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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Spiritual writers from the past can help our spiritual development

Spiritual writers from the past can help our spiritual development

Here are some quotations from spiritual writers from all eras to help our spiritual growth.

St. Benedict (480-547) was an Italian priest who founded the Benedictine Order of Monks. He reminds us, “You change your life by changing your heart.”

St. Basil the Great (330-379) was the Greek bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor. He encourages us by saying, “There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change. Have you slipped? Rise up. Have you sinned? Cease. Do not stand among sinners, but leap aside.”

Fr. Bede Jarrett, OP (1881-1934) was an English Dominican priest and a noted historian and author. “God cannot cease to love me. That is the most startling fact that our doctrine reveals. Sinner or saint he loves and cannot well help himself. Magdalen in her sin, Magdalen in her sainthood, was loved by God. The difference between her position made some difference also in the effect of that love on her, but the love was the same, since it was the Holy Spirit who is the love of the Father and the Son. Whatever I do, I am loved. But then, if I sin, am I unworthy of love? Yes, but I am unworthy always.

“Nor can God love me for what I am, since, in that case, I would compel his love, force his will by something external to himself. In fact, really if I came to consider, I would find that I was not loved by God because I was good, but that I was good because God loved me. My improvement does not cause God to love me, but is the effect of God's having loved me.”

St. Boniface was born in Anglo-Saxon England 672 and assassinated in the Netherlands 754. He was a leading figure in the Anglo-Saxon mission to the Germanic parts of the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He talked about being loyal to the church. “In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life's different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) was a Dutch priest and the author of The Imitation of Christ, one of the most popular Christian devotional books. He talks about our oneness in Christ. “Inasmuch as we have one Father in heaven, God, we are all brothers of Christ, and it matters not from which city or country we are gathered here or whether our parentage be noble or lowly. The one God created all of us, governs us, and cares for us. God has called us by his external word, and daily by interior contrition he calls us to the one beatitude, our final end.

“This one God has promised to give himself to us as our future reward in the presence of the angels and amid the universal happiness of the citizens of heaven. Therefore, since this one God calls us, redeemed by one price, and imbued by the one Spirit, let us endeavor to love and serve one another. If we wish to be pleasing to Christ, then let us bear one another’s burdens and in charity pray for one another, for God is in each of us, and each of us is in God.”

St. Augustine (354-430), was a Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings. He asks us, “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of others. That is what love looks like!”