Wisdom of the Saints…about discipleship (part 3)

“Since, by the goodness of God, we who are called ‘Christians’ have been granted the honor of sharing this name – the greatest, the highest, the most sublime of all names – it follows that each of the titles that express its meaning should be clearly reflected in us. If we are not to lie when we call ourselves ‘Christians,’ we must bear witness to it by our way of living.” St. Gregory of Nyssa (4th century)

“Let each one of us, no matter what his walk of life or circumstances, offer to God all that he can on every occasion according to the measure of his capacity, according to the gift bestowed upon him, in order that by displaying virtue in all its forms we may secure all the heavenly abodes, reaping all that we have sown, or rather, storing up in God’s silos all that we have garnered. Let one contribute his riches, another his abject poverty; one his zeal, another his appreciation of the zeal of another; one a commendable deed, another a perceptive thought; one a timely remark, another eloquent silence; one unimpeachable instruction and a way of life to match; another an open and receptive ear; one virginity that is pure and severs all contact with the world; another a marriage that is devout and in no way divorced from God; one fasting that is not tainted with pride; another feast tempered by restraint; one unbroken prayers and spiritual hymns, another the care of the poor; all of us our tears, all of us our purification, all of us our upliftment and a straining forward to what lies ahead.” St. Gregory Nazianzen (4th century, Doctor of the Church) 

“May your Creed be for you as a mirror.” St. Augustine of Hippo (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“Prefer nothing to Christ, because He preferred nothing to us.” St. Benedict (5th-6th centuries)

“In a way, every Christian is to be a bride of God’s Word, a mother of Christ, His daughter and sister, at once virginal and fruitful. These words are used in a universal sense for Mary, in a particular sense for the individual Christian” Bl. Isaac of Stella (12th century)

“Admire Christ’s power, and the courage of the disciples…The Romans conquered countless thousands of Jews, but could not overcome twelve unarmed unprotected men.” St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century, Doctor of the Church)

“Some people delight in wealth or status, or would rather please creatures than the Creator. These build their foundation in worldly appearance, pleasure, and enjoyment. Then there are some who love their children or spouse or mother or father excessively, with too sensual a love. Such a love gets between their soul and God and keeps them from a clear knowledge of the truth of real heavenly love. This is why gentle First Truth said, Unless you leave father and mother, sisters and brothers, and your very self, you are not worthy of Me. God’s true servants have always been very conscious of this, and quickly strip their heart, soul, and affection of the world and its pleasures and ostentation, and of loving anyone apart from God. Not that they don’t love other people, but they love them only for God’s sake, as creatures boundlessly loved by their Creator.” St. Catherine of Siena (14th century, Doctor of the Church)

“Our head is Christ, and therefore to Him must we be joined, and as members of His body must we follow Him, if we wish to get there. He is the guide to guide us there, He is entered in before us, and so anyone who wishes to enter in afterward must ‘walk in the same way in which He walked’. And what was the way in which Christ walked into heaven? He Himself showed what way it was that His Father had provided for Him, when He said to the two disciples going toward the village of Emmaus, ‘Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?’ Who, then, can be so shameful as to desire to enter into the kingdom of Christ with ease, when He Himself did not enter into His own kingdom without pain?” St. Thomas More (15th-16th centuries)

“Those in love do not know how to say good-bye: they are with one another all the time. Do you and I know how to love the Lord like this?” St. Josemaria Escriva (19th-20th centuries)

“Before conversion it was behavior which to a large extent determined belief; after conversion it is belief which determines behavior.” Ven. Fulton Sheen (19th-20th centuries)

“Our body is a cenacle, a monstrance: through its crystal the world should see God.” St. Gianna Molla (20th century)

“Live a virtuous life, give all you can with little regard to yourselves, base all your actions and everything you do on how it will contribute to the greater glory of God, dress your body and soul with dignity, imitating Christ courageously and confidently, letting all the world know where your loyalty is.” St. Teresa of Calcutta (20th century)

“Are you capable of risking your life for someone? Do it for Christ.” Pope St. John Paul II (20th-21st centuries)