The Wisdom of the Saints……..about faith (part 6)

Let us struggle against the principalities, against the powers, against lurking tyrants and persecutors, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places and among the celestial beings, against the war which goes on even within ourselves among the passions, against the daily onslaught of external events. Let us handle our anger as if it were a ferocious beast and our tongue a sharp sword, and let us extinguish our love of pleasure like a flame…Let us in all things take the shield of faith and let us deflect all the darts of the evil one.” St. Gregory Nazianzen (4th century, Doctor of the Church)

Now if faith is simply of free will, and is not given by God, why do we pray for those who will not believe, that they may believe? This it would be absolutely useless to do, unless we believe, with perfect propriety, that Almighty God is able to turn to belief wills that are perverse and opposed to faith.” St. Augustine of Hippo (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

Therefore let no man venture to seek out the unsearchable things of God, the nature, mode, and cause of His existence. These are unspeakable, undiscoverable, unsearchable; only believe in simplicity and yet with firmness, that God is and shall be even as He has been, since God is immutable…Seek no further concerning God; for those whose wish to know the great deep must first review the natural world. For knowledge of the Trinity is properly likened to the depths of the sea…Therefore the great Trinity is to be piously believed and not impiously questioned; for the one God, the Trinity, is an ocean that cannot be crossed over or searched out. High is the heaven, broad the earth, deep the sea, and long the ages; but higher and broader and deeper and longer is the knowledge of Him who is not diminished by nature, Who created it of naught.” St. Columban (6th-7th centuries)

Oh sweet, life-giving faith! If you persevere in that faith, sadness will never overtake your heart. For sadness comes only from putting our trust in creatures…So if we wish to have peace we must rest our heart and soul with faith and love in Christ.” St. Catherine of Siena (14th century, Doctor of the Church)

Faith is…a beam radiating from the face of God.” St. John Eudes (17th century)

Whatever enemy persecutes you, whatever sorrow weighs you down, however weak you may find yourself, lean on God. Throw yourself boldly into His arms; He will never withdraw them and let you fall.” St. Claude de la Colombiere (17th century)

Every act of obedience is an approach – an approach to Him Who is not far off though He seems so, but close behind this visible screen of things which hides Him from us. The day will come when He will rend that veil, and show Himself to us. And then, according as we have waited for Him, will He recompense us. If we have forgotten Him, He will not know us; but ‘blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when He comes shall find watching…He shall gird Himself, and make them sit down to eat, and will come forth and serve them. And if He shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.’ May this be the portion of every one of us! It is hard to attain it; but it is woeful to fail. Life is short; death is certain and the world to come is everlasting.” Bl. John Henry Newman (19th century)

“”We do not need an intellectual knowledge of God’s plan in order to accept it…We can be warmed by a fire without knowing the chemistry of combustion, and we can be cured by a medicine without knowing its prescription. The Divine Will, pouring into the soul of a simple cripple resigned to suffering, will give him a far greater understanding of theology than a professor will get from a lifetime of theoretical curiosity about religion which he does not practice.” Ven. Fulton Sheen (19th-20th centuries)

Lay all your cares about the future trustingly in God’s hands, and let yourself be guided by the Lord just like a little child.” St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (20th century)