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Wisdom of the Saints….about good works (part 2)

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead…For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” St. James the Apostle (James the Less) (1st century)

“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” St. Paul the Apostle (1st century)
“Listen to me, dearly beloved, listen to me or this sweat of mine may bear witness against you; listen to me. When the Apostle James was talking about faith and works against those who thought their faith was enough, and didn’t want to have good works, he said, ‘You believe that God is one; you do well; the demons too believe, and tremble’ (Jas 2:19). Will the demons, do you suppose, be delivered from eternal fire, just because they believe and tremble? Look, there’s what you heard in the Gospel, what Peter said: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God’; read, and you’ll find the demons said, ‘We know Who You are, the Son of God’…What distinguishes these two confessions from each other? Love is praised, fear condemned..Hope in the Lord, and join good deeds to true faith. Confess that Christ has come in the flesh, both by believing and by living good lives, and hold on to both as received from Him, and hope for both to be increased and perfected by Him.” St. Augustine (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“So by saying, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for God will have mercy on them,’ the Lord made it clear that the entire scale on which He is going to judge the whole world when He appears in His majesty would be tilted while hanging from the following balance: Only the quality of good works directed toward the destitute would determine the sentence…” Pope St. Leo the Great (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“…that barn is a truly happy one and worthy to have all its products multiplied from which the hunger of the poor and weak is satisfied, from which the pilgrim’s need is satisfied and from which the sick man’s desire is cared for. God’s justice allows these people to labor under various disabilities so that He may reward the lowly for their patience and the merciful for their kindness.” Pope St. Leo the Great

“If we wish to dwell in the tent of [God’s] kingdom, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.” St. Benedict of Nursia (5th-6th centuries)

“Leaves without flowers: these are they who have words without works.” St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century, Doctor of the Church)

“Labor without stopping; do all the good works you can while you still have time.” St. John of God (15th-16th centuries)

“Therefore life is for all men a serious matter, and it ought not to be spent recklessly. Whether we regard it as a prelude or outline of the fuller, higher life that we cannot enjoy here below, or whether we look at it by itself as a fruit (a very bitter fruit sometimes) and not as a seed, we arrive at the conclusion that every life involves responsibility, and we are answerable not only for the evil that we do, but also for the good that we fail to do. We become convinced also that the most trifling actions and the most secret sacrifices echo on in time and space, and we continue forever the good or evil that we have once begun…Therefore, we ought to make each day a sort of summary of life as a whole, and bring into it each of the duties that make up our existence.” Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur (19th-20th centuries)

“The whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if I didn’t put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less. And that drop would be missed. Same thing for you, same thing for your family, same thing in the church where you go, just begin…one at a time.” St. Teresa of Calcutta (20th century)

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