holy quotations for purification of the soul
for reflection and meditation
One Hundred and Three Texts
'And God called the firmament, Heaven: and there was evening & morning that made the second day.'
'But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly unto heaven, saw the glory of God, and JESUS standing on the right hand of God. And he said, Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right
hand of God.'
'And I saw a great white throne, and one sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away, and there was no place found for them.'
'Do penance: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.'
'And Moses stretched forth his rod towards heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning running along the ground: and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt.'
'And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called faithful and true, and with justice doth he judge and fight. And his eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many diadems, and he had a name written, which no man knoweth but himself. And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood; and his name is called, THE WORD OF GOD.
And the armies that are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp two edged sword; that with it he may strike the nations.
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty.'
'But as Machabeus, and they that were with him, understood that the strongholds were expugned, they besought our Lord with weeping and tears, and all the multitude together, that he would send a good Angel to the saving of Israel. And Machabeus himself first taking weapons, exhorted the rest together with him, to adventure, and to give aid to their brethren.
And when they went forth together with prompt courage, at Jerusalem there appeared going before them an horseman in white clothing, with armor of gold, shaking a spear. Then all they together blessed our merciful Lord, and took great courage: being ready to pierce not only men, but also most fierce beasts, and walls of iron.
They went therefore promptly, having an helper from Heaven, and our Lord having pity upon them. And like lions running violently upon the enemies, they overthrew of them eleven thousand footmen, and of horsemen a thousand six hundred: and they put to flight all, & very many of them being wounded scaped a way naked. Yea and Lysias himself shamefully fleeing escaped.
2 Machabees 11:6-11
'This day will I begin to send the dread and fear of thee upon the nations that dwell under the whole heaven: that when they hear thy name they may fear and tremble, and be in pain like women in travail.'
'Always do as much good as you can, and at a time of greater good do not turn to a lesser. For it is said that no man who turns back "is fit for the kingdom of heaven" (cf. Luke 9:62).'
St. Mark the Ascetic
'In this world we are all in a valley of tears. Our consolation is not here; we shall have it eternally in Paradise, if we suffer tribulations on earth.'
St. Benedict Joseph Labre
'The greater the charity of the saints, in their heavenly home, the more they intercede for those who are still on their journey and the more they can help them by their prayers; the more they are united with God, the more effective those prayers are. This is in accordance with divine order, which makes higher things react upon lower things, like the brightness of the sun filling the atmosphere.'
St. Thomas Aquinas
'Our Lord and Savior lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: "Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven."
When I heard these words, a strong force came upon me and seemed to place me in the middle of a street, so that I might say in a loud voice to people of every age, sex and status: "Hear, O people; hear, O nations. I am warning you about the commandment of Christ by using words that came from his own lips: We cannot obtain grace unless we suffer afflictions. We must heap trouble upon trouble to attain a deep appreciation in the divine nature, the glory of the sons of God and perfect happiness of soul."
"If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious. How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights! No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men."'
St. Rose of Lima
'First, the VISION OF SUPREME TRUTH, inaccessible except to the clean and holy - and this is requested when we say, "Hallowed be Thy name," that is, may the knowledge of Thy name be given to the perfect, holy, and clean; second, the STRIVING TOWARD SUPREME HEIGHT which makes kings and through which kingdom is obtained - and this is requested when we say: "Thy kingdom come"; third, the FRUITION OF THE SUPREME GOOD, which is given but to those who have their will conformed to the will of God - and this is requested when we say: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."'
'Furthermore, while the soul is withdrawn from everything and is turned within, the eye of contemplation is opened and sets itself up a ladder by which it can pass to the contemplation of God.
By this contemplation the soul is set on fire for eternal things by the heavenly and divine good things it experiences, and views all the things of time from a distance and as if they were nothing.
Hence when we approach God by the way of negation, we first deny Him everything that can be experienced by the body, the senses and the imagination, secondly even things experienceable by the intellect, and finally even being itself in so far as it is found in created things. This, so far as the nature of the way is concerned, is the best means of union with God, according to Dionysius. And this is the cloud in which God is said to dwell, which Moses entered, and through this came to the inaccessible light.'
St. Albert the Great
'There is a higher prayer -- that of the perfect -- which is a certain ravishing of the mind, its complete separation from all sensory things, when with unutterable sighings of the spirit it approaches God, Who sees the heart open like a written book, wherein its will is expressed in wordless images. Thus Paul was ravished to the third heaven, not knowing "whether in the body" or "whether out of the body" [II Corinthians 12:2].'
St. Nilus of Sinai
'In this, a Christian consists, that he gets rid of the earthly and puts on the heavenly man.'
Pope St. Leo the Great
'For the dwellers in Heaven cry out, as it is said in the Apocalypse: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! And this Queen of those who cry out ceases not herself to cry out with the others, as St. Augustine says: "Thou, O Mary, fellow-citizen of the inhabitants of Heaven, being endlessly associated with the angels and archangels, ceasest not to cry out with untiring voice: "Holy, holy, holy!"
She indeed is the queen whom the Psalmist describes, saying: "The queen stood on thy right hand, in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety" (Ps. XLIV, 10.) All can follow this Queen with confidence into the kingdom who have faithfully served her in this world.
St. Bernard says: "Our Queen has gone before us: she has gone before us and has been so gloriously received that her servants may confidently cry out: 'Draw me after thee.' "Likewise consider in the entering in of our Queen the power of the retinue accompanying her, for it says: "with a multitudinous retinue."
Mary entered into the heavenly Jerusalem with a multitudinous retinue of angelic powers. St. Jerome says: "We read how the angels have come to the death and burial of some of the Saints, and how they have accompanied the souls of the elect to Heaven with hymns and praises." And he adds: "How much more should we believe that the heavenly army, with all its bands, came forth rejoicing in festive array, to meet the Mother of God, surrounded her with effulgent light, and led her with praises and canticles to the throne prepared for her from the beginning of the world."
'The presence of Mary lights up the whole world, and the very heavenly country itself glows more brightly from being irradiated by the splendor of that virginal lamp.'
'She deserved to be placed above the choirs of the angels; and she went beyond what is of the nature of our lowliness.'
'Earth hath no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.'
St. Thomas More
'The Lord is with thee, O Mary. Certainly with thee, as the sun is with the aurora which goeth before him; with thee as the flower is with the stem which produces it; with thee, as the King is with the Queen going in to him. For the Sun, which is the most lightsome of all luminaries, the Flower which is more precious than all flowers, and the King, who is more glorious than all kings, is Our Lord Jesus Christ. The aurora, therefore, going before this Sun with resplendent radiance, the stem producing by a most wonderful flowering this Flower, the Queen entering in to the King in solemn procession, is the most Blessed Virgin Mary.'
'Let a man consider that God always seeth him from Heaven, that the eye of God beholdeth his works everywhere, and that the angels report them to Him every hour.'
"On the high mountains of Israel I will plant it, and it shall shoot forth into branches, and shall bear fruit" (Ezech. XVII, 23) The high mountain is that sublime mansion, that sublime society of angels, which is well called the high mountain of Israel, because Israel is interpreted "the vision of God." And behold the angels always see God, as we find in the Gospel of St. Matthew: "Their angels always see the face of My Father, who is in heaven." On this high mountain, in this sublime society of angels, God planted that which He had chosen from the mass of perdition; He planted, I say, the marrow of a cedar, the marrow of the human race, that is, all the elect, of whom some, in reality, some in hope, are already planted on the angelic mountain. O fruit, truly to be loved above all things, on whose account every elect soul is planted on so sublime a height! We must joyfully bear this fruit, Our Lord Jesus Christ, for whose sake we are already planted in hope among the angels. Let us always give thanks to this fruit by whose grace we fill up the number of the angels. Therefore Mary, the Mother of this fruit, may well glory, and utter those words which St. Bernard, speaking as it were by her lips, says: "The number of the generations of the angels is by my Child filled up, restored, and the race of men, cursed in Adam, by the blessed fruit of my womb is regenerated unto eternal blessedness."
'If you truly love God and long to reach the kingdom that is to come, if you are truly pained by your failings and are mindful of punishment and of the eternal judgement, if you are truly afraid to die, then it will not be possible to have an attachment, or anxiety, or concern for money, for possessions, for family relationships, for worldly glory, for love and brotherhood, indeed for anything on earth. All worry about one's condition, even for one's body, will be pushed aside as hateful. Stripped of all thought of these, caring nothing about them, one will turn freely to Christ.
One will look to heaven and to the help coming from there, as in the scriptural sayings: "I will cling close to you" (Ps. 62:9) and "I have not grown tired of following you nor have I longed for the day or the rest that man gives." (Jer. 17:16).'
St. John Climacus
'St. Teresa revealed to one of her nuns, appearing to her after her death, that God loves a soul that, as a spouse, gives itself entirely to him, more than a thousand tepid and imperfect ones. From these generous souls, given entirely to God, is the choir of Seraphim completed.
The Lord himself says that he loves a soul that attends to its perfection, so much that he seems not to love any other. "One is My dove, My perfect one is but one."' [Cant. 6,8.]
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
'Be you perfect therefore, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.'
'War from heaven was made against them, the stars remaining in their order and courses fought against Sisara.'
'We have been promised that we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. By these words, the tongue has done its best; now we must apply the meditation of the heart. Although they are the words of Saint John, what are they in comparison with the divine reality? And how can we, so greatly inferior to John in merit, add anything of our own? Yet we have received, as John has told us, an anointing by the Holy One which teaches us inwardly more than our tongue can speak. Let us turn to this source of knowledge, and because at present you cannot see, make it your business to desire the divine vision.
The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire. You do not yet see what you long for, but the very act of desiring prepares you, so that when he comes you may see and be utterly satisfied.
Suppose you are going to fill some holder or container, and you know you will be given a large amount. Then you set about stretching your sack or wineskin or whatever it is. Why? Because you know the quantity you will have to put in it and your eyes tell you there is not enough room. By stretching it, therefore, you increase the capacity of the sack, and this is how God deals with us. Simply by making us wait he increases our desire, which in turn enlarges the capacity of our soul, making it able to receive what is to be given to us.
So, my brethren, let us continue to desire, for we shall be filled. Take note of Saint Paul stretching as it were his ability to receive what is to come: Not that I have already obtained this, he said, or am made perfect. Brethren, I do not consider that I have already obtained it. We might ask him, "If you have not yet obtained it, what are you doing in this life?" This one thing I do, answers Paul, forgetting what lies behind, and stretching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the prize to which I am called in the life above. Not only did Paul say he stretched forward, but he also declared that he pressed on toward a chosen goal. He realised in fact that he was still short of receiving what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived.
Such is our Christian life. By desiring heaven we exercise the powers of our soul. Now this exercise will be effective only to the extent that we free ourselves from desires leading to infatuation with this world. Let me return to the example I have already used, of filling an empty container. God means to fill each of you with what is good; so cast out what is bad! If he wishes to fill you with honey and you are full of sour wine, where is the honey to go? The vessel must be emptied of its contents and then be cleansed. Yes, it must be cleansed even if you have to work hard and scour it. It must be made fit for the new thing, whatever it may be.
We may go on speaking figuratively of honey, gold or wine Ė but whatever we say we cannot express the reality we are to receive. The name of that reality is God. But who will claim that in that one syllable we utter the full expanse of our heartís desire? Therefore, whatever we say is necessarily less than the full truth. We must extend ourselves toward the measure of Christ so that when he comes he may fill us with his presence. Then we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.'
'Blessed the one who observes with spiritual understanding the choirs of stars shining with glory and the beauty of the heavens and longs to contemplate the Maker of all things.'
St. Ephrem of Syria
'Thus it pleased God, Creator and Governor of the universe, that since the whole multitude of the angels had not perished in this desertion of him, those who had perished would remain forever in perdition, but those who had remained loyal through the revolt should go on rejoicing in the certain knowledge of the bliss forever theirs.
From the other part of the rational creation -- that is, mankind -- although it had perished as a whole through sins and punishments, both original and personal, God had determined that a portion of it would be restored and would fill up the loss which that diabolical disaster had caused in the angelic society.'
'And he sent to him a captain of fifty men, and the fifty that were under him. And he went up to him, and as he was sitting on the top of a hill, said to him: Man of God, the king hath commanded that thou come down.
And Elias answering, said to the captain of fifty: If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee, and thy fifty.
Fire therefore came down from heaven, and devoured him and the fifty men that were with him.
And again he sent to him another captain of fifty men, and his fifty with him. And he said to him: Man of God, thus saith the king: Make haste and come down.
Elias answering, said: If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.
Fire therefore came down from heaven, and devoured him, and his fifty.
Again he sent a third captain of fifty men, and the fifty that were with him. And when he was come, he fell upon his knees, before Elias, and besought him and said: Man of God, despise not my life, and the lives of thy servants that are with me. Behold fire came down from heaven, and consumed the two first captains of fifty men, and the fifties that were with them: but now I beseech thee to spare my life.
And the angel of the Lord spoke to Elias, saying: Go down with him, fear not. He arose therefore, and went down with him to the king.'
4 Kings 1:9-15
'In my distress I will call upon the Lord, and I will cry to my God: and he will hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry shall come to his ears.
The earth shook and trembled, the foundations of the mountains were moved, and shaken, because he was angry with them. A smoke went up from his nostrils, and a devouring fire out of his mouth: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.
And he rode upon the cherubims, and flew: and slid upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness a covering round about him: dropping waters out of the clouds of the heavens. By the brightness before him, the coals of fire were kindled.
The Lord shall thunder from heaven: and the most high shall give forth his voice.
He shot arrows and scattered them: lightning, and consumed them. And the overflowings of the sea appeared, and the foundations of the world were laid open at the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of the spirit of his wrath. He sent from on high, and took me, and drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my most mighty enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. He prevented me in the day of my affliction, and the Lord became my stay. And he brought me forth into a large place, he delivered me, because I pleased him.
The Lord will reward me according to my justice: and according to the cleanness of my hands he will render to me. Because I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments are in my sight: and his precepts I have not removed from me. And I shall be perfect with him: and shall keep myself from my iniquity. And the Lord will recompense me according to my justice: and according to the cleanness of my hands in the sight of his eyes.
With the holy one thou wilt be holy: and with the valiant perfect. With the elect thou wilt be elect: and with the perverse thou wilt be perverted. And the poor people thou wilt save: and with thy eyes thou wilt humble the haughty. For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and thou, O Lord, wilt enlighten my darkness. For in thee I will run girded: in my God I will leap over the wall.'
2 Samuel 22:7-30
'Suffer me, my brethren, to look towards heaven, in order that I may begin to put my soul upon the journey it is about to take to my Lord.'
St. Martin of Tours
'I find every Sabbath or Day of the Lord that the Angel of the Lord has prepared the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring me. With his own hand he gives me these precious gifts, for the everlasting salvation of my life. Indeed all the monks who lead a spiritual life in the desert share in this joy. If perchance any holy hermit living in solitude has a desire to see another human being he is carried up hence by an Angel into heaven where he can contemplate the vision of the souls of the righteous, shining like the sun in the kingdom of the Father. There, in the company of Angels, they see their own souls joined together with the souls of the blessed. And all who struggle in the battle with their whole mind, their whole heart and all their strength abound in good works in order that they may be found worthy to share in the glory of that heavenly country with Christ and all his Saints.'
St. Onuphrius, to St. Paphnutius
"Where are we going? On high, to the peace of the heavenly Jerusalem, as it is written: 'I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord.' There, good will shall be so ordered in us that we shall have no other desire than to remain there eternally. So long as we live in this mortal body we are journeying toward You, O Lord; here below we have no lasting dwelling place, but seek one which is to come, since our home is in heaven. Therefore, with the help of Your grace, I enter into the secrecy of my heart, and lift up songs of love to You, to You, my King and my God!"
'Is it then to be thought that God should indeed dwell upon earth? for if heaven, and the heavens of heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this house which I have built?
But have regard to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplications, O Lord my God: hear the hymn and the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee this day: That thy eyes may be open upon this house night and day: upon the house of which thou hast said: My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth in this place to thee.'
3 Kings 8:27-29
'As sailors are guided by star to the port, so are Christians guided to Heaven by Mary.'
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
'If you then being naught, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your father which is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him?'
'And as they went on, walking and talking together, behold a fiery chariot, and fiery horses parted them both asunder: and Elias went up by a whirlwind into heaven.'
4 Kings 2:11
'O my soul, imitate Jesus faithfully: He is gentle and humble of heart. Those who are humble of heart will be glorified. How beautiful the heavenly crown will be for those who are genuinely humble despite outward humiliations, those who follow the humility of the Savior in every way.'
St. Bernadette Soubirous
'And opening his mouth he taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in Spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'
'By "the poor in spirit" is meant those who are poor in earthly desires, and desire nothing but God. These are poor in desires, but not without affection, because they live contented even in this life; and, therefore, the Lord does not say, "Theirs will be the kingdom of heaven," but "theirs is," because even in this life they are rich in spiritual blessings which they receive from God; and thus, however poor they are in temporal goods, they live content with their condition.
They are different from the rich in earthly desires, who, in the present life, whatever riches they possess, are always poor, and live discontented; for the good things of this life do not satisfy our thirst, however much they are increased; wherefore, these persons are never contented, never attaining to the acquisition of what they desire.'
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
'Have courage, ye poor of Christ, because heaven is for the poor.'
St. Paul of the Cross
'According to St. Bonaventure, all the angels in heaven unceasingly call out to her: "Holy, holy, holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God." They greet her countless times each day with the angelic greeting, "Hail, Mary", while prostrating themselves before her, begging her as a favour to honour them with one of her requests. According to St. Augustine, even St. Michael, though prince of all the heavenly court, is the most eager of all the angels to honour her and lead others to honour her. At all times he awaits the privilege of going at her word to the aid of one of her servants.'
St. Louis Marie de Montfort
'I would willingly endure alone all the sufferings of this world to be raised a degree higher in Heaven and to possess the smallest increase of the knowledge of God's greatness.'
St. Teresa of Jesus
'A precious crown is reserved in Heaven for those who perform all their actions with all the diligence of which they are capable; for it is not sufficient to do our part well, it must be done more than well.'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
'How beautiful to look upon is the starry firmament! Yet it is only the portal of the blessed country where I hope to go one day.'
St. Paul of the Cross
'The angels who remained faithful were confirmed in grace, and entered into the joy of the Lord, to be blest for all eternity, in the contemplation of his adorable perfection
There are three hierarchies of these celestial spirits, and each hierarchy contains three different orders.
The first hierarchy comprises the Seraphim, the Cherubim, and the Thrones ; the second, the Dominations, the Virtues, and the Powers; and the third, the Principalities, the Archangels, and the Angels.
We know, by the sacred writings, that the occupation of the angels is to adore God and sing his praises; also, to present to him our prayers, and to protect those who invoke their aid.
We should cherish a great respect for all these blessed spirits, but we ought especially to honour our guardian angels. We learn from the lips of Christ himself, that even the smallest child has one of these heavenly spirits to guard and guide it. What a consolation it is for us to be assured that we have ever near us a protector sent by God from heaven, to watch night and day over our safety, ind to shield us from the malignant attacks of the angel of darkness; that we have in him a true friend, who is faithful, wise, enlightened and powerful a sure and safe guide, who is at ali times desirous of conducting us onward in the way that leads to heaven! Should we ever forget what the angels do for us: and shall not the remembrance thereof open our hearts to sentiments of respect, gratitude, confidence and love! Will it not induce us to be docile to their inspirations to pray to them often and with sincere devotion, and to imitate them in their fidelity to God!'
St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle
'It is an old custom with the servants of God always to have some little prayers ready, and to be darting them up to heaven frequently during the day, lifting their minds to God out of the filth of this world. He who adopts this plan will get great fruit with little pains.'
St. Philip Neri
'Thou hast clothed the sun among the stars with an excellent brightness, and brighter than the sun art Thou. Nay, what is the sun, or what is all created light, in comparison of Thee, but darkness?
Thou hast peopled the sky with stars, the empyrean with angels, the air with birds, the waters with fish, the earth with herbs, and plants with flowers. But there is no beauty nor no grace in all of them in comparison of Thee, O Fountain of universal beauty, Lord Jesus.
Thou hast stored honey with its sweetness, and sweeter than honey art Thou. Thou hast infused its pleasantness into oil, and pleasanter than oil art Thou. Thou hast shed their odours into all fragrant gums, and sweet and pleasant above all rare spices is Thy fragrance.
Thou hast set gold among minerals in rare preeminence for worth and beauty; yet what is all of it compared to my priceless Lord, and His fathom less glory, that the angels long to gaze into? Every precious stone and desirable to look upon is the work of Thy hands, sardius, topaz, jasper, chrysolite, onyx, beryl, amethyst, sapphire, carbuncle, emerald; and yet what are all of them but toys compared with Thee, all-loveable and all-beauteous King? And Thine own handiwork are those precious and immortal jewels with which Thou, O wise Master-builder, didst in the beginning of the ages beautifully embellish the superethereal palace to the praise and glory of the Father.'
St. Anselm of Canterbury
'The path to Heaven is narrow, rough and full of wearisome and trying ascents, nor can it be trodden without great toil; and therefore wrong is their way, gross their error, and assured their ruin who, after the testimony of so many thousands of saints, will not learn where to settle their footing.'
St. Robert Southwell
'Heaven is not made for the slothful.'
St. Philip Neri
'And there was made a great battle in heaven, Michael and his Angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his Angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast forth, the old serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan, which seduceth the whole world: and he was cast into the earth, and his Angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a great voice in heaven saying: Now is there made salvation and force, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before the sight of our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore rejoice O heavens, and you that dwell therein.
Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the Devil is descended to you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath a little time.'
'Let us think, if we only got to heaven, what a sweet and easy thing it will be there to be always saying with the angels and the saints, Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus.'
St. Philip Neri
'Prayer is the wing wherewith the soul flies to heaven, and meditation the eye wherewith we see God.'
St. Ambrose of Milan
'Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven.'
St. Ephrem of Syria
'Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that naught is against you, untruly, for my sake: be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the Prophets, that were before you.'
'And the sun and the moon stood still, till the people revenged themselves of their enemies. Is not this written in the book of the just? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down the space of one day.'
'God is my Creator; my Saviour; my Sanctifier. I belong to God, therefore He is absolute master of my body, my soul, and my actions. He wants me to sacrifice my will to Him at every moment and in everything. In the hands of my superiors, I should be like a dead person, or more accurate like a staff. Never mind if they make mistakes. I know that I will never be wrong if I obey with a spirit of faith.
My crown in Heaven should shine with innocence and its flowers should be radiant as the sun. Sacrifices are the flowers Jesus and Mary chose.
I must be a victim; that is to say, I should live sacrificially every day as Jesus and Mary did.'
St. Bernadette Soubirous
'Beside all this, a more wonderful grace is bestowed upon the Saints in heaven: for they know not only them with whom they were acquainted in this world, but also those whom before they never saw, and converse with them in such familiar sort as though in times past they had seen and known one another: and therefore when they shall see the ancient fathers in that place of perpetual bliss, they shall then know them by sight, whom always they knew in their lives and conversation. For seeing they do in that place with unspeakable brightness, common to all, behold God, what is there that they know not, that know him who knoweth all things?'
Pope St. Gregory the Great
'Prayer without fervor has not sufficient strength to rise to heaven.'
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
'Father Patinhani a superior of the Jesuit order relates: "There was one superior that died and reappeared after death saying: Now I am in Heaven, Philip II, King of Spain is in Heaven as well. We both are enjoying the eternal rewards of Paradise, but they are very different for us. My happiness is much greater than his, for it is not like when we were still on Earth, for then, he was royalty and I was a commoner. We were as far apart as the earth and sky, but now it has been reversed: As lowly as I was compared to the king on earth, I now exceed him in glory in Heaven. However, we are both happy and our hearts are completely satisfied."'
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
'The acknowledgment of and gratitude for favors and gifts received is loved and esteemed in Heaven and on earth.'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
'Ah! picture a soul who has been favored with heavenly consolations finding herself afterwards long despoiled of all happiness. Imagine her, arrived at the point of believing herself forsaken by God, believing that God has no longer any regard for her, that He is incensed at her. The state of that soul is such that she sees evil in all she does. Ah! I cannot express myself as I would. Let it suffice for you to know that, in this state, the soul almost suffers the torments of hell -- a trial surpassing every other. But if the soul will faithfully brave it, oh, what treasures she gains! The tempest will finally cease, and the soul will receive the sweet embraces of Jesus, her true friend. God then treats her as His spouse; there is then contracted between God and this favored soul a holy alliance of love.'
St. Paul of the Cross
'Weeping, he prayed to the Lord, bent his knees and said, "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit."
As he said this, a brilliant light surrounded him, and his holy soul left his body in a flash of blinding light.
And I suddenly heard the voice of a multitude of Angels praising God as the most holy soul of Saint Onuphrius departed, and that angelic song resounded with ineffable joy among all the stars of the universe, while the heavenly armies carried the soul of this distinguished warrior up to heaven. I wept profusely, I groaned inwardly, rivers of tears flowed down, I beat my breast over and over again. I complained in sadness that hardly had I met him than I was no longer able to enjoy his company.'
'If you love God heartily, my child, you will often speak of Him among your relations, household and familiar friends, and that because "the mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment." . . . we are told that when St. Francis uttered the Name of the Lord, he seemed to feel the sweetness lingering on his lips, and could not let it go. But always remember, when you speak of God, that He is God; and speak reverently and with devotion, - not affectedly or as if you were preaching, but with a spirit of meekness, love, and humility; dropping honey from your lips (like the Bride in the Canticles) in devout and pious words, as you speak to one or another around, in your secret heart the while asking God to let this soft heavenly dew sink into their minds as they hearken. And remember very specially always to fulfill this angelic task meekly and lovingly. . . It is wonderful how attractive a gentle, pleasant manner is, and how much it wins hearts.'
St. Francis de Sales
'Can you expect to go to Heaven for nothing? Did not our dear Savior track the whole way to it with His Blood and tears?'
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
'I understand that, each time we contemplate with desire and devotion the Host in which is hidden Christ's Eucharistic Body, we increase our merits in heaven and secure special joys to be ours later in the beatific vision of God.'
St. Gertrude the Great
'No one will have any other desire in heaven than what God wills; and the desire of one will be the desire of all; and the desire of all and of each one will also be the desire of God.'
St. Anselm of Canterbury
'AND I saw a new heaven and a new earth. for the first heaven, and the first earth was gone, and the sea now is not.
And I John saw the holy city Jerusalem new descending from heaven, prepared of God, as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people: and he God with them shall be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more. nor mourning, nor crying, neither shall there be sorrow any more, 'which' first things are gone.
And he that sat in the throne, said: Behold I make all things new. And he said to me: Write, because these words be most faithful and true.
And he said to me: It is done, I am Alpha and Omega: the beginning and the end. To him that thirsteth I will give of the fountain of the water of life, gratis.
He that shall overcome, shall possess these things, and I will be his God: and he shall be my son.
But to the fearful, and incredulous, and execrable, and murders, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and Idolators, and all liars, their part shall be in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
And there came one of the seven Angels that had the vials full of the seven last plagues, and spake with me, saying: Come, and I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb.
And he took me up in spirit unto a mountain great and high: and he showed me the holy city Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, and the light thereof like to a precious stone, as it were to the jasper stone, even as crystal.
'You are the light of the world. A city cannot be hid, situated on a mountain. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men: that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.'
'He who beholds Heaven with a pure eye, sees better the darkness of earth; for, although the latter seems to have some brilliancy, it disappears before the splendor of the heavens.'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
'Blessed the one who stands in the assembly and prays like an Angel from heaven, keeping his thoughts pure day by day, and has given no entrance to the Evil One to make his soul a prisoner, far from God his Saviour.'
St. Ephrem of Syria
'You must either suffer in this life or give up the hope of seeing God in Heaven. Sufferings and persecutions are of the greatest avail to us, because we can find therein a very efficient means to make atonement for our sins, since we are bound to suffer for them either in this world or in the next.'
St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars
'Spiritual freedom is release from the passions; without Christ's mercy you cannot attain it. The promised land is the kingdom of heaven whose ambassadors are dispassion and spiritual knowledge.'
St. Thalassios the Libyan
'The blessedness of seeing God is justly promised to the pure of heart. For the eye that is unclean would not be able to see the brightness of the true light, and what would be happiness to clear minds would be a torment to those that are defiled.
Therefore, let the mists of worldly vanities be dispelled, and the inner eye be cleansed of all the filth of wickedness, so that the soulís gaze may feast serenely upon the great vision of God.'
Pope St. Leo the Great
'What does it profit a man to gain the universe if he loses his soul? A terrible thought, but profoundly true! As Saint Ignatius said: How insignificant earth seems to me when I consider Heaven.'
St. Bernadette Soubirous
'Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.'
'After these things I heard as it were the voice of much people in heaven, saying: Alleluia. Salvation, and glory, and power is to our God. For true and just are his judgments, who hath judged the great harlot which corrupted the earth with her fornication, and hath revenged the blood of his servants, at her hands.
And again they said: Alleluia. And her smoke ascendeth for ever and ever.
And the four and twenty ancients, and the four living creatures fell down and adored God that sitteth upon the throne, saying: Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out from the throne, saying: Give praise to our God, all ye his servants; and you that fear him, little and great.
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunders, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord our God the Almighty hath reigned. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give glory to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath prepared herself. And it is granted to her that she should clothe herself with fine linen, glittering and white. For the fine linen are the justifications of saints.
And he said to me: Write: Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
And he saith to me: These words of God are true.'
'O my dear parishioners, let us endeavor to get to heaven! There we shall see God. How happy we shall feel! If the parish is converted we shall go there in procession with the parish priest at the head. . . We must get to heaven! What a pity it would be if some of you were to find yourselves on the other side!'
St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars
'If you wish to take up your abode in the tabernacle of the heavenly kingdom, you must reach there through your good works, without which you can not hope to enter.'
'And as Moses prayed to the Lord and fire came down from heaven, and consumed the holocaust: so Solomon also prayed, and fire came down from heaven and consumed the holocaust. And Moses said: Because that which was for sin, was not eaten, it was consumed.'
2 Machabees 2:10-11
'"Come, ye blessed of My Father: possess you the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world," (St. Matt. xxv. 34). Then indeed shall the voice of joy and salvation dwell in the tabernacle of the just; then shall the Lord lift up the heads of the lowly, who now refuse not to be the vile and the outcast for His sake. He will heal the contrite of heart, and console with unending joys, according to their desire, those who now sorrow in their pilgrim age. Then will be seen the ineffable reward of those who held it joy to have thrown away their own wills from love of their Creator. In that day He will wreathe the heads of His obedient ones with a heavenly crown, and the glory of those who suffered shall shine forth with unutterable brightness. Then shall charity enrich her vassals with the society of all the angels, and purity of heart beatify her lovers with the all-happy vision of their Creator. Then shall God Himself reveal Himself to all who love Him, and raise them up for ever to enduring resting places and perpetual peace. Then in its truth shall this song be sung by all the elect: "Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house; they shall praise Thee for ever and ever." (Ps. Ixxxiii. 3)'
St. Anselm of Canterbury
'Let us remember that every act of mortification is a work for heaven. This thought will make all suffering and weariness sweet.'
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
'Our Father which art in heaven, sanctified be thy name. Let thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, in earth also. Give us this day our supersubstantial bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.'
'Heap not up to yourselves treasures on the earth: where the rust and moth do corrupt, and where thieves dig through and steal. But heap up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth corrupt, and where thieves do not dig through nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.'
'He that soweth the good seed, is the Son of man. And the field, is the world. And the good seed: these are the children of the kingdom. And the cockle: are the children of the wicked one. And the enemy that sowed them, is the devil. But the harvest is the end of the world. And the reapers, are the angels.
Even as cockle therefore is gathered up, and burnt with fire: so shall it be in the end of the world. The Son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity: and shall cast them into the furnace of fire, There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the just shine as the sun, In the kingdom of their father. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field.'
'My little children, with all the power of which you are capable strive bravely after your own salvation, and fight valiantly against the armed might of the enemy, before the time comes when we ourselves shall cry out in misery and lamentation as we grow weak and incapable. Let us not fritter away the days which the Lord has bestowed upon us, but let us develop our virtues with all zeal. For I say to you, if you knew the good things prepared for the saints in heaven, and the torments remaining for those who fall from virtue having known the truth and not embraced it, you would with all your strength flee from that eternal punishment and hasten to obtain that blessed inheritance which has been promised to the servants of God. It is only the evil and abandoned who shun and spurn such blessings, for they know not what they might be losing. It behoves them even now to cast off their worldly desires, weep constantly for their past offences, and seek for the mercy of God that they may turn to better things, and so direct their pathways that they may depart happy from this life and come rejoicing to the heavenly kingdom.'
'JESUS said to him, If thou wilt be perfect, go sell the things thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me. And when the young man had heard this word, he went away sad: for he had many possessions.
And JESUS said to his Disciples, Amen I say to you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass though the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And when they had heard this, the disciples marveled very much, saying, Who then can be saved?
And JESUS beholding, said to them. With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible.
Then Peter answering, said to him, Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have?
And JESUS said to them, Amen I say to you, that you which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit upon twelve seats, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my names sake: shall receive an hundred fold, and shall possess life everlasting. And many shall be first, that are last: and last, that are first.'
'There shall not enter into it any thing defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb.'
'Oh how happy should we be, did we but take as much pains to gain heaven and please God, as worldlings do to heap up riches and perishable goods! By land they venture among thieves and robbers; at sea they expose themselves to the fury of winds and storms; they suffer shipwrecks, and all perils; they attempt all, try all, hazard all but we, in serving so great a master, for so immense a good, are afraid of every contradiction.'
'AND I looked, and behold a Lamb stood upon mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty four thousand having his name, and the name of his Father written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunder: and the voice which I heard, as of harpers harping on their harps. And they sang as it were a new song before the seat and before the four beasts, and the seniors, and no man could 'say' the song, but those hundred forty four thousand, that were bought from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women. For they are virgins. These follow the Lamb withersoever he shall go. These were bought from among men, the first fruits to God and the Lamb: And in their mouth there was found no lie. for they are without spot before the throne of God.'
'Virgins enjoy many privileges. They will have gold crowns, they alone will sing the canticle, they will wear the same garments that Christ wears, they will always march after the Lamb himself.'
'Through Thee, for the fulfilling of the behests of the eternal Father, thousands of thousands glide in swift flight twixt heaven and earth, like industrious bees that flit to and fro between their hive and the flowers; a busy throng, innocent and stainless, neither laggard nor disobedient. Through Thee a hundred times ten thousand stand ministrant in the sanctuary of the temple of highest heaven, staring on the Face of Majesty with a clear unflinching gaze, and sounding forth their harmonious ceaseless hymn to the glory of the triune undivided Godhead.
Through Thee the Seraphim burn, the Cherubim shine, the Thrones give judgment.
Thou, O Lord, art a fire that burns and consumes not; and, from their immediate nearness to the fires of Thy Godhead, all the sacred choir of the Seraphim are wrapt in coruscating flame, and pour abroad the overflowing of their blissful ardours on the other armies of Thy battling hosts; and of these we in our turn have tasted of the fulness.'
St. Anselm of Canterbury
'Perfection of life consists in drawing close to God. Heaven is the possession of God. In heaven God is contemplated, adored, loved. But to attain heaven it's necessary to be detached from what is earthly. What is the life of a Carmelite if not one of contemplating, adoring and loving God incessantly? And she, by being desirous for that heaven, distances herself from the world and tries to detach herself as much as possible from everything earthly.'
St. Teresa of the Andes
'I beheld till thrones were set, and the Ancient of days sat: his vesture white as snow, and the hair of his head as clean wool: his throne flames of fire: his wheels fire kindled.
A fire & swift stream came forth from his face thousands of thousands ministered to him, & ten thousand hundred thousands assisted him: judgment sate, and the Books were opened.
I beheld because of the voice of the great words, which that horn spake: and I saw that the beast was slain, and the body thereof was perished, and was committed to the fire to be burnt. The power of the other beasts also was taken away: and times of life were appointed them until time, and time.
I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, and Lo with the clouds of heaven there came in, as it were the son of man, and he came even to the Ancient of days: and in his sight they offered him.
And he gave him power, and honor, and kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, & tongues shall serve him: his power, an eternal power, that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom, that shall not be corrupted.
My spirit trembled, I Daniel was made sore afraid at these things, and the visions of my head troubled me.'
'Blessed the one who always keeps the memory of God in himself, he will be wholly like an Angel from heaven upon earth, ministering to the Lord with fear and love.'
St. Ephrem of Syria
'Blessed the one who seated in his cell like Angels in heaven keeps his thoughts pure and with his mouth sings praise to the One who has authority over everything that breathe.'
St. Ephrem of Syria
'Eternity always at hand! I look to the far, so far distant shore, the heaven of heavens -- a few days more and Eternity -- now, then, all resignation . . . rest in him -- the heart in sweet bitterness. Abandon.'
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
'JESUS therefore said to them, Amen, amen I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath life everlasting: and I will raise him up in the last day.
For my flesh, is meat in deed: and my blood is drink in deed: He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. As the living father hath sent me, and live by the father: and he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat Manna, and died. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.
'And one of the seniors answered, and said to me, These that are clothed in the white robes, who be they? and whence came they?
And I said to him, My Lord thou knowest.
And he said to me, These are they which are come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth in the throne, shall dwell over them. They shall no more hunger nor thirst, neither shall the sun fall upon them, nor any heat. Because the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, shall rule them, and shall conduct them to the living fountains of waters, and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.'
'In the beginning God created heaven, and earth.'
'Do penance, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.'