St. Joseph Catholic Church
God does not love us because we are good; God loves us because God is good. Nothing humans can do will inhibit, direct, decrease, or increase God’s eagerness to love. That is the one absolute of biblical faith, as Pope Francis says, and all else is relative to it. All other claims to some theoretical “absolute truth,” even by the Church, are all in the head, and that is not where we need truth.
For us, the word has become flesh. So we need to first find truth in relationships and in ourselves, and not in theories. Only great love can handle great truth.
—from the book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi by Richard Rohr
As members of a Church that promotes a culture of life, we are called to celebrate the lives of those who may not look like us or act like us. Learn to see each person, regardless of his or her challenges, as a human being specially created by God.
It may be easier for us to volunteer at a shelter to feed the homeless than to show love and compassion for an autistic boy, a little girl with Down syndrome, or a disabled person in a wheelchair in our own parishes. Look for ways to recognize Christ in each of them. As it reads in Matthew 10:42: “And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
—from the book Joyful Witness: How to be an Extraordinary Catholic
by Randy Hain
Mary is our Mother, and she loves us deeply. Because she is a child of God herself and loves us so very much, she wants us to experience that same joy of being a child of God. She understands how important and powerful his love is, and she knows how profoundly God loves each of us individually and uniquely. She will intercede for us, invoking the Holy Spirit to lead us to God the father.
—from the book Forgiving Mother: A Marian Novena of Healing and Peace by Marge Steinhage Fenelon
What a wonderful habit it is to make the Sign of the Cross, to bring Christ to our minds and to our hearts as we carry the crosses of life on our shoulders.
With this sign, we participate in the mystery of the Trinity and are reminded that from the Father came the Son, and from them, the Holy Spirit, who gives us the strength and the knowledge to bear witness to the truth.
—from the book Amazing Graces: The Blessings of Sacramentals
by Julie Dortch Cragon
We can write our own psalms of lament and express our prayers of suffering. In a journal or spoken aloud, our cries of abandonment and loneliness should come out.
Perhaps the words that reflect the sorrow of our hearts can come only from our own depths, and maybe they can come out only in forms of music or art or dance. These small steps of prayerful beginning are a movement toward trusting that God has not abandoned us.
—from the book Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis
by Daniel P. Horan, OFM
Sacrifice teaches us the joy of putting others first, while it strengthens us to respond decisively to the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Yielding to God takes guts, like leaping off a high precipice into pitch darkness. It feels risky, but when we can’t clearly see what’s ahead and we choose to entrust ourselves to God’s love, the rewards are fantastic. It’s as if we ventured out into the wilderness with no provisions, to discover mysterious treasures that speak to our hearts like nothing we have ever experienced before.
—from the book True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life
by Lisa Mladinich
The Church has given us the gift of the saints to show that God does great things in people’s lives. The saints, after all, were ordinary people, too. They needed to call on the Lord for help.
By actively praising God and giving thanks, our hearts will find the resting place that we so desire. Saint Teresa of Avila said this:
“Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing away:
God never changes.”
—from Jeff Cavins’ book Praise God and Thank Him: Biblical Keys to a Joyful Life