So the divine love is sacrificial love. Love does not mean to have and to own and to possess. It means to be had and to be owned and to be possessed. It is not a circle circumscribed by self, it is arms outstretched to embrace all humanity within its grasp.
There is a tendency among many shallow thinkers of our day to teach that every human act is a reflex, over which we do not exercise human control. They would rate a generous deed as no more praiseworthy than a wink, a crime as no more voluntary than a sneeze. . . Such a philosophy undercuts all human dignity. . . All of us have the power of choice in action at every moment of our lives.
Why are those who are notoriously undisciplined and unmoral also most contemptuous of religion and morality? They are trying to solace their own unhappy lives by pulling the happy down to their own abysmal depths.
Most of us love a non-self, or something extrinsic and apart from our inner life; but a mother's love during the time she is a flesh-and-blood ciborium is not for a non-self but for one that is her very self, a perfect example of charity and love which hardly perceives a separation. Motherhood then becomes a kind of priesthood. She brings God to man by preparing the flesh in which the soul will be implanted; she brings man to God in offering the child back again to the Creator.
It is not particularly difficult to find thousands who will spend two or three hours a day in exercising, but if you ask them to bend their knees to God in five minutes of prayer they protest that it is too long.
One of the greatest disasters that happened to modern civilization was for democracy to inscribe "liberty" on its banners instead of "justice." Because "liberty" was considered the ideal it was not long until some men interpreted it as meaning "freedom from justice"; then when religion and decent government attempted to bring them back to justice, organized into "freedom groups" they protested that their constitutional and natural rights were being violated.
His words even imply that philanthropy has deeper depths than is generally realized. The great emotions of compassion and mercy are traced to Him; there is more to human deeds than the doers are aware. He identified every act of kindness as an expression of sympathy with Himself. All kindnesses are either done explicitly or implicitly in His name, or they are refused explicitly or implicitly in His name.
Gaston Milhaud, like many of his contemporaries, sought to overthrow empirical positivism by insisting on the fundamental reality of the mind, but mind conceived in the Kantian sense. The knowledge of nature is symbolic, and there is no necessary connection between the phenomena and our fictions.
The world is rapidly being divided into two camps, the comradeship of anti-Christ and the brotherhood of Christ. The lines between these two are being drawn. How long the battle will be we know not whether swords will have to be unsheathed we know not whether blood will have to be shed we know not whether it will be an armed conflict we know not. But in a conflict between truth and darkness, truth cannot lose.
All my sermons are prepared in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. As recreation is most pleasant and profitable in the sun, so homiletic creativity is best nourished before the Eucharist. The most brilliant ideas come from meeting God face to face. The Holy Spirit that presided at the Incarnation is the best atmosphere for illumination. Pope John Paul II keeps a small desk or writing pad near him whenever he is in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament; and I have done this all my life - I am sure for the same reason he does, because a lover... Read more »
It is not easy to explain why God permits evil; but it is impossible for an atheist to explain the existence of goodness. How could a spiritless, soul-less, cross-less, Godless universe become the center of faith, purity, sacrifice, and martyrdom? How can decency be the decent thing if there is no God? Since God is love, why should we be surprised that want of it should end in pain, hate, broken hearts, and war?
Buddha wrote a code which he said would be useful to guide men in darkness, but he never claimed to be the Light of the world. Buddhism was born with a disgust for the world, when a prince's son deserted his wife and child, turning from the pleasures of existence to the problems of existence. Burnt by the fires of the world, and already weary with it, Buddha turned to ethics.
The basic struggle today is not between individualism and collectivism, free enterprise and socialism, democracy and dictatorship. These are only the superficial manifestations of a deeper struggle which is moral and spiritual and involves above all else whether man shall exist for the state, or the state for man, and whether freedom is of the spirit or a concession of a materialized society.
We can think of Lent as a time to eradicate evil or cultivate virtue, a time to pull up weeds or to plant good seeds. Which is better is clear, for the Christian ideal is always positive rather than negative. A person is great not by the ferocity of his hatred of evil, but by the intensity of his love for God. Asceticism and mortification are not the ends of a Christian life; they are only the means. The end is charity. Penance merely makes an opening in our ego in which the Light of God can pour. As we... Read more »
The humble, simple souls, who are little enough to see the bigness of God in the littleness of a Babe, are therefore the only ones who will ever understand the reason of His visitation. He came to this poor earth of ours to carry on an exchange; to say to us, as only the Good God could say: 'you give me your humanity, and I will give you my Divinity; you give me your time, and I will give you My eternity; you give me your broken heart, and I will give you Love; you give me your nothingness, and... Read more »
It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God. Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty life is unfinished.
Because God is full of life, I imagine each morning Almighty God says to the sun, "Do it again"; and every evening to the moon and the stars, "Do it again"; and every springtime to the daisies, "Do it again"; and every time a child is born into the world asking for curtain call, that the heart of the God might once more ring out in the heart of the babe.
Love was meant to be also a sign, a symbol, a messenger, a telltale of the Divine. Love is a messenger from God saying that every human affection and every ecstasy of love are sparks from the great flame of love that is God.
If all things in this universe exist, it is because they participate in the Being of God, if there are some things with life, it is because they are reflections of the life of God; if there are beings endowed with intellect and will - like men and angels - it's because they are a participation of the Sovereign Intellect which is God.
When our conscience bothers us, whether we admit it or not, we often try to justify it by correcting others, or by finding fault with them. The readiness to believe evil about others is in large part ammunition for a thousand scandals in our own hearts.
Many married women who have deliberately spurned the "hour" of childbearing are unhappy and frustrated. They never discovered the joys of marriage because they refused to surrender to the obligation of their state. In saving themselves, they lost themselves!
By a beautiful paradox of Divine love, God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life. We have slain Him; we have nailed Him there and crucified Him; but the Love in His eternal heart could not be extinguished. He willed to give us the very life we slew; to give us the very Food we destroyed; to nourish us with the very Bread we buried, and the very Blood we poured forth. He made our very crime into a happy fault; He turned a Crucifixion into a Redemption; a Consecration into a Communion; a death... Read more »