Penance to be sure must be used as a tool, in due times and places, as need may be. If the flesh, being too strong, kicks against the spirit, penance takes the rod of discipline, and fast, and the cilice of many buds, and mighty vigils; and places burdens enough on the flesh, that it may be more subdued. But if the body is weak, fallen into illness, the rule of discretion does not approve of such a method.
You are obliged to love your neighbor as yourself, and loving him, you ought to help him spiritually, with prayer, counseling him with words, and assisting him both spiritually and temporally, according to the need in which he may be, at least with your goodwill if you have nothing else.
We were enclosed, O eternal Father, within the garden of your breast. You drew us out of your holy mind like a flower petaled with our soul's three powers and into each power you put the whole plant, so that they might bear fruit in your garden, might come back to you with the fruit you gave them. And you would come back to the soul, to fill her with your blessedness. There the soul dwells like the fish in the sea and the sea in the fish.
O fire of love! Was it not enough for You to have created us to Your image and likeness, and to have recreated us in grace through the Blood of Your Son, without giving Yourself wholly to us as our Food, O God, Divine Essence? What impelled You to do this? Your charity alone.
This my goodness does to endow the souls of the just more fully with spiritual riches when for my love they are stripped of material goods because they have renounced the world and all its pleasures and even their own will. These are the ones who fatten their souls, enlarging them in the abyss of my charity. Then I become their spiritual provider. The Holy Spirit becomes their servant.
Even if [the Pope an incarnate devil], we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom... He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honor Christ if we honor the Pope; we dishonor Christ if we dishonor the Pope.
O Trinity, eternal Trinity! Fire, abyss of love... Was it necessary that you should give Even the Holy Trinity as food for souls?... You gave us not only your Word Through the Redemption and in the Eucharist, But you also gave yourself In the fullness of love for your creature.
No one should judge that he has greater perfection because he performs great penances and gives himself in excess to the staying of the body than he who does less, inasmuch as neither virtue nor merit consists therein; for otherwise he would be an evil case, who for some legitimate reason was unable to do actual penance. Merit consists in the virtue of love alone, flavored with the light of true discretion without which the soul is worth nothing.
When it seems that God shows us the faults of others, keep on the safer side-it may be that your judgment is false. On your lips let silence abide. And any vice that you may ascribe to others, ascribe at once to them and yourself, in true humility. If that vice really exists in a person, he will correct himself better, seeing himself so gently understood, and will say of his own accord the thing that you would have said to him.
Strange that so much suffering is caused because of the misunderstandings of God's true nature. God's heart is more gentle than the Virgin's first kiss upon the Christ. And God's forgiveness to all, to any thought or act, is more certain than our own being.
O my soul, what are you doing? Are you not aware that God sees you always? You can never hide yourself from His sight. O Father, have pity on us because we are blind and in darkness. Drive out the darkness and give me light. Melt the ice of my self-love and kindle in me the fire of Your charity.
He has never left you.It is justthat your soul is so vastthat just likethe earth in its innocence,it may think,"I do not feel my lover's warmthagainst my face rightnow."But look, dear,is not the sun reaching down its armsand always holding a continentin its light?God cannot leave us.It is just that our soul is so vast,we do not always feel His lipsupon theveil.
To join two things together there must be nothing between them or there cannot be a perfect fusion. Now realize that this is how God wants our soul to be, without any selfish love of ourselves or of others in between, just as God loves us without anything in between.
And of what should we be afraid? Our captain on this battlefield is Christ Jesus. We have discovered what we have to do. Christ has bound our enemies for us and weakened them that they cannot overcome us unless we so choose to let them. So we must fight courageously and mark ourselves with the sign of the most Holy Cross.
The city is the image of the soul, the surrounding walls being the frontier between the outward and inward life. The gates are the faculties or senses connecting the life of the soul with the outward world. Living springs of water rise within it. And in the centre, where beats the heart, stands the holy sanctuary.
Wherefore, as I have said to you, I, God, have become man, and man has become God by the union of My Divine Nature with your human nature. This greatness is given in general to all rational creatures, but, among these I have especially chosen My ministers for the sake of your salvation, so that, through them, the Blood of the humble and immaculate Lamb, My only-begotten Son, may be administered to you.