelligence are beside that great elemental point.
All truth and understanding is a result of a divine light which is God Himself.
Two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self; the heavenly by the love of God.
Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should ... With you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me... No one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion... For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.
Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.
Conscience and reputation are two things. Conscience is due to yourself, reputation to your neighbour.
You never depart from us, but yet, only with difficulties do we return to You.
What I needed most was to love and to be loved, eager to be caught. Happily I wrapped those painful bonds around me; and sure enough, I would be lashed with the red-hot pokers or jealousy, by suspicions and fear, by burst of anger and quarrels.
He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.
You have been professing yourself reluctant to throw off your load of illusion because truth was uncertain. Well, it is certain now, yet the burden still weighs you down, while other people are given wings on freer shoulders, people who have not worn themselves out with research, nor spent a decade and more reflecting on these questions.
For where I found Truth, there found I my God, the Truth itself; which since I learnt, I have not forgotten.
This world's a bubble.
Any woman who does not give birth to as many children as she is capable is guilty of murder.