Monday, September 23, 2019

We ought to love one another seriously

It is the Lord’s will that our response to His love should not bring us away from our brothers and sisters; on the contrary, it should bring us closer to one another. Faith in the love of God vanishes when charity vanishes. 

We should love one another seriously, with a love that is supernatural; we should love one another generously and faithfully, with a love that is not just words and feelings, but one that involves a real commitment to be patient and understanding with one another, a commitment to esteem and to help one another.

Circular Letter Believing in our Vocation, Lenten Ember Days 1963

God does not save us as individuals

If a religious community is elitist, then it is anti-Christian. If the Community were to become a club and we looked at one another with approval, keeping those who are not part of the Community at a distance, then we would not be living a Christian life. We may be living a spiritual life (spiritual in the human sense of the word, not in the divine sense of the Spirit), it could be a very noble one, but it wouldn’t be a Christian one… 

God does not sanctify, He does not save us as individuals; rather, He will sanctify and save us insofar as we are united in a community, because He loved and still loves a people, and this people is the Church. It is God’s Church that knows and serves Him. Therefore, we may know and serve Him only to the extent that we are part of the Church, only to the extent that we somehow identify with her…

Retreat at Casa S.Sergio, January 17th, 1965

The sense of sin

If you were not aware of your own sins, Jesus would be foreign to you; you would feel self-sufficient.

Insofar as you feel poor, you are rich. Insofar as you feel unworthy, the Lord becomes the One who makes up for what you lack.

Spiritual Exercises, Arliano 15th of June 1980

Infinite Love

It is a wonderful thing that I should remember on this day, the day of my birth, the Infinite Love of God, by which God willed from all eternity that I should come into existence; and by this Infinite Love, God wills that I should live for all eternity; my life may thereby rest on this certainty, and, in this certainty, find peace.

At the conclusion of a Retreat held in Florence on April 25th, 1977

The Sacramental Economy

The religious dispensation in which man lives is still a sacramental economy; if we take away the sign, then we will not be able to penetrate the Mystery of God and our minds will not be able to grasp it. Let us not forget that God, in His inner life, remains a pure mystery. We see God, we know Him and love Him through the sign, the sign through which He reveals Himself to us…

Spiritual Exercises, Ronco di Ghiffa, August, 1958

How one should celebrate Christmas

We should celebrate Christmas as a renewal not of the Birth of Jesus, but of our birth in Christ. 

May Christ be truly born in us; and as Christ comes to live in us, may He take our human nature and live His very life through it.

Retreat in Florence, 18th of December 1994

Mutual Forgiveness

Remember that fraternal love is one that is given in unceasing forgiveness, because we always need to forgive others as we always need to be forgiven; it is in mutual forgiveness that love truly becomes incarnate, just as the love of Christ became incarnate in His forgiveness of us.

Homily of May 13th, 1988, delivered in Syracuse, Sicily

Boundless and limitless love

My Christian calling requires before anything else my commitment to carry out the mission of Jesus and this means that I cannot accept living in a restricted community: “We feel good living together, but let us leave others out”. Or: “we feel comfortable in the Church; but let us throw out others such as Muslims and Communists.” No, the love of God, Christian love knows no limits or borders; it must embrace everything and everyone. 

Spiritual Exercises in Paestum, June 1986

So that God may be all…

God is to you what you want Him to be. If you are self-satisfied, if you think you are worth something, then there is no place for God, because God wants to be everything. 

And if God is to be everything to you, it is necessary that you should be nothing, that you should possess nothing, that you should be nothing so that He may open your heart to receive the gift of His Infinite Love.

Spiritual Exercises of Arliano, June 15th, 1980

Converting to Christianity, through reading Dostoyevsky’s works

I converted to Christianity because  I read Dostoyevsky’s works; and if I hadn’t read them, I would not be a priest today — I say this with all sincerity.  

If it hadn’t been for Dostoyevsky, today I would be a writer, a poet, whatever, but not a priest and perhaps not even a Christian.”

Gathering, Florence 6th of January 1980