As Catholics, our temptation is to admire saints from such a distance that we forget they were still human beings who cooperated with God’s grace as best they could each day. Our temptation is to admire bits and pieces of a saint’s life but to affirm that, considered as a whole, this person’s life is simply too extreme and God simply could not expect that much conversion and dedication from anyone. But God only asks that we do the best we can—in our own space, our own time, our own way.
“In His will is our peace,” sing the saints in Dante’s Divine Comedy. We cannot, however, truly be at peace unless we allow our conversion to God’s ways to be open-ended.
Enjoy these quotes from some of our greatest saints.
“The reason for our existence is to quench the thirst of Jesus. When he asked for water, the soldier gave him vinegar to drink—but his thirst was for love, for souls, for you and me.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“Jesus loves hidden souls. A hidden flower is the most fragrant. I must strive to make the interior of my soul a resting place for the Heart of Jesus.” Maria Faustina Kowalska
“I pray God may preserve your health and life many years.” Junipero Serra
“This is a serious warning cry: Surrender without reservation to the Lord who has called us. This is required of us so that the face of the earth may be renewed.” Edith Stein
“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” Pope John Paul II
“I can have no other spouse, but Jesus Christ. I have considered myself content to live in poverty and misery for his love.” Kateri Tekakwitha
“The most deadly poison of our times is indifference. And this happens, although the praise of God should know no limits. Let us strive, therefore, to praise him to the greatest extent of our powers.” Maximilian Kolbe
“Born poor, but of honored and humble people, I am particularly proud to die poor.” Pope John XXIII
“All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.” Teresa of Avila
“Actions speak louder than words. Let your words teach and your actions speak.” Anthony of Padua
“‘With my mouth,’ God says, ‘I kiss my own chosen creation. I uniquely, lovingly, embrace every image I have made out of the earth’s clay. With a fiery spirit I transform it into a body to serve all the world.’” Hildegard of Bingen
“Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks and serve him with great humility.” Francis of Assisi
“Faith lifts the soul. Hope supports it. Experience says it must. And Love says let it be!” Elizabeth Ann Seton
“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.” Clare of Assisi