Saint Damasus

Saint Damasus

December 11

“Let me seek you, Lord, even while I am calling upon you, and call upon you even as I believe in you; for to us you have indeed been preached. My faith calls upon you, Lord, this faith which is your gift to me, which you have breathed into me through the humanity of your Son and the ministry of your preacher.”

Confessions I.1.1

Augustine For Today

Augustine For Today

December 10

“Everyone must do what he or she can. If one person is not capable of as much as another, then he or she can still attain it in the other who does have this capability. The condition is that one love and esteem in the other the attainments which one does not have because of one’s own limitations. Thus, the person with fewer capabilities ought not to impede the person with more; nor should those who are more gifted put pressure on others who are less gifted. You have to render an account of your conscience to God alone. But the only thing that you owe one another is love for one another.”

Letter 130.16.31

Saint Juan Diego

Saint Juan Diego

December 9

“It is by loving that one becomes a member of Christ, becomes through love incorporated into the body of Christ; and there will be the one Christ loving himself … when therefore you love a member of Christ, you’re loving Christ, you’re loving the Son of God; when you’re loving the Son of God you love the Father. Love can never be separated. Choose for yourself what you love, and the rest will follow.”

On the Letter of John 10.3

The Immaculate Conception

The Immaculate Conception

December 8

“My Dioscorus, I wish that, with complete piety, you would submit to him, and not seek any other way to attaining lasting truth but the one shown us by him who, being God, sees our weakness. This way consists, first, of humility, second of humility, and third, of humility. No matter how often you would ask me, I would say the same. It is not that there are no other precepts to be mentioned. But, unless humility precedes, accompanies, and follows whatever good we do, unless it be a goal ever before us, alongside us to cling to, before us as a restraint, we will find that we have done little good to rejoice in; pride’s hand having bereft us of everything.”

Letter 118.22

Saint Ambrose

Saint Ambrose

December 7

“I had not yet groaned in prayer for you to come to my help, but my mind was intent on questioning and restless for argument. Ambrose himself I believed to be a happy man, as the world judges such things, because so many powerful persons showed him honor. His celibacy alone appeared to me to be a hard thing. But what hopes he held, what struggles against temptations arising from his exalted station, what comforts amid adversities, how sweet the joys of that secret mouth within his heart as it fed upon and savored again the bread you gave him – such things I could not guess at, nor had I any experience of them.”

Confessions VI,3.3.

Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas

December 6

“Love with your whole heart him who is beautiful beyond all the sons of men. Gaze upon the beauty of him who loves you … Consider how beautiful in him is the very thing for which the proud mock him. With the eyes of your heart gaze upon the wounds of the crucified Jesus, the marks left in the risen Lord, the blood of the dying Christ, the treasure of believers, the price of our redemption! Reflect on how priceless all that is! Place it on the scales of love and weigh it … He wants to be wholly fixed in your hearts, he who for your sake let himself be fixed to the cross.

On Holy Virginity 54.55ff

Augustine For Today

Augustine For Today

December 5

“O Lord my God, my one hope, listen to me lest out of weariness I should stop wanting to seek you, but let me seek your face always, and with ardor. Do you yourself give me the strength to seek, having caused yourself to be found and having given me the hope of finding you more and more. Before you lies my strength and my weakness; preserve the one, heal the other. Before you lies my knowledge and my ignorance; where you have opened to me, receive me as I come in; where you have shut to me, open to me as I knock. Let me remember you, let me understand you, let me love you. Increase these things in me until you refashion me entirely.”

On the Trinity 15.51

Saint John Damascene

Saint John Damascene

December 4

“Lord, you are our physician, healing the ills of all. You reduce the swelling of pride; you renew wasted life; you cut out what is superficial; you preserve what is necessary; you restore what has been lost; you cure what has been corrupted. Who then can despair of salvation? Since the Son of God has become so humble for our sake, who could believe that happiness could be found in the other things of life?”

The Christian Combat 11, 12

Saint Francis Xavier

Saint Francis Xavier

December 3

“We are indeed fortunate if we also actually do what we hear and sing. Our hearing, you see, is the sowing, our doing is the fruit of the seed. A field which produces thistles after wheat is sown in it should look forward to the bonfire, not the barn. So too, those people who hear good things and do bad things should not expect for themselves the barn of the kingdom of heaven, but that fire of which it is said, Go into the eternal fire, which has been prepared for the devil and his angels. With these few opening words I wish to warn you, dearly beloved, not to come fruitlessly to church by hearing so many good things and yet not acting well. Instead, following the goodness of the sower and the seed which is the word of God, let a wonderfully abundant crop of good works spring up in your characters and your lives as in good soil, and so you may look forward to the coming of the farmer, who is now preparing a barn to put you in.”

Sermon 23A, 1

Augustine For Today

Augustine For Today

December 2

“Inasmuch as the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, he was reared and grew up. After suffering, dying, and rising again, he received as his inheritance the kingdom of heaven. It was in being man that he received resurrection and eternal life. In being man he received it. In being the Word, he did not receive it, because the Word abides unchangingly from everlasting to everlasting. So, because it was that flesh, which rose again and being quickened ascended into heaven, that received resurrection and eternal life, this too he promised to us. We are waiting for that very inheritance, eternal life.”

Sermon 22, 10

Augustine For Today

Augustine For Today

December 1

“If you put the good things you do down to God and thank God for them, and yet at the same time count yourself a cut above others who are not yet doing good, and consider yourself to be completely and perfectly just because you do not commit murder or adultery or theft, or because you fast or give alms and now consider that you have thereby fulfilled all justice, and scorn those who do not do these things, and are very pleased with yourself like a healthy fellow looking at the sick – even in this case God disqualifies you. What you ought to do, you see, however much progress you are making, is not think about how much ground you have covered but about how much you still have left until you finish the journey and can enjoy yourself in your home country, being lifted up in the king of that country who for your sake humbled himself.”

Sermon 16B, 3

Saint Andrew

Saint Andrew

November 30

“A good man deposits in the heavenly bank all the works of mercy he does for the people he helps, and he knows that the one who keeps his deposit safe is the faithful and reliable guardian. He doesn’t see it, but he is certain of his account, because nothing can be pilfered from it by a thief, or seized by an invading enemy, or taken away from him as though he were being evicted by a rival or bully or strong man, but it will always be waiting for him because it is being kept for him by the mightiest lord of all.”

Sermon 18, 3

Frederick of Regensburg, O.S.A.

Frederick of Regensburg, O.S.A.

November 29

“Are we, perhaps, continually prostrated on our knees with our hands raised that you ask us to pray without ceasing? If such is asked of us in telling us thus to pray, I feel we cannot pray without ceasing. There is, then, another class of interior prayer, and this is desire … If you do not wish to break off your prayer, do not interrupt your desire. Your continual desire is the continual voice of your heart. Be silent and you will cease to love. Coldness of charity is the silence of the heart and fire of love is the clamor of the heart.”

Exposition on the Psalms 37, 14

Saint Catherine Laboure

Saint Catherine Laboure

November 28

“The fullness of the law is charity. But where is charity to be found? In the love of God and love of neighbor; it won’t be genuine unless God is also loved. You chose love of God; it won’t be genuine unless neighbor is also tacitly included … There is absolutely nothing, in fact, that can satisfy you except God; nothing is enough for you, except God. Show us the Father and it is enough for us. So, let us love the works of mercy, while our ills are being healed, so that when our ills have been healed, our desires may be sharpened; being healed may they be sharpened, being sharpened may they be satisfied, so that there will be judgment on us, but with mercy.”

Sermon 90A, 13-14

Saint Virgilio

Saint Virgilio

November 27

“First and foremost, … remember the poor, so that what you withhold from yourselves by living more sparingly, you may deposit in the treasury of heaven. Let the hungry Christ receive what the fasting Christian receives less of. Let the self-denial of one who undertakes it willingly become the support of the one who has nothing. Let the voluntary want of the person who has plenty become the needed plenty of the person in want.”

Sermon 210.10.12

Saint Corrado

Saint Corrado

November 26

“God proclaims a Sabbath for us. What kind of Sabbath? Consider first how it is to be observed. Our Sabbath has to be within, a thing of the heart. Many indeed are those who rest their bodies, but their conscience is in a state of turmoil … He, on the contrary, who has a good conscience, is at peace; and this peace is in itself the Sabbath of the heart … It is the joy we have in the serenity of our hope that constitutes our Sabbath.”

Exposition on the Psalms, 91.2

Saint Andrew Dung-Lac & Companions

Saint Andrew Dung-Lac & Companions

November 24

“Because of its weight a body tends to its proper place. Weight does not necessarily urge a body down, but it does urge it to its proper place. Fire tends upward, a stone downward; each is moved by its weight and seeks its proper place. Oil mixed with water rises to the surface of the water; water poured into oil sinks beneath the oil; each is moved by its weight and seeks its proper place. If a being is not in its proper place, it is restless: if it is, it is at rest. My weight is love; it is what carries me wherever I am borne.”

Confessions XIII, 9,10

Saint Clement

Saint Clement

November 23

“Why did he permit himself to be tempted, if not to teach us how to resist the tempter? The world promises the pleasures of the flesh; answer it: ‘God is ore delightful than that.’ The world promises secular honors and high office; answer it: ‘The Kingdom of God is higher than all that.’ The world promises superfluous, even damnable spectacle to our curiosity; answer it: ‘God’s truth alone does not err.’”

Sermon 284,5

Saint Cecilia

Saint Cecilia

November 22

“Let me love you, Lord, and give thanks to you and confess to your name, because you have forgiven my grave sins and wicked deeds. By your sheer grace and mercy, you melted my sins away like ice. To your grace also do I also ascribe whatever sins I did not commit, for what would I not have been capable of. I who could be enamored even of a wanton crime I acknowledge that you have forgiven me everything, both the sins I willfully committed by following my own will, and those I avoided through your guidance.”

Confessions II,7,15