Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbour … Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.
Blessed (soon to be Saint) Mother Teresa of Calcutta
[In the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity] we are invited to contemplate, so to speak, the Heart of God, his deepest reality, which is his being One in the Trinity, a supreme and profound communication of love and life. The whole of Sacred Scripture speaks to us of him. Indeed, it is he who speaks to us of himself as Creator of the universe and Lord of history.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, 2008
Mary, give me your Heart: so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate; your Heart so full of love and humility, that I may be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life, and love Him as you love Him and serve Him in the distressing guise of the poor. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour His Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour Him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son. St Louis de Montfort
My dear young friends, I want to invite you to “dare to love”. Do not desire anything less for your life than a love that is strong and beautiful; a love that is capable of making the whole of your existence a joyful undertaking of giving yourselves as a gift to God and your brothers and sisters, in imitation of the One who vanquished hatred and death forever through love (cf. Rev. 5:13).
Pope Benedict XVI, World Youth Day 2007
Christ is alive. Jesus is the Emmanuel: God with us. His resurrection shows us that God does not abandon his own. He promised he would not: “Can a woman forget her baby that is still unweaned, pity no longer the son she bore in her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” And he has kept his promise. His delight is still to be with (his people). Christ is alive in his Church. “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” That was what God planned: Jesus, dying on the cross, gave us the Spirit of truth and life. Christ stays in his Church, its sacraments, its liturgy, its preaching – in all that it does.
St Josemaría Escrivá, Christ is Passing By
“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favour, you shall reach the goal.”
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church
On Mothering Sunday…
- we give thanks for Mary, our Mother, Virgin & Queen – and ask her to pray for us and for our families;
- we pray for our Mother, the Church – that she will be holy and draw many to Jesus;
- we pray for our mothers, living or departed – and give thanks for their generosity in bringing us to life;
- we pray for all pregnant women – that the Lord will bless them and the children that they carry.
“God’s mercy transforms human hearts; it enables us through the experience of a faithful love, to become merciful in turn. In an ever new miracle, divine mercy shines forth in our lives, inspiring each of us to love our neighbour and to devote ourselves to what the Church’s tradition calls the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. These works remind us that faith finds expression in concrete everyday actions meant to help our neighbours in body and spirit: by feeding, visiting, comforting and instructing them. On such things will we be judged. For this reason, I expressed my hope that “the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, this will be a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty, and to enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy”. (Misericordiae vultus, 15)
Pope Francis, Lent Message 2016
“Do not be afraid of Confession! When one … finishes Confession one leaves free, grand, beautiful, forgiven, candid, happy. This is the beauty of Confession! I would like to ask you – but don’t say it aloud, everyone respond in their heart: when was the last time you made your Confession? Everyone think about it … Two days, two weeks, two years, twenty years, forty years? Everyone count, everyone say ‘when was the last time I went to Confession?’ And if much time has passed, do not lose another day. Go, the priest will be good. Jesus is there, and Jesus is more benevolent than priests, Jesus receives you, he receives you with so much love. Be courageous and go to Confession!”. I am telling you: each time we go to Confession, God embraces us. God rejoices! Let us go forward on this road. May God bless you.”(St Peter’s Rome, February 2014)
“Today we, like Mary and Simeon, want to take Jesus into our arms, to bring him to his people. Surely we will be able to do so if we enter into the mystery in which Jesus himself is our guide. Let us bring others to Jesus, but let us also allow ourselves to be led by him. This is what we should be: guides who themselves are guided. May the Lord, through the intercession of Mary our Mother, Saint Joseph and Saints Simeon and Anna, grant to all of us what we sought in today’s opening prayer: to “be presented [to him] fully renewed in spirit”.”
(Homily, St Peter’s, Rome, 2nd February 2015)
“Love gives rise to the desire for unity, even in those who have never been aware of the need for it. Love builds communion between individuals and between communities. If we love one another, we strive to deepen our communion and make it perfect. Love is given to God as the perfect source of communion—the unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit—that we may draw from that source the strength to build communion between individuals and communities, or to re-establish it between Christians still divided. Love is the great undercurrent which gives life and adds vigour to the movement towards unity.”
(18th – 25th January is the
annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity)