(from a homily by Pope Francis, on June 29, 2020)
We need lives that show the miracle of God’s love. Not forcefulness, but forthrightness. Not palaver, but prayer. Not speeches, but service. Do you want a prophetic Church? Then start serving and be quiet. Not theory, but testimony.
We are not to become rich, but rather to love the poor. We are not to save up for ourselves, but to spend ourselves for others. To seek not the approval of this world, of being comfortable with everyone—here we say: ‘being comfortable with God and the devil’, being comfortable with everyone—no, this is not prophecy.
We need the joy of the world to come. Not better pastoral plans that seem to have their own self-contained efficiency, as if they were sacraments; efficient pastoral plans, no. We need pastors who offer their lives: lovers of God. That is how Peter and Paul preached Jesus, as men in love with God.
At his crucifixion, Peter did not think about himself but about his Lord, and, considering himself unworthy of dying like Jesus, asked to be crucified upside down. Before his beheading, Paul thought only of offering his life; he wrote that he wanted to be ‘poured out like a libation’ (2 Timothy 4:6). That was prophecy. Not words. That was prophecy, the prophecy that changed history.
From the personal notes of Saint Maximilian Kolbe:
Our external activity is all right; but, obviously, it is not as important as our spiritual life; that is, our life of recollection, prayer, and personal love for God. Only through prayer is it possible to reach St. Augustine’s goal: to love God to the point of despising ourselves. We must strive for a real (not imaginary) self-contempt, so that, by knowing better ourselves, our nothingness, and our weaknesses, we may truly despise ourselves and wish that others treat us as we deserve. The more we burn with divine love, the more we will be able to inflame others with a similar love….
Work always as much as you can. The value and merit of your fatigue do not depend on others’ appreciation, but on [your] purity of intention [in doing everything] for God….
Pray and work without rest, in order not to grow cold.
From the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska #1632:
Pure love has made me strong and brave.
I fear neither the seraphim nor the cherubim, standing with sword in hand,
And I pass over with ease where others tremble,
Because there is nothing to fear, there where love is the guide.
And suddenly the eye of my soul came to rest upon You,
O Lord Jesus Christ, stretched upon the Cross.
Here is my Love, with Whom I will rest in my grave,
This is my Bridegroom, my incomprehensible Lord and God.