Study From the Many People I Admire:

“It is better to remain silence and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“Seek a convenient time to retire into thyself, and meditate often upon God’s loving-kindness. Forsake curious questionings; but read diligently matters which rather yield contrition to thy heart, than occupation to thy head” ~ Thomas A Kempis

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value” ~ Albert Einstein

“Be still, my soul; your Jesus can repay from His own fullness all He takes away. Amen” ~ CW 415:3

“We have to learn that silence is the path to close personal encounter with the silent but living presence of God within us. God is not in the storm, the earthquake, or the fire, but in the murmur of a light breeze” ~ Robert Cardinal Sarah

“A professional is one who does his best work when he feels least like working” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

“Virtue is more clearly shown in the performance of fine actions than in the nonperformance of base ones” ~ Aristotle

“Christianity today is man-centered, not God-centered. God is made to wait patiently, even respectfully, on the whims of men. The image of God currently popular is that of a distracted Father, struggling in heartbroken desperation to get people to accept a Saviour of whom they feel no need and in whom they have very little interest. To persuade these self-sufficient souls to respond to His generous offers God will do almost anything, even using salesmanship methods and talking down to them in the chummiest way imaginable. This view of things is, of course, a kind of religious romanticism which, while it often uses flattering and sometimes embarrassing terms in praise of God, manages nevertheless to make man the star of the show” ~ A. W. Tozer

“Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist, there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance” ~ St. Augustine

“What toil we must endure, what fatigue, while we are attempting to climb hills and the summits of mountains! What, that we may ascend to heaven! If you consider the promised reward, what you endure is less. Immortality is given to the one who perseveres; everlasting life is offered; the Lord promises His kingdom” ~ St. Cyprian of Carthage

“It is good to [be humiliated], when we have a knowledge and feeling of our misery and imperfection; but we must not rest there, or fall therefrom into discouragement, but lift our heart to God by a holy confidence, the foundation of which should be in Him, and not in ourselves, inasmuch as we change, but He never changes: always remaining the same, and as good and merciful when we are weak and imperfect, as when we are strong and perfect. I am accustomed to say that our misery is the throne of God’s mercy; we must, therefore, as our misery is great, have so much the greatest confidence” ~ St. Francis de Sales

“All perfection in this life hath some imperfection bound up with it; and no knowledge of ours is without some darkness. An humble knowledge of thyself is a surer way to God than a deep search after learning; yet learning is not to be blamed, nor the mere knowledge of anything whatsoever, for knowledge is good, considered in itself, and ordained by God; but a good conscience and a virtuous life are always to be preferred before it. But because many endeavor rather to know than to live well; therefore they are often deceived, and reap either none, or scanty fruit” ~ Thomas a Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)

“Our circumstances are the means of manifesting how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily pure the Son of God is” ~ Oswald Chambers

“When the Holy Spirit finds Mary in a soul, He flies to it” ~ St. Louis de Montfort

“Our heavenly Father said mankind was the salt of the world, son, not the honey. And our poor world’s rather like old man Job, stretched out in all his filth, covered with ulcers and sores. Salt stings in an open wound, but saves you from gangrene” ~ Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)

“You have created us for Yourself, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in You” ~ St. Augustine

“Talent is hitting a target no one else can hit, genius is hitting a target no one else can see” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding” ~ Bill Bullard

“Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, do not seek to understand so that you may believe, but believe so that you may understand” ~ St. Augustine

“The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind” ~ G. K. Chesterton

“Gentleness is not weakness. Just the opposite. Preserving a gentle spirit in a heartless world takes extraordinary courage, determination, and resilience. Do not underestimate the power of gentleness because gentleness is strength wrapped in peace and therein lies the power to change the world” ~ L. R. Knost

“Men are generally the carpenters of their own crosses” ~ St. Philip Neri

“Let us understand that God is a physician, and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation” ~ St. Augustine

“A soul should not resolve, on account of the dryness it experiences, to abandon prayer, even though it’s trials continue always; it should regard them as a very profitable cross to carry in the footsteps of its Saviour, who invisibly assists it. We cannot lose anything in the company of so good a Master, and the time will come when He will repay, with interest, our fidelity. Our Lord permits these and such like pains to happen to some persons in the beginning, and to others during the course of their exercises in prayer. The graves with which He intends to honor us at last being so great, He wishes first of all to make us understand how fast is our misery, that we may be preserved from pride” ~ St. Teresa of Avila

“Our faith begins at the point where atheists suppose it must be at an end. Our faith begins with the bleakness and power which is the night of the cross, abandonment, temptation and doubt about everything that exists! Our faith must be born where it is abandoned by all tangible reality; it must be born of nothingness, it must taste this nothingness and be given it to taste in a way that no philosophy of nihilism can imagine” ~ H. J. Iwand

“It goes without saying that no man can teach successfully who is not at the same time a student” ~ William Osler

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…you have never talked to a mere mortal…it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, exploit-immortal horrors or everlasting splendors” ~ C. S. Lewis

“It has become cliche to talk about faith as a journey, and yet the metaphor holds. Scripture doesn’t speak of people who found God. Scripture speaks of people who walked with God…No step taken in faith is wasted, not by a God who makes all things new” ~ Rachel Evans

“Whenever the providence of God may dump us down, in a slum, in a shop, in the desert, we have to labour along the line of His direction. Never allow this thought – ‘I am of no use where I am,’ because you certainly can be of no use where you are not! Wherever He has engineered your circumstances, pray” ~ Oswald Chambers

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess” ~ Martin Luther

“It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast” ~ W. J. Cameron

“We have become sharers in this mission of the prophet Christ, and in virtue of that mission we together with Him are serving divine truth in the Church. Being responsible for that truth also means loving it and seeking the most exact understanding of it, in order to bring it closer to ourselves and others in all it’s saving power, it’s splendor, and it’s profundity joined with simplicity” ~ John Paul II (Redemptor Hominis)

“Let no Christian therefore, whether philosopher or theologian, embrace eagerly and lightly whatever novelty happens to be thought up from day to day, but rather let him weigh it with painstaking care and a balanced judgment, lest he lose or corrupt the truth he already has, with grave danger and damage to his faith” ~ Pope Pius XII (Humani Generis)

“It appears that too many Christians want to enjoy the thrill of feeling right but are not willing to endure the inconvenience of being right” ~ A. W. Tozer

“The difference between an admirer and a follower still remains, no matter who you are. The admirer never makes any true sacrifices. He always plays it safe. Though in words, phrases, songs, he is inexhaustible about how highly he prizes Christ, he renounces nothing, gives up nothing, will not reconstruct his life, will not be what he admires, and will not let his life express what it is he supposedly admires” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

“Whereof then can I glory? Or for what do I desire to be respected? Is it for being nothing? This too is most vain. Empty glory is in truth an evil pest, the greatest of vanities; because it draweth from true glory, and robbeth of heavenly grace. For whilst a man pleaseth himself, he displeaseth Thee; whilst he gapeth after the praise of men, he is deprived of true virtues” ~ Thomas a Kempis

“True and substantial devotion consists in serving God without experiencing any sensible consolation. This means serving and loving God for His own sake” ~ St. Padre Pio

“There is nothing more holy, more eminently perfect, than resignation to the will of God, which confirms in us an entire detachment from ourselves, and a perfect indifference for every condition in which we may be placed” St. Vincent de Paul

“Become a student of human behavior. Learn that behavior is determined by the structure of each individual brain. Some elements of the brain are reversible, but most are not. Knowing that brains limit behavior leads to true tolerance of one’s fellow man. Establish high requirements for those born with the most flexible brains. Do not make sadistic demands on those who cannot achieve the highest levels of performance. Appreciate the fact that selection is more important than education. Arrange to accentuate the best qualities of those you have selected and minimize their weaknesses” ~ Eugene Stead Jr.

“So it is…that we can seldom help anybody. Either we don’t know what part to give or maybe we don’t like to give any part of ourselves. Then, more often than not, the part that is needed is not wanted. And even more often, we do not have the part that is needed” ~ Norman F. MacLean

“Trials and tribulations offer us a chance to make reparation for our past faults and sins. On such occasions the Lord comes to us like a physician to heal the wounds left by our sins. Tribulation is the divine medicine” ~ St. Augustine

“Dear God – Thou knowest how busy I must be. If I forget Thee, forgeteth not me” ~ Sir Jacob Astley

“We have to learn that silence is the path to close personal encounter with the silent but living presence of God within us. God is not in the storm, the earthquake, or the fire, but in the murmur of a light breeze” ~ Robert Cardinal Sarah

“If an individual is to accept himself, someone must say to him: ‘it is good that you exist’ – must say it, not with words, but with that act of the entire being that we call love” ~ Pope Benedict XVI

“The man who cries out against evil men but does not pray for them will never know the grace of God” ~ St. Silouan the Athonite”

“Anxiety is a temptation in itself and also the source from and by which other temptations come. Therefore, above all else, calm and compose your mind. Gently and quietly pursue your aim” ~ St. Francis de Sales

“A man who is eating or lying with his wife or preparing to go to sleep in humility, thankfulness and temperance, is, by Christian standards, in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening to Bach or reading Plato in a state of pride” ~ C. S. Lewis

“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching” ~ St. Francis of Assisi

“When Jesus then is with the multitudes, He is not in His house, for the multitudes are outside of the house, and it is an act which springs from His love of men to leave the house and to go away to those who are not able to come to Him” ~ Origen

“Our Lord says ‘it was not you who chose Me but I chose you.’ Every vow to God and before God reminds us that we’ve been chosen by Love. At the outset of every vow, romance chooses us. Sooner or later romance withdraws so that, with the help of Gods grace we purify our love and conform ourselves to the Savior who died on the cross out of love. Our self-seeking is slowly and at times painfully shed like old skin and the new joy of a love that is willing to sacrifice blossoms from the grace of our Baptism” ~ G. K. Chesterton

“The chief difference between words and deeds is that words are always intended for men for their approbation, but deeds can be done only for God” ~ Leo Tolstoy

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman” ~ Thomas Paine (The American Crisis, No. 1, December 1776)

“God the Revealer-Comforter: The Judeo Christian worldview is the only worldview where the experience of the living God and His grace is given to us in a personal relationship to which He calls us…because the answers are sometimes beyond propositional – the answers come in a relationship, and that relationship is what the Redeemer offers to you and to me in that indwelling presence. We don’t hear about it much more anymore these days because it is not very popular” ~ Ravi Zacharias

“God refuses only the person who does not admit his own weakness; He sends away only the unhappy proud person. You must ‘hold him’ well and strongly, with poor spirit, with a poor heart, with a life entirely poor” ~ St. Raphael Kalinowski

“Not in mortification, not in prayer, not in labor, not in rest, but in obedience is the essence and merit of holiness” ~ St. Maximilian Kolbe

“Am I prepared to let God grip me by His power and do a work in me that is worthy of Himself? Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me; sanctification is God’s idea of what He wants to do for me, and He has to get me into the attitude of mind and spirit where at any cost I will let Him sanctify me wholly” ~ Oswald Chambers

“Very Flesh, yet Spirit too;
Uncreated! And yet born;
God-and-Man in One agreed,
Fruit of God and Mary’s seed;
At once impassible and torn
By pain and suffering here below:
Jesus Christ, whom as our Lord we know
~ St. Ignatius of Antioch

“Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if He wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength” ~ St. Philip Neri

“Rely on Christ’s Word, and cling to it as offering greater security than all the securities in the world” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“If I could give you information of my life, it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability has been led by God in strange and unaccustomed paths to do in His service what He has done in her” ~ Florence Nightingale

“Those speak foolishly who ascribe their anger or their impatience to such as offend them or to tribulation. Tribulation does not make people impatient, but proves that they are impatient. So everyone may learn from tribulation how his heart is constituted” ~ Martin Luther

“Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

“Infinite resignation is the last stage before faith, so anyone who has not made this movement does not have faith, for only in infinite resignation does an individual become conscious of his eternal validity, and only then can one speak of grasping existence by virtue of faith” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

“When you are experiencing some physical pain or a sorrowful heart, try to endure it before God, recalling as much as you can that He is watching you at this time of affliction…don’t force yourself to pray, for a simple adherence to God’s will, expressed from time to time, is enough. Moreover, suffering borne in the will quietly and patiently is a continual, very powerful prayer before God, regardless of the complaints and anxieties that come from the inferior part of the soul” ~ St. Frances de Chantal

“The Christian thinker – and I mean the man who is trying consciously and conscientiously to explain himself the sequence which culminated in faith, rather than the public apologist – proceeds by rejection and elimination. He finds the world to be so and so; he finds its character inexplicable by any non-religious theory; among religions he finds Christianity, and Catholic Christianity, to account most satisfactorily for the world and especially for the moral world within; and thus, by what [John Henry] Newman calls ‘powerful and concurrent’ reasons, he finds himself inexorably committed to the dogma of the incarnation” ~ T. S. Eliot

“This is the great work of man; always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptations to his last breath” ~ St. Anthony the Great

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset” ~ St. Francis de Sales

“We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it. Most of the man’s psychological makeup is probably due to his body: when his body dies all that will fall off of him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or the worst out of this material, will stand naked. All sorts of nice things which we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off some of us: all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off others. We shall then, for the first time, see every one as he really was” ~ C. S. Lewis

“A servant of the Lord is he who in body stands before men, but in mind knocks at heaven with prayer” ~ St. John Climacus

“Have a great love for those who contradict and fail to love you, for in this way love is begotten in a heart that has no love. God so acts with us, for He loves us that we might love by means of the very love He bears toward us” ~ St. John of the Cross

“Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created. From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it. For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created” ~ St. Ignatius of Loyola

“Be thou therefore prepared to fight, if thou wilt have the victory. Without a combat thou canst not come to the crown of patience. If thou willest not to suffer, thou refusest to be crowned. But if thou desirest to be crowned, strive manfully, endure patiently. Without labor there is no arriving at rest, nor without fighting can the victory be reached” ~ Thomas A Kempis

“Contrition is for the soul which discovers the many and different kinds of its sins. The fire of repentance gathers them together, piles them up and grinds them into the mortar of conscience. She melts them down over the fire of repentance and sorrow” ~ Bernard of Clairvaux

“If you never turn aside from the good life, your tongue may be silent but your actions will cry aloud, and God will perceive your intentions; for as our ears hear each other’s voices, so do God’s ears hear our thoughts” ~ St. Augustine

“Faith is the womb that conceives…new life, baptism the rebirth by which it is brought forth into the light of day. The Church is it’s nurse; her teachings are its milk, the bread from heaven is it’s food. It is brought to maturity by the practice of virtue; it is wedded to wisdom; it gives birth to hope. It’s home is the kingdom; it’s rich inheritance the joys of paradise; its end, not death, but the blessed and everlasting life prepared for those who are worthy” ~ St. Gregory of Nyssa

“God can show Himself as He really is only to real men. And that means not simply to men who are individually good, but to men who are united together in a body, loving one another, helping one another, showing Him to one another. For that is what God meant humanity to be like; like players in one band, or organs in one body” ~ C. S. Lewis

“How many people there are in the world of today who have ‘lost their faith’ along with the vain hopes and illusions of their childhood. What they called ‘faith’ was just one among all other illusions. They placed all their hope in a certain sense of spiritual peace, of comfort, of interior equilibrium, of self-respect. Then when they began to struggle with the real difficulties and burdens of mature life, when they became aware of their own weakness, they lost their peace, they let go of their precious self-respect, and it became impossible for them to ‘believe'” ~ Thomas Merton

“If you habitually medicate upon [God], your whole soul will be filled with Him, you will learn His expression, and learn to frame your actions after His example” ~ St. Francis de Sales

“In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the Church…yes, I love the Church. How could I do otherwise?…yes, I see the Church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists…there was a time when the church was very powerful – in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the Church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society…small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be ‘astronomically intimidated’…things are different now.
So often the contemporary Church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the Church the power structure of the average community is consoled by the Church’s silent – and often even vocal – sanction of things as they are” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

“The person for whom his reasoning power furnishes the supreme criterion of truth cannot believe that truth exists which does not flow from his own intellectual activity; truth which we cannot, by our own powers of recognition, apprehend, or by our powers of reason demonstrate; truth which does not dovetail into our own systems of thought and which lies entirely beyond the reach of our capacities. All this clashes greatly with our pride” ~ Emil Brunner

“Has the voice of God come to you directly? If it has, you cannot mistake the intimate insistence with which it has spoken to you in the language you know best, not through your ears, but through your circumstances” ~ Oswald Chambers

“Good when He gives, supremely good; Nor less when He denies: Afflictions, from His sovereign hand, Are blessings in disguise” ~ Brother Lawrence

“Quietude, which some men cannot abide because it reveals their inward poverty, is as a palace of cedar to the wise, for along its hallowed courts the king in His beauty deigns to walk” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

“Bad sadness casts down the soul, makes it lose confidence in God and relish from holy exercises, and encourages it to seek amusements without [God], to distract it from that which suffers within; the other hand, on the contrary…inclines one to prayer and fervor in the service of God, spreads a divine unction through the soul, and moves it to seek solitude and intercourse with God, in whom alone it finds its consolation” ~ St. Ambroise de Lombez

“The essence of the love of God does not lie in affections or in sweet words, but solely in the will. If the soul perseveres decisively with its will fixed on holiness and love of God, although it does not experience the least feeling in its heart, let it be wholly convinced that it continually tends with rapid pace forward and ever pushes upward” ~ St. Maximilian Kolbe

“In natural matters faith follows evidence and is impossible without it, but in the realm of the spirit faith precedes understanding; it does not follow it. The natural man must know in order to believe; the spiritual man must believe in order to know. The faith that saves is not a conclusion drawn from evidence; it is a moral thing, a thing of the spirit, a supernatural infusion of confidence in Jesus Christ, a very gift of God” ~ A. W. Tozer


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