a) OUR Mission in Life

Holy Spirit Let it Fly

Quotes AT A GLANCE: Our Mission in Life

(See Further Down the Page for the Full Quotes along with Who Said It.)

  1. You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. (Jesus)
  2. A new command I give you: Love one another. (Jesus)
  3. Being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others. (Pope Francis)
  4. Ask God to help you find your vocation in society and in the Church, and to persevere in that vocation with joy and fidelity. (Pope Benedict XVI)
  5. The important thing is not to think much but to love much. (St Teresa of Avila)
  6. Being a Christian means letting Jesus take possession of our life and change it, transform it and free it from the darkness of evil and sin. (Pope Francis)
  7. Life is just a little opportunity for you during a few years to say, ‘I love you, too’ (Henri Nouwen)
  8. Be a neighbour like the Good Samaritan (paraphrasing Jesus, see below)
  9. We are on a mission for Christ; if you don’t know that you’ve missed the point entirely. (Fr Eamon Devlin)
  10. We are asked to let the things Jesus taught transform us. (Fr Ronald Rolheiser)
  11. The mission of God for all of us is to share in his mission. (Fr Eamon Devlin)
  12. Jesus Christ is the answer to the question posed by every human life, and the love of Christ compels us to share that great good news with everyone. (Pope John-Paul II)
  13. It is our task to cast our nets in faith — the Lord will do the rest. (Pope Benedict XVI)
  14. The first of our tasks in time is to know God as much as possible. (Madeleine Delbrel)
  15. Believe in his love for us. (Anthony de Mello)
  16. Allow God to enter into you. (Sister Wendy Beckett)
  17. Try to discover what the Lord wants of you. (St Paul)
  18. The purpose of our lives is to reveal God to others. (Pope Benedict XVI)
  19. Wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that he freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life. The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope! (Pope Francis)
  20. Live a love that is forgetful of self. (Archbishop Diarmuid Martin)
  21. Become Jesus-conscious instead of self-conscious. (Fr Kevin Browne)
  22. Live in a new and more authentic way. (Fr Jean Sullivan)
  23. Place your lives in the hands of Jesus. (Pope John Paul II)
  24. In the first place I say this: you must never think that you are alone in deciding your future! And secondly: when deciding your future, you must not decide for yourself alone! (Pope John Paul II)
  25. Live so that people ask about Christ. (Paul Claudel)
  26. Love your neighbour as yourself. (Jesus)
  27. Know and do the will of Jesus. (Pope John-Paul II)
  28. Internal as well as external obedience. (a Vincentian priest)
  29. How we treat the poor is how we treat God. (Fr Ron Rolheiser)
  30. Struggle to create a society that does not condemn. (Fr Peter McVerry)
  31. Be driven by the passion of Jesus for an end to poverty and exploitation and the building of a world of justice and peace that reflects the vision of God. (Fr Peter McVerry)
  32. Constantly pose critical questions to the society you live in, stay unsatisfied with the status quo. (Henri Nouwen)
  33. Learn from God and so draw closer to him. (Fr George Wadding)
  34. Be always beginning; Let the past go. (Fr John Sullivan)
  35. Rediscover the simplicity of our faith and to rediscover how to live simply. (Archbishop Diarmuid Martin)
  36. A comfortable life can cause damage, because being too comfortable paralyses our hearts. (Pope Francis)
  37. Build the civilization of love. (Pope John Paul II)
  38. Counter the culture of death with the culture of love. (Pope John Paul II)
  39. At other times, witnessing to Christ means challenging that culture, especially when the truth about the human person is under assault. (Pope John Paul II)
  40. “Do not keep Christ to yourselves! Share with others the joy of your faith. The world needs the witness of your faith, it surely needs God.” (Pope Benedict XVI)
  41. Let go of your own agenda, your own ways, and continually ask in every situation ‘What, Lord, would you have me do or say?’ (Fr Eamon Devlin)
  42. Be channels of God’s grace. (Fr Eamon Devlin)
  43. “Essentially the work depends on each one of us, on our way of life, the little works we do.” (Dorothy Day)
  44. “Most cradle Catholics have gone through, or need to go through, a second conversion which binds them with a more profound, a more mature love and obedience to the Church.” (Dorothy Day)
  45. We all must try to function healthily. We do not have the same function, but we all have a vocation, a calling.” (Dorothy Day)
  46. “We each have our vocation—the thing to do is to answer the call.” (Dorothy Day)
  47. “There is plenty to do, for each one of us, working on our hearts, changing our own attitudes, in our own neighborhoods…. Prayer and fasting, taking up our own cross daily and following Him, doing penance, these are the hard words of the Gospel.” (Dorothy Day)
  48. “The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life.
    Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into us without limit.” (St Ignatius of Loyola)
  49. Keep your faith alive and vibrant by being faithful to your daily prayers. (Pope John Paul II)
  50. Use today to enter into a relationship with God. (Fr Eamon Devlin)
  51. Shelter the flame of faith in your heart. (Pope Benedict XVI)
  52. Aim at heaven, not at earth. (CS Lewis)

Full Quotes:
Our Mission in Life

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself.”

—Jesus (Matthew 22: 37-39, Jerusalem version of the Scripture)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

— Jesus (The ‘New Commandment’, after washing his disciples’ feet), Jn 13:34-35.

“Everyone has a vocation: parents, teachers, students, workers, professional people, people who are retired. Everyone has something to do for God.”

— Pope John-Paul II in his Homily at Giants Stadium, New York, October 1995

“Ask God to help you find your vocation in society and in the Church, and to persevere in that vocation with joy and fidelity.”

— Pope Benedict XVI, part of a Prayer Vigil during World Youth Day in Madrid, 20th August 2011

“Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others.”

— Pope Francis I, in his Evangelii Gaudium (section 127)

“Through contact with Jesus in prayer, you gain a sense of mission that nothing can dull. Your Christian identity is reaffirmed, and the meaning of your lives is for ever linked to Christ’s saving mission.”

— Pope John Paul II, said in Ninian Park, Cardiff, to the Young People of England and Wales, as seen online and quoted on page 89 of “The Pope in Britain: Collected Homilies & Speeches”, St Paul Publications, Slough; 1982.

“The important thing is not to think much but to love much.”

— St Teresa of Avila, in a section named ‘The Interior Castle’ as quoted on page 96 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me… The Son of Man will reward each one according to his behaviour.”

— Jesus (Matthew 16:24-27)

“Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

— Jesus (Matthew 11: 28-30)

“God loved you before you were born, and God will love you after you die. Life is just a little opportunity for you during a few years to say, ‘I love you, too.’”

— Henri Nouwen

“Being Christian is not just obeying orders but means being in Christ, thinking like him, acting like him, loving like him; it means letting him take possession of our life and change it, transform it and free it from the darkness of evil and sin.”

— Pope Francis I, Audience 10th April 2013, as quoted on the Vatican website 

“God never tires of giving,
nor can he exhaust his mercies.
Let us not tire of receiving.”

— St Teresa of Avila, as quoted on page 58 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“You ask me for encouragement and guidance, and most willingly I offer some words of advice to you all, in the name of Jesus Christ.
In the first place I say this: you must never think that you are alone in deciding your future!
And secondly: when deciding your future, you must not decide for yourself alone!

…. (cf Jn 61-14): It is exactly the same with your lives. Left alone to face the difficult challenges of life today, you feel conscious of your own inadequacy and afraid of what the future may hold for you. But what I say to you is this: place your lives in the hands of Jesus. He will accept you, and bless you, and he will make such use of your lives as will be beyond your greatest expectations! In other words: surrender yourselves, like so many loaves and fishes, into the all powerful, sustaining hands of God and you will find yourself transformed with “newness of life” (Rom 6:4), with fullness of life (cf Jn 1:6), “Unload your burden on the Lord, and he will support you” (Ps 55:22)

— Pope John Paul II, At Murrayfield, Edinburgh (“To the Young People of Scotland”), 31st May, 1982, as published on page 83 and 84 of “The Pope in Britain: Collected Homilies & Speeches” St Paul Publications, 1982

 “Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.””

— Jesus, telling the parable of the Good Samaritan, as quoted by Luke, chapter 10

“The mission of God for all of us is to share in his mission. Jesus said he had one mission: to seek and to save that which is lost. We are on a mission for Christ; if you don’t know that you’ve missed the point entirely…. That comes down to the little things of everyday—those whose paths cross ours: building others up; reaching out to those who are broken; ‘being there’ for others;’ having an eye for the lonely, the lost, the overlooked… the choice is ours.”

— Fr Eamon Devlin, CM

“Jesus Christ is the answer to the question posed by every human life, and the love of Christ compels us to share that great good news with everyone.”

— Pope John-Paul II in Baltimore, USA, October 1995

“Time: you can’t own it, but you can use it…. (Name) used it wisely and well…. He held close to him what matters: his family and friends; he was carefree with what doesn’t matter: who we are, or who we think we are; what we have, or what we think we have…. God was in his heart, on his lips, and at his fingertips.”

— Fr Eamon Devlin, CM at a funeral Mass, 30th December, 2013, in St Peter’s Church, Phibsboro, Dublin

“Jesus taught us that the kingdom of God works as yeast.
We are asked to let the things he taught transform us,
from the inside,
like yeast transforms dough.”

— Fr Ronald Rolheiser, in his book ‘Seeking Spirituality’, chapter 5, page 98-99 of the Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1998 edition

“You are called to give witness to your faith. And because actions speak louder than words, you are called to proclaim, by the conduct of your daily lives, that you really do believe that Jesus Christ is Lord!”

— Pope John-Paul II, as quoted in “Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words”, 1998, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, page 18, with the sub-heading “‘Message to High School Students, Madison Square Garden, 1979”.

“Life is entrusted to man as a treasure which must not be squandered, as a talent which must be used well. Man must render an account of it to his Master.”

— Pope John-Paul II, as quoted in “Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words”, 1998, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, page 58, with the sub-heading “‘Evangelium Vitae”.

“All of us need to find ways in which we can permit the message of Jesus to reach into the lives of those around us.  We have to develop ourselves a deep relationship with Jesus Christ and witness through our lives to just what that relationship means.  That is a missionary task to which all Christians are called.”

— Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, Mission Sunday 2011

“Do not let failures and difficulties lead to discouragement: it is our task to cast our nets in faith — the Lord will do the rest.”

— Pope Benedict XVI in his weekly Angelus address, 10th February 2013

“Do not be afraid! Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure. He alone can give full meaning to life, he alone is the centre of history. Live by him!”

— Pope John Paul II (Mass with youth, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, 1997) as quoted on page 41 of “Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words”, Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, London

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”

— Pope John XXIII (he who set up Vatican II)

“We have been created to love and be loved.”

— Mother Teresa

“What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness…. Not only does God love us… but he invites us to respond to that love.”

— Pope Benedict XVI in an address to pupils, England, 2010

“It is important for us to work constantly at our growth in holiness.”

— Saint Vincent de Paul, XII:70

“I tell all of you with certainty, unless you change and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.”

— Jesus (Matthew 18:3, International Standard Version)

“Becoming like a child means removing all arrogance from our hearts and any sense of self-importance and realising that none of us is self-sufficient on our own.”

— Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, as published in the ‘Homily Notes’ for the “Schools Mass” (a Mass for teachers etc) of 2nd October 2014

“Today is the day of salvation. It’s the only one we’re sure of. God wants us to use it to enter into a relationship with God.”

— Fr Eamon Devlin, CM, sermon 9th October 2011 (in a sermon on Jesus warning about heaven that “many are called, but few are chosen” (MT 22:1-14)

“Jesus wants to establish a relationship with his friends which mirrors his own relationship with the Father, a relationship of mutual belonging in full trust, in intimate communion.
To express this deep understanding, this relationship of friendship, Jesus uses the image of the shepherd with his sheep: he calls them, and they know his voice, they respond to his call and follow him.
How beautiful this parable is! …. The voice of Jesus is unique! If we learn to distinguish it, He guides us on the path of life, a path that goes beyond the abyss of death.”

— Pope Francis I, at an Angelus/Regina Caeli address on 21st April 2013

“We love God only with a mediocre of love because our knowledge of him is mediocre. Now, it would therefore follow that the  first of our tasks in time is to know God as much as possible, in order to glorify him as much as possible and to compensate as much as possible for our neighbour’s lack of knowledge of him.”

— Madeleine Delbrel (French laywoman, writer, and mystic; ‘Servant of God’ meaning she’s being investigated by the Church for possibly being recognised as a Saint), page 158 of the ‘Magnificat’ booklet, July 2012

“We often ask ourselves, “What have I done for Christ? What shall I do for Christ?” Rarely do we realise that the finest thing we could do for him is believe in his love for us.

Have you ever had the experience of someone you love very much saying to you, “I cannot quite believe that you really love me”? If you have, then you will know that what we want most from those we love, more than all the service they can offer us, is that they believe in our love, that they love us in return and that they value this love that we are offering them.”

— Anthony de Mello, SJ, ‘Contact with God: Retreat Conferences’

“The Church wishes to serve this single end: that each person may be able to find Christ, in order that Christ may walk with each person.”

— Pope John Paul II (Redemptor Hominis)

“God wants you to be the fullness of what you could be. You cannot become this if you do not allow him to enter into you.”

— Sister Wendy Beckett in ‘Sister Wendy On Prayer’

“Our entire task in this life, dear brothers, consists in healing the eyes of the heart so they may be able to see God.”

— St Augustine, as quoted by Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict) in “Homily at the Funeral Liturgy for Hans Urs von Balthasar,” Communio 15 (Winter 1988)” as seen here in November 2013

“Life is a talent entrusted to us so that we can transform it and increase it, making it a gift to others. No man is an iceberg drifting on the ocean of history. Each of us belongs to a great family, in which he has his own place and his own role to play.”

— Pope John Paul II, as quoted in “Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words”, 1998, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, page 23, with the sub-heading “Message for World Youth Day, 1996”

“We are not sent into this world for nothing… God sees every one of us. He creates every soul for a purpose.”

— Blessed John Henry Newman (aka Cardinal Newman)

“I am created to do or be something for which no one else is created.”

— Blessed John Henry Newman (aka Cardinal Newman), 1848 (as quoted on official poster, International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin, 2012)

“We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it.”

— St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians 2:10 (on Irish Sunday missalettes: “the Jerusalem version of the Scripture”)

“This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose, recognised by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy… my life belongs to the whole community… life is a sort of splendid torch… and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

— GB Shaw, quoted in ‘Vision Companion: A Blueprint for an Abundant Life’ by Flann Lynch, Capuchin

“If you are what you should be you can set the world on fire.”

— Catherine of Sienna, 1347-1380 (as quoted on official poster, International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin, 2012)

“Try to discover what the Lord wants of you.”

— St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians (Eph 5:10)

 “The purpose of our lives is to reveal God to others.”

— Pope Benedict XVI in his inaugural homily as Pope, 2005

“Wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that he freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life. The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope! It is thrilling to experience the joy of spreading this good news, sharing the treasure entrusted to us, consoling broken hearts and offering hope to our brothers and sisters experiencing darkness. It means following and imitating Jesus, who sought out the poor and sinners as a shepherd lovingly seeks his lost sheep.”

— Pope Francis in his 2014 Lenten Message as published on the Vatican website; (released by the Vatican on 26th December 2013)

“If we fail in love of neighbour, we are lost…
beg our Lord to give you this perfect love of neighbour.”

—St Teresa of Avila in her ‘The Interior Castle’ as quoted on page 97 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“The Twin Towers attack…. showed that what is frightening about fanaticism is that it loses the ability to see the other. It loses the sense that a human being is a human being. Perhaps it reminds us too, that religious passion, which can be an enormous force for good, has a dark side which can be the most destructive force in the world. That’s why Jesus put Love as the greatest commandment. After all it was a certain kind of fanaticism that had nailed him to a cross.”

— Fr John Horan, Salesian, in ‘Emblematic Events’ in the Irish edition of ‘The Salesian Bulletin’ January-March 2012 (http://homepage.eircom.net/~sdbmedia)

“To be—for this he created all.”

— Book of Wisdom

“The Gospel message brings radical newness to every generation.”

— Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, 2004

“The challenge of the Gospel is to live a love that is forgetful of self.”

— Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, 2004

“May Christ always take first place in our thoughts and actions.”

— Pope Benedict XVI (in a ‘romereports’ youtube video of July 10, 2012)

“We have to re-discover the true notion of love, which is always self-giving. We have to open our young people to the fact that self-giving becomes fulfilling and life giving, while self-centeredness only leads to narcissism and self-destruction.”

— Diarmuid Martin, Archbisihop of Dublin, 2011

“With his words and gestures, the dear John Paul II never tired of pointing out to the world that if a person allows himself to be embraced by Christ, he does not repress the riches of his humanity; if he adheres to Christ with all his heart, he will never lack anything. On the contrary, the encounter with Christ makes our lives more impassioned.”

— Pope Benedict XVI about Pope John-Paul II, on the first anniversary of JP’s death, 2nd April 2006, taken from Vatican website

“Love is the gift of the self. It means emptying oneself to reach out to others. In a certain sense, it means forgetting oneself for the good of others.”

— Pope John-Paul II (‘True Human Love Reflects the Divine’, 1993)

“Following Christ is not comfortable—and Jesus never said it would be either.”

— Pope Benedict XVI in ‘Jesus of Nazareth’

“It was easy to be a good Catholic when everyone was trying to be a good Catholic. Now we are jeered, criticised for doing our best to be a good Catholic. We can now share in Christ’s suffering…. I’ve been created to do something. And so have you. And no-one else can do it, that’s why we’re so important…. This is my prayer: that you and I, when dead, will stand before Jesus and he’ll say to us about our stewardship: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

— Fr Peter Cryan, Carmelite priest, OCD, Berkeley Road parish, Dublin, 13th November 2011 (Gospel was Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the talents)

“All is of little benefit if we do not take away completely the trust we have in ourselves and place it in God.”

—St Teresa of Avila in her ‘Book of Life’ as quoted on page 51 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“True happiness lies in giving ourselves in love to our brothers and sisters.”

— Pope John Paul II (message to young people, Cuba, 1998)

“The happiness which God designs for his higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to him.”

— CS Lewis

“It was suggested that instead of being self-conscious, we become Jesus-conscious.”

— Fr Kevin Browne, CSsR, in the Redemptorists’ Reality magazine, January 2009

“The Gospel contains a fundamental paradox: to find life, one must lose life; to be born, one must die; to save oneself, one must take up the cross. This is THE ESSENTIAL TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL, which always and everywhere is bound to meet with man’s protest.”

— Pope John-Paul II (‘Crossing the Threshold of Hope’)

“If you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit.”

— St Paul (in his letter to the Galatians 5:16-25)

“We are all blind thinking that life consists of possessing material goods. Life isn’t just a game where you have to possess and know as many things as possible. Rather it is about reducing yourself to zero, living in a new and more authentic way.”

— French priest-writer Jean Sullivan (1913-1980) in a memoir of the death of his mother ‘Anticipate Every Goodbye’

“A life reduced to the sole dimension of possessions, of consumer goods, of temporal concerns will never let you discover and enjoy the full richness of your humanity. It is only in God—in Jesus, God made man—that you will fully understand what you are.”

— Pope John-Paul II (message to students, 1979)

“I beseech you to reflect that everything (in this life) will soon be over, and gradually to detach yourself from all that will not last forever.”

— St Teresa of Avila in a letter of hers as quoted on page 117 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“The values that you commit yourselves to in your youth will determine whether you will be satisfied with the heritage of a past in which hatred and violence suffocate love and reconciliation. Upon the choices of each one of you today will depend the future of your brothers and sisters.”

— Pope John-Paul II, World Day of Peace message, 1985 (‘Peace and Youth Go Forward Together’)

“But what can we do? “Bota fé – put on faith”. The World Youth Day Cross has proclaimed these words throughout its pilgrimage in Brazil. “Put on faith”: what does this mean? When we prepare a plate of food and we see that it needs salt, well, we “put on” salt; when it needs oil, then you “put on” oil. “To put on”, that is, to place on top of, to pour over. And so it is in our life, dear young friends: if we want it to have real meaning and fulfilment, as you want and as you deserve, I say to each one of you, “Put on faith”, and life will take on a new flavour, life will have a compass to show you the way; “put on hope” and every one of your days will be enlightened and your horizon will no longer be dark, but luminous; “put on love”, and your life will be like a house built on rock, your journey will be joyful, because you will find many friends to journey with you. Put on faith, put on hope, put on love! All together: “put on faith”, “put on hope”, “put on love”.

But who can give us all this? In the Gospel we hear the answer: Christ. “This is my Son, my chosen one. Listen to him!” Jesus brings God to us and us to God. With him, our life is transformed and renewed, and we can see reality with new eyes, from Jesus’ standpoint, with his own eyes…. Certainly, possessions, money and power can give a momentary thrill, the illusion of being happy, but they end up possessing us and making us always want to have more, never satisfied. And we end up “full”, but not nourished, and it is very sad to see young people “full”, but weak. Young people must be strong, nourished by the faith and not filled with other things! “Put on Christ” in your life, place your trust in him and you will never be disappointed! You see how faith accomplishes a revolution in us, one which we can call Copernican; it removes us from the centre and puts God at the centre; faith immerses us in his love and gives us security, strength, and hope. Seemingly, nothing has changed; yet, in the depths of our being, everything is different. With God, peace, consolation, gentleness, courage, serenity and joy, which are all fruits of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:22), find a home in our heart; then our very being is transformed; our way of thinking and acting is made new, it becomes Jesus’ own, God’s own, way of thinking and acting.

Dear friends, faith is revolutionary and today I ask you: are you open to entering into this revolutionary wave of faith? Only by entering into this wave will your young lives make sense and so be fruitful!”

— Pope Francis, in his homily to 3 million people at World Youth Day, in Brazil 2013

“Life is entrusted to man as a treasure which must not be squandered, as a talent which must be used well. Man must render an account of it to his Master.”

— Pope John Paul II

“Jesus is more than a model to be imitated. What Jesus wants is not admiration, nor simple imitation (no one does Jesus very well anyway!) What Jesus wants of us is to undergo his presence so as to enter into a community of life and celebration with him.”

— Fr Ron Rolheiser

“Sometimes we have to say and do things for which others will reject us. Seeing, saying, and doing nothing is colluding in wrong-doing. Pray for Christian courage to take up our responsibilities for and to each other.”

— Fr Eamon Devlin, CM, in a sermon on MT 18:15-20, 4th September 2011 (‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain the charge. But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a gentile or a tax collector.’)

“At other times, witnessing to Christ means challenging that culture, especially when the truth about the human person is under assault…. Always be guided by the truth – by the truth about God who created and redeemed us, and by the truth about the human person, made in the image and likeness of God and destined for a glorious fulfillment in the Kingdom to come.”

— Pope John-Paul II in Baltimore, USA, October 1995

“Friendship with Jesus will also lead you to bear witness to the faith wherever you are, even when it meets with rejection or indifference. We cannot encounter Christ and not want to make him known to others. So do not keep Christ to yourselves! Share with others the joy of your faith. The world needs the witness of your faith, it surely needs God.”

— Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily at the Final Mass of World Youth Day in Madrid, 21st August 2011

“Speak about Christ only when you are asked. But live so that people ask about Christ.”

— Paul Claudel (20th century)(as quoted on official poster, International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin, 2012)

“I always say if you think you are too small to have an influence, you’ve never spent the night in a room with a mosquito!”

— Fr Kevin Browne, CSsR, in the Redemptorists’ Reality magazine, January 2009

“All the commandments are summed up in this single command: You must love your neighbour as yourself. Love is the only thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.”

— St Paul

“The true success of our lives consists in knowing and doing the will of Jesus, in doing whatever Jesus tells us.”

— Pope John-Paul II (meeting with youth, New Orleans, 1987)

“Let’s ask God what he expects from us, what he wants us to do, and we begin to understand that he doesn’t expect extraordinary things from us, but to live an ordinary life with rectitude and kindness.”

— Pope Benedict XVI in his homily on a visit to the parish of Saint Patrick, December 16th, 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZJa8CqCi4Q, www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2012/index_en.htm

“The rule for us all is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbour; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more; If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.”

— CS Lewis

“I call you friends because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father…. What I command you is to love one another.”

— Jesus (Jn 15: 9-17)

“Jesus perfected and completed the commandments. He turned them from the negative to the positive. He wanted to inject them with love: Instead of NOT, thou SHALL. He wanted a change of heart — internal as well as external obedience.”

— A sermon from a visiting Vincentian priest, St. Peter’s Church, Dublin, early 2012

“How we treat the poor is how we treat God. Ultimately we will be judged on how we treat the poor. Bluntly put, we will go to heaven or hell on the basis of giving or not giving food, water, clothing, shelter, and justice to the poor. (Mt: 25:31-46) …. When we make spirituality essentially a privatised thing, cut off from the poor and the demands for justice that are found there, it soon degenerates into mere private therapy, an art form, or worse still, an unhealthy clique.”

— Fr Ron Rolheiser

“‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God’—Jesus. We find it difficult to accept that Jesus’ target group was the poor; it can make the rest of us, who are not poor, feel excluded and not appreciated, particularly if we have tried to live good lives and do our best. But Jesus was not excluding us—he was putting it up to us!”

—Fr Peter McVerry, SJ, page 78 of his book ‘Jesus: Social Revolutionary?’, Veritas Publications, Dublin, 2008

“Finally, fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure.”

— St Paul’s letter to Phillippians 4:6-8

“To believe in a God who does not condemn, compels us to struggle to create a society that does not condemn.”

— Fr Peter McVerry, SJ, page 66 of his book ‘Jesus: Social Revolutionary?’, Veritas Publications, Dublin, 2008

“When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.”

— Mother Teresa

“To live the Gospel of solidarity, to be driven by the passion of Jesus for an end to poverty and exploitation and the building of a world of justice and peace that reflects the vision of God is not for those who want a quiet life.”

—Fr Peter McVerry, SJ, pages 120-121 of his book ‘Jesus: Social Revolutionary?’, Veritas Publications, Dublin, 2008

“You are a Christian only so long as you constantly pose critical questions to the society you live in, so long as you stay unsatisfied with the status quo, and keep saying that a new world is yet to come.”

— Henri Nouwen

“We’re not called to be perfect as God is perfect (sinless perfection). We’re called to be better than we are, to learn from God and so draw closer to him in imitation of Jesus Christ.”

— Fr George Wadding, CSsR in the Redemptorists’ Reality magazine

“Take life in instalments—this day now. At least let this be a good day. Be always beginning. Let the past go. Now let me do whatever I have the power to do. The Saints were always beginning. That is how they became Saints.”

— Fr John Sullivan, S.J. (Irishman on his way to becoming a saint)

“May we respond with conviction to that call of Christmas to rediscover the simplicity of our faith and to rediscover how to live simply.”

— Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, Christmas Homily 2011

“Really, a comfortable life can cause damage, because being too comfortable paralyses our hearts.”

— Pope Francis I, 12th May 2013, at his first canonisation ceremony, talking off-the-cuff while talking about ‘Mother Lupita’ from Mexico (as seen on a Rome Reports video on youtube at 1:20)

“In this world you are called to live fraternally, not as a utopia but as a real possibility; in this society you are called, as true missionaries of Christ, to build the civilization of love.”

— Pope John Paul II (Message for World Youth Day, 1996)

“You need courage to follow Christ, especially when you recognise that so much of our dominant culture is a culture of flight from God.”

— Pope John Paul II (at a seminary, 1995)

“The Church counters the culture of death with the culture of love.”

— Pope John Paul II

“Christianity is all about a relationship with a real person.”

— Fr Ron Rolheiser

“The important thing is not to think much but to love much” (from ‘The Interior Castle’)…. The soul’s progress does not lie in thinking much but in loving much” (from ‘The Book of Foundations’)

— St Teresa of Avila in two of her books as quoted on pages 96 and 75 respectively of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up.
If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens.
If we love enough, we are going to light that fire in the heart of others.
And it is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that sadden us.
It is love that will make us want to do great things for each other.
No sacrifice and no suffering will then seem too much.”

— Dorothy Day, in her book ‘House of Hospitality’ as reprinted in ‘Dorothy Day: Selected Writings’ in the ‘Day after Day’ section, page 87 of the 2005 Orbis Books edition

“Where does love begin? In our own homes. When does it begin? When we pray together. The family that prays together stays together.”

— Mother Teresa

  • “Though we grow in numbers and reach far-off corners of the earth, essentially the work depends on each one of us, on our way of life, the little works we do.” (referring to the growth in circulation of ‘The Catholic Worker’ newspaper)(February 1940)(page 92)
  • “Most cradle Catholics have gone through, or need to go through, a second conversion which binds them with a more profound, a more mature love and obedience to the Church.” (page 172, in the section ‘Gifts of the Spirit’, originally in ‘Ave Maria’.)
  • “St Peter said, speaking for himself and the Apostles: ‘We must obey God rather than men.'” (page 172 too)
  • (Regarding a draft refuser in the Vietnam War) “The thing is to recognise that not all are called, not all have the vocation, to demonstrate in this way, to fast, to endure the pain and long drawn-out nerve-racking suffering of prison life. We do what we can, and the whole field of all the Works of Mercy is open to us. There is a saying, ‘Do what you are doing.’… All work… can come under the heading of the Works of Mercy, which are the opposite of the works of war.” (page 180, in the section ‘Gifts of the Spirit’; February 1969)
  • “We are the Church. We are members of the Mystical Body. We all must try to function healthily. We do not have the same function, but we all have a vocation, a calling.” (page 296, in the section ‘Politics and Principles’; November 1960)
  • “We each have our vocation—the thing to do is to answer the call. We each have something to give.” (page 329, in the section ‘On Pilgrimage: Twenty Years’; July-August 1963)
  • “A few years ago there was a book review by W.H. Auden in The New York Times about Greek and Christian tragedy… In that review it was pointed out that unlike Greek tragedy, where one’s fate is written…, the Christian has a choice and each and every Christian is forced to make that choice. According to Auden: ‘there is the possibility of each becoming exceptional and good…. The saint does not ask to become one; he is called to become one and assents to the call.'” (page 216; taken from her book ‘On Pilgrimage’ [1948])
  • (Regarding witnessing a shooting and a beating by police on Memorial Day, May 30, 1937, where ten died and hundreds were beaten)… “We are repeating the protest against the Chicago massacre because the only way to stop such brutality is to arouse a storm of protest against it….  Inasmuch as we have not protested such murder as was committed in Chicago—then we are guilty.” (page 246, in the section ‘In Fields and Factories’; July 1937)
  • “They are the meek; the epitomize the poor. They do not cry out. But we are the articulate and we must speak and write for them.” (page 275, in the section ‘Politics and Principles’; April 1952)
  • “There is plenty to do, for each one of us, working on our hearts, changing our own attitudes, in our own neighborhoods. If the just man falls seven times daily, we each of us fall more than that in thought, word, and deed. Prayer and fasting, taking up our own cross daily and following Him, doing penance, these are the hard words of the Gospel.” (page 339, in the section ‘On Pilgrimage: Twenty Years”; January 1967)

— Dorothy Day, in ‘Dorothy Day: Selected Writings’, 2005 Orbis Books edition, New York, edited by Robert Ellsberg

“The Goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God, who loves us, gave us life.
Our own response of love allows God’s life
to flow into us without limit.

All the things in this world are gifts from God,
Presented to us so that we can know God more easily
and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God
Insofar as they help us to develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
They displace God
And so hinder our growth toward our goal.

In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
Before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
And are not bound by some obligation.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
Wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
A deeper response to our life in God.

Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better leads
To God’s deepening his life in me.”

— St Ignatius of Loyola, as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J.,  The First Principle and Foundation, as seen posted at http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/prs/stign/prayers.html in 2016/2017 (the link on 28th August 2017 leads to http://stignatiuschestnuthill.org/)

“My mission is to make God loved, to make Love loved.”

— St Therese of Lisieux, as quoted by Dorothy Day on page 202 of ‘Dorothy Day: Selected Writings’, 2005 Orbis Books edition, New York

“There is an immense task incumbent on all men of good will, namely the task of restoring the relations of the human family in truth, in justice, in love and in freedom; the relations between communities; between political communities themselves; between individuals, families, intermediate associations and political communities on the one hand and the world community on the other. This is a most exalted task, for it is the task of bringing about true peace in the order established by God.”

— Pope John XXIII in his final encyclical ‘Pacem in Terris’, translation as quoted by Dorothy Day on page 163 of ‘Dorothy Day: Selected Writings’, 2005 Orbis Books edition, New York. (A very poor translation–clunky–is on the Vatican website, section 163)

“Be faithful to your daily prayers; they will keep your faith alive and vibrant.”

— Pope John Paul II (message to seminarians, Chicago, 1979)

“What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ, and that we love him in return.”

— Pope John-Paul II

“God asks only one thing of us, that we ‘act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our God.’ (A rather loose, but popular, translation of Micah 6:8.)

— Fr Ron Rolheiser

“Today is the day of salvation. It’s the only one we’re sure of. God wants us to use it to enter into a relationship with God.”

— Fr Eamon Devlin, CM

“Jesus loves you and he has offered himself on the cross for you. Seek a personal relationship with him within the communion of his Church, for he will never betray your trust! He alone can satisfy your deepest longings and give your lives their fullest meaning by directing them to the service of others. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and his goodness, and shelter the flame of faith in your heart.”

—Pope Benedict XVI, in his letter to the Catholics of Ireland, 2010

“Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”

— CS Lewis

“…the Church’s perennial mission: to bring Jesus Christ to mankind and to lead mankind to an encounter with Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, truly present in the Church and also in every person.”

— Pope Francis I, in his first few days as Pope in his goodbye talk with the cardinals, 15th March, 2013

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

— Jesus (Gospel of Matthew 10:16)

“At the Last Supper John leaned on the Lord, literally. Do you? Or do you go it alone? The Lord calls us to lean on him and letting God, letting go of your own agenda, your own ways, and to continually ask in every situation ‘What, Lord, would you have me do or say?’….

We want to be channels of God’s grace, and nothing else.”

— Fr Eamon Devlin, CM, 2011, Summer Retreat

Twofold transcendence is important: toward God and toward one’s neighbour.… And when I come out of myself, I meet God and I meet others. How do you meet others? From a distance or up close? You must meet them up close, closeness… Closeness is a key word: be near. Do not be afraid of anything. Being close. The man of God is not afraid. Paul himself, when he saw many idols in Athens, was not scared. He said to the people: “You are religious, many idols … but, I’ll speak to you about another.” He did not get scared and he got close to them. He also cited poets: “As your poets say…” It’s about closeness to a culture, closeness to people, to their way of thinking, their sorrows, their resentments. Many times this closeness is just a penance, because we need to listen to boring things, to offensive things.

But, closeness also means dialogue… Dialogue is so important, but to dialogue two things are necessary: one’s identity as a starting point and empathy toward others. If I am not sure of my identity and I go to dialogue, I end up swapping my faith. You cannot dialogue without starting from your own identity, and empathy, that is not condemning a priori. Every man, every woman has something of their own to give us; every man, every woman has their own story, their own situation and we have to listen to it. Then the prudence of the Holy Spirit will tell us how to respond. Starting from one’s own identity for dialogue, but dialogue is not to do apologetics, although sometimes you have to do it, when we are asked questions that require explanation. Dialogue is a human thing. It is hearts and souls that dialogue, and this is so important! Do not be afraid to dialogue with anyone….

And Pope Benedict has a beautiful expression. He said it in Aparecida but I believe he repeated elsewhere: “The Church grows not by proselytism, but by attraction.” And what’s the attraction? It is this human empathy, which is then guided by the Holy Spirit.

— Pope Francis, in a “casual Q&A with priests of Caserta”, 26th July 2014, as published in print by Vatican Radio

 “I have done what is mine to do, may Christ teach you yours.”

— The dying words of Saint Francis (as noted in the Introduction to ‘Glimpses of the Franciscan Way’, Rockpool Publishing)

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