Augustine For Today
FEBRUARY 16 - BLESSED SIMON OF CASCIA, O.S.A.
“O eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity. You are my God. To you do I sigh day and night. When I first came to know you, you drew me to yourself so that I might see that there were things for me to see, but that I myself was not yet ready to see them. Meanwhile, you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread.”
Confessions, VII, 10
FEBRUARY 15 - SAINT FAUSTINO
“Look into my heart, O God, the same heart on which you took pity when it was in the depths of the abyss. Let my heart now tell you what prompted me to do wrong for no purpose, and why it was only my own love of mischief that made me do it. The evil in me was foul, but I loved it. I loved my own perdition and my own faults, not the things for which I committed wrong, but the wrong itself.”
Confessions II, 4
FEBRUARY 14 - SAINTS CYRIL AND METHODIUS
“If you are upset at having to set aside some great work that you consider more important than the task you are now forced to do, you ought to reflect that it is uncertain what is indeed more important. If something happens to disturb your plans, you should get on with doing it lest you be broken.”
On Catechizing the Uninstructed, 14.20
FEBRUARY 13 - BLESSED CHRISTINE OF SPOLETO, O.S.A.
“I am asking you to think hard about what our Lord Jesus Christ Himself will say at the end of the world, when He comes to judgement; that He will gather all the nations together in His presence, and divide mankind into two parts, placing some on the right hand, others on the left … This is my recommendation to you, my brothers and sisters; give earthly bread, and knock at the door of the heavenly bread; the Lord is bread.”
Sermon 389, 5-6
FEBRUARY 12 - SAINT DAMIAN
“Lord, you frighten me! You demand from me what you gave me. You gave me my talents because you want to profit from them. You don’t want them hidden away in some secret place. You don’t want to get back only what you gave me. You want more. You want back all your money, every coin that bears your image - i.e., every human soul that ever existed.”
Sermon 125, 8
February 11 - Our Lady of Lourdes
The Virgin Mary is both holy and blessed, and yet the Church is greater than she. Mary is a part of the Church, a member of the Church, a holy, an eminent – the most eminent – member, but still only a member of the entire body. The body undoubtedly is greater than she, one of its members. This body has the Lord for its head, and head and body together make up the whole Christ. In other words, our head is divine – our head is God.
February 10 - Saint Scholastica
In this faith, hope and love we pray always with unwearied desire. However, at set times and seasons we also pray to God in words, so that by these signs we may instruct ourselves and mark the progress we have made in our desire, and spur ourselves on to deepen it. The more fervent the desire, the more worthy will be its fruit.
Letter 130, 8
February 9 - Saint Appolonia
The deeper our faith, the stronger our hope, the greater our desire, the larger will be our capacity to receive that gift, which is very great indeed. No eye has seen it. No ear has heard it; it has no sound. It has not entered man’s heart; man’s heart must enter into it.
Letter 130, 8
February 8 - Saint Jerome Emiliani
Why (God) should ask us to pray, when he knows what we need before we ask him, may perplex us if we do not realize that our Lord and God does not want to know what we want (for he cannot fail to know it) but wants us rather to exercise our desire through our prayers, so that we may be able to receive what he is preparing to give us. His gift is very great indeed, but our capacity is too small and limited to receive it.
Letter 130, 8
February 7 - Blessed Anselm Polanco, O.S.A.
Let them love him who alone can neither deceive nor be deceived, who alone will not fail them. Let them love him because his promises are true. Faith sometimes falters because he does not reward us immediately. But hold out, be steadfast, endure, bear the delay, and you have carried the cross.
February 6 - Saint Paul Miki and Companions
On the cross the Lord made the great exchange. There the purse which held our price was opened, for when the soldier’s spear opened his side, the price of the whole world poured forth. Thus he purchased the faithful and the martyrs. But the faith of the martyrs has been tested; their blood is the proof. They paid back the price Christ paid for them, thus fulfilling the words of Saint John: Just as Christ laid down his life for us, we too must lay down our lives for our brothers.
February 5 - Saint Agatha
So that we might obtain this life of happiness, he who is true light itself taught us to pray, not in many words as though speaking longer could gain us a hearing. After all, we pray to one who, as the Lord himself tells us, knows what we need before we ask for it.
Letter 130, 8
February 4 - Saint Gilbert
Sacrifice, though performed or offered by man, is something divine; that is why the ancient Latins gave it this name of ‘sacrifice,’ of something sacred. Man himself, consecrated in the name of God and vowed to God, is therefore a sacrifice insofar as he dies to the world in order to live for God.
City of God, 10, 6
February 3 - Blessed Stephen Bellesini, O.S.A.
So far as the God whom I fear grants me the strength, I shall search everywhere. I shall recall the straying; I shall seek after those on the verge of being lost. If you do not want me to suffer, do not stray, do not become lost. It is not enough that I lament your straying and loss. No, I fear that in neglecting you, I shall also kill what is strong.
Sermon 46, 15
February 2 - Presentation of the LORD
A woman cried out: Happy is the womb that bore you, blessed is that womb! But the Lord, not wishing people to seek happiness in a purely physical relationship, replied: More blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it. Mary heard God’s word and kept it, and so she is blessed. She kept God’s truth in her mind, a nobler thing that carrying his body in her womb. The truth and the body were both Christ: he was kept in Mary’s mind insofar as he is truth; he was carried in her womb insofar as he is man; but that is kept in the mind is of a higher order than what is carried in the womb.
February 1 - Saint Severus
Every work that effects our union with God in a holy fellowship is a true sacrifice; every work, that is, which is referred to that final end, that ultimate good, by which we are able to be in the true sense happy. As a consequence, even that mercy by which aid is given to man is not a sacrifice unless it is done for the sake of God.
City of God, 10, 6
January 31 - Saint John Bosco
Do you love me? Tend my sheep. Surely this means: ‘If you love me, your thoughts must focus on taking care of my sheep, not taking care of yourself. You must tend them as mine, not as yours; seek in them my glory, not yours; my sovereign rights, not yours; my gain, not yours. Otherwise you will find yourself among those who belong to the ‘times of peril,’ those who are guilty of self-love and the other sins that go with that beginning of evils.’
On the Gospel of John 123, 5
January 30 - Saint Martina
In loving your neighbor and caring for him you are on a journey. Where are you traveling if not to the Lord God, to him whom we should love with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind? We have not yet reached his presence, but we have our neighbor at our side. Support, then, this companion of your pilgrimage if you want to come into the presence of the one with whom you desire to remain forever.
On the Gospel of John 17, 7-9
January 29 - Saint Valerius
The disciples saw the Lord in the flesh, face to face; they hear the words he spoke, and in turn they proclaimed the message to us. So, we also have heard, although we have not seen. Are we then less favored than those who both saw and heard? If that were so, why should John add: so that you too may have fellowship with us? They saw, and we have not seen; yet we have fellowship with them, because we and they share the same faith. And our fellowship is with God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son. And we write this to you to make your joy complete - complete in that fellowship, in that love and in that unity.
On the First Letter of John 1
January 28 - Saint Thomas Aquinas
O Lord my God, how deep are your mysteries! How far from your safe haven have I been cast away by the consequences of my sins! Heal my eyes and let me rejoice in your light.
Confessions XI, 31