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Reflections: Non-Catholics Section

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Non-Cath.Sec. | Home | Daily Digest | Reflections: A-Z | Categorized

Reflections: 

 Non-Catholics Section

Wisdom of the Popes, Saints, Theologians, Other...

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As Christ's Brothers, Heaven Becomes Our Inheritance

As Long As One is Alive, It is Never Too Late

Better to be a Bad Catholic Than a Good Protestant?

Catholics Are Called to Treat Those Outside the Church With Charity and Seek Their Salvation

Christ Founded Only One Church

Christ Pardons Sins Through the Church

The Christian [Catholic] Faith is From God

Critics of the Church Should Consider What the World Would be Like Without It

Describing God

Determining the True Religion

The Effect of Charity Encourages Catholics To Call Others to God

Faith Should Be Sought Where Truth Faith First Began

Grave Are the Consequences of Ignorance in Matters of Religion

If You Know God, You Will Love God

The Interchange of Catholics & Non-Catholics

It is a Rare Gift to be Catholic

Non-Catholics Should Beg Light From Heaven to Recognize the True Church of Christ

Nothing is More Glorious than Belonging to the Catholic Church

One Must Adopt the Religion That God Enjoins

The Popes' Concern For People

Prayer of St. Francis Xavier for Non-Catholics

The Sinner Cannot Hide From God

St. Augustine's Conversion

There is No Power Like the Church

Those Who Don't Believe in Eternal Life

Those Who Refuse to Have God as Their Father, Must Have Him as Their Master

The Value of One's Soul

We Have it in Our Power to Abide in Virtue

We Must Love God Even When Things Are Difficult

We Must Obey God

Misc.

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Category
Quotation

As Christ's Brothers, Heaven Becomes Our Inheritance

Also See: Heaven / Salvation (Topic Page)

"The Child that is born of Mary and is couched in the Crib at Bethlehem, raises His feeble voice to the Eternal Father, and calls Him, My Father! He turns towards us and calls us My Brethren! We, consequently, when we speak to His Father, may call Him Our Father! This is the mystery of adoption, revealed to us by the great event [of Christmas]. All things are changed, both heaven and on earth: God has not only one Son, He has many sons; henceforth we stand before this our God, not merely creatures drawn out of nothing by his power, but children that He fondly loves. Heaven is now not only the throne of His sovereign Majesty; it has become our inheritance in which we are joint-heirs with our brother Jesus, the Son of Mary, Son of Eve, Son of Adam, according to his Human Nature, and (in the unity of Person) Son of God according to His Divine Nature. Let us turn our wondering and loving thoughts first to this sweet Babe, that has brought us all these blessings, and then to the blessings themselves, to the dear inheritance made ours by Him. Let our mind be seized with astonishment at creatures having such a destiny! and then let our heart pour out its thanks for the incomprehensible gift!" (Dom Gueranger) 

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As Long As One is Alive, It is Never Too Late

"Do thou make all understand that it is never too late to begin to serve God." (Liturgical Year)

"When once you have departed this life, there is no longer any place for repentance, no way of making satisfaction. Here life is either lost or kept. Here, by the worship of God and by the fruit of faith, provision is made for eternal salvation. Let no one be kept back either by his sins or by his years from coming to obtain salvation. To him who still remains in this world there is no repentance that is too late." (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

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Better to be a Bad Catholic Than a Good Protestant?

Also See: Those Outside the Church (Topic Page)

"[P]eople often say: 'it is better to be a good Protestant than a bad Catholic.' That is not true. That would mean, at bottom, that one could be saved without the true faith. No! A bad Catholic remains a child of the family, although a prodigal, and however great a sinner he may be, he still has the right to mercy. Through his faith, a bad Catholic is nearer to God than a Protestant is, for he is a member of the household, whereas the heretic is not. And how hard it is to make him become one!" (St. Peter Julian Eymard) 

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Catholics Are Called to Treat Those Outside the Church With Charity And Seek For Their Salvation

Also See: Those Outside the Church (Topic Page)

"God forbid that the children of the Catholic Church should even in any way be unfriendly to those who are not at all united to us by the same bonds of faith and love. On the contrary, let them be eager always to attend to their needs with all the kind services of Christian charity, whether they are poor or sick or suffering any other kind of visitation. First of all, let them rescue them from the darkness of the errors into which they have unhappily fallen and strive to guide them back to Catholic truth and to their most loving Mother who is ever holding out her maternal arms to receive them lovingly back into her fold. Thus, firmly founded in faith, hope, and charity and fruitful in every good work, they will gain eternal salvation." (Pope Pius IX, "Quanto Conficiamur Moerore", 1863 A.D.)

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Christ Founded Only One Church

"Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided. Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature." (Second Vatican Council)

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Christ Pardons Sins Through the Church

Also See: Penance / Confession (Topic Page)

"Certainly God never threatens the repentant; rather, He pardons the penitent. You will say that it is God alone who can do this. True enough; but it is likewise true that He does it through His priests, who exercise His power. What else can it mean when He says to His Apostles: 'Whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven'? Why should He say this if He were not permitting men to bind and loose?...for all of these things are commissioned not to others but to the Apostles... 'Whatever you shall loose', He says; and He excepts absolutely nothing. 'Whatever', He says: whether it be great or whether it be small." (St. Pacian of Barcelona, c. 383 A.D.)

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The Christian [Catholic] Faith is From God

"But how many wonderful and shining proofs are ready at hand to convince the human reason in the clearest way that the religion of Christ is divine and that 'the whole principle of our doctrines has taken root from the Lord of the heavens above'; therefore nothing exists more definite, more settled or more holy than our faith, which rests on the strongest foundations. This faith, which teaches for life and points towards salvation, which casts out all vices and is the fruitful mother and nurse of the virtues, has been established by the birth, life, death, resurrection, wisdom, wonders and prophecies of Christ Jesus, its divine author and perfector! Shining forth in all directions with the light of teaching from on high and enriched with the treasures of heavenly wealth, this faith grew famed and notable by the foretellings of so many prophets, the lustre of so many miracles, the steadfastness of so many martyrs, and the glory of so many saints! It made known the saving laws of Christ and, gaining in strength daily even when it was most cruelly persecuted, it made its way over the whole world by land and sea, from the sun's rising to its setting, under the single standard of the Cross! The deceit of idols was cast down and the mist of errors was scattered. By the defeat of all kinds of enemies, this faith enlightened with divine knowledge all peoples, races and nations, no matter how barbarous and savage, or how different in character, morals, laws and ways of life. It brought them under the sweet yoke of Christ Himself by proclaiming peace and good tidings to all men! Now, surely all these events shine with such divine wisdom and power that anyone who considers them will easily understand that the Christian faith is the work of God. Human reason knows clearly from these striking and certain proofs that God is the author of this faith; therefore it is unable to advance further but should offer all obedience to this faith, casting aside completely every problem and hesitation. Human reason is convinced that it is God who has given everything the faith proposes to men for belief and behavior." (Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.)  

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Critics of the Church Should Consider What the World Would be Like Without It

"It never occurs to the critic to do anything so simple as to compare what is Catholic with what is non-Catholic. The one thing that never seems to cross his mind, when he argues about what the Church is like, is the simple question of what the world would be like without it. That is what I mean by being too narrow to see the house called the Church against the background called the cosmos." (Chesterton)

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Describing God

Also See: God (Topic Page)

"Concerning God, it is impossible for us to say what He is in His essence; it is more fitting, rather, to discuss how He is different from everything else. For He belongs not among things that exist, not because He does not exist, but because He is beyond all existing things, and beyond even existence itself. For if all modes of knowledge are concerned with what exists, that which is beyond knowledge must be beyond existence and likewise, what is beyond existence must be beyond knowledge." (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.) 

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Determining the True Religion

"Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfillment of prophecies, miracles in great numbers, the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles, the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate. For the only-begotten Son of God established on earth a society which is called the Church, and to it He handed over the exalted and divine office which He had received from His Father, to be continued through the ages to come. 'As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you.' 'Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.' Consequently, as Jesus Christ came into the world that men 'might have life and have it more abundantly,' so also has the Church for its aim and end the eternal salvation of souls, and hence it is so constituted as to open wide its arms to all mankind, unhampered by any limit of either time or place. 'Preach ye the Gospel to every creature.' Over this mighty multitude God has Himself set rulers with power to govern, and He has willed that one should be the head of all, and the chief and unerring teacher of truth, to whom He has given 'the keys of the kingdom of heaven.' 'Feed My lambs, feed My sheep.' 'I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885 A.D.)

"With great zeal and closest attention, therefore I frequently inquired of many men, eminent for their holiness and doctrine, how I might, in a concise, and so to speak, general and ordinary way, distinguish the truth of the Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical depravity. I received almost always the same answer from all of them, that if I or anyone else wanted to expose the frauds and escape the snares of the heretics who rise up, and to remain intact and sound in a sound faith, it would be necessary, with the help of the Lord, to fortify that faith in a twofold manner: first, of course, by the authority of divine law; and then, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church. Here, perhaps, someone may ask: 'If the canon of the Scriptures be perfect, and in itself more than suffices for everything, why is it necessary that the authority of ecclesiastical interpretation be joined to it?' Because, quite plainly, Sacred Scripture, by reason of its own depth, is not accepted by everyone as having one and the same meaning. The same passage is interpreted in one way by some, in another by others, so that it can almost appear as if there are as many opinions as there are men... And thus, because of so many distortions of such various errors, it is highly necessary that the line of prophetic and apostolic interpretation be directed in accord with the norm of the ecclesiastical and Catholic meaning. In the Catholic Church herself every care must be taken that we may hold fast to that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all. For this, is then, truly and properly Catholic. That is what the force and meaning of the name itself declares, a name that embraces all truly universally. This general rule will be correctly applied if we pursue universality, antiquity, and agreement. And we follow universality in this way, if we confess this one faith to be true, which is confessed by the whole Church throughout the whole world: antiquity, however, if we in no way depart from those interpretations which, it is clear, our holy predecessors and fathers solemnized; and likewise agreement, if, in this very antiquity, we adopt the definitions and theses of all or certainly of almost all priests and teachers." (St. Vincent of Lerins, c. 434 A.D.) 

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The Effect of Charity Encourages Catholics To Call Others to God

"For it is the genuine effect of charity that the just soul, in whom God dwells by grace, burns in a wondrous way to call others to share in the knowledge and love of that Infinite Good, which she has attained and possesses." (Pope Pius XI, "Mens Nostra", 1929 A.D.)

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Faith Should Be Sought Where Truth Faith First Began

"I will go peaceably and firmly to the Catholic Church: for if Faith is so important to our salvation, I will seek it where true Faith first began, see, it among those who received it from God Himself." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)

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Grave Are the Consequences of Ignorance in Matters of Religion

"How many and how grave are the consequences of ignorance in matters of religion!" (Pope St. Pius X, "Acerbo Nimis", 1905 A.D.)

"[T]he worst of poverties is the ignorance of divine truths, because it would make a man poor and miserable for eternity" (Dom Gueranger)

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If You Know God, You Will Love God

Also See: God (Topic Page)

"O my God, Thy people know Thee not! Oh, if they only knew Thee, Thou wouldst be loved still more. If they knew Thy Wisdom, Thy omnipotence, Thy goodness, Thy beauty, and all Thy divine attributes, all Thy people would be as the seraphim, afire with divine love." (St. Anthony Mary Claret)

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The Interchange of Catholics & Non-Catholics

"We are not strangers to life. We are fully aware of the gratitude we owe to God, our Lord and Creator. We reject none of the fruits of His handiwork; we only abstain from their immoderate or unlawful use. We are living in the world with you; we do not shun your forum, your markets, your baths, your shops, your factories, your stables, your places of business and traffic. We take shop with you and we serve in your armies; we are farmers and merchants with you; we interchange skilled labor and display our works in public for your service. How we can seem unprofitable to you with whom we live and of whom we are, I know not." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 3rd century A.D.]

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It is a Rare Gift to be Catholic

"God has not chosen every one to salvation: it is a rare gift to be a Catholic; it may be offered to us once in our lives and never again; and, if we have not seized on the accepted time, nor know in our day the things which are for peace, oh, the misery for us! What shall we be able to say when death comes, and we are not converted, and it is directly and immediately our own doing that we are not?" (Cardinal Newman)

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Non-Catholics Should Beg Light From Heaven to Recognize the True Church of Christ

"We wish that Our children also should know, not only those belonging to the Catholic fold, but also those separated from Us. If these will humbly beg light from Heaven, there is no doubt but that they will recognize the one true Church of Jesus Christ, and entering therein, will at last be united with Us in perfect charity." (Pope Pius XI, "Mortalium Animos")

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Nothing is More Glorious Than Belonging to the Catholic Church

"For nothing more glorious, nothing nobler, nothing surely more honorable can be imagined than to belong to the One, Holy Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, in which we become members of one Body as venerable as it is unique; are guided by one supreme Head; are filled with one divine Spirit; are nourished during our earthly exile by one doctrine and one heavenly Bread, until at last we enter into the one, unending blessedness of heaven." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943 A.D.)

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One Must Adopt the Religion That God Enjoins

"And if it be asked which of the many conflicting religions it is necessary to adopt, reason and the natural law unhesitatingly tell us to practice that one which God enjoins, and which men can easily recognize by certain exterior notes, whereby Divine Providence has willed that it should be distinguished, because, in a matter of such moment, the most terrible loss would be the consequence of error." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas Praestantissimum", 1888 A.D.)

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The Popes' Concern For People

Also See: The Pope (Topic Page)

"Nothing would be more desirable to me than to give my life for them if their safety could be achieved by my death." (Pope Pius VII, "Diu Satis", 1800 A.D.)

"Although pained by the injustice and downcast in fatherly sorrow, it is so far from Our thought to repulse or to disown children who have been miserably deceived and have strayed so far from the truth and salvation that We cannot but invite them with all possible solicitude to return to the maternal bosom of the Church. May they lend ready ears to Our voice, may they return whence they have left, to the home that is truly their Father's, and may they stand firm there where their own place is" (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931 A.D.)

"Unfortunately many are still wandering far from Catholic truth, being unwilling to follow the inspirations of divine grace, because neither they nor the faithful pray to God with sufficient fervor for this intention. Again and again We beg all who ardently love the Church to follow the example of the Divine Redeemer and to give themselves constantly to such prayer." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943 A.D.)

"From Our devoted children, whose filial and affectionate concern for us We know burns bright, We look for heartfelt thanks to God, prayers, and holy aspirations, rather than for congratulations and honors. It will be a special joy to Us if they ask for Us this grace, that all the strength and life that remain to Us, all the authority and grace with which We are invested, may profit the Church, and in the first place bring back into her fold her enemies and those who have wandered from the right way, to whom our voice has this long time been appealing for reconciliation." (Pope Leo XIII, "Magnae Dei Matris", 1892 A.D.)

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Prayer of St. Francis Xavier for Non-Catholics

"O God of all the nations of the earth: Remember the multitudes who have been created in your image, and who yet do not know the fullness of your truth and love in the death of your Son Jesus Christ. Grant that by the prayers and labors of your Church they may be delivered from all superstition and unbelief, and brought to worship you through Him whom you have sent to be the Resurrection and the Life of all mankind, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen." (St. Francis Xavier) 

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The Sinner Cannot Hide From God

Also See: Sin (Topic Page)

"Pardon us, O Lord, pardon us. We beg to shift the blame for our sins, we make excuses. But no one can hide from the light of your truth, which both enlightens those who turn to it and exposes those who turn away. Even our blood and our bones are visible to you, who created us out of dust. How foolish we are to think that we can rule our own lives, satisfying our own desires, without thought of you. How stupid we are to imagine that we can keep our sins hidden. But although we may deceive other people, we cannot deceive you, and since you also see into our hearts, we cannot deceive ourselves, for your light reveals to us our own spiritual corruption. Let us, therefore, fall down before you, weeping with tears of shame. May your judgment give new shape to our souls. May your power mold our hearts to reflect your love. May your grace infuse our minds, so that our thoughts reflect your will." (Abbot William of Saint Thierry)

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St. Augustine's Conversion

"Too late have I loved Thee, O Beauty so ancient and yet so new! Too late have I loved Thee! And behold Thou was with me, and I, having wandered out of myself, sought Thee everywhere without... I questioned the earth, and she answered me: 'I am not the one thou seekest'; and all the creatures of the earth made the same reply. I questioned the sea and its abysses and all the living things therein, and they answered: 'We are not thy God; see, above us.' I questioned the restless winds; and all the air with its inhabitants replied: 'Anaximenes is mistaken, I am not God.' I questioned the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars, and they said: 'We are not the God whom thou seekest.' And I said to all these things that stand without at the gates of my senses: 'Ye have all confessed concerning my God that ye are not He, tell me now something about Him.' And they all cried with one great voice: 'It is He that made us.' I questioned them with my desires, and they answered by their beauty. Let the air and the waters and the earth be silent! Let man keep silence in his own soul! Let him pass beyond his own thought; for beyond all language or men or of angels, He, of whom creatures speak, makes Himself heard; where signs and images and figurative visions cease, there eternal Wisdom reveals Herself... Thou didst call and cry so loud that my deaf ears could hear Thee; Thou didst shine so brightly that my blind eyes could see Thee; Thy fragrance exhilarated me, and it is after Thee that I aspire; having tasted Thee I hunger and thirst; Thou hast touched me and thrilled me, and I burn to be in Thy peaceful rest. When shall I be united to Thee with my whole being, then will my sorrows and labors cease." (St. Augustine, Illustrious Fifth Century Convert, Doctor of the Church) 

"Hence, Augustine was by degrees estranged from the Manichean heresy and, urged as it were by a Divine impulse, was led to Milan to meet Ambrose the Bishop there. The Lord 'little by little with a touch of tender pity shaping and moulding his heart,' though the wise words of Ambrose brought him to believe in the Catholic Church and in the truth of the Bible. Then it was that the son of Monica, though not yet immune from anxiety and from the allurements of vice, still grasped firmly the truth that Divine Providence has set the way of salvation only in Christ Our Lord and in the Sacred Scriptures, which find the sole warrant of their truth in the authority of the Catholic Church. Yet how hard and toilsome is the complete conversion of a man, who has long been straying from the straight path." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930 A.D.)

"In the Catholic Church, not to speak of that purest wisdom, to the knowledge of which a few spiritual men attain in this life, in such a way that, in its least part only, for they are but men, they know without any doubting, while the rest of the multitude finds its greatest safety not in lively understanding but in the simplicity of believing - not to speak, I say, of that wisdom which you do not believe is present in the Catholic Church, there are many other things which, most properly, can keep me in her bosom. The unanimity of peoples and nations keeps me here. Her authority, inaugurated in miracles, nourished by hope, augmented by love, and confirmed by her age, keeps me here. The succession of priests, from the very see of the Apostle Peter, to whom our Lord, after His resurrection, gave the charge of feeding His sheep, up to the present episcopate, keeps me here." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 397 A.D.) 

"[A]s to my former wanderings and errors, I condemn them, as every one else does; I can but see therein the glory of Him who has delivered me from myself. When I hear my former life brought forward, no matter with what intention it is done, I am not so ungrateful as to be afflicted thereat; for the more they show up my misery, the more I praise my Physician." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

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There is No Power Like the Church

"Believe me, O man, there is no power like the power of the Church. Cease thy battling, lest thou lose thy strength; wage not war with heaven. When it is with man thou warrest, thou mayst win or lose; but when thy fighting is against the Church, it is impossible thou shouldst conquer, for God is above all in strength... If thou will not believe [Christ's] word, believe facts. How many tyrants have sought to crush the Church? They had their gridirons and fiery furnaces, and wild beasts, and swords - and all failed. Where are those enemies now? Buried and forgotten. And the Church? Brighter than the sun. All they had is now past, but her riches are immortal. If the Christians conquered when they were but few in number, canst thou hope to vanquish them, now that the whole earth is filled with the holy religion? 'Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.' Wonder not at it; for the Church is dearer unto God than the very heavens. He took flesh not from heaven, but from his Church on earth; and heaven is for the Church, not the Church for heaven." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

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Those Who Don't Believe in Eternal Life

"Too late they will believe in eternal punishment who would not believe in eternal life." (St. Cyprian)

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Those Who Refuse to Have God as Their Father Must Have Him as Their Master

"There are men who, like Satan, have done all in their power to throw themselves out of the orbit of the divine sun. Rather than acknowledge that they owe all they have to the most high God, they would sink back again into nothingness, if they could. To the heavenly treasures which the common Father opens out to all who own themselves to be His children, they prefer the pleasure of keeping to natural good things; for them, so they say, they owe what they get to their own cleverness and exertions. They are foolish men, not to understand that, do what they please, they owe everything they have to this their forgotten God. They are weak, sickly minds, mistaking these vapours of conceit in which their disordered brain finds delight for principles of which they may be proud. Their high-mindedness is but ignominy; their independence leads but to slavery; for, though they refuse to have God as their Father, they must of necessity have Him as their Master; and thus, not being His children, they must be His slaves. As slaves, they keep to the vile food, which they themselves preferred to the pure delights wherewith Wisdom inebriates them that follow her. As slaves, they have acquired the right to the scourge and the fetter. They chose to be satisfied with what they had, and would have neither the throne that was prepared for them, nor the nuptial robe; let them, if they will, prefer their prison, and there deck themselves in the finery which moths will soon be making their food! But, during these short years of theirs they are branding their bodies with a deeper slavery than ever red-hot iron stamped on vilest bondsman. All this happens because, with all the empty philosophy which was their boast, they would not listen to the Christian teaching that real greatness consists in the truth, and that humility alone leads to it." (Liturgical Year)

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The Value of One's Soul

"If, from being created by God to His own image, you do not comprehend the value of your soul, learn it from Jesus Christ, who has redeemed you with His own blood." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church) 

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We Have it in Our Power to Abide in Virtue

"We, however, have it in our power either to abide in virtue and to be obedient to God, who calls us to this, or to stray from paths of virtue, which is to dwell in wickedness, and to follow the devil, who calls us but cannot compel us." (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.) 

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We Must Love God Even When Things Are Difficult

"To love God in sugar - little children would do as much; but to love Him in wormwood, that is the test of our fidelity." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church) 

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We Must Obey God

"[T]he mercy of God's calling him does not suffice unless it be followed by the obedience of him that is called." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 396 A.D.) 

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Misc.

"At this very moment I may, if I desire, become the friend of God." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Yoke yourself under the law of God, so that you may be in truth a free man." (St. Ephraem the Syrian, Doctor of the Church) 

"God is not unjust. He will not slam the door against the man who humbly knocks." (St. John Climacus)

"Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?" (St. Gerard Majella) 

"[I]n Him lies the principle of all true happiness both for this world and for the next." (Liturgical Year) 

"But what else is it to live happily, except to know what one has something eternally?" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"[S]ince blind eyes do not see the light, I blamed the sun and not my own eyes." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"How much they are to be pitied, O Church! Who do not know thee! And yet, if they are seeking God with all their heart, they will, one day, know thee." (Dom Gueranger) 

"By this you may know that a man is a true Christian, if he seeks to do good to those who wish him evil." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"The essential beauty and comeliness of the Church ought greatly to influence the minds of those who consider it." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

"Nothing seems tiresome or painful when you are working for a Master who pays well; who rewards even a cup of cold water given for love of Him." (St. Dominic Savio) 

"The scriptures teach us that it is the duty of all to be solicitous for the salvation of one's neighbor, according to the power and position of each." (Pope Leo XIII, "Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae", 1906 A.D.)

"For whosoever will proudly dispute or contradict, will always stand without the door. Christ, the master of humility, manifests his truth only to the humble, and hides himself from the proud" (St. Vincent Ferrer)

"The totality of Christian practice does not consist in abundance of words nor in skill of debating nor in the search for praise and glory but in true and voluntary humility." (Pope Clement XIII, "In Dominico Agro", 1761 A.D.)

"[W]ho can count the vast number of those who having seen the fallacious hopes they cherished fail and fade away, clearly understood that earthly things must give place to those of heaven" (Pope Pius XI, "Mens Nostra", 1929 A.D.)

"In the long run it will be found that either the Catholic religion is verily and indeed the coming in of the unseen world into this, or that there is nothing positive, nothing dogmatic, nothing real in any of our notions as to whence we come and whither we are going." (Cardinal Newman) 

"No one comes unless he is drawn. He draws one, and the other He does not draw. Do not try to judge why He draws one and does not draw another, if you do not wish to err. Accept it at once, and understand. You are not yet drawn? Pray that you may be drawn." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 417 A.D.) 

"Wise and honest people living in the world, you do not understand the mysterious language of the Cross. You are too fond of sensual pleasures and you seek your comforts too much. You have too much regard for the things of this world and you are too afraid to be held up to scorn or looked down upon. In short, you are too opposed to the Cross of Jesus." (St. Louis de Montfort)

"Do not, I implore you, delay your conversion to God, for you know not the day appointed to carry you off. You tell me that God has given His grace to be converted to some when they have reached to extreme old age. Does it follow from this that He will grant you the same favor? Perhaps He will grant it to me. Why add perhaps? Because it has sometimes happened. What! Does the question of your salvation depend on a perhaps?" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Every sin consists formally in aversion from God... Hence the more a sin severs man from God, the graver it is. Now man is more than ever separated from God by unbelief, because he has not even true knowledge of God: and by false knowledge of God, man does not approach Him, but is severed from Him. Nor is it possible for one who has a false opinion of God, to know Him in any way at all, because the object of his opinion is not God." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"God 'wills all men to be saved'; but that is if they come to Him. For He does not will that they be saved who do not want to be saved. He wills that they be saved if they themselves also will it. Thus, He that gave the law to all excludes no one from salvation. Similarly, does not a physician make it publicly known that he desires to cure everyone, so that the sick will come to him? It would not truly be salvation if it were given to someone who did not want it." {Rufinus, c. 5th century A.D.}

"But this is not God's way: He does not force man to duty; He acts, and then leaves man to recognize his Creator's claims. In order to do this, man must be attentive and humble, he must impose silence on his passions. The divine light shows itself to the soul that thus comports herself. First, she sees the actions, the works of God; then, she believes, and wishes to believe: her happiness, as well as her merit, lies in faith, and faith will be recompensed in eternity" (Dom Gueranger) 

"Before our conversion our neighbor, as well as God, was grieved by our sins; we cared little or nothing for injustice, provided it was not noticed; egotism was our law, and it was proof enough of the reign of Satan over our souls. Now that the Spirit of holiness has expelled the unworthy usurper, the strongest evidence of His being our rightful master is that not only the rights of others are sacred in our estimation, but our toil and our neighbors are all undergone for the purpose of being serviceable to our neighbor. In a word... we walk in love, because, as most dear children, we are followers of God." (Liturgical Year)

"And if, inasmuch as the Lord is merciful and kind, we find that none of those imploring and entreating His mercy should be prohibited from doing penance, then peace is able to be extended through His priests. The groans of those who mourn must be taken into account, and the fruit of repentance must not be denied to the sorrowful. And since among the dead there is no confession, nor in that place can a confession of sin be made, those who have repented from the bottom of their heart and have besought it, must after a time be received into the Church, to be preserved therein for the Lord." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 251 A.D.)

"Christian faith reposes not on human but on divine authority, for what God has revealed 'we believe not on account of the intrinsic evidence of the truth perceived by the natural light of our reason, but on account of the authority of God revealing, who cannot be deceived nor Himself deceive.' It follows as a consequence that whatever things are manifestly revealed by God we must receive with a similar and equal assent. To refuse to believe any one of them is equivalent to rejecting them all, for those at once destroy the very groundwork of faith who deny that God has spoken to men, or who bring into doubt His infinite truth and wisdom." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

"Christ Jesus our Lord, as no man who is or has been or ever will be whose nature will not have been assumed in Him, so there is, has been, or will be no man, for whom He has not suffered - although not all will be saved by the mystery of His passion. But because all are not redeemed by the mystery of His passion, He does not regard the greatness and the fullness of the price, but He regards the part of the unfaithful ones and those not believing in faith those things which He has worked through love [Gal. 5:6], because the drink of human safety, which has been prepared by our infirmity and by divine strength, has indeed in itself that it may be beneficial to all; but if it is not drunk, it does not heal." (Council of Quiersy, 853 A.D.)

"Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be; nor in theoretical or practical indifference toward the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged, but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being. Catholic doctrine further tells us that love for our neighbor flows from our love for God, Who is Father to all, and the goal of the human family; and in Jesus Christ whose members we are, to the point that in doing good to others we are doing good to Jesus Christ Himself. Any other kind of love is sheer illusion, sterile and fleeting." (Pope St. Pius X, "Notre Charge Apostolique", 1910 A.D.)

"The discord and departure from truth on the part of the human race in religious and moral affairs have always been a source and a cause of very painful grief to all good men, and especially to the faithful and sincere sons of the Church, and more than ever today when we perceive the very principles of Christian culture offended on all sides. Indeed, it is no wonder that such discord and wandering have always flourished outside the fold of Christ. For although human reason, speaking simply, by its natural powers and light can in fact arrive at true and certain knowledge of one personal God who in His providence guards and directs the world, and also of the natural law infused into our souls by the Creator, nevertheless, not a few obstacles prevent man's reason from efficaciously and fruitfully using this natural faculty which it possesses. For matters which pertain to God and have to do with relationships between men and God, are truths which completely transcend the order of sensible things, and, when they are introduced into the action of life and shape it, demand devotion of self and self-abnegation. The human intellect, moreover, in acquiring such truths labors with difficulty not only on account of the impulse of the depraved senses and the imagination, but also of the desires which have their source in original sin. Therefore it happens that men in matters of this kind easily persuade themselves that what they do not wish to be true, are false or at least doubtful. For this reason divine 'revelation' must be considered morally necessary, in order that those truths, which in the realm of religion and morals are not of themselves beyond the scope of reason, yet in the present condition of the human race, may be readily grasped by all with strong certitude and with no admixture of error. Yet on the other hand the human mind can sometimes experience difficulties in forming a certain judgment 'of credibility' about the Catholic faith, although so many wonderful external signs have been disposed by God, through which, even by the natural light of reason alone, the divine origin of the Christian religion can be proven with certainty. For man, whether induced by prejudiced opinions or instigated by desires and evil will, can refuse and resist not only the evidence of external signs, which is pre-eminent, but also the supernal inspirations which God brings into our hearts. Anyone who observes those who are outside the fold of Christ, can easily see the chief ways upon which many learned men have entered." (Pope Pius XII, "Humani Generis", 1950 A.D.)

"But when we consider what was actually done we find that Jesus Christ did not, in point of fact, institute a Church to embrace several communities similar in nature, but in themselves distinct, and lacking those bonds which render the Church unique and indivisible after that manner in which in the symbol of our faith we profess: 'I believe in one Church.' 'The Church in respect of its unity belongs to the category of things indivisible by nature, though heretics try to divide it into many parts...We say, therefore, that the Catholic Church is unique in its essence, in its doctrine, in its origin, and in its excellence... Furthermore, the eminence of the Church arises from its unity, as the principle of its constitution - a unity surpassing all else, and having nothing like unto it or equal to it' (S. Clemens Alexandrinus, Stronmatum lib. viii., c. 17). For this reason Christ, speaking of the mystical edifice, mentions only one Church, which he calls His own - 'I will build my church;' any other Church except this one, since it has not been founded by Christ, cannot be the true Church. This becomes even more evident when the purpose of the Divine Founder is considered. For what did Christ, the Lord, ask? What did He wish in regard to the Church founded, or about to be founded? This: to transmit to it the same mission and the same mandate which He had received from the Father, that they should be perpetuated. This He clearly resolved to do: this He actually did. 'As the Father hath sent me, I also send you' (John xx., 21). 'As thou hast sent Me into the world I also have sent them into the world' (John xvii., 18). But the mission of Christ is to save that which had perished: that is to say, not some nations or peoples, but the whole human race, without distinction of time or place. 'The Son of Man came that the world might be saved by Him' (John iii., 17). 'For there is no other name under Heaven given to men whereby we must be saved' (Acts iv., 12). The Church, therefore, is bound to communicate without stint to all men, and to transmit through all ages, the salvation effected by Jesus Christ, and the blessings flowing therefrom. Wherefore, by the will of its Founder, it is necessary that this Church should be one in all lands and at all times. To justify the existence of more than one Church it would be necessary to go outside this world, and to create a new and unheard-of race of men." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

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