Wednesday, April 30, 2014

With the Greatest Respect and Esteem

'On certain occasions it is necessary to speak to people whom you heartily dislike.  Then you must do so with the greatest respect and esteem.  This point is of such great importance for the perfection of your souls that I would willingly write these words with my blood.  Should we not show our love for God?  Jesus suffered so much for us amid repugnance and aversions!'  (St. Francis de Sales)

Painting:  Edmund Charles Tarbell

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Search for Me

'Come, Lord Jesus,
to look for Your servant,
to search for the
tired sheep...
long have I
awaited Your arrival...
Come to me,
for I am disturbed
by the incursions
of the ravening wolves.
Come to me,
for I have been
cast out of Paradise...
I have wandered far from the herd grazing on the heights... You had placed me there,
but the wolf roaming
by night drove me
away from the fold.
Come to look for me,
for I too am seeking You.  Search for me,
find me,
gather me to You,
carry me....'

St. Ambrose

Tarbell painting in US
public domain due to age

Monday, April 28, 2014

Don't Spend Time with Temptations

"Lately I was near the beehives, and some of the bees flew onto my face.  I wanted to raise my hand and brush them off.  'No,'  a peasant said to me.  'Don't be afraid and don't touch them. They won't sting you at all unless you touch them.'  I trusted him, and not one stung me.  Trust me:  don't fear these temptations; don't touch them, and they won't hurt you.  Pass on and don't spend time with them."  (St. Francis de Sales)

Public domain photo from Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mercy in this Restless Time

'Who can say that he is free from sin and does not need God’s mercy? 
As people of this restless time of ours, wavering 
between the emptiness of self-exaltation 
and the humiliation of despair, 
we have a greater need than ever for a regenerating experience of mercy.' 

St. John Paul II

As we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, may SAINTS John Paul II and John XXIII pray for us all!

Painting:  Antonín Chittussi, Paris as Viewed from Montmartre

Thursday, April 24, 2014

So Insidious an Evil

how surely does it
disrupt harmony
and ruin peace!
Like the moth,
it consumes
quickly and quietly,
before the damage
is perceived.
May our dear Lord
preserve us from
so insidious an evil
as a critical tongue!'

(from Fervorinos From Galilee's Hills, 
compiled by a Religious, Pelligrini, Australia, 1936, p. 113)

Painting:  William Merritt Chase

Monday, April 21, 2014

How Happy are Those

'Oh, how happy are those who keep their hearts open to holy inspirations! 
They never lack anything conducive to a devout life.'

St. Francis de Sales

Painting:  Guy Rose,  Marguerite Reading

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What Shall We Behold?

'Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb.  They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first.  He bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloths lying on the ground and also the cloth that had been over His head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in.  He saw and he believed.'  (John 20:3-8)

Have a blessed Easter.

Painting:  Eugene Burnand, John and Peter

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Oh, What a Serious Thing

'Oh, what a serious thing sin is, 
for it was enough to kill God with so many sorrows!  
And how surrounded You are by them, my God!  
Where can You go that they do not torment You? 
Everywhere mortals wound You... 
what extraordinary ingratitude, my King!'

St. Teresa of Avila 

 Painting:  Colijn de Coter, The Mourning Mary Magdalene

Friday, April 11, 2014

When Your Light is Scorned

'O Jesus, You are the light 
for those who open their eyes to see You;
but for those who shut their eyes,
You are a stumbling block 
against which they break themselves....

'You would have enlightened them 
with Your truth if they had humbly
asked You, but in their pride 
they did not welcome Your light... 

'When Your light is scorned, 
we no longer heed it; 
a dense fog covers it, and our passions 
completely hide it from our eyes.' 

Jacques Bossuet

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Just One of Your Words

'O Lord, all my greatness is in listening to You: hearing You in the external word of Your law, and hearing You in the interior inspiration of Your Spirit, in the multi-faceted ways by which Your Providence speaks....

'It is more precious and more important to hear just one of your words, and to establish with You a current of interior attraction, than the many things that my love would like to offer You.'

G. Canovai, 'Suscipe Domine'

Painting:  Edmund Tarbell

What Will Faith Not Find?

You are good, Lord,
to the soul that seeks You.
Make me seek You with desire,
follow You with deeds,
find You through faith.
What is there that faith will not find?
It reaches inaccessible realities,
discovers the unknown,
embraces the immeasurable,
takes possession of the eternal,
and finally, in a certain manner,
contains eternity itself
with its vast expanse.'

St. Bernard

Painting: Szinyei Merse, Poppies in the Field, 1902;
in US public domain due to age

Saturday, April 5, 2014

In Every Moment

'Great works 
do not
come our way, 
but in 
every moment, 
we may 
do little ones; 
that is, 
with a
great love.'

St Francis de Sales

Painting:  Désiré François Laugée

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Very Air

'This is the earth He walked on;
The air we breathe, He breathed - the very air
that took the mould and music of His high
and Godlike speech.  Lo!  The sun that shone
on Him, shines now on us; when day is gone,
the moon of Galilee comes forth again,
and lights our path as His; an endless chain
of years and sorrows makes the round world one.'

(from Fervorinos From Galilee's Hills, 
compiled by a Religious, Pelligrini, Australia, 1936, p. 22)

Painting:  Gustav Bauernfeind, Wailing Wall

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tasting the Divine

'If we have a taste for divine things, worldly things will no longer excite our appetite.'

St. Francis de Sales

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Loving Absurdity

"Let worldly wisdom go on constituting what it considers excellency in worldly glory if it wants to. The true Christian, who is tending toward perfection, should, contrary to all the reasonings of human prudence, place all his perfection in the folly of the Cross." (St. Francis de Sales)

"The message of the cross is complete absurdity to those who are headed for ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation it is the power of God.  Scripture says, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and thwart the cleverness of the clever.'" (1 Corinthians 1:18-19) 

Painting by Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole