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Wisdom of the Saints about discipleship (part 4)

“When men saw him [Paul} in captivity, flogged, shipwrecked, led about in chains, they could scarcely help thinking him a pitiable sight. Nevertheless, even while he suffered all this at the hands of men, he always looked toward the One Who is his head and he asked: What can separate us from the love of Christ, which is in Jesus? Can affliction or distress? Can persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger or death? In other words, “What can force me to take my eyes from Him Who is my head and to turn them toward things that are contemptible?” He bids us follow his example: Seek the things that are above, he says, which is only another way of saying: ‘Keep your eyes on Christ’.” St. Gregory of Nyssa (4th century)

“Listen carefully, my son, to the Master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.” St. Benedict of Nursia (5th-6th centuries)

“Come to Him and be enlightened, so as to be not merely carrying lamps but to be very lamps yourselves, shining inside and out, for yourselves and for your neighbors. Be a lamp then in heart, in hand, in lips.” Bl. Guerric of Igny (11th-12th centuries)

“We ought to take off everything that has to do with sin and foulness in us, and we ought to clothe ourselves with the new man, so that we may get to know Him in our mind and through our work…If God has proved Himself so intimate with us, then we also ought to prove to Him that we are intimate with Him…It would be very presumptuous if a king sought friendship with a poor man and the latter refused the king’s friendship…When someone opens the affection of his heart for Christ, God comes in and refreshes and is refreshed; He rejoices in you, and He makes you rejoice…Every delight is nothing compared to a delight of God.” St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century, Doctor of the Church)

“He who bears God in his heart, carries his paradise with him everywhere.” St. Ignatius of Loyola (15th-16th centuries)

“You ought always to keep our Lord as a mirror before your soul.” St. Peter Julian Eymard (19th century)

“Good example is the most efficacious apostolate. You must be as lighted lanterns and shine like brilliant chandeliers among men. By your good example and your words, animate others to know and love God.” St. Mary Joseph Rossello (19th century)

“For in truth we are not called once only, but many times; all through our life Christ is calling us. He called us first in Baptism; but afterwards also; whether we obey His voice or not, He graciously calls us still. If we fall from our Baptism, He calls us to repent; if we are striving to fulfill our calling, He calls us on from grace to grace, and from holiness to holiness, while life is given us. Abraham was called from his home, Peter from his nets, Matthew from his office, Elisha from his farm, Nathaniel from his retreat; we are all in course of calling, on and on, from one thing to another, having no resting-place, but mounting towards our eternal rest, and obeying one command only to have another put upon us. He calls us again and again, in order to justify us again and again,—and again and again, and more and more, to sanctify and glorify us.” Bl. John Henry Newman (19th century)

“Be a Catholic: When you kneel before an altar, do it in such a way that others may be able to recognize that you know before Whom you kneel.” St. Maximilian Kolbe (19th-20th centuries)

“Ask Jesus with boundless confidence, like the bride in the Song of Solomon, to draw you after Him and let you smell the fragrance of His anointing oils so that you may follow swiftly with all the faculties of your soul and body wherever He goes.” St. Pio of Pietrelcina (19th-20th centuries)
“Ask yourselves, young people, about the love of Christ. Acknowledge His voice resounding in the temple of your heart. Return His bright and penetrating glance which opens the paths of your life to the horizons of the Church’s mission. It is a taxing mission, today more than ever, to teach men the truth about themselves, about their end, their destiny, and to show faithful souls the unspeakable riches of the love of Christ. Do not be afraid of the radicalness of His demands, because Jesus, Who loved us first, is prepared to give Himself to you, as well as asking of you. If He asks much of you, it is because He knows you can give much.” Pope St. John Paul II (20th-21st centuries)

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